Grapes and raisins are fantastic for people, but did you know that even tiny amounts of these fruits can be poisonous to dogs and cats? To discover more about pet grape and raisin toxicity and what to do if you suspect your pet has eaten this harmful snack, continue reading.
Are Grapes Poisonous to Dogs or Cats?
As it turns out, even one grape or raisin can be lethal to your dog, unfortunately. Specifically, if a dog eats a single grape, it could cause abrupt kidney failure. Even a few grapes or raisins might cause serious complications in your dog or cat. For example, a 20-pound dog can eat just three ounces of grapes or raisins and get renal failure.
Cats have more room when it comes to grape tolerance but ingesting several grapes can be toxic to cats as well. Grapes are worse for cats than chocolate!
Bottom line, it is best to keep grapes and raisins away from both your dog and cat.
Why Are Grapes and Raisins Toxic to Pets?
Although it’s not down to an exact science, researchers believe that tannins, which are found in many fruits, are responsible for the fruit’s deadly effect. The animal cannot break tannins down. In some cases, even small doses of a toxic substance can cause serious and even life-threatening sickness in dogs. Coincidentally, some dogs are safe from the hazardous effects of eating grapes and raisins. Because of this, grapes or raisin products should never be given to your pet.
What Could Happen If My Dog or Cat Does Eat Grapes or Raisins?
Grape consumption can be dangerous for your pet if left untreated. If your dog or cat has eaten grapes or raisins, early symptoms will include nausea and vomiting. Left untreated, this progresses rapidly to acute renal failure, in which they will begin to drink and urinate excessively. Due to their distress, pets lose their appetite and become sedentary. This can lead to renal failure and the complete inability to urinate. Even aggressively treated pets can develop renal failure if seriously affected.
Toxic Ingestion Symptoms:
- Appectite loss
- Apathy, sluggishness
- Vomiting and diarrhea within hours
- Stomachache (tender when touched)
- Dehydration, which includes panting; dry nose and mouth; pale gums (To check for dehydration, gently pull up on the skin behind your dog’s neck. If properly hydrated, the skin should bounce right back.)
- Increased thirst; decreased urine production
- Nephrosis (kidney failure)
Food poisoning in pets raises the risk of major health consequences after 24 hours. Renal failure is likely when the animal reaches this stage. Acute renal failure can be reversed if treated quickly.
What Should I Do If My Dog or Cat Has Eaten Grapes or Raisins?
Getting your dog or cat medical attention is critical if they ate raisins or grapes. Contact your veterinarian immediately. Your vet may suggest that you help the animal vomit. Unless your veterinarian specifically tells you to do so, do not induce vomiting in your pet! It can exacerbate the symptoms if done incorrectly or unnecessarily.
Intravenous fluids should be administered for at least 48 hours after your pet arrives at the vet’s office. To keep track of how they’re doing, your veterinarian will take blood and urine samples. After 48 hours, if your pet’s kidney levels are normal, he or she can usually be returned to you. Severe kidney damage necessitates an additional stay in a hospital.
Your veterinarian or the ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control Center should be contacted if your dog or cat has eaten grapes (888-426-4435).
How Do I Prevent Grape and Raisin Poisoning?
Keep grapes and raisins out of your pet’s reach or out of your house completely to avoid grape or raisin poisoning. You should store them in a refrigerator or other closed container if you are at home. If you suspect your pet has eaten a grape, raisin cookie, or any other food containing these ingredients, contact your veterinarian immediately.
The photo featured at the top of this post is © iStock.com/darrenplatts123
Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us? Contact the AZ Animals editorial team.