October 12, 2022

Can Dogs Eat Grapes?

Can dogs eat grapes? Dogs are often curious about the food you eat, and may even whine at you to feed them. As a dog owner, you may be tempted to indulge your beloved pet. After all, what harm can come from letting your dog eat a few grapes or raisins?

No, grapes are a toxic substance for dogs. Eating even a single grape can induce vomiting and other nasty symptoms. These symptoms may be observed in as little as a few hours.

Have a question about your pet? Talk to a vet

Why Are Grapes and Raisins Toxic?

Natural wine production concept

What makes grapes bad for dogs? For a long time, it was unknown why grapes were so highly toxic to dogs. Up to today, there are no conclusive findings on the reason they are poisonous to dogs. However, studies have eliminated pesticides, fungi, and traces of metal contaminants from the equation.

Some vets from the ASPCA Poison Control Center (APCC) also suggest that the reason may be due to the presence of tartaric acid. This hypothesis was made when a senior consulting vet in clinical toxicology at the APCC came across a unique case of dog poisoning from homemade play dough.

This homemade play dough had a unique recipe that contained cream of tartar. The vet eventually recognized that the same tartar acid was present in grapes, which cause similar forms of poisoning in dogs.

Other researchers speculate that they are toxic to dogs due to mycotoxin or salicylate. These are naturally occurring substances in grapes that could lead to decreased blood flow to the kidneys in dogs.

Dog owners should also be wary not to feed their pets raisins and currants, as these are dried grapes that contain similar compounds.

Are All Dogs Unable to Eat Grapes or Raisins?

Brown long coated small dog on light colored couch

Some canines appear to have better tolerance toward grapes and raisins than others. Since the root cause of grape toxicity is uncertain, researchers have been unable to explain varying levels of sensitivity in dogs.

There is currently no way of determining a dog's level of sensitivity to grape poisoning beforehand. However, the fact remains that eating grapes leads to negative consequences in dogs.

What is the Maximum Dose of Grapes that Dogs Can Tolerate?

Most dogs are unable to tolerate even one grape. Others can tolerate up to a small handful of grapes or raisins. This applies to peeled grapes, seedless grapes, raisins, and grape juice as well. Everyone is thus recommended to abstain completely from feeding puppers any grapes or other foods that contain them.

What Are the Effects of Grape Poisoning?

Eating grapes can induce vomiting as it wreaks havoc with the dog's stomach. This is one of the first and most common symptoms of grape poisoning observed. Dogs may also suffer from diarrhea.

Grape or raisin toxicity can also lead to a reduction in appetite, lethargy, abdominal pain and trouble breathing.

However, the direct consequence is that dogs may get sudden kidney failure or damage. Kidney failure can lead to drastic changes in urine production, and excessive thirst and dehydration. This is extremely severe and detrimental to the dog's health. In some extreme cases, grape toxicity may be fatal.

What to Do if Your Dog Eats Grapes

Cavalier spaniel with hot dog in his mouth on a chair in the kitchen

Sometimes, we leave snacks lying around the house and our hungry pooches may eat them without our knowledge. Other times, we may be unaware of the dangers of certain foods and feed them to our dogs. What can you do if your pet has eaten grapes or raisins?

If you observe one or more of these symptoms of grape poisoning or suspect that your dog has eaten grapes, you should send your dog to the vet immediately. Immediate treatment is necessary to mitigate the effects of grape poisoning. This is crucial even if your dog has only ingested one grape.

Treatment Methods for Grape Poisoning

The vet will likely recommend treatment methods that induce vomiting or prevent absorption of the toxins.

Vets may recommend induced vomiting for up to 4 to 6 hours after ingestion, as it is the easiest way to get the food out of the dog's system. This process is called decontamination.

While inducing vomiting may be the best way to get rid of the toxins in your dog's body, this can be strenuous if your dog is in an unstable condition or has difficulty breathing. It is also not recommended if you are unsure whether your dog ate grapes. You and your vet should exercise discretion to evaluate if induced vomiting is the best option for your dog.

That's not all. After decontamination, vets will typically use intravenous fluids (IV drip) to rehydrate your dog and support its kidneys. This is to help minimize kidney damage and reduce the risk of kidney failure.

The vet may also administer activated charcoal to block the absorption of toxins. The dog will usually be monitored over the next 2-3 days to ensure their kidney function is fine.

Can Dogs Eat Other Fruits?

Sink overflowing with strawberries being washed

Given dogs' sensitivity to grapes, it is natural to wonder if they can ingest other types of fruit. The answer is that they can. Some fruits that are safe for your pups are apples, bananas, blueberries, cucumbers, mango, oranges, peaches, pears, pineapple, raspberries, strawberries, and watermelon.

However, not all fruits are safe for them to eat, so be sure to conduct research before feeding your dog anything apart from its usual dog food. After all, your pet's health is crucial!

Have a question about your pet? Talk to a vet


Grape poisoning is a serious issue that can lead to death or long-term kidney damage. Learning more about what your dog can or cannot ingest is crucial as pet owners. In the case where you find your dog has eaten grapes, send them to the vet immediately

Other articles you might like