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Can dogs eat grapes?

If you’ve been together with your canine companion for a while then you’ve probably asked yourself a couple of questions regarding the foods they can eat. One of the most common questions that we see is “can my dog eat grapes?”

A dog poses with green grapes

The short answer is simply no. This also counts for dried grapes such as raisins, grape crushings, or fermented grapes from wineries. This is due to their high toxicity levels to dogs, though research has yet to discover what substances in the fruit actually cause these high levels of toxicity. Ingesting grapes or raisins can actually be fatal to a dog and cause sudden kidney failure. As a result, it’s best to steer clear from grapes and raisins altogether. There is no difference between different breeds, genders or age of the dogs that suffer from the toxicity levels from ingesting grapes.

Common symptoms after ingesting grapes

If you suspect that your dog has eaten a grape or a raisin, then here are the most common symptoms to expect:

  • Lethargy (weakness, fatigue)
  • Loss of appetite 
  • Vomiting or diarrhea, usually a few hours after ingesting a grape or raisin 
  • Abdominal pain
  • Dehydration (includes panting and a dry mouth)
  • Kidney failure (potentially fatal)

 If you suspect that your dog has been affected by the toxicity from ingesting grapes or raisins, then put your pet insurance to use and speak with a veterinarian as soon as possible in order to administer the right diagnosis and treatment to save your dog. If possible, try to induce vomiting ASAP if your dog has eaten grapes or raisins in the past few hours. Further treatment often involves using activated charcoal in order to absorb the rest of the toxins inside of your dog’s digestive system.

Keeping your dog away from grapes

If you want to prevent your dog from ingesting grapes and raisins, then here are a couple of handy tips to help out:

  • Keep grapes and raisins away from your dog. If you love to eat grapes and raisins, then it’s a good idea to keep them in containers that are well away from your dog so there’s no chance of them accidentally eating a grape or raisin.
  • Talk to your children. Make sure children understand why they cannot give grapes to your dog, and ask them to help keep dropped grapes off the floor.
  • Do not offer grapes or raisins. While it sounds obvious, you need to hold yourself back from offering grapes and raisins no matter how much your dog likes them. Ingesting a single raisin or grape won’t be enough to cause long-lasting effects, but make sure your dog doesn’t get accustomed to eating them.
  • Read labels for fruit treats that are not designed for dogs. We all tend to feed our dogs treats and foods that aren’t specifically designed for them now and then. However, it’s always important to read labels first before you do this to ensure that there are no grapes or other substances in the foods that could cause your dog to ingest something bad. 
  • Consider other fruity alternatives. There are plenty of other fruity alternatives to grapes that aren’t toxic to your dog. For instance, you could consider apples, blueberries, watermelon, pineapple and even bananas. They are all nutritious and dogs love to eat them. 

Alternatives to grapes and raisins

While your dog can’t eat grapes and raisins, there are plenty of tasty alternative fruits that are perfectly fine for your dog to eat. Here are some delicious treat ideas for your dog that make use of fruits.

Fruity parfait

Just like you, your dog deserves a delicious dessert now and then. Here’s a quick recipe for a delicious parfait that mixes dairy and fruits that your dog will love. You’ll need:

  • Diced strawberries 
  • Diced blueberries 
  • Diced pears 
  • Applesauce 
  • Plain nonfat yogurt

 For every ½ cup of yogurt, you can add around a ⅓ cup of the diced fruits. Use equal parts yoghurt and applesauce to create a delicious, sweet yoghurt that mixes with the fruits. Add everything to a blender and blend until the yoghurt is nice and smooth and the fruits are well-incorporated. Make sure you serve in small portions (a treat is still a treat!) and you can store it in the fridge for around seven days.