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Are Grapes Bad for Dogs? Grape, Raisin, Sultana and Currant Poisoning


A dog looking at a bunch of grapes

"Are grapes bad for dogs?" is a common question among pet owners. 


These seemingly harmless fruits can cause severe health issues in dogs, leading to acute kidney failure and, in extreme cases, death. Awareness and prompt action are crucial to ensure the safety of our dogs.


Why Grapes, Raisins, and Currants are Toxic to Dogs

Raisins and grapes

Toxic Substances

The exact reason why grapes are toxic to dogs is unknown, but they can cause severe kidney damage and potentially lead to acute renal failure. 


There are a variety of theories that suggest that compounds such as flavonoids, tannins, and monosaccharides in grapes and their derivatives might be responsible for the toxicity. 


The most recent studies suggest that tartaric acid, present in the fruits, may be the cause. The concentration of tartaric acid can be variable, making prediction of toxicity difficult.


Symptoms of poisoning include vomiting, diarrhoea, increased urination, lethargy, and dehydration. Even a small amount can be harmful, and the severity of the reaction varies among dogs. 


Immediate veterinary attention is crucial if a dog ingests grapes or raisins.


Effects on Dogs

Ingesting these fruits can have diverse effects. Some dogs might show mild symptoms, while others suffer from severe toxicity. Symptoms range from vomiting and diarrhoea to acute renal failure, making kidney damage a critical concern. Early intervention is necessary to prevent fatal outcomes.


Symptoms of Poisoning

Early Symptoms

  • Vomiting

  • Diarrhoea

  • Increased urination


Recognising these signs early can significantly improve the chances of successful treatment.


Advanced Symptoms

  • Decreased urination

  • Loss of appetite

  • Lethargy

  • Dehydration

  • Bad breath


Advanced symptoms typically develop over several hours to a few days, requiring urgent veterinary attention.


What to Do If Your Dog Ate a Grape

Immediate Actions

If you suspect your dog ate a grape, raisin, sultana or currant- immediate action is essential. Remove any remaining fruit and contact a vet or pet poison control centre without delay. Prompt action can make a significant difference in outcomes.


Veterinary Treatment

A dog being treated at the vets after eating a grape

Veterinary treatment may involve inducing vomiting and administering activated charcoal to prevent further absorption of toxins. Hospitalisation and intravenous fluid therapy are often necessary to support kidney function. 


Regular checking of kidney parameters is crucial to monitor function.


Prevention Tips

Home Safety

Preventing access to grapes, raisins, and currants is key. Store these fruits out of reach and educate family members and visitors about the dangers they pose to dogs. Consistent vigilance can prevent accidental ingestion.


It’s important to also educate anyone who has regular access to your dog. 


Alternative Treats

Opt for safe fruits and snacks for your dog. Apples, blueberries, and carrots are excellent alternatives that provide nutritional benefits without the risk of toxicity.


Frequently Asked Questions

What should I do if my dog eats a grape?

If your dog eats a grape, immediately remove any remaining fruit and contact your vet or a pet poison control centre. Do not wait for symptoms to appear, as early intervention is crucial.


Can a small amount of grapes harm my dog?

Yes, even a small amount of grapes can be harmful to dogs. The toxicity varies, and some dogs may experience severe reactions from ingesting just a few grapes or raisins.


Are dried fruits like raisins and sultanas equally dangerous?

Yes, dried fruits such as raisins, sultanas, and currants are equally dangerous to dogs and can cause the same severe health issues as fresh grapes.


Ensuring Your Dog’s Safety

Understanding the dangers of grapes and dogs is essential for pet owners. Prompt action and preventive measures can save your dog's life. Always be vigilant and prepared to seek immediate veterinary care if needed.


Why not check out our Vital Pets Club to spread the cost of vaccinations? A 12 month subscription includes routine check-ups, annual vaccines, monthly flea and worming treatments and much more, plus discounts in shop and on certain procedures. All designed to help improve the longevity and quality of your pet's life.
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