What? Your Dog Ate Grapes?

Zack Keithy, our author, is a certified veterinarian technician (UC Blue Ash) for over 6 years (contact him here). The articles written here are based on his expertise and experience, combined with a review by our expert vet reviewers including Dr M. Tarantino. Learn more about us here.

Oh boy, where do I start? You’re prepping some fruits for your family and little did you know that a few has dropped off the counter.

The next thing you know is your pooch chomping on them.

I know what you’re thinking, it’s a little like dropping your phone in the toilet — it happens faster than you’d believe and the panic sets in instantly.

We’ve all heard the rumors, but what’s the real story here? What if your dog ate grapes?

Spoiler alert: grapes and dogs aren’t a great combo. So, strap in as I share how you can get through this grape-escape (pun intended), offering you some quick, life-saving tips along the way.

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Why Are Grapes Harmful to Dogs?

can dogs eat grapes

Through my years caring for a number of dogs and working in a vet clinic, I have learned about something important that concerns our favorite sweet fruits—grapes. 

Grape toxicity. We’re talking about a real danger here. 

This condition goes by various names, like grape toxicity syndrome or grape and raisin poisoning. 

What you’re about to learn below might change how you think about these tasty treats.

So keep reading.

Recognizing the symptoms of grape toxicity

Grape toxicity is a terrible condition that severely threatens your canine companions. 

Let’s explore the signs that could signal grape toxicity in dogs:

  • Vomiting: One of the initial warning bells is expelling those eaten grapes or raisins from the stomach, resulting in vomiting. It may happen shortly after the feast.
  • Diarrhea: The aftermath of grape toxicity can bring a distressing case of diarrhea for your furry pals. It might be watery or even tinged with blood.
  • Loss of appetite: When grapes wreak havoc on a dog’s system, their interest in food can dwindle or disappear entirely. A sudden disinterest in meals is a red flag.
  • Abdominal pain: The battle within can cause discomfort and agony in a dog’s abdominal region. Restlessness, panting, or reluctance to lie down may reveal their pain.
  • Lethargy: Grape toxicity drains the energy of your four-legged friend. It unleashes weakness, lethargy, and a lack of energy. They may seem unusually tired or wear a cloak of sadness.
  • Increased thirst and urination: Sometimes, grapes provoke an unquenchable thirst in your dogs, driving them to drink copious amounts of water. Consequently, they may need to relieve themselves more frequently. It’s a phenomenon known as polydipsia (excessive thirst) and polyuria (excessive urine production).
  • Dehydration: You can put your detective skills to use by gently tugging the skin on the back of your dog’s neck. Does it slowly return to its normal position? That’s a sign of dehydration
  • Tremors or shaking: In severe cases, grape toxicity may trigger tremors or shaking in dogs. It’s a chilling sign that indicates a more severe reaction.
  • Changes in behavior: Watch closely, for grape toxicity can cast a dark shadow over a dog’s demeanor. Unusual behavior, such as restlessness, agitation, or disorientation, may take hold.

How is grape/raisin poisoning diagnosed?

Diagnosing grape poisoning isn’t a walk in the park since there’s no specific test for it. 

But there are some steps involved in unveiling grape/raisin poisoning.

It includes the following:

History and clinical signs

  • Prepare to spill the beans about your dog’s grape or raisin encounter.
  • Share details like the amount eaten, when it happened, and the symptoms you’ve witnessed.
  • Look out for signs like vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, tummy troubles, exhaustion, excessive thirst, and reduced pee breaks.

The Full Investigation

  • Physical examination: Your vet will thoroughly review your dog, hunting for any suspicious findings or signs of trouble. They’ll assess hydration levels, heart rate, and blood pressure.
  • Blood tests: The veterinarian may request a complete blood count (CBC) to scout for changes in blood cells. A blood chemistry panel will assess the kidney and liver well-being, crucial clues.
  • Urinalysis: A urinalysis can expose secrets about your dog’s kidney function. Concentration changes and the presence of abnormal substances may hold the key to uncovering kidney damage.
  • X-rays or ultrasound: Sometimes, they need an X-ray vision or ultrasound powers to reveal the conditions. These imaging studies help your vet investigate your dog’s gastrointestinal tract for any obstructions or unusual findings.

Action is essential because grape/raisin poisoning is a medical emergency.

Doggy says, you might be keen to read this too: Dog ate too much Galliprant

What Are the Risks of Grape Consumption in Dogs?

If your dog grapes and they show any signs of trouble, don’t wait a second. Take them to the vet immediately.

Let’s take a look at some risks if your precious pooch is experiencing grape toxicity:

Potential health issues of a dog eating grapes

Dogs are not meant to eat grapes adnd here are the possible health issues you should be aware of:

  • Renal (kidney) damage
  • Seizures
  • Elevated heart rate
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Low blood pressure
  • Anemia (low red blood cell count)
  • Digestive tract blockage or obstruction
  • Gastrointestinal inflammation

Acute kidney failure

When your dog eats grapes, it can lead to a life-threatening condition called acute kidney failure. 

Pay attention to these important facts:

  • Onset of symptoms

The onset of symptoms for acute kidney failure can strike swiftly. Dogs may show trouble within hours or a few days after consuming grapes. 

The timing can vary based on the dog and the quantity of grapes consumed.

  • Kidney damage

Those sneaky grapes contain tartaric acid that can harm the kidneys’ delicate tubules. It can lead to impaired kidney function, jeopardizing their vital role. 

  • Increased thirst and urination

Acute kidney failure can take its toll on your dog’s thirst and urination. Excessive thirst and frequent urination become unwelcome companions. 

Why? The kidneys struggle to concentrate urine and regulate fluid balance.

  • Decreased urine production

As the battle within the kidneys rages on, urine production dwindles. Sometimes, it may even come to a complete halt. 

Your dog’s urine may become a whisper, barely heard—a condition known as oliguria (low urine output) or anuria (no urine or without urine).

  • Dehydration

Fluid intake can plummet due to vomiting, diarrhea, or decreased thirst. Dehydration lurks around the corner, further compromising kidney function and overall well-being. 

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Doggy says, consider reading this too: My dog drank soapy water

Individual sensitivities to grapes

Each dog has its tale to tell when it comes to grape toxicity. 

Some dogs may be more vulnerable, while others may be like grape superheroes with solid immunity. 

It’s a story of unknowns and surprises. 

Every dog is unique, and we can’t assume anything based on past experiences.

Small vs large dogs: Comparative risks

Size doesn’t define safety.

Here’s a grape comparison of the risks between small and large dogs:

  • Sensitivity and toxicity

Smaller dogs, with their tinier bodies, are more sensitive to the toxic substances in grapes. But even a few grapes or raisins can harm large and small dogs. 

Individual sensitivities vary, and larger dogs are not immune.

  • Dose-dependent response

The severity of grape toxicity in dogs depends on the quantity consumed. Larger dogs can handle more grapes before experiencing adverse effects than smaller dogs.

But here’s the thing—there’s no established safe threshold. Any amount of grapes can potentially cause harm.

  • Kidney function and elimination

You can link grape toxicity to how dogs’ kidneys process and eliminate toxins. 

Larger dogs generally have more vital kidneys and can clear toxins more effectively. It gives them a tiny level of protection against the toxic effects. 

However, they are not resistant. Even large dogs can suffer kidney damage or failure from grape ingestion.

Doggy says, you might be keen to read this too: My dog ate an Uncrustable!

Safe Alternatives to Grapes

alternatives to grapes for dogs

Fruits and dog treats are suitable for rewarding and treating your furry friend.  

It provides a variety of flavors, textures, and nutritional benefits for dogs.

When selecting alternatives to grapes, consider the following:

Fruit options for dogs

When feeding your dog fruit, be careful not to overdo it and ensure that the fruit is part of a well-rounded diet.

Explore these fruitful alternatives to grapes:

  • Apples

Slice up some apples (without seeds or core) to give your dog a crunchy and vitamin-packed delight. 

Avoid those tiny seeds, as they can be harmful in large quantities.

  • Blueberries

These little powerhouses of antioxidants are a paw-some choice. 

Fresh or frozen, they’ll add a burst of flavor while being low in calories and high in fiber.

  • Watermelon

Quench your dog’s thirst with juicy watermelon. 

Remove the seeds and rind, and let them savor the hydrating goodness. A refreshing treat as a cool summer breeze.

  • Strawberries

Treat your furry friend with fiber-rich strawberries. 

They’re bursting with antioxidants, and vitamin C. Don’t forget to snip off the stems before offering this sweet delicacy.

  • Bananas

Go bananas for this nutrient-packed fruit! With potassium, vitamin C, and fiber, bananas make a paws-itively delightful treat. 

Slice them up or mash them for an all-natural delight.

  • Oranges

While oranges are high in vitamin C, offer them to your dog in moderation. 

Remove the seeds and any tough membranes before sharing this tangy treasure. Remember, not all dogs may fancy the citrusy taste.

Cautionary notes and paws of thought:

  • Introduce gradually: Take it slow when introducing new fruits to your dog’s diet. Start with small amounts to ensure they tolerate them well.
  • Allergic alert: Keep an eye out for any allergic reactions or sensitivities. Every dog is special, and some may have individual sensitivities to certain fruits.

Have a fruity feast of options to treat your pup!

Dog treats

If you’re hunting for safe dog treats, you’re in luck! 

Here are some pawesome alternatives to grapes, specially crafted for our furry friends:

  • Dental Treats: These treats are like superhero capes for their pearly whites, fighting off plaque and tartar buildup. Sink your dog’s teeth into oral health with various shapes and flavors.
  • Training Treats: Training treats are mini powerhouses, perfect for motivating your pup during training sessions. Low in calories and easily breakable, they keep the fun going.
  • Biscuits and Cookies: Crispy or chewy, the options are endless! Find biscuits and cookies that tickle your pup’s taste buds and are free from harmful additives.
  • Jerky Treats: It is from top-notch meats like chicken, beef, or fish. Just ensure they’re preservative-free, without artificial flavors or excessive salt.
  • Frozen Treats: Chill out on a hot day! Craft your frozen delights with yogurt, fruit purees, or broth. Or grab ready-made frozen treats that’ll keep your pup cool and content.
  • Natural Chews: Natural chews like bully sticks, antlers, or dental chews are entertaining and beneficial for their teeth. Pick a good size for your pup’s chewing style.

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Doggy says, you might wanna check this out too: Dog ate a silica packet

How to Prevent Your Dog From Eating Grapes?

Preventing your dog from accessing grapes is an essential step in avoiding toxicity. 

Here are some measures you can take:

Securing your living space

Creating a safe haven for your furry friend and stopping grape trouble in its tracks is a must.

Let’s dive into decisive steps to prevent grape mishaps and safeguard your living space:

  • Keep grapes out of reach: Lock them away! Store grapes in closed cabinets or high shelves your dog can’t access.
  • Be cautious with food placement: Be mindful of where you place food, especially grapes. Countertops or tables are a no-go zone to ensure your pup doesn’t snatch a dangerous snack.
  • Check food labels: Always read food labels and ensure grape-containing products stay far from your dog’s reach. Ingredients matter, so stay vigilant.
  • Regular inspection: Scan your living space for fallen grapes or hidden hazards. If you spot them sooner, the faster you can protect your pup.
  • Create a “No grapes” zone: Set boundaries. Designate an area in your home where grapes are strictly off-limits. 

Educating family and visitors

Spread grape awareness.

Here’s how you can educate your loved ones:

  • Teach your family about the risks of leaving grapes or grape-containing foods accessible to your dog. Together, you can create a grape-free environment.
  • Inform guests, especially those unfamiliar with the hazards, about the importance of not sharing grapes with your dog or leaving them within reach. 

Training your dog to avoid grapes

Train your pup to resist grape temptation.

Teach commands like “leave it” or “drop it” to discourage your dog from picking up or eating unknown substances. 

Properly discarding grape waste

Watch out for those sneaky scavengers. 

Secure your trash cans with sturdy lids or place them in dog-proofed areas. It prevents your curious canine from reaching discarded grape or raisin remnants.

A grape-free zone means a worry-free zone for your precious pup.

Doggy says, you might be keen to read this too: Can dogs eat egg salad?

What Should You Do if Your Dog Ate a Grape?

Act now to save your furry friend! 

Here’s what you should do if your paw ate a grape:

Stay calm and assess the situation

Keep a cool head. Panicking won’t help your dog or you. 

It might sound cliche, but breathe deeply and concentrate on what you need to accomplish.

Assess how many grapes your dog ate and watch out for strange behaviors or signs of distress.

Remove any remaining grapes

Act fast!

Check your surroundings and ensure no more grapes are within your dog’s reach.

Remove them immediately to avoid more trouble.

Watch for signs of grape toxicity

Have a vigilant observation. 

Keep a close eye on your doggie. Look out for signs like vomiting, diarrhea, belly pain, loss of appetite, tiredness, weakness, excessive thirst, more bathroom breaks, or decreased urine.

Do not induce vomiting without being told

Think twice before making your dog vomit.

Why?

Grape toxicity can have serious consequences.

Inducing vomiting without proper guidance can lead to further complications and put your pet at risk, so it’s best to consult with a vet first.

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Contacting a veterinarian

Grape toxicity is no joke. Don’t wait for the worst to happen.

Pick up that phone and call your trusted vet right now for expert guidance.

Your vet will provide specific instructions tailored to your dog’s needs. Listen carefully and follow their advice.

Pro Tip: Have your dog’s information ready, like breed, age, weight, and any existing medical conditions or medications. It helps the vet give the best care.

How Will a Vet Treat Grape Ingestion?

When your vet treats grape ingestion in dogs, they typically follow a specific protocol.

It includes the following steps:

Diagnostic procedures

First, the vet will carefully examine your dog and gather important information about the grape ingestion, like how many grapes and when it happened. 

They will perform tests to check your dog’s condition and look for signs of kidney damage. such as:

  • Blood Test
  • Urine analysis

Treatment options for grape poisoning

The vet’s primary goal is to prevent or minimize kidney damage. 

Here are the specific treatments they might use:

  • Inducing vomiting: If your dog ate grapes recently and isn’t showing symptoms yet, the vet might help them vomit to get them out of their tummy.

Quick Fact: Did you know that some dogs vomit on their own when they eat something harmful? That’s right, they have a natural built-in safety mechanism!

  • Activated charcoal administration: They’ll give your dog an activated charcoal that absorbs toxins in the digestive tract, stopping them from getting into the bloodstream.
  • Intravenous fluids: The vet will provide IV fluids for at least 48 hours to support the kidneys, keep your dog hydrated, and flush out the toxins.
  • Monitoring and supportive care: The vet will keep a close eye on your pup’s vital signs, urine output, kidney function, and overall well-being. 

They might give anti-nausea medicine, pain relief, and medications to support the kidneys.

Post-treatment care and recovery

After the initial treatment, your dog may need to stay in the hospital. It depends on how serious the grape ingestion was and how they responded to treatment. 

The vet will keep monitoring them and adjust the treatment plan as needed. 

When your dog becomes stable and starts getting better, they can go home with specific instructions for care and follow-up appointments.

Remember these important things to help your dog recover:

  • Follow your vet’s instructions: Listen carefully and do exactly what the vet tells you. They’re experts in helping our furry pals.
  • Administer medications: Give any prescribed medicines to your dog on time and in the right amount.
  • Create a calm environment: Make sure your dog has a quiet, stress-free space to rest and heal.
  • Fresh Water Always: Always keep a bowl of clean, fresh water available for your doggie.
  • Follow-up appointments may be necessary to check the kidneys and ensure your dog fully recovers.

Each dog’s recovery journey is unique, depending on how quickly they got help and how much they ate.

Doggy says, you might be keen to read this too: Can dogs drink lemonade?

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What will happen if my dog ate grape stems?

Grape stems have fewer toxins than grapes but can still pose a choking hazard. Ingesting large quantities may cause vomiting or diarrhea.

What will happen if my dog ate grape leaves?

Grape leaves have fewer toxins than grapes, but they can still cause throwing up, tummy troubles, or blockages if eaten in large amounts.

What will happen if my dog ate grape seeds?

Grape seed extract is not harmful to dogs. This extract is safe for our paw companions and poses no threat to their well-being.

What will happen if my dog ate grape jelly?

Grape jelly, grape juice, and grape-flavored treats are a big no-no for your doggie. They are poisonous and harmful.

What will happen if my dog ate raisins?

Raisins may seem innocent, but they’re dried grapes with concentrated toxins. Ingesting raisins is extremely risky and can cause severe toxicity.

What will happen if my dog ate sultanas?

Sultanas, like raisins, are toxic to dogs. It can cause grape toxicity and kidney-related issues.

What will happen if my dog ate muscadines?

Muscadines, like all grapes, can be highly toxic to dogs, leading to kidney failure. If your dog has eaten muscadines, seek immediate veterinary attention. Symptoms can include vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, dehydration, lack of appetite, and severe abdominal pain.

In Conclusion: My Dog Ate Grapes

I’m truly if this situation is happening to you.

Grape ingestion can seriously harm dogs, even proving fatal due to kidney failure, so immediate veterinary care is paramount.

Hopefully, things will work out fine very soon for you and your doggy, and in the future, let’s ensure grapes are kept away from your precious pup.

Don’t forget to check out these care tips too:

You’ve made it to the end, but I hope it’s not the end of our journey. We want to hear your voice! Share your thoughts, problems, suggestions, or anything related to your dog in the comments section. And don’t forget to join our newsletter today too.

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Zack Keithy
Zack Keithy

Hey, I'm Zack, the Chief Editor here. I was formerly a Certified Veterinary Technician (CVT) for a good 6 years before moving on to greener pastures. Right now, I am still heavily involved in dog parenting duties, and it is my desire to share all our knowledge with fellow dog owners out there! Connect with me on LinkedIn, or read more about Daily Dog Drama!

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