Can Dogs Eat Red Grapes?

Photo by Derek Clark on Flickr

Welcome to my article about dogs eating red grapes.

And it is bad news from me because your dog can’t eat red grapes.

Most of my articles where I focus on dogs eat human foods, hedge their bets so to speak.

Although many human foods are the best thing in the world for your dog, they are the worst either.

But that isn’t the case with grapes.

All grapes are potentially poisonous to dogs.

It doesn’t matter what colour they are or whether they are “seeded” or are seedless.

Even raisins (dried grapes) are poisonous.

And when I say poisonous, I mean potentially deadly.

Why are grapes poisonous?

The honest answer here is that nobody knows exactly why grapes can be so deadly.

Scientists think that a substance in grapes attacks the kidneys in a dog but they don’t know much more than that. 

How many red grapes will it take to kill my dog?

The frustrating thing is that some dogs can eat grapes with impunity- they don’t suffer any ill effects.

Other dogs have died after eating as few as five grapes

Size doesn’t matter. 

You might own a Chihuahua, Pug, German Shepherd or a Great Dane but they are all at risk of being poisoned.

For many toxins, there is a ratio between the amount of toxin that has been eaten and the size of the dog.

In other words, bigger dogs are less vulnerable- they have a bigger margin of error.

But the trouble with grape poisoning is that vets just don’t know if bigger dogs are at less risk.

Can Dogs Eat Avocado Oil? 

What are the symptoms of grape poisoning?

Within 12 hours of red grapes being eaten if there is to be any poisoning, a dog might vomit, have a bout of diarrhea, have a sore stomach or even suffer seizures.

My dog has eaten one red grape. What should I do?

If you are certain that your dog has only eaten one grape, it seems that your dog should be fine no matter what their size.

The trouble is, can you be certain that they only ate one grape?!

Most people have bunches of grapes lying around and it is hard to know when one or ten grapes have been eaten. 

I’m not sure that I would know for certain if my dog only ate one grape.

Perhaps one of your home security cameras might have caught it “on tape”.

But are you going to have the presence of mind to check the camera for those motion clips?!

Hopefully I would urge on the side of caution and phone my vet.

What products contain grapes?

This is part of the trouble, the threat goes way beyond red grapes.

If only it was red grapes- we could sleep easy knowing that the biggest threat comes not from a bunch of red grapes but from a fruit salad.

Raisins, which are thought to be as toxic as grapes are everywhere. 

From the breakfast that we eat (I’m thinking muesli here but it could also be raisin bread) to the cereal bars that we eat for our lunch, to the packets of raisins that we use to make those cakes to help get us through Lockdown.

Raisins exist in many of the storage spaces in our kitchens.

They are everywhere- ubiquitous is the technical jargon here!

How do I stop my dog from eating red grapes?

The answer is simple- don’t buy any grapes ever again and clear your cupboards of any food that contains grapes or raisins!

You could even turn it into a garage sale!

Oh, if only it was that simple. 

If only it only relied on you being organised and clearing up after yourself!

But it becomes so much more difficult when you need to rely on other people to be careful.

Particularly when those other people are kids…

Walking distractedly from one room to another with a cereal or protein bar in one hand and their phone in the other. 

Are they going to finish it or leave it lying around on the coffee table or the sofa?

I guess something that you can control is to maybe store grapes in your fridge and not in the fruit bowl.

Not only will that keep them out of harm’s reach as far as your dog is concerned, it will also keep them fresher for longer. 

Now that we have discussed how difficult it is to make your house grape free or grape safe for dogs, next I want to talk about puppies.

Can puppies eat seedless red grapes?

Although scientists don’t know what the relationship is between the number of grapes eaten and the size of a dog (or even if there is a relationship, it would be safe to assume as with so many other toxins that smaller dogs are more vulnerable than larger dogs.

This isn’t just an issue about size but an issue of age and maturity.

It would be wise to consider young dogs and old dogs more vulnerable because their bodies won’t be operating at full strength.

For puppies, their bodies, organs and immune system are all still developing and they won’t be operating at anything like full capacity. 

Whilst for older dogs, their bodies may be weaker and less able to fight any toxins. 

But all of this talk about the danger posed by red grapes and their like is all well and good but surely, somebody out there has found a magic cure, a home remedy?

Dog ate grapes home remedy

No they haven’t unfortunately.

There is no known home remedy for grape poisoning.

Your dog will either be fine (and you can breathe a sigh of relief) or your dog will start showing a few symptoms and they will need to be seen by a vet.

It is as black and white as that.

Trying to find a solution that involves baking soda or apple cider vinegar, in this instance, will be slightly less than useless.

At the very least you should be phoning your vet immediately after your dog has eaten the grapes or raisins.

And the vet might then tell you to keep a careful eye on them.

If after twelve hours your dog seems none the worse for wear, then your dog has escaped this time.

But does that mean that your dog has a lifelong immunity to grape poisoning?

My dog ate a red grape and is fine

All that we can say at this point is that your dog might be unaffected by eating grapes or they might not.

Just because a dog is able to eat a few grapes successfully on one occasion doesn’t mean that it gives them life long protection.

And more importantly to me, if your dog has dodged the bullet once, why would you want to risk it again when the consequences could be so dire. 

I mean we are talking about a red grape here- it is not as if they are an essential part of a dog’s diet in any way.

And whilst we are on the subject of poisons and threats, let’s take a look at other fruits that your dog should steer well clear of.

What are other fruits are toxic for dogs?

Grapes are not the only fruit which if eaten can threaten your dog’s well being.

While the list of other troublemakers is by no means long, some of the consequences go way beyond a mild bout of diarrhea.

And to my mind, this list contains three and a half other fruits that are toxic to dogs.

Let me start with the half.

Peaches are perfectly safe for your dog to eat and in fact I have written an article about peach yogurt but make sure that the pit or seed is kept out of reach.

It should not be used as a chew toy for a dog because the stone contains cyanide.

And fruits with pits are something of a theme here.

Avocados are next. 

Every part of this fruit (skin, pit, leaves and flesh) contain high levels of a toxin that could poison your dog.

Cherries are more like peaches than avocados.

A dog can eat some cherry flesh but just not the stones, skin or leaves from the tree.

And who can be bothered to separate the flesh from the seeds? 

No, I thought not.

And finally and slightly controversially, dogs should stay away from tomatoes.

Ripe and juicy tomatoes are fine but anything with a hint of green isn’t.

This also applies to the vines and leaves of the plant itself, which contain a nasty toxin which could do real harm to your dog.

And for any of you out there, like me, who dedicate their summers to growing tomatoes, make sure that you visit your greenhouse without any four legged shadows…

What are safe fruits for dogs to eat?

So having established where the “no go” areas are fruit wise, which fruits can a dog safely eat.

Well, the list is a long one and apart from those dangerous fruits mentioned above, it is only limited by your ability to buy it at a decent price, I guess.

Fruits offer dogs a huge boost in minerals and vitamins but they should only be given to your dogs to eat in moderation.

This is because fruit contains lots of sugar and the fact that it comes in something “natural” makes little difference.

If the sugar poses no real threat to your dog’s waistline, it will do to their teeth!

My dogs love a bit of apple and they get a couple of mouthfuls a day. 

Interestingly, bananas are much less keen on but it does have an odd texture particularly for a dog!

And how about using fruit as a reward in training.

Ditching those dull and dry dog biscuits or those fatty lumps of cheese and swapping them for a vibrant segment of orange or for a blueberry?