Help! My Dog Ate Grapes!

Find out why you should call your vet ASAP 🚨

Scared dog ate grapes

If your dog has eaten grapes or raisins, seek medical attention immediately as this is an emergency and can quickly lead to kidney failure or even death.

Did your dog accidentally eat grapes or raisins and now you’re totally freaking out? You’re not alone — it can happen to even the most careful dog parents.

The Dodo spoke to Dr. Alex Blutinger, a veterinarian with BluePearl Pet Hospital in New York City, to find out everything you need to know about why dogs and grapes don’t mix.

How many grapes can a dog eat?

First, it’s important to know that grapes — and therefore raisins (dried grapes) — are toxic to dogs and should be entirely avoided.

This means that if you’re wondering how many grapes you can purposely give your pup for a snack, the answer is always zero.

Why are grapes bad for dogs?

“Raisins, like grapes, are toxic to the kidneys in dogs,” Dr. Blutinger told The Dodo. “As far as we know, only dogs are negatively affected, but some reports in cats exist.”

While all dogs are in danger of grape toxicity, there’s no answer as to why some dogs are affected by grapes more than others.

“Not all dogs that ingest grapes or raisins experience adverse effects, and the reason for this remains unknown,” Dr. Blutinger said. “ A dose-response relationship has not been determined, suggesting that even small ingestions (i.e., one raisin for a big dog) can be dangerous.”

Therefore, it's best to assume any amount of grapes or raisins (as well as any foods containing grapes) is deadly, and you should keep them far out of your dog's reach.

How long after eating grapes will a dog get sick?

“The most common sign of toxicity is vomiting, which typically occurs within the first 24 hours,” Dr. Blutinger said.

Other clinical signs include:

  • Lethargy
  • Abdominal pain
  • Weakness
  • Anorexia
  • Abnormal urination
  • Excessive drinking habits
  • Kidney failure

According to Dr. Blutigner, kidney failure typically develops within 24 to 48 hours of ingestion (so you need medical treatment well before that to prevent it).

What to do if your dog has eaten grapes

“If you’ve witnessed your dog eat raisins or grapes, or know your pup ingested raisins or grapes within the last few hours, gastric decontamination (i.e., chemically induced vomiting and activated charcoal) is usually recommended to minimize absorption of the toxin(s),” Dr. Blutinger said.

So call your vet as soon as you’ve discovered your dog has eaten grapes or raisins in order to get instructions on what to do next. Some vets will advise you to try to induce vomiting at home, but you should never try this without speaking to a vet first.

“If vomiting is successful in producing the raisins or grapes, fluid therapy and supportive care may still be needed to maximize kidney recovery — in the event of impending kidney damage,” Dr. Blutinger said. “Alternatively, if vomiting is unsuccessful in producing the raisins or grapes, fluid therapy, anti-nausea and gastro-protectant medications, and electrolytes and kidney value monitoring is recommended for 24 to 48 hours.”

Can grapes kill dogs?

Fortunately, most dogs will recover without long-term complications if they’re evaluated and monitored by a vet immediately after a known ingestion.

“Dogs that begin to show symptoms earlier from the time of ingestion tend to have a better prognosis than those that begin to show signs later,” Dr. Blutinger said.

But the good news is that even patients who develop kidney damage and require hospitalization tend to do well under treatment.