As most pet owners are well aware, most dogs will eat absolutely anything. They will snack on grass, vomit it up, and then eat that. They will inhale another dog’s pile of poop like it was a Michelin-starred meal. If humans stuck to a canine-approved diet, we would grow alarmingly ill, family members gathered around our hospital beds to keep vigil as our condition deteriorates, all while our dog munches on discarded syringes.
Despite their constitution, however, some seemingly harmless foods tend to challenge a dog's cast-iron stomachs. A common question: Can dogs eat grapes? If not, why not?
There’s absolutely no ambiguity about the former. Grapes—a fruit from the genus Vitis plant—are confirmed to be highly toxic to dogs. Ingesting even a tiny bit of a grape can, in extreme cases, lead to acute kidney failure. Your dog may also experience lethargy, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, dehydration, and reduced urine output.
If your dog is suspected of having ingested a grape, urgent medical attention is necessary. You would need to induce vomiting to try and clear the grape out of the dog’s digestive tract. A veterinarian can guide you through the steps.
Whether the dog is able to upchuck or not, urgent veterinary attention is essential. The vet might use activated charcoal to absorb the grape or begin to monitor for signs of kidney damage.
All this over a grape? It might seem ridiculous given a dog’s hearty appetite for things that would make a human double over, but it’s a fact. Researchers don’t yet know why dogs react to grapes in this way, other than recognizing some component of the fruit is absorbed as a toxin in the animal’s system. This also holds true for raisins (which are actually dried grapes, of course), another seemingly harmless snack that can prove fatal for dogs.
If you ask a friend or family member whether dogs can eat grapes, they might tell you it’s breed- or size-dependent. It is not—any dog of any breed or size can have a serious reaction to grapes and raisins. You also want to avoid garlic, onions, chocolate, almonds, and macadamia nuts, For a healthy pet, be responsible and limit their diet to commercial dog food, water, and the occasional turd.
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