Tips From the Pet Poison HELPLINE — Grapes and Raisins

We all want to keep our furbabies safe and healthy. Dogster Kristy Sweetland, furmom to Seva and Finlay, will be providing weekly tips and warnings...

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We all want to keep our furbabies safe and healthy. Dogster Kristy Sweetland, furmom to Seva and Finlay, will be providing weekly tips and warnings from the Pet Poison HELPLINE to make that job easier. As a veterinary technician with the Pet Poison HELPLINE she’s going to help us all stay more on top of what’s dangerous for our furry family members.

Grapes and Raisins

How many of us havent occasionally tossed our dog a grape or raisin? I used to give my beloved dog, Seva, raisins from time to time. My friends and I would laugh at her pre-ingestion ritual of throwing the tiny raisin around the living room, shaking it vigorously while delicately holding it between her front teeth. Once properly killed she would then shear it into several miniscule sections and savor each one separately. Then we learned about the toxic potential of grapes and raisins and this entertaining ritual ended. It was subsequently replaced with just as much fun and far safer black olives.

That being said, no one is suggesting that a single raisin ingested by a 60 pound dog is likely to have a toxic effect. The recommendation, however, is to avoid feeding any quantity of grapes, fresh or dried. We have no idea what the toxic component of this fruit is. We have no idea how much a dog can tolerate before toxicity occurs. What the scientific community does know is that ingestions of grapes or raisins in various quantities can quickly result in complete kidney failure.


Vomiting and lethargy are the first signs of danger. One could easily believe the vomiting is simply due to an upset tummy after having ingested a food product the dog is not accustomed to. Unfortunately, recurrent vomiting is also the first indication of failing kidneys. Feeding a bland diet for several days in hopes that the tummy will settle is a setup for disaster. In the two or three days time before a veterinarian finally evaluates the dog, toxicity will likely have progressed to the point of no return. Kidney failure is rapid and complete. Conversely, if timely action is taken, your veterinarian can aggressively flush your dogs kidneys with intravenous fluids and other treatments. If this takes place, your dog will likely make a full recovery.

There are so many things that bring our dogs joy. If you are in the habit of treating your canine baby with an occasional grape or raisin, pick another delicacy, like baby carrots. You just dont want to take a chance with a potentially harmful food product.

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