collie dog standing grapes on vines

Can Dogs Eat Grapes?


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Grapes are a great snack for humans, but can dogs eat grapes? Or are they too dangerous for Rover to snack on?

In short, no. Dogs can’t eat grapes. Grapes are highly toxic to all dogs. And so are raisins!

So… if your dog has snatched up a grape from the floor, will they be ok? What are the symptoms of grape poisoning, and how much is toxic?

Let’s have a quick look at how poisonous grapes are and why they’re not safe for dogs.

Why can’t dogs eat grapes?

You already know the answer to your “can dogs eat grapes?” question – it’s a big no no. But why, exactly? Scientists have been searching for years to pinpoint the exact reason why grapes are so poisonous to dogs. All varieties are toxic, including seedless and ones with seeds. The colour of the skin doesn’t matter either.

But strangely enough, grape juice doesn’t seem to have the same effect.

Studies have tried to determine whether pesticides, fungus, or another factor is to blame, but no definitive answer has been found yet. However, recent research seems to indicate it might be tartaric acid that’s to blame.

rottweiler dog looking at grapes to eat

What if dogs eat small amounts of grapes?

Much like chocolate toxicity, the severity of grape poisoning does depend on the amount eaten and the size of the dog.

A large dog mightn’t show any immediate or obvious signs of distress after eating a couple of grapes. But a small dog may get sick very quickly after eating only one. On top of that, some dogs seem to be more sensitive than others, regardless of their size.

Unfortunately, there’s no way to predict which category your dog will fall into.

Some signs of grape poisoning in dogs include:

  • Vomiting and/or diarrhoea (often the first symptom)
  • Lethargy or weakness
  • Sensitive or tender abdomen
  • Dehydration
  • Lack of appetite
  • Increased thirst and urine production
  • Decreased or no urine production

In severe cases, a dog’s kidneys may stop functioning and they could lapse into a coma. This is usually within 48 hours or so from ingestion. Once this stage has been reached, the dog has a very small chance of full recovery.

That’s right. Unfortunately a dog can die from ingesting a grape, even if it’s not a dog choking kind of situation.

What to do if your dog eats grapes

Because dogs can’t eat grapes, you should take your dog to a vet straight away if they’ve ingested any. The quicker the treatment, the better their chances of recovery. If you’ve any suspicions at all that your dog may’ve accessed grapes, raisins, currants, or similar, you should get immediate medical attention.

It’s not an overreaction on your behalf. The early signs of grape poisoning in dogs are often very generalised or non-specific, so they may go unnoticed. Read about the experience of Harvey the Schnauzer here.

If you have a good pet insurance policy, you’ll be able secure quality treatment for your dog without worrying about the financial implications.

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