My Dog Ate Raisins And Seems Fine – What Should I Do?

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Key Takeaways:

  • Raisins are extremely poisonous for some dogs, and one or two can be enough to cause acute renal failure.
  • If you know or suspect that your dog has eaten any raisins, you should contact your veterinarian immediately.
  • Early treatment is key to a favorable prognosis and recovery from raisin poisoning.

They’re a delicious and nutritious snack for humans, but are raisins safe for dogs? No way! 

 If your pup eats any raisins, you should contact your veterinarian and/or call the pet poison helpline at (855) 764-7661 immediately.

In this article, we’ll discuss how many raisins it takes to affect your dog and what to do if your pup eats some of the tasty tidbits. We’ll explain the signs of toxicity and what happens to dogs that eat raisins. To prepare you for your veterinary visit, I’ll explain how the doctor will treat raisin toxicity and how long it takes dogs to recover.

So let’s get started.

How Many Raisins Are Toxic to Dogs?

Raisins can be highly toxic for dogs, and some pups only need to ingest one or two before they become very ill. The lowest recorded dose for raising toxicity in dogs is 0.70-1.43 oz/lb. 

While some dogs may be able to ingest raisins with no side effects, others will quickly develop acute renal failure, which is life-threatening. Raisin toxicity can affect pups of any age, breed, size, or sex. 

There’s no identified rhyme or reason to know which animal will get sick and which will be fine. So, it’s best not to feed any raisins or grapes(raisins are merely dehydrated grapes) to your dog. And if your pooch happens to sneak a few when they drop on the floor, call your vet immediately.

For some dogs, one or two raisins can be extremely dangerous. There’s no way to know whether your pooch will react to the poison in grapes or raisins, so it’s best to avoid giving any to your dog. If Fido ingests one or more raisins, call your veterinarian immediately.

What Should I Do If My Dog Ate Raisins?

If your dog ate raisins, you should treat it as an emergency to be safe. Contact your veterinarian or the pet poison helpline as soon as possible or take your pooch to the emergency clinic. 

Do not induce vomiting unless your veterinarian instructs you to do it. Never try to make your pooch throw up if he’s unconscious, showing difficulty breathing, or exhibiting signs of stress. If your dog vomits on his own, you should still take him to your vet for an examination.

If your dog ate raisins it’s safest to treat it as an emergency. Contact your veterinarian or take him in to get treatment as soon as possible. Only induce vomiting if your veterinarian tells you that you should.

What You Should Do Immediately If You Suspect Your Dog Has Been Poisoned by Raisins

Suppose you’re prepping a dish with raisins and your pooch is watching you intently.  A few hours later, he vomits, and you think you see raisins in the puke. What should you do?

The first thing you should do if you suspect your dog ate raisins is to call your veterinarian or the pet poison helpline. For some dogs, a single raisin can cause acute renal failure, so you don’t want to wait. Follow any instructions the doctor or helpline offers to reduce the risk of exposure. 

If you think your dog ate raisins, you should call your vet or the poison helpline immediately. Don’t wait to see if your pooch is vulnerable to raisin toxicity. It may only take one raisin to trigger renal failure in your dog.

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

If your dog ate a lot of raisins but is still acting normal, don’t become complacent. Usually, the toxic effects of raisins surface fairly quickly, but not always. You might see symptoms of digestive upset in 6-8 hours. However, signs of liver or kidney damage can take 1-3 days to appear. Don’t wait until it’s too late to neutralize the effects of the poisonous substance.

Even if your dog is acting normal, you should contact your vet after he eats raisins. While symptoms may appear quickly, signs of severe effects may take 1-3 days to emerge.

Signs of Raisin Poisoning

Symptoms of raisin poisoning usually surface within 12-24 hours of ingestion. The signs you may notice include:

  • vomiting/diarrhea, possibly with pieces of raisin
  • Increased drinking/thirst
  • Increased urination
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weakness or lethargy
  • Dehydration
  • Bad breath
  • Shivering
  • Abdominal pain

If your dog has a toxic reaction to raisins, you’ll usually notice symptoms within 12-24 hours. At that point, you may see signs of digestive upset, kidney failure, or weakness and anorexia.

What Happens to Dogs When They Eat Raisins?

Although we don’t know what makes raisins toxic to dogs, we know what they do to some canines. When dogs who are sensitive to the poisonous substance eat raisins(or grapes), they can quickly become very ill.

Even one or two raisins can trigger acute renal failure in some dogs. When this happens, the kidneys stop functioning. 

Because the kidneys filter waste products and other toxic substances from the blood, impaired renal function is a life-threatening condition. The body is no longer able to remove harmful break-down products of digestion and cellular metabolism, so they build up in your pooch. This leads to a cascade effect on other organs in the body. Untreated, acute renal failure will lead to coma and death.

Even if raisins don’t cause acute renal failure in your pooch, they can cause other problems. Grapes and raisins are very high in sugars. That’s one reason they taste so yummy. When your pup ingests a bunch of raisins, he can experience digestive upset from the sugar overload. And too many of these treats can cause weight gain or obesity. 

For dogs that are sensitive to the toxic substance, one or two raisins can cause acute renal failure. The kidneys stop functioning properly triggering a cascade of effects on other organs. Untreated, acute renal failure will result in coma and death. Minor side effects of eating raisins include digestive upset, weight gain, and obesity.

Why Are Raisins Toxic to Dogs?

At this time, we’re not sure what the substance is in grapes and raisins that causes toxic effects in dogs. We also don’t know why some dogs are affected while others can eat the tasty fruit without trouble. However, we know that the toxin attacks the kidneys and shuts down proper function.

Additionally, it doesn’t matter what type of grape or raisin your dog may eat. There are thousands of grape varieties from seeded to seedless and green, red, white, black, or other colors. 

The mechanism of raisin poisoning is unclear. We also don’t understand why some dogs are more sensitive than others. Any variety of grapes or raisins can be toxic to some dogs.

How Will My Vet Treat Raisin Poisoning?

When you take your dog in for raisin toxicity, the first thing your vet will do is examine your pooch and get a history. If your pooch ingested raisins within the last six hours, he may try to induce vomiting. This will empty the stomach’s contents and remove any raisins that haven’t moved further down the digestive tract. After your dog stops vomiting, the doctor may choose to give your furbaby some activated charcoal to bind any remaining toxin.

Once the doctor does everything possible to reduce the amount of toxin in your dog’s system, he’ll work to prevent or minimize kidney damage. By providing IV fluids to restore fluid and electrolyte balance, your veterinarian will support healthy kidney function. He’ll also monitor urine output and bloodwork to evaluate your pal’s kidney function. Your dog will need about 48-72 hours of hospitalization.

Your veterinarian will start treating raisin toxicity by trying to induce vomiting and/or giving your dog activated charcoal to minimize the amount of toxin in your dog. Then he’ll give IV fluids to support kidney function and monitor your dog by running bloodwork. 

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

The prognosis and how long it takes your dog to recover from raisin poisoning depends on several factors:

  • Your dog’s sensitivity to the toxin
  • How many raisins he ate
  • How quickly your veterinarian started decontamination and treatment
  • Whether your pup responds to treatment and shows improvement

Early treatment and response to treatment yield a favorable prognosis. However, if there are signs of kidney damage, the prognosis is poor. Kidneys don’t self-regenerate, and dogs with severe damage may die. 

The recovery period and prognosis depend on mainly how much of the toxin your pup ingested and how quickly he received treatment. Dogs that quickly receive and respond will have a favorable prognosis. Pups with signs of kidney failure may not survive.

The Final Woof

Raisins are dangerous for dogs. Although they don’t affect every dog the same way, even one or two of these tasty treats can cause acute renal failure in some pups. If your dog ate raisins, you should contact your veterinarian immediately. 

The way raisins poison dogs is unknown at this point. However, when dogs that are sensitive to the substance eat raisins, they can get extremely sick. The toxin in raisins affects the kidneys and causes them to shut down. Without immediate treatment, this can cause acute renal failure and death. Early treatment improves your dog’s chances of recovery.

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.

1 thought on “My Dog Ate Raisins And Seems Fine – What Should I Do?”

  1. I did the math and came up with my 53lb dog would need to eat more than 6 cups of raisins for the “lowest recorded dose for raising toxicity”.

    That’s a lot of raisins.
    She ate ONE raisin.

    To be safe, I will watch her for any signs of distress, but this appears to be a whole lot of hype. Perhaps if my dog were a small dog that would be a different situation.


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