Can dogs eat grapes?

I’ve heard of different foods dogs cant eat, but I never wondered if dogs can eat grapes. It seemed like a safe fruit in moderation but boy was I was wrong! Is it safe to give my dog grapes? No!

It wasn’t that long ago, I was preparing a fruit salad and had dropped a grape on the floor. My shih-tzu quickly picked it up and was playfully tossing it around using her mouth and her paw. I grabbed my phone to take a picture because she was so darn cute and I had to capture this.  My son’s friend was over that day and they all happened to be in the kitchen. He startled me as he yelled “take that away from her!!” Say what?? He told me that grapes could kill my dog but he didn’t know the reasons why grapes are so harmful to dogs.  So of course I had to do some research on this topic because I nearly just poisoned my precious pup!

Can dogs eat grapes?

Grapes and raisins are definitely dangerous and can be deadly for your dog!

They can cause kidney complications, kidney failure and even death in dogs. The toxicity can affect any breed and any size dog. Of course, the smaller the dog, the more dangerous several grapes can be compared to a large dog ingesting the same amount. Some dog breeds seem to be more affected than other breeds and those reasons are unknown.

Why are grapes harmful to dogs?

Unfortunately there is no certain answer to why grapes are toxic to dogs. The research and studies seem to point to the actual flesh of the fruit rather than the peel or seeds. After my research on this topic this conversation came up with a friend. She told me if I peeled the grape then it would be safe because its the skin that is toxic…WRONG!! Even if you remove those teeny tiny seeds and peel the grapes it won’t be any safer for your pet. We still don’t know the actual toxic agent that causes harm to our furry family members so just keep those grapes and raisins far, far away from your dogs.

How many grapes are too many?

Every breed is different and factors such as age and size play a role in how the dog will react to this mysterious toxic agent. If you know your dog has ingested a grape, call your vet immediately.  A single grape could be dangerous or could just cause mild side effects. The problem is that it’s really playing a gambling game with your pets life by waiting to see signs or symptoms of illness.

What are the signs and symptoms of grape/raisin poisoning?

The thing about kidney problems is that many symptoms can go unnoticed in our pets. They can’t exactly tell us they don’t feel well or have pain and sometimes it can be too late.  Here are some symptoms of this toxicity poisoning you may see:

●      Vomiting

●      Diarrhea

●      Tremors / Shaking

●      Lethargy or unusual laziness

●      Not eating or drinking

●      Not urinating or only urinating in small amounts

●      Bad breath

●      Seizures

●      Oral ulcers

If you get your dog to the vet within the first two hours of ingesting a grape or raisin, they will usually induce vomiting. The key is to stop it from fully absorbing into their system. They may use a charcoal based formula to neutralize the toxicity of the grape/raisin.  Regardless, none of these treatments are things you can do at home or yourself, they need medical attention preferably BEFORE it causes complications. If you want to be safe, don’t wait to see signs or symptoms, take them and get them checked out as soon as you know they’ve eaten a grape or raisin.

What are other dangerous foods for pets?

There are a few dangerous foods that you must you keep your pets away from at all costs. There are several on this list that I always knew about but certainly a few more that I really had no clue about until I researched this topic. Here is a quick list of dangerous foods to keep away from your pets!

  • Onions and garlic contain thiosulfate, which is shown to damage the red blood cells in your pet, which can cause anemia.
  • Macadamia nuts are especially toxic to dogs and cats. It can cause vomiting, a faster heartbeat, body temperature increase and weakness and even paralysis!
  • Xylitol is used a sweetner and can be found in chewing gum, candy and other “sugar free” foods and drinks. This one is one of the more dangerous ones because it’s often you wont know if xylitol is in a food unless you’re checking the ingredient list. This can and will cause your pets liver to shut down as it increases the insulin. Seek medical attention immediately if your pet consumes even a small bite of food with xylitol. Don’t mess around with this dangerous food for pets.
  • Lillies can be extremely toxic to pets especially cats. There are so many types of lilies and some are more toxic than others. A good rule of thumb, keep your pets away from lilies if you’re unsure what species the plant is. These plants produce alkaloids and lycorine which are deadly to pets.
  • Tomatoes that are red and ripe are not dangerous themselves, however unripe tomatoes are toxic to pets. If you have a tomato plant on your patio as I do, keep it off the ground or in an area your pets won’t bother to pluck off the green tomatoes. I did catch my dog doing this during the summer. Luckily she never ate it she was just tossing it around, I took it away immediately and moved my plant to a table outside.
  • Chocolate of any variety or amount is dangerous for your dog. A good rule of thumb, the darker the chocolate, the smaller the breed, the more dangerous it is! My friend’s dog was in the hospital for 3 days after ingesting 3 ounces of milk chocolate. That was the first time I saw how dangerous chocolate can be for dogs.
  • Mushrooms growing in your backyard are more likely to be more toxic than grocery store mushrooms. If you see any random mushrooms growing in your yard, pick them and get rid of them!

As always, when in doubt contact your vet! If it’s after hours then please find an emergency vet, they are usually happy to advise you whether your dog needs immediate attention or can wait. I did find several Pet Poison phone numbers online but I’m unsure the cost of these calls. You can do a quick search to see if a free hotline is available in your area.

Some pet breeds do require some pet proofing if your home.

If you want to know more about this topic please visit

Watch this video to learn about Grape Poisoning in Dogs

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