We cannot think of any human who would say, “I hate grapes!” But regarding their furry companions, the question “can dogs eat grapes?” often occurs!
In short- No, dogs cannot eat grapes. There is a high chance of grape poisoning in dogs.
But why are grapes bad for dogs? Here are all the reasons and explanations for why grapes are toxic to dogs. And don’t worry! We will leave you with some cool alternatives!
Why Are Grapes Harmful to Dogs?
What exactly causes grapes to be so toxic to dogs is still a mystery, and there are high chances of fatality. But as per our research, some explanations bring us closer to the truth. Why are grapes bad for dogs?
But before that, which part gets affected the most? It’s the kidneys! If a dog eats a grape, sooner or later, the kidneys will stop working and reach a point where the body goes into a coma. We cannot pinpoint a single element that leads to kidney damage (article), but here are some possible explanations for the same!
1. Contains tannins and flavonoids
Firstly, there are plant-based compounds named tannins and flavonoids, which are present in grapes. The same compound, tannin, is also found in beverages like tea and coffee. In fact, acorns and unripe fruits also contain tannins in high amounts. Similarly, flavonoids are also found in not-so-dog-friendly human foods like garlic and onions.
Due to a lack of scientific evidence, we cannot claim that these two compounds are responsible for making grapes toxic. However, as other food items like coffee, tea, garlic, and onions also harm dogs, why try anything with the same properties?
2. Tartaric acid
Another explanation for kidney damage is the tartaric acid in grapes (article). You must have heard about the tales of tartaric acid in tamarind and how it is toxic to dogs. Similarly, grapes also have the same component, which can lead to acute kidney damage in dogs (study). Some dogs may be more tolerant than others of these toxins like tartaric, tannins, and flavonoids.
3. Requires medical attention
Grape toxicity in dogs should not be ignored! Issues like garlic or grape poisoning need immediate medical attention. If the dog does not receive proper care within the first few hours, there can be a high chance for it to be fatal.
How Many Grapes Can I Give My Dog?
It would be best not to give your dog grapes, raisins, and currants. Let’s bring that into perspective! Even 0.86 ounces of grapes and raisins can cause fatality in dogs like chihuahua of 3-6 pounds. Also, every dog reacts differently to food items. But due to the mentioned toxins in grapes and those still a mystery, you should never risk it!
As per the professions, dogs will face sudden kidney failure and coma if they eat a grape. Grapes neither have much nutritional value nor are they safe- please never experiment with new fruits and vegetables without consulting your veterinarian.
Also, you must monitor the kids as they can feed the dogs raisins or grapes to the dog. If so, please get in touch with your veterinarian without waiting for the signs to appear.
Signs of Grape Poisoning
Grape poisoning in dogs can be fatal. If your dog ate a grape, they can start showing the symptoms as early as within 6 hours to at most 24 hours. You can expect your dog to show these signs and symptoms:
- Loss of appetite
- Weakness or lethargy
- Excessive thirst
- Foul mouth odor
- Abdominal cramps
- Allergic reactions
- High blood pressure
Sooner or later, their kidneys will stop functioning, and there will be no urine production. As it is still unknown which substance in grapes or raisins causes dogs to go into a coma, you must not practice any home remedies. It may worsen the situation. If your dog ate even one piece of grapes, do not wait for the symptoms to hit, and please immediately contact your veterinarian.
Alternatives of Grapes For Dogs
Grapes are not for dogs! But when you are eating grapes right off the grapevine, how can you expect your pup not to look at you with puppy eyes? So, to help you with that, here are some cool alternatives to grapes that you and your dog can both enjoy:
Dogs love to eat blueberries! We highly recommend using blueberries as an alternative to grapes. They are hydrating, squishy, and delicious- just like grapes, but without the toxins. This low-calorie treat will be a great addition, especially if your dog is on a weight management plan.
Also, if your dog is fond of frozen treats- frozen blueberries will be their next favorite! However, please ensure not to feed them to diabetic dogs without consulting a veterinarian.
Are you looking for a juicy, handy treat you occasionally toss to your pooch? Blackberries are the one for you! They are packed with vitamins and minerals. However, we do not recommend blackberry jams as they have additional sugar. Unless your dog is allergic to blackberries, this treat can be an excellent add-on to your dog’s menu.
Blackberries do not contain any harmful ingredients or compounds. As a responsible dog owner, you must feed them in moderation.
3. Frozen melon balls
Another alternative to grapes is the melons! We cannot match the size of the grape, but we can match the texture and benefits! Be it any melon- muskmelon, watermelon, cantaloupe, etc.; All of them are safe to eat for dogs, BUT you must remove the seeds.
To make it even better, you can make a melon slushie and freeze it in an ice tray. Once it’s set, you’ll have the best-frozen melon treats. They are also suitable for dogs with no teeth, as they give their gums a cold sensation.
In conclusion, you should NEVER feed your dog grapes. They are highly toxic and are fatal to dogs. If you caught your dog off guard stealing grapes, you must seek veterinary attention immediately. Even as little as one grape can lead to toxicity in dogs.
If you want to give your dog training treats, there are far better options than grapes. Fruits like blueberries, blackberries, and watermelon are a great alternative to grapes for dogs and their hooman owners.
Frequently Asked Questions
Grapes are bad for dogs because they contain toxic ingredients. Why and how grapes can be fatal to dogs is still a mystery. However, the presence of tartaric, along with tannins and flavonoids, can lead to kidney damage in dogs. These are the same compounds in tamarind, garlic, onions, tea, and coffee.
No. Dogs cannot eat grapes in any way. Be it seeded, seedless, dried, or jammed. It still contains harmful compounds that can potentially be fatal to dogs. Hence, removing the seeds will not make any change in the toxicity. You can give your dog alternatives to grapes, like blueberries or blackberries. They have similar textures and benefits and are safe for dogs.
Yes. It would be best not to serve your dog even 1 grape, as it can be fatal to dogs. The amount of tartaric and other toxic elements can cause instant renal failure or kidney damage. Especially if you have a small-sized dog, even as small as half a grape can show the signs of poisoning.
If your dog ate one grape, do not wait for the signs of poisoning to occur. You should call your veterinarian immediately for medical help. Monitor your dog and give all information to your vet correctly if the dog behaves differently. The sooner your veterinarian will treat the dog, the better chance they have for curing it.
Unfortunately, no part of grapes is healthy for dogs. Grape seeds are edible for humans, but grapes or grapes with seeds are still toxic to dogs. You must not experiment and serve your dog grape seeds as they might be fatal to dogs, just like the grape flesh. Also, serving any seeds can cause choking hazards and block digestive tracts in dogs.