Most people understand that grapes aren’t good for dogs, but they underestimate just how toxic the fruit is for our furry friends – which can lead to tragedies.
Grapes (and raisins) are poisonous to dogs. It doesn’t matter whether they are red, green, commercially grown or picked up from your local organic vineyard, keep them away from your dog. They can kill a dog.
Experts do not know what substance grapes contain that makes them so deadly to dogs, but it is whatever is in the flesh of the fruit. Grapes and raisins can cause kidney failure in dogs, and their treatment will depend on how many grapes they’ve eaten and how their body reacts. As you might guess, raisins are a concentrated fruit, and therefore, fewer of them are needed to cause the same effects.
How the dog reacts will depend on his bodyweight. Smaller dogs will be poisoned by tinier amounts of grapes and raisins than bigger dogs.
Dogs that have eaten grapes and raisins might show various symptoms. They can include vomiting, diarrhoea, depression, abdominal pain, loss of appetite, tremors, dehydration and lethargy. They might also stop drinking water and urinating.
Because of the risk of kidney failure, grape consumption can also cause death. If your dog has swallowed grapes or raisins, its body will take time to absorb them so death might not be instantaneous. The sooner your pet gets treatment, the better.
If the dog ate the grapes or raisins within two hours, the vet will usually induce vomiting and give him activated charcoal, along with intravenous fluids. The vet will test your dog’s blood for 72 hours afterwards. Treatment might also be urinalysis, an ultrasound and medications.
None of us like the idea of our pet suffering – never mind dying. Make sure you keep any grapes or raisins you have in the house well out of the way of your dog. And remember to ensure they can’t get their paws on any fruitcake either…