Can Dogs Eat Grapes?

Julia Henriques
Can dogs eat grapes

For us humans, grapes are a harmless treat or even a healthy snack. But for dog owners, grapes aren’t so harmless. That’s because this tasty fruit can be very toxic to dogs, and even cause serious health problems. 

So if you’re wondering: “Can dogs eat grapes?” The short answer is no, dogs should not eat grapes. 

Let’s take a closer look at why grapes are toxic to dogs and what steps you should take if your dog has eaten grapes.

Why Grapes Are Toxic To Dogs

Most dog owners know that they shouldn’t feed their dog grapes. However, the exact reason why grapes are toxic to dogs was a mystery for decades. It's only recently come to light that tartaric acid is the risk factor that makes grapes so unsafe for dogs. 

Tartaric acid is a compound in grapes that's thought to cause damage to a dog's kidneys … and it’s why even a small amount of grapes or raisins can be enough to cause serious health issues in dogs.

Can Dogs Eat Green Grapes?

No – dogs should not eat green grapes. Your dog shouldn’t eat any grapes at all. 

Still, people often wonder whether the “no grapes” rule applies to all varieties of grapes. The fact is, it doesn't matter if the grapes are green or red. Both types can be dangerous for dogs to eat. Small amounts of grapes, raisins, sultanas, etc, can all put your dog at risk for serious health problems. Even though the amount of tartaric acid varies in different types of grapes, depending on level of ripeness and how they were grown, it's safest for your dog to avoid them altogether.

How Long After Eating Grapes Will A Dog Get Sick?

The time it takes for a dog to show symptoms of grape toxicity can vary. Some dogs may show symptoms within a few hours, while others may not show symptoms for a day or two. It's important to keep an eye on your dog and watch for any signs of illness if you know he's eaten grapes.

How Many Grapes Can Dogs Eat?

Unfortunately, there’s no simple answer to how many grapes dogs can eat before they become toxic. This is because it's not just the number or type of grapes a dog eats, but also the size of the dog that plays a role in determining how much is toxic to them. 

For example, a small dog can become ill from eating just a few grapes, while a larger dog may be able to tolerate more before showing symptoms of toxicity. This is why it's best to keep grapes away from your dog altogether. 

If you know your dog has already eaten grapes, check out the next section for common symptoms. 

What Happens If A Dog Eats Grapes? | 3 Symptoms Of Toxicity

If you like to snack on grapes, accidents can happen. You may drop a grape or two only to have your dog immediately eat it. Here are a few symptoms of toxicity from eating grapes: 

  1. Digestive Problems
    If your dog eats grapes, he may experience symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, and loss of appetite. These symptoms often occur because the body is trying to get rid of the harmful substance (grapes). Vomiting, for example, is a common response as the body tries to expel the grapes before they cause further harm. Depending on the toxicity, vomiting can be severe and persistent and may also contain blood. Diarrhea may also occur as the grapes can irritate the stomach and intestines. 
  1. Excessive Thirst
    The vomiting and diarrhea can also lead to dehydration, which can further increase your dog's thirst. However, excessive thirst can also be a symptom of kidney failure. Grapes can damage your dog;'s kidneys and cause an increase in thirst as the body tries to compensate for the damage and flush out the toxins.
  1. Kidney Failure
    As just mentioned, grapes can cause acute kidney failure in dogs. In extreme cases, the kidneys may stop functioning altogether. This can lead to a build-up of toxins in the body, which can be life-threatening if not treated promptly. So it’s important to seek medical treatment right away if your dog has eaten grapes and excessively thirsty or shows any other symptoms of grape toxicity. 

What To Do If Your Dog Eats Grapes

If you suspect your dog has eaten grapes and he’s showing any of the symptoms above, it's important to get to your vet right away. Call your vet or an emergency animal hospital and tell them what’s happened. They'll likely want to see your dog right away to begin treatment.

Your vet will be able to diagnose and treat the problem, and may also run tests to check for any underlying issues with the kidneys. They may also give fluids to prevent dehydration and medications to help support kidney function. With prompt treatment, most dogs can recover from grape toxicity and the associated symptoms.

If you frequently snack on grapes, it’s important to try your best to keep them away from your dog … and to monitor your dog for symptoms of grape toxicity, such as vomiting, diarrhea, and loss of appetite. If your dog is showing any of these symptoms, seek medical treatment right away.

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© 2024, Four Leaf Rover - The content on this website is not meant to replace veterinary advice. Please support the hard working holistic vets who make this information possible. To find a holistic or homeopathic vet near you or to find one who will do phone consultations, visit The Academy Of Veterinary Homeopathy.