Why are Grapes Bad for Dogs?

Daven Hiskey 8
Gage asks: Why are grapes bad for dogs?

Eating a significant quantity of grapes (32 g of grapes per kg of dog) can potentially be fatal to dogs, though not to all dogs. About 2/3 of dogs are unaffected by grapes according to a study done by the Animal Poison Control Center. Dried grapes (a.k.a. raisins) seem to be just as fatal as their fresher counterparts to those dogs that are affected.

As to why grapes and raisins are bad for some dogs, generically speaking it’s because grapes and raisins can cause rapid renal failure (kidney failure).  The exact mechanism behind the kidney failure after consumption of grapes or raisins isn’t known.  Potential agents spelling the canine’s kidney’s kismet, such as common pesticides used when growing grapes or various fungi, have been ruled out.

It doesn’t matter whether the grapes were grown in your own garden or were commercially grown, nor whether they are seeded or seedless (grape seed extract actually seems to be perfectly safe for all dogs). So something inherent to the grape itself, and apparently to all types of grapes, seems to be the culprit, but beyond that, nobody knows (yet).

If your dog does ingest more than a few grapes or raisins and they are among those affected by grapes, sometimes they can be saved.  Once you discover your dog has eaten several grapes or raisins, you should immediately:

  1. Make them vomit (if they are affected by grapes, they probably will vomit anyways, but if not, make them).
  2. If you have it on hand, make them eat activated charcoal.  This will decrease the absorption of whatever is causing the kidney failure.   If you don’t have any activated charcoal handy, burn some toast (the blacker and more charred the better), then make them eat it. Normally getting dogs to eat things is amazingly easy, but you might find it significantly more difficult in this case, as dogs that are affected tend not to want to eat anything.
  3. Take them to a veterinarian.  Aggressive introduction of intravenous fluids for about 48 hours has been shown to drastically increase the odds of your dog surviving.  The quicker treatment begins, the more likely they’ll survive it, so don’t wait around for your dog to show symptoms.  Plus, in the cases where the dog isn’t likely to survive, the dog can be euthanized on the spot without having to suffer a slow and painful death from kidney failure.

In case you’re curious about what the symptoms are that your dog might exhibit after eating a bunch of grapes, these include: vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, loss of appetite, shaking, lethargy, decreased frequency of urination (and/or reduced volume of urine produced), and hypovolemia (decrease in blood plasma; get out your blood plasma testing kits kids!)

One of the other major things dogs are allergic too is chocolate; go here to find out why: Why Dogs are Allergic to Chocolate

Expand for References

Enjoy this article? If so, get our FREE wildly popular Daily Knowledge and Weekly Wrap newsletters:

Subscribe Me To:  | 
Print Friendly
Check Out Our New Book!»

8 Comments »

  1. Bob September 4, 2013 at 9:56 pm - Reply

    This is not true in my experience. I have a vineyard and have worked in wineries and have seen dogs eating many grapes. The only effect I have seen is a lot of seed in poop

    • Libby May 17, 2014 at 4:09 pm - Reply

      Just like the artical said, some dogs are not affected . Grapes are usually indigenous to that area and potentially so are the dogs you witnessed eating them. Any animal ( including us) are rarely allergic to foods grown that are indigenous to same area of their ancestors.

  2. Bryan September 27, 2013 at 2:47 pm - Reply

    My dog every now and then eats a grape but it is only one and all he does is play with it and rarley eats it afterword, he has eaten one or two but only about one a week, nothing in the list above shown but it is never a bunch of grapes, only 1.

  3. anita October 8, 2013 at 4:35 pm - Reply

    The article says 2 out of 3 dogs are not affected. Perhaps it’s just the more sensitive dogs that get sick or die. My friends husky ate a lunch size box of raisins and almost died. My cattle dog mix can eat pretty much anything.

  4. Stephanie November 1, 2013 at 10:29 am - Reply

    We have just lost our wonderful Border Terrier, she had learnt how to open doors, and managed to open a kitchen cupboard door one afternoon, my daughter told me she had eaten the dried frut mix, but i just thought she would get an upset stomach. I was very wrong with in 12 hours she started to be sick and she died in the vets the following night. We did not do a post morton, as we were so upset and just wanted her to be buried as beatiful as she was. We now realise after researching on the internet it must have been the mixed fruit, the vet did an xray when we first took her in but could not see anything wrong. She had all the symptons that are described on all the sites regarding raisins. Please beware and learn from our mistake. We loved her so much and is a devasting loss to all the family.

  5. MG February 25, 2014 at 5:54 pm - Reply

    Our 10 lb terrier gulped down a single red grape that fell on the floor. To be safe we called the vet who said yes this is a real issue and even for a single grape it’s best to be cautious and assume the worst. So to induce vomiting we were told to give her 1 tsp of hydrogen peroxide given her size, which she licked right off the spoon. 10 min later, yucky grape speckled vomit on the floor. Lesson learned, don’t drop grapes on the floor and have some peroxide around the house just in case,

    • MG February 25, 2014 at 5:56 pm - Reply

      Sorry. It was a tbsp not a tsp.

      • Libby May 17, 2014 at 4:17 pm - Reply

        It’s a tsp not Tablespoon. It’s important to get right dosage of hydrogen peroxide according to dogs weight right or it could also be dangerous

Leave A Response »