My Dog Ate a Grape! What Do I Do? My Dog Ate a Grape! What Do I Do? - SitStay

My Dog Ate a Grape! What Do I Do?

a little boy dressed for colder weather, letting a red and white husky lick his hand, as they are standing in a vineyard

It comes as no surprise that grapes are toxic to dogs, grapes can cause kidney failure, poisoning dogs, regardless of breed, age or size. Grape and raisin toxicity is well-documented in dogs, with even small amounts being deadly. Dogs and puppies should not consume grapes or raisins, even in small amounts. 

Keeping dogs safe and healthy by feeding the right foods and keeping them away from toxic foods should be a priority for pet parents. With so many cases reported each year of grape and raisin poisoning in dogs, pet parents need to prevent these accidents from happening by keeping dangerous foods away from dogs. 

Emergency veterinary rates for toxin ingestion for grapes or raisins varies from an average of $2000 to $5000 in veterinary treatment costs. Although accidents may happen, they can be prevented in most instances. With so many foods available to both humans and dogs, it’s best to look out for the ones that may be toxic to our furry best friends. 


Can Grapes Harm Dogs? Why? 

It’s true that it only takes 32 grams of grapes per kilogram (dog’s weight) for kidney injury to occur in dogs. As for raisins, the amount ranges from 11 to 30 grams per kilogram. Although the exact cause of grape or raisin toxicity is unknown, it’s believed that the fleshy part of the grape is what’s toxic. Additionally, it’s good to keep in mind that both peeled and seedless grapes are toxic and should never be used as treats. 

Symptoms of Grape Poisoning 

There are numerous symptoms associated with grape and raisin poisoning. These will usually occur 6-12 hours after ingesting a grape or raisin.  The most common signs of grape and raisin poisoning are the following: 

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Lack of energy
  • Abdominal pain
  • Dehydration
  • Excessive thirst
  • Tremors
  • Loss of appetite
  • Oliguria (small amounts of urine are passed)
  • Anuria (urine flow stops)
  • Coma
  • Oral ulcers
  • Bad breath 

What to Do if Your Dog Has Grape Poisoning?

a golden retriever laying down looking ill

You will need to take your dog to an emergency veterinarian if it’s after hours. The diagnosis will be based on symptoms and the history of your dog’s exposure to grapes. If your dog has eaten grapes or raisins in the past two hours you will need to induce vomiting. That said, vomiting is best induced within 15 to 20 minutes after your dog has eaten either grapes or raisins, regardless of how many grapes eaten. 

Your veterinarian will then administer activated charcoal to absorb toxins. In addition, vomiting should not be induced in dogs that have lost consciousness or are having trouble breathing. Dogs that show signs of a shock need to be taken to the emergency veterinarian right away. That said, dogs that have already vomited will still need to be taken to the emergency veterinarian for treatment. 

Nonetheless, if your dog has eaten a large amount of either grapes or raisins, or if he or she is already vomiting or has diarrhea, your veterinarian will administer fluids for 48 hours to increase urine output. Your dog will also be put on medications to stimulate increased urine production. Yet, if your dog is not producing any urine, survival is not likely at this stage. Your veterinarian will then discuss other options with you.


 Immediate Treatment If Your Dog Has Vomited Already 

If you’ve called your veterinarian because your dog has already vomited after eating grapes or raisins, your veterinarian may recommend you to stay at home and do the following: 

  • Make up a small meal for your dog
  • Administer 3% or 1 milliliter (ml) peroxide per pound of your dog’s weight by using a syringe or teaspoon with the maximum amount being 45 ml. That said, you cannot give a dog, regardless of weight, more than 45 ml of peroxide.
  • Squirt the 3% peroxide into the back of your dog’s mouth using a syringe.
  • If your dog does not vomit within 15 minutes of the peroxide administration, veterinarians advise trying this out again with the same amount capped always at 45 ml, even if your dog weighs more than 45 pounds. It’s important to note that this method can only be used twice and that your dog should be taken to an emergency veterinarian for treatment, and a check-up afterward.
  • Your veterinarian may do a gastric lavage, and/ or administer activated charcoal to absorb the grape and raisin toxins.
  • Follow-up treatment is necessary to protect your dog’s kidneys. Always follow-up on all appointments, and keep a close eye on your dog while he or she is recovering at home.

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 Treatment 

Treatment via an emergency veterinarian is always necessary to ensure that your dog has not been harmed from grape toxins. Usually, after making a dog vomit, your veterinarian may wash out your dog’s stomach via a gastric lavage and then proceed with the administration of activated charcoal, to absorb any remaining toxins from the grapes or raisins.

 Intravenous fluid therapy is usually the next step so that the toxins are flushed out of the dog’s bloodstream. This also helps to promote kidney function and produce urine. Your dog will also receive medications to reduce vomiting, and help to keep kidney function going.

 All the while your veterinarian will be monitoring your dog’s kidney function, by doing lots of blood work. Each and every hour at the veterinarian is crucial to your dog’s survival, even if your dog has vomited at home. Along with all the above-mentioned treatment, hemodialysis may be needed to help your dog until his or her kidneys start functioning again. Kidney transplants may be needed in some cases, with some pet parents opting for euthanasia if their dog’s kidneys have shut down.

 If the worst happens, get help right away. Chances are you’ll be saving your dog’s life! While there’s no guarantee as to a complete recovery, your veterinarian will do his or her best for a full recovery. In many ways, feeding dogs healthy foods is similar to feeding children. You’re going to need to watch out and make sure that your dog is getting a high-quality dog food formula with plenty of veggies and fruits. That said, research or consult with your veterinarian as to what you can add to your dog’s diet.


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Picture of author Claudia Bensimoun

Claudia Bensimoun

Claudia Bensimoun is a freelance journalist and author, and specializes in veterinary content, and eBooks. She's a long-time feature writer for Animal Wellness magazine, Fido Friendly magazine, and the United States Dog Agility Association. In addition, Bensimoun has written for numerous pet websites, magazines, newspapers and online publications. Her interests include wildlife conservation, animal welfare, disaster/ humanitarian relief, veterinary research, and veganism.