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Since the days of Ancient Greece, grapes have been a symbol of status and decadence. Every dog owner wants to treat their pooch like royalty. But, when it comes to “people” food, there are some treats that should be avoided. Can dogs eat grapes? Read on for the truth about this storied fruit.

Can Dogs Have Grapes?

No. Grapes are known to be highly toxic to dogs of all breeds, often leading to acute renal (kidney) failure.3 This can quickly become fatal, making them one of the most dangerous household items for your dog. Unfortunately, the reason for this has yet to be identified. All we know for sure is that grapes contain a substance that is deadly for dogs regardless of age, sex, or breed.

Can dogs eat raisins?

Raisins are dried grapes, so they are still toxic to all dogs. The same goes for currants, sultanas, and anything that contains grapes as an ingredient. Raisin bread, jam, and protein bars (which often contain grapes) should all be avoided.2

Why Are Grapes Bad for Dogs?

Despite ongoing research, the toxic substance in grapes has not been identified. Whatever it is remains present in grapes even if they’re peeled, dried, cooked, or processed. It’s also highly potent — as little as 0.3 ounces of grapes per your dog’s body weight could be enough to cause serious problems.2 Keep all grape-based food products away from your dog, and make sure friends and family know to do the same.

How to recognize grape poisoning

If your dog does ingest grapes, these are the symptoms to look out for:

●      Vomiting

●      Diarrhea

●      Exhaustion

●      Lethargy

●      Anorexia

●      Increased thirst

●      Increased urination (or anuria, the cessation of urination)

●      Dehydration

●      Mouth ulcers

●      Seizures

●      Coma

Symptoms typically develop within 24 hours of ingestion. Within 48 hours, your dog may go into acute kidney failure, identifiable by abdominal pain, nausea, and a fishy odor.2

What to do if your dog eats grapes

If you observe any of the above symptoms and suspect your dog may have eaten grapes, take them to the vet right away. The vet may want to induce vomiting in an attempt to purge any undigested grape remnants. They also may want to keep your dog for monitoring in case their condition worsens.

Unfortunately, there is no antidote to grape poisoning. However, your vet may prescribe activated charcoal to minimize absorption of toxins in your dog’s digestive tract.  

These Violet Delights

Grapes have been enjoyed by humans for millennia, but dogs should avoid them at all costs. Grape poisoning works fast and can quickly turn fatal. Take steps to keep grapes and grape-based products away from your pooch. If the worst should happen, contact your vet as soon as possible.

Money is the last thing we want to worry about when our pet needs medical attention, but emergency procedures are often expensive. A dog insurance policy from MetLife1 could help offset the price of life-saving treatment.2 Find out if it’s worth buying a policy for your dog.   

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Nothing in this article should be construed as financial, legal or veterinary advice. Please consult your own advisors for questions relating to your and your pet’s specific circumstances.

1Pet Insurance offered by MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC is underwritten by Independence American Insurance Company (“IAIC”), a Delaware insurance company, headquartered at 485 Madison Avenue, NY, NY 10022, and Metropolitan General Insurance Company (“MetGen”), a Rhode Island insurance company, headquartered at 700 Quaker Lane, Warwick, RI 02886, in those states where MetGen’s policies are available. MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC is the policy administrator authorized by IAIC and MetGen to offer and administer pet insurance policies. MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC was previously known as PetFirst Healthcare, LLC and in some states continues to operate under that name pending approval of its application for a name change. The entity may operate under an alternate, assumed, and/or fictitious name in certain jurisdictions as approved, including MetLife Pet Insurance Services LLC (New York and Minnesota), MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions Agency LLC (Illinois), and such other alternate, assumed, or fictitious names approved by certain jurisdictions.

2 Provided all terms of the policy are met. Application is subject to underwriting review and approval. Like most insurance policies, insurance policies issued by IAIC and MetGen contain certain deductibles, co-insurance, exclusions, exceptions, reductions, limitations, and terms for keeping them in force. For costs, complete details of coverage and exclusions, and a listing of approved states, please contact MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC.

3Weishaupt, J. (2022), “Why Dogs Can’t Eat Grapes,” Fetch by WebMD