In the previous articles, we talked about apples and pineapples as doggie treats. The question as to whether dogs can eat grapes as a treat is a valid query. After knowing that dogs can eat pineapples and apples, you must be wondering if it is the same for grapes. So can dogs eat grapes as a treat? Unfortunately, the answer is an absolute No. Grapes are toxic for dogs and it is must be avoided. It contains substances that make it toxic, harmful and even deadly for canines.
Why are grapes bad for dogs?
There has been much research on dogs having acute kidney failure and lack of urine production due to grapes. Studies about grapes’ toxicity to dogs are still relatively new since grape toxicity studies started 25 years ago. Grapes cause dogs problems, but it is still unknown as to what is the substance that causes these health problems. What is certain is that several illnesses and death in dogs are due to grape consumption. These incidents point to grapes being toxic to dogs. It takes 32 grams of grape per kilogram of the dog’s body weight to be toxic.
Can you give raisins to dogs as a treat?
No, pet owners should not give raisins as treats to their dogs. Raisins are a form of dried grapes, and grapes are poisonous to dogs. The reasons why dogs can’t eat raisins are the same reasons why they can’t eat grapes. The most unusual thing about the toxicity of raisins is that it affects only some particular dogs while it does not affect other dogs.
Also, raisin poisoning profoundly affects some dogs, while some have a mild case of toxicity. The Mycotoxin, which is a substance produced by fungus or molds, is the likely culprit of raisin toxicity. But researchers are still not sure of the exact cause of raisin poisoning in dogs.
More so, raisin is more toxic than grapes. It dried characteristics mean that there is a higher concentration of substances in raisins. Likewise, it becomes toxic when there are 11-30 g/kg or 0.18 to 0.48 oz/lb in your dog’s body.
If my dogs eat grapes or raisins, what will happen?
When dogs accidentally consume grape or raisins, pet owners are advised to monitor their pet’s condition. These fruit and treat contain substances that can be poisonous; thus, you should keep them away from your pet. But what happens if your pet accidentally eats a grape or raisin?
The toxins will not affect your dog immediately. However, some signs might be signs of toxicity that you should be aware of. Below is a list of symptoms that should alert you if your dog is affected by grape toxicity:
- Diarrhea and vomiting – These two symptoms are the most common signs of grape poisoning. Should these symptoms happen, try to check if there are grapes and raisins in the dog’s stool or vomit. If there are grapes or raisins, then your pet is suffering from the toxins. Note that other problems may be causing diarrhea and vomiting. The presence of grapes or raisins is a sure sign that the fruit’s toxins are affecting your dog.
- Oliguria and Anuria – Oliguria is a condition in a dog that causes the dog to produce a little amount of urine. On the other hand, anuria is a condition in a dog that causes the complete cessation of urine. In other words, a dog with Oliguria pees a little while in Anuria; your pet will not pee at all. Both symptoms are the result of the dog’s kidney failure due to grapes and raisins. Anuria is the most dangerous and lethal of the two since it will force the dog to have hemodialysis. Hemodialysis can help your dog until its kidneys resume normal functions.
- Lethargy and weakness – If your dog can’t play or exercise, tires quickly and slowly moves, then your dog may have been poisoned. There could be other causes for their lethargy and weakness, making sure to rule them out first. Still, these symptoms ought to tell you that there is something wrong with your pet. However, don’t mistake lethargy and weakness as a sure sign of grape and raisin toxicity. Your pet might just be lacking energy due to an inadequate diet or lack of rest.
- Tremors and seizures – Tremors are not necessarily signs of grape or raisin poisoning. For all, we know your dog is under high stress, anxious, or is afraid. On the other hand, seizures or convulsions are not normal and are a warning that your dog is sick. Seizures, unlike tremors, are abnormal and uncontrolled surges. It happens even when your dog is asleep. Tremors are involuntary muscle movements in the dog’s body when it is aware and awake to its surroundings. Of the two symptoms, seizures are not a good sign, but tremors that are increasing in frequency are not regular anymore.
- Dehydration – Water is essential to any living being, whether human, plant, or animal. Dogs require a proper intake of water to maintain their health. A dog’s body is made up of 80 percent water and aids in dissolving natural as well as unnatural substances, circulation, waste removal and digestion. Dehydration is not easily detected, but there are signs of it such as sunken eyes, depression, lethargy, dry mouth and loss of appetite.
Not all dogs will show symptoms of grape or raisin poisoning immediately. Dogs can have grapes or raisins without you knowing it. In small amounts, the fruit’s toxins will have little effect and are eventually flushed out of the body. But if the dog continues to ingest the fruit, the symptoms will finally show up. Dog breeds that tend kidney disease are easily susceptible to grape and raisin toxicity.
Remember these symptoms it doesn’t mean the dogs eat raisins or grapes, and it is suffering from poisoning. Your dog could be suffering from parvovirus, distemper, heart disease, hypoglycemia, or any other sickness. Nevertheless, the symptoms will alert you if something is wrong with your dog’s health.
How to give immediate treatment to dogs that eat grapes or raisins
Suppose your pet managed to eat grapes and raisins regardless of your efforts. Then you have to act fast to deal with the problem. Sometimes dogs eat grapes and raisins without their owner knowing about it. Quick and immediate treatment must be done to mitigate the inevitable poisoning. Here a few useful tips to give your immediate treatment after ingesting grapes or raisins:
- Induce vomiting in your dog – If you are sure that your pet ingested raisins and grapes during the last two hours, you will need to induce your dog to vomit. Vomiting will force out all the fruit’s toxins before the dog’s body absorbs them. However, do not cause vomiting if your dog is in severe distress, unconscious, has trouble breathing, is in shock, or is not sure of what it ate. There is no need to induce vomiting if your dog has already done it.
- Call your veterinarian – This is an almost necessary action after the first part. Be sure to give your vet the dog’s vital details like how much it weighs and the number of grapes or raisins that the dog ingested. You can call your vet first before trying to induce vomiting in your dog on a side note.
- Gastric lavage – This treatment is where the vet washes out the dog’s stomach and administers activated charcoal to absorb any toxins that remain in the stomach. Vomiting can clear up the grape toxins, but some of it may be left behind. Gastric lavage, on the other hand, will flush out all the toxins completely and effectively.
- Intravenous fluid therapy – The vet uses this treatment to flush out any toxins that entered the dog’s bloodstream. At the same time, this treatment stimulates the dog’s kidney to keep producing urine. The kidney will need those fluids since it no longer functions properly due to Oliguria affecting it.
- Giving medications – to reduce your dog’s vomiting and maintain the kidneys function, your vet will have to administer certain medicines to stabilize your pet. Your vet will also monitor the kidney’s function along with bloodwork rechecks to see if your pet is recovering.
Should you manage to administer immediate treatment to your dog, you will not face the bigger problems later. For some dogs, their kidney’s functions have failed to the point that they do not produce urine anymore. The dog is given hemodialysis as a means of life support until its kidneys recover from grape or raisin poisoning. The total failure of the kidneys will need a kidney organ transplant for your pet. However, in most cases, the only option left, and the practical choice is to euthanize the dog to end its suffering.
Raisins and grapes are deadly to dogs, so it is necessary to deal with the problem immediately. Dealing quickly with the problem ensures that your dog suffers little from poisoning. Such a move also prevents fatalities.
How to prevent dogs from eating grapes or raisins
Keeping grapes and raisins off-limits to your canines is a vital move that can save their lives. Grapes and raisins have adverse health effects on dogs. Here is some advice on how you can keep your pooch away from this harmful food.
- Do not offer grapes or raisins as treats, no matter how tasty the grapes or raisins are for your dog. A little grape or raisin will not affect your dog immediately, but do not let your pet get used to eating them. The same goes for using grapes and raisins as training reward treats.
- Keep any grape or raisin products away from your dog’s reach. Use a high shelf to store any grape or raisin products in any remote place that has no chance of your pet reaching it. You can also hide the grapes and raisins from your dog.
- Check if the meal or food you’re using has grape or raisin ingredients in it. If there are grapes or raisins in that meal or food, then do not serve it to your pet. Don’t bother removing all the grapes or raisins from the food since their substances are still on it. Avoid giving such food to your dog just to be on the safe side.
- Dispose of any kitchen waste in containers as soon as possible, especially if you disposed of grapes and raisins in it. Your dog might be the type who likes to poke around the trash can, and he might decide to eat the grapes and raisins he finds. Dogs eat grapes and raisins wherever they find them. It should also be obvious that poking and eating from a garbage container are not healthy things for your dog.
- Avoid giving your pet grape-related products. Some examples are homemade biscuits with raisins, cereal with raisins, grape jelly, grapefruit popsicles, grape juice, wine, and other alcoholic beverages. Some of these grape-related products have sugar content on them, which will make the dog’s health worse.
- Use other fruits as safe alternatives to treats or snacks for your dog. Try using fruits like pears, pineapple, apples, blueberries, watermelon, raspberries, strawberries and bananas. The listed fruits are safe and nutritious to eat. Avoid fruits with substances that are toxic to dogs. Some fruits like plums and peaches are not toxic, only their pits. Stone fruits like mangoes and apricots are right for your dog, though you may need to cut up the fruits.
If you’re still wondering if dogs can have grapes or raisins as treats, the information above will tell you that grapes are not healthy for your dog. If another dog owner asks the question, “can dogs eat grapes?” you can answer him or her with confidence. It’s quite a shame that dogs cannot eat grapes since they are a very delicious fruit that the family enjoys. But don’t worry, there fruits that are healthy and safe for your pet. It is OK that your pet can’t have grapes. After all, your pet’s well-being is more important.