Can Dogs Have Grapes?

Written by Teresa Eckert

For those of you who have never had a furry, lovable canine, you probably think this is a silly question.  After all, grapes are good for humans – right? They have antioxidants that aid in healing and cell repair; fiber to promote good digestion for bowel movements; anti-inflammatory that aids with inflammation and soreness; and vitamins that promote overall good health. 

Anything that good must also be good for dogs – right?  Well, I’m sure that all of you dog lovers out there know the answer is a definite “NO!”. 

Can Dogs Have Grapes?

Grapes are NOT good for dogs and your dog should never have them.

Not only are grapes not good for your dog, but they can be quite fatal.  Let’s look at why dogs cannot have grapes, what signs or symptoms to look for if they do consume grapes, treatments, and possible ways to prevent ingestion.

Why Are Grapes Bad for Dogs?

While certain fruits are okay to give to your dog as a snack or treat, grapes and other related fruits like raisins, sultanas (dried grapes) and currants are toxic.  

It is not really known what part of the fruit causes dogs to experience a toxic reaction, although some believe it to be the flesh of the fruit. Because of the uncertainty in the science, It is important not to give your dog any part of the grape, peeled or unpeeled. Better safe than sorry, right?

It doesn’t matter if your dog is old or young, what breed they are, or even their size or gender – grapes, raisins, etc. are not safe for them to eat.  

That said, if ingested, different dogs may respond differently. Some may experience more severe reactions than others.  It is unknown how much a dog has to eat to get a toxic reaction, it could be one grape or ten, which tells us any is too much.

Signs & Symptoms of Ingestion

If you believe your dog has eaten a grape, raisin or currant, here are some of the signs or symptoms to look for: (it could be one or a combination of any of the following)

  • Abdominal pain
  • Decreased appetite
  • Decreased or no urine production
  • Dehydration
  • Foul breath
  • Increased thirst and urine production
  • Kidney failure (extreme and can be fatal
  • Seizures or Tremors
  • Vomiting and/or diarrhea (within a few hours of ingesting)

The earliest signs to look for are abdominal pain, vomiting and diarrhea.  This usually occurs within six hours and is followed by a loss of appetite and lethargy. It’s important to start treatment immediately to prevent further internal damage.

No one, not even your vet knows your dog better than you do. Watch for behavior that’s out of the ordinary (like excessive panting) and take your dog to the vet if you suspect something seems off.

Treatment of Grape Ingestion

If you know that your dog has eaten grapes or any related fruit but has not exhibited any of the signs or is experiencing one or more of the signs and/or symptoms listed above, either way immediate treatment is necessary. 

You should contact your vet and explain the situation and your concern. If your dog has not vomited, your vet may instruct you to induce vomiting as soon as possible. This is to prevent further absorption of the toxins from the fruit.

If your dog is exhibiting any of the following signs, you should not try to induce vomiting:
  • Is having trouble breathing
  • Is showing signs of distress or shock
  • Is unconscious
  • If you are uncertain of what your dog ate

If your dog has already vomited, do not induce more vomiting, but call your vet and let them know what has transpired.  Whether your dog has vomited or not, it is extremely crucial that you get your dog to the vet as soon as possible.

Your vet may need to do the following procedures:

  • a gastric lavage or a washing out of the stomach
  • administer activated charcoal to absorb any remaining toxins 
  • intravenous fluid therapy to flush toxins out of the bloodstream and encourage the kidneys to continue producing urine
  • give medication to reduce vomiting and maintain kidney function
  • blood work to check kidney function

Prevention of Grape Ingestion

If grapes and raisins are not some of your favorite fruits, then this should not be a concern for you and your dog. 

However, if your refrigerator and cupboards are filled with them, then here are some things you can do to protect your dog from accidentally eating the fruits:

  • Keep grapes, raisins, etc. stored in containers away from your dog.
  • Make sure that you do not offer your dog these fruits and make sure to check all ingredients to treats before giving them out.
  • Ask all family members and friends not to give your dog these fruits and help them to understand what it may do to any dog.
  • Make sure when eating these fruits to check that none have dropped on the floor, if so, clean it up immediately!
  • If you want to give your dog fresh fruit – give them ones that are not toxic but healthy for them such as: apples, bananas, blueberries, pineapple or watermelon.

Tips to Remember

  • DO NOT give grapes or any related fruit, such as raisins, sultana, currants to any dog!
  • These fruits are toxic to all breeds and not dependent on age, size or gender.
  • Look for signs and/or symptoms and take immediate action if ingested.
  • If you see your dog eat one of these fruits call your vet immediately!
  • Prevent any accidents by storing your fruits in containers, helping family and friends to understand the consequences and immediately cleaning up any fruit droppings.

Your dog is part of the family, keep them safe and healthy!

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About the author

Teresa Eckert

Teresa is a co-founder of Golden Retriever Love and is the fur-mom to Annie the Golden Retriever and Remi the Chocolate Lab. Teresa enjoys spoiling her pups and occasionally writing some great content for us on this blog!