Can Dogs Eat Grapes?
Can dogs eat grapes? You might think the answer is yes. After all, grapes are a tasty, sweet, and healthy snack for humans, so why would it be any different for dogs — especially when many fruits are indeed dog-safe?
Before feeding your dog anything, however, it’s always a good idea to do a google search on it. Grapes are a classic example of why.
So, can dogs eat grapes or not?
Can Dogs Eat Grapes?
No, they can’t. Grapes and raisins both are toxic to dogs, though no one is quite sure what substance in them is causing this. It’s not safe to feed your dog grapes at all, whether whole, skinless, or seedless. No one is quite sure where the toxin is, which means grapes should be avoided at all costs.
If you’re snacking on grapes, keep them high out of your dog’s reach and make sure you aren’t tempted to give your pup one. You could be doing them a lot of harm.
Although no one is quite sure why grapes are toxic to dogs, they do know what can happen.
Grape poisoning can provoke many symptoms in dogs, including:
- Going into shock
- Pain and discomfort
- Loss of appetite
- Increase in thirst
An increase in thirst can be particularly dangerous, as it’s one of the main signs of acute kidney failure: the worst possible result from your dog after ingesting grapes. Kidney failure needs immediate treatment from a veterinarian, or it will likely be fatal.
Some dogs may suffer more severe reactions than others. Perhaps you’ve even fed your dog grapes in the past without the knowledge they were toxic, and nothing happened. However, this is not a reason to keep feeding your dog grapes — larger amounts, or more than they’ve already had, could still provoke a fatal reaction.
My Dog Ate Grapes — What Should I Do?
If your dog has ingested grapes, either by accident or because you didn’t know better, contact your veterinarian immediately. If they’re not showing any extreme symptoms, your vet can advise you on how to induce vomiting. This will get the grapes out of their system and reduce the risk of kidney failure or other extreme grape poisoning symptoms.
If it’s been more than two hours, or your dog is already showing extreme symptoms, your veterinarian will likely tell you to rush them straight to the vet.
The cost of this will vary, but don’t let the vet bill make you reluctant to take them, as your dog really could die if they’re having a severe reaction from eating grapes. You can always ask your veterinarian if they have a payment plan option, or use pet insurance if you’ve had the foresight to take out a policy.
What About Grape-Adjacent Snacks?
So we know grapes are toxic to dogs — what about snacks that are flavored with grapes, or grape juice?
Unfortunately, because we still don’t know exactly what in grapes causes the reaction, this isn’t safe either. After all, raisins are seedless and can still cause the same poisoning, so it’s just not safe to put anything grape-flavored near your dog.
If you do often have grapes in your home, you should teach your dog “leave it” in case you drop one. That way, you can manage the situation and stop an accident from happening.
Teach “leave it” by putting a treat on the floor, placing your hand over it, and giving them the verbal cue. Slowly remove your hand but if they move towards the treat, place your hand over it again and firmly give the cue once more.
When you can lift your hand without them moving towards the treat, praise them (or use your clicker/marker word) and offer them another treat. Slowly, you can take your hand away entirely and use things other than a treat until they’ve generalized the term.
That way, if you drop something you don’t want them to have — such as a grape — “leave it” will stop them from getting to it.
If you’re wondering what a good alternative snack to give your dog is, there are plenty of fruits that are dog-safe!
You can give these as a tasty, safe snack or freeze them in summer so they last longer. Always start off with a small amount to build up your dog’s tolerance to a new food. Some dogs can have sensitive stomachs!
So, can dogs eat grapes? No — they’re one of the worst human foods to give a dog, and could have some seriously awful results. Make sure you prevent your dog from getting to any grapes in the house and stay educated on the foods that your dog should never have.