My Dog Ate Grapes and Seems Fine – What Should I Do?

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my dog ate grapes

Key Takeaways:

  • Grapes are toxic to some but not all dogs.
  • If a dog is sensitive to grapes, the poison can cause acute kidney failure and death.
  • If you know or suspect that your dog ate grapes, you should contact your veterinarian or the pet poison hotline as soon as possible.

Grapes are a sweet, delicious snack… for people. Are they ok for dogs?

Absolutely not! If your dog ate grapes, you should contact your veterinarian.

In this article, I’ll explain why grapes are toxic for dogs and what you should do if your furbaby eats some grapes. We’ll talk about signs of toxicity and help you understand why you need to talk to your pup’s doctor even if he’s acting normal. We’ll also help you prepare for your veterinary visit by explaining how vets usually treat dogs that eat grapes.

Let’s dive in.

How Many Grapes Are Toxic to Dogs?

Grapes are highly toxic to dogs. It takes very few of them to kill your pooch or cause acute kidney failure. The toxic dose varies based on your furbaby’s weight:

  • 1-2 grapes/0.7 oz. may be toxic for dogs weighing 10 lb. or less.
  • 3-4 grapes/1.4 oz. may be toxic for dogs up to 20 lb.
  • 5-6 grapes/2.1 oz. may be toxic for dogs weighing about 30 lb.
  • 7-8 grapes/2.8 oz. may be toxic for dogs weighing 40 lb or more

As with many substances, body weight is not the only factor that determines whether the doses listed above will have a toxic effect on your dog. Some dogs can eat a bunch of grapes and live while others die after ingesting a few of them. The Merck Veterinary Manual states that there is not a clear dose-response relationship for grape toxicity in dogs.

Grapes can be highly toxic for some dogs so only a few grapes can cause poisoning in small dogs. However, other factors determine whether your pooch will experience a toxic effect. The relationship between a toxic dose and your dog’s response is unclear.

What Should I Do If My Dog Ate Grapes?

If your dog ate one or more grapes, you should call your veterinarian or the Pet Poison Hotline at (855) 764-7661. Explain how many grapes your saw or suspect your dog ate, his breed, and his weight. They can provide guidance about what you should do at home. 

If your dog ingested grapes less than two hours before you called for help, the person you speak with may recommend that you induce vomiting. The best way to do this is:

  1. Offer your furbaby a small meal, but don’t force feed him if he refuses to eat.
  2. Follow up with 3% hydrogen peroxide. Use a dose of no more than 1 ml per pound body weight and a maximum of 45 ml total dose. 
  3. If your dog doesn’t vomit within 15 minutes, you may give a second dose of hydrogen peroxide. If vomiting still doesn’t occur, do not give any more hydrogen peroxide. 

Even if you induce vomiting at home, you should get your dog to the veterinarian as soon as possible. Grape toxicity can be an emergency for some dogs.

If your dog ate grapes, you should call your veterinarian or the poison hotline. In some cases, they may instruct you to induce vomiting in your dog by giving them some hydrogen peroxide. If you make your dog vomit, you should still get your dog to the vet ASAP.

What Should I Do Immediately If I Suspect My Dog Has Been Poisoned by Grapes?

For some dogs, eating grapes is deadly. The problem is that you may not know how your dog reacts to this fruit until it’s too late. So, if your dog eats grapes, you should immediately contact your veterinarian. If you suspect he’s been poisoned, head to the emergency clinic. Time may be of the essence.

The first thing to do if you suspect grape poisoning is to contact your veterinarian. If you notice any signs of poisoning, head straight to the emergency clinic.

What if My Dog Ate a Lot of Grapes But Is Acting Normal?

Some dogs that eat grapes turn out fine and never require medical treatment. It depends on your dog’s size and sensitivity to the toxic chemicals if he got early treatment, and how many he ate. 

Usually, signs of grape poisoning will start to manifest in 6-12  hours. So, if your dog recently ate a pile of grapes, the best thing to do is call your veterinarian. The sooner the doctor can treat the dog, the more likely that you can prevent kidney damage.

Even if your dog seems normal, you should contact your veterinarian as soon as possible. While some dogs don’t react to the fruit, others can die. It’s best to get care as soon as possible to reduce the risk of toxicity.

Signs of Grape Toxicosis

There are various signs of grape poisoning in dogs. Dogs that are sensitive to the toxic chemicals in grapes usually start vomiting and/or have diarrhea within 24 hours of ingestion. As time progresses, you may also see:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Lethargy
  • Weakness
  • Abdominal pain
  • Initially increased drinking and urination
  • Dehydration
  • Foul breath
  • Oral ulcers
  • Depression
  • Tremors or shivering
  • Decreased thirst/drinking in later stages
  • Decreased urination in later stages
  • Kidney failure

Dogs that experience grape poisoning usually start with vomiting and diarrhea within 6-12 hours. After that, a pooch will show symptoms related to kidney failure including weakness, depression, and dehydration. In the early stages, a dog may drink and pee a lot, but later, the reverse is true.

What happens to Dogs That Eat Grapes?

While some dogs will be unaffected by eating grapes, others show signs of toxicity. The poisonous chemicals in these fruits damage the epithelial cells in the kidney. As a result, dogs that are sensitive to grapes will develop acute kidney failure  Untreated, it will lead to death.

Some dogs are unaffected by eating grapes. With others, the fruits will cause kidney damage and eventually death.

Why Are Grapes Toxic to Dogs?

The chemical that causes grape toxicity in dogs and how exactly it works is still unknown. Some theories about the poisonous substance include:

  • Tartaric acid
  • Potassium bitartrate
  • Mycotoxin

However, the poison primarily targets the epithelial cells in the kidney’s proximal tubules. As the tubules sustain damage, dogs go into kidney failure and produce little to no urine. If they reach this stage, most dogs will not recover.

We don’t know exactly what in grapes can be toxic to some dogs. However, the active chemical affects epithelial cells in the kidneys and causes acute renal failure. 

How Will My Vet Treat Grape Poisoning?

If your dog ate grapes or you notice symptoms of grape poisoning, get her to your veterinarian. Once he diagnoses grape poisoning, the doctor will start treatment. 

  • The first step for dogs that ingested grapes less than 2 hours before the office visit is to induce vomiting to remove the toxic substance from the body.
  • Once vomiting is done, your veterinarian may administer activated charcoal to neutralize any lingering toxin. 
  • Supportive care includes giving IV fluids for the first 48 hours to help flush the kidneys.
  • Your veterinarian will monitor bloodwork for about 72 hours to evaluate kidney function.

If your dog ate grapes within the past few hours, your dog will try to induce vomiting to detoxify your pooch. After that, he’s likely to give your dog activated charcoal to reduce the effects of the remaining poison. He may also give IV fluids to support kidney function.

How Long Will it Take for My Dog to Recover from Grape Poisoning?

There is no set time of recovery for grape toxicity. Dogs with mild cases of grape poisoning frequently fare well if they receive immediate treatment. However, if your dog ingests a large number of grapes and develops kidney damage, the prognosis is poor. Unfortunately, kidneys can’t repair themselves.

Dogs with mild cases of grape poisoning often recover and do well as long as they get immediate veterinary care.If your pooch develops kidney failure, the prognosis is poor. Kidneys do not recover from damage.

The Final Woof

Grapes are extremely dangerous for some dogs. Even 1-2 grapes can poison a small dog if he’s sensitive to the toxins.

If your pup ingests raisins, you should immediately contact your veterinarian or the pet poison hotline even if your pooch is acting normal. 

Dogs that have a sensitivity to grapes can suffer acute kidney failure and death. Signs of poisoning include vomiting and diarrhea at first followed by depression, weakness, loss of appetite, bad breath, tremors, and more. 

When you take your dog to the vet within 2 hours of eating grapes, he’ll start by inducing vomiting then give your pup activated charcoal to detoxify your dog and neutralize the poison. If a dog suffers kidney damage, the prognosis for recovery is poor. 

Photo of author
Dr. Libby Guise earned her DVM from the University of Minnesota in 1994. After working in private practice in Wisconsin for two years, she joined the USDA as a Veterinary Medical Officer. In 2011, Libby came home to focus on raising and teaching her adoptive daughter. She lives in Wisconsin with her daughter, husband, and two furbabies: Charis, a lab-mix rescue pup, and Chesed, a Springer Spaniel.

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