Dog looking at grapes

Key takeaway

Grapes are very toxic to dogs, including red grapes, green grapes, and grape-based foods. If your dog eats even a single grape, you should call your vet. GI tract decontamination and other treatment may help remove some of the toxins from your dog’s stomach, but starting treatment right away is essential.

Grapes, raisins, currants, and other grape-related foods and drinks such as grape juice are toxic to dogs. While these foods are completely harmless to humans, they can cause kidney failure in dogs, as well as abdominal pain, lethargy, and other symptoms. Even a small amount of grapes can cause serious medical issues in dogs.

Keeping your dog away from table scraps is important, but it’s especially important when it comes to grapes and grape-related foods. So, why are grapes bad for dogs, and are green grapes also bad for dogs? If you think your dog might have eaten grapes, here’s everything you need to know.

Why Are Grapes Bad For Dogs?

The truth is, experts don’t know a whole lot when it comes to why grapes are bad for dogs. All experts know for certain is that grapes are bad for dogs, and even a small amount of grapes can lead to kidney failure in dogs.

In recent years, some research has suggested that tartaric acid might be the big problem with dogs consuming grapes. This was discovered when a dog became sick after getting into homemade playdough. After discovering the root cause of the sickness was tartaric acid from cream of tartar, the connection was made between grapes and their tartaric acid content.1

When a dog gets sick from consuming grapes or grape-related foods, it’s known as grape or raisin toxicosis (GRT). After ingesting grapes, most dogs will experience AKI (acute kidney injury). While the symptoms of grape poisoning in dogs can vary in severity, it only takes a small amount of grapes to cause AKI in dogs.

Graphic listing signs of grape toxicosis

Signs of Raisin & Grape Toxicosis

As a pet parent, it’s important to recognize the signs of grape and raisin toxicosis, that way you can take your dog to the vet if they’re experiencing medical issues. Here are some of the most common symptoms of GRT in dogs:

Keep in mind that your dog may not experience all of these symptoms. If your dog has several symptoms from the list above or you think they may have ingested a grape-based food, you should take them to the vet right away.

What to Do if Your Dog Eats a Grape

It can be scary when your dog eats a grape, but knowing what to do in the first moments is important. Remember that even a small number of grapes can be highly toxic to dogs, so you should monitor your dog closely even if they only ate a few grapes.

The first thing you should do if your dog eats a grape is call your vet. Your vet may recommend that you induce vomiting, which can help get rid of the toxins in your dog’s stomach. In most cases, your vet will simply recommend getting to an animal hospital or vet as soon as possible to get your dog the treatment they need.

Treatment for grape and raisin toxicosis may include GI tract decontamination, IV fluid diuresis, and close monitoring of renal function to make sure the kidneys aren’t failing.2

Graphic listing other foods that are bad for dogs

What Other Foods Are Bad For Dogs?

Dogs’ bodies are a lot different than humans’ bodies, so it’s important to make sure your dog is eating the right types of foods and staying away from stuff that’s bad for them. Unfortunately, several human foods can cause medical issues in dogs, including but not limited to3:

  • Alcohol
  • Avocado
  • Coffee/caffeine
  • Chocolate
  • Citrus fruits
  • Coconut/coconut oil
  • Dairy
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Nuts
  • Raw/undercooked meat, eggs, and bones
  • Snack foods
  • Xylitol
  • Yeast dough

Lethargy is a common symptom in dogs who have eaten something they shouldn’t have. If your dog got into the garbage can or ate food off the table and is acting lethargic, keep an eye on them and look for additional symptoms such as vomiting and diarrhea.

If you want to keep your dog from getting sick, the best thing you can do is avoid feeding them any table scraps. As happy as your dog may be when they get to share your meal with you, several human foods are bad for dogs. Even if your dog doesn’t get sick from eating human food, they might experience dehydration, malnutrition, and other health issues as a result of toxicosis.

Most dogs show signs within 6-12 hours after ingestion; kidney failure typically develops within 24–72 hours of exposure.

Most dogs show signs within 6-12 hours after ingestion; kidney failure typically develops within 24–72 hours of exposure.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are green grapes bad for dogs?

Like other types of grapes, green grapes are bad for dogs. If you keep green grapes around the house, make sure they’re in a sealed container or kept at a height where your dog can’t reach them. You should also talk to your kids and any guests that may visit to let them know not to feed your dog any grapes. Instead, you should give your dog a healthy treat that’s designed for dogs when they want a small snack.

Are red grapes bad for dogs?

Yes, red grapes and green grapes are toxic to dogs, so your dog shouldn’t eat any type of grape, raisin, currant, or grape-related food. Even foods like raisin bread and grape juice can cause serious medical issues such as kidney failure in dogs. If you enjoy grape-based products, make sure you’re keeping them in a safe place where your dog can’t get to them.

Will one grape hurt a dog?

The fact of the matter is, even a single grape can be enough to cause medical problems in dogs, especially in smaller dogs. Unlike some foods that are only toxic to dogs in large amounts, a single grape can be enough to cause kidney failure in dogs. If your dog eats a grape, you should call your vet as soon as possible to figure out what to do. Your vet may recommend inducing vomiting, and getting them to the vet for treatment right away is crucial.

What happens if my dog eats a grape?

If your dog eats a grape, there’s a good chance they may experience some of the symptoms of grape and raisin toxicity. Because even a small grape or a small amount of grape-based food can make your dog sick, you need to seek help if your dog has eaten any number of grapes. If you believe your dog may have ingested a grape-based food, you need to take them to the vet to get started on the treatment process, which typically includes a GI tract decontamination to remove toxins from your dog’s stomach.

How long after eating a grape will a dog get sick?

In most cases, a dog that eats a grape will get sick in about 6-12 hours. The first symptoms you’ll typically notice with grape or raisin toxicity are vomiting and diarrhea. You may also notice that your dog is lethargic, dehydrated, and in pain. The moment you notice your dog is acting strange, you should call your vet to talk about their symptoms and what to do next. Getting your dog the treatment they need right away is an important key to minimizing the effects of grape poisoning.

Can a dog recover from grape poisoning?

A dog’s ability to recover from grape poisoning is largely dependent on the number of grapes that the dog ate and how quickly they undergo treatment. While even a single grape can be toxic to dogs, the symptoms of grape poisoning are typically much milder if your dog has only eaten a grape or two. If your dog ate a whole loaf of raisin bread or got into an entire bunch of grapes, their prognosis may be worse.

Getting your dog to the vet is one of the best things you can do for them when they’re experiencing a medical issue of any nature. While you can comfort your dog and even induce vomiting if your vet recommends it, there’s only so much you can do to help your dog at home. Taking them to the vet allows you to get the toxins out of their system as soon as possible.

Dog at vet after grape poisoning

Final Notes

Like several foods that humans enjoy, grapes are very toxic to dogs. The problem with grapes is that even a single grape can be toxic to dogs, and grape and raisin toxicity leads to kidney failure in dogs. If your dog eats a grape, monitor their condition and call a vet right away.

References

  1. “What Causes Grape Toxicity in Dogs? Playdough Might Have Led to a Breakthrough.” AAHA, https://www.aaha.org/publications/newstat/articles/2021-04/what-causes-grape-toxicity-in-dogs-playdough-might-have-led-to-a-breakthrough/

  2. Gwaltney-Brant, Sharon M. “Raisin and Grape Toxicosis in Dogs - Toxicology.” Merck Veterinary Manual, Merck Veterinary Manual, 22 Mar. 2022, https://www.merckvetmanual.com/toxicology/food-hazards/raisin-and-grape-toxicosis-in-dogs

  3. “People Foods to Avoid Feeding Your Pets.” ASPCA, https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/animal-poison-control/people-foods-avoid-feeding-your-pets