You know that fruit is essential for your health, but did you know that it’s also great for your dog? These animals may not need fruit to be healthier, but adding this food to their diet can provide them with additional vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, as well as hydration.
Still, not all fruits are desirable on the daily menu of your faithful friend. Just as there is food that your pet should eat, so there is a list (albeit short) of foods that should be avoided. Grapes and raisins, those wonderful, delicious berries, are high on the list of forbidden foods. And for good reasons. So the answer to ‘can pets have grapes?’ is a big NO.
Pint-Size Ticking Bomb
Many people believe that a dog should never eat grapes or raisins because of the enzymes it contains. It’s not entirely clear how these are detrimental to pups, as these enzymes are natural. No scientist would ever suspect these elements to be unfavorable for dogs.
There are still no exact claims as to what exactly makes grapes fatal to dogs. What is known for sure is that the toxic substance is found in the flesh of this fruit, not in the peel. So removing the peel won’t help. Suppose your pup has enzyme deficiency (you couldn’t possibly know that). In that case, they can end up being very sick after eating grapes.
Toxicity can affect any dog, regardless of breed, age, gender, or size. Although some pups may have better tolerance to these small fruits, the consequences are, in most cases, dire. Toxicity is almost inevitable, especially if the dog eats a larger amount of grapes or raisins.
Some animals will endure mild symptoms of poisoning, like vomiting, appetite loss, dehydration, etc. But they usually get well after the treatment and stomach flush. Some dogs may experience complications, such as acute renal failure, violent seizures, coma, and even death.
The first possible side effect that you would expect in your pup when eating grapes is diarrhea. Any type of this fruit that comes into contact with dogs’ digestive system would cause them to have loose stool. But the diarrhea is not caused by the actual fruit. The cause is in how it is digested.
When dogs eat grapes or raisins, the fibers from the fruit gets mixed with the sugars. The animal’s body can’t process them correctly. It won’t be finely chopped and pass through the intestines quickly. Instead, it will get into the digestive tract in bunches and cause a blockage.
Then, there’s the problem of vomiting. If your pet has eaten a lot of grapes, they may vomit because of the acid in the stomach. After a while, fruit starts its fermentation due to the sugary content.
In this process, alcohol is formed. It interferes with the proper functioning of the digestive tract in dogs, causing stomach cramps. These movements push processed food back and not forward into the intestines. On this link, you’ll find a list of remedies you can use to help your pet.
Some pets may shake it off with milder side effects, like stomach upsets and cramps. On the other hand, the harsh truth is that some dogs barely live to tell a story after eating only a grape or two. What usually happens to them is kidney damage due to exposure to the acids and toxins.
Maybe the only good thing about this situation is the reversibility of acute kidney damage. If that happens once, and you doubt that the culprit is grapes or raisins your pet ate, you can take them for gastric lavage. That will remove the toxins that are causing kidney damage. But if the condition turns chronic, it has to do with the constant exposure to toxins.
What about Raisins?
Like grapes, raisins are packed full of antioxidants and vitamins, which is why this tiny, white, or purple-colored fruit is beneficial for people. But it can have adverse effects on some dogs. Raisins are dried versions of grapes, so anything disturbing pups is here, in even more concentrated form.
If your dog eats just a small amount of raisins, it won’t do much harm. But if they have a larger amount of grapes or raisins in their diet, that could cause an acute kidney infection – or kidney failure. It could even result in death.
The most common adverse effect of eating raisins is intestinal upset and flatulence. Yes, the fruit is high in fiber and can be part of a healthy diet. But dried grapes really should not be fed to dogs, especially if your dog is in a delicate state because of diabetes, kidney disease, or a severe eye problem. Raisins can only worsen the pup’s condition.
If you notice that your dog has eaten grapes, it is best to react by inducing them to vomit. Of course, it’s best if your pet has already done it alone. You should contact your vet for advice on how best to proceed. In most cases, you will need to bring your pet to the clinic for gastric lavage or administration of activated charcoal. Both are intended to prevent the toxicity of grapes.
See the link below to learn how to make your pet throw up:
Most dogs have a hard time ingesting dried grapes, and raisins are even more challenging. It’s crucial to monitor your dog for the next few days if any of the symptoms of kidney failure appear. If your pet gets better and returns to regular habits, there is probably no room for worry. But any change in diet, urination, and behavior requires going to the vet again for prevention or further treatment.