Raisin & grape toxicity in dogs

Have you gotten the e-mail yet that talks about a dog dying after eating a few grapes?  I was tempted to write it off as another Internet scam, but I checked it out.  Turns out, this one is true.

Snopes.com, basing it’s findings on information from the ASPCA, states that both grapes and raisins are toxic to dogs, but no one knows why.  They recommend keeping all grapes and raisins out of reach of your dogs, noting that many people use raisins as training rewards. 

Below is a quote from the ASPCA, telling what happens when a dog eats grapes or raisins.

Most of the time, partially digested grapes and raisins could be seen in the vomit, fecal material, or both. At this point, some dogs would stop eating (anorexia), and develop diarrhea. The dogs often became quiet and lethargic, and showed signs of abdominal pain. These clinical signs lasted for several days — sometimes even weeks.


When medical care was sought, blood chemistry panels showed consistent patterns. Hypercalcemia (elevated blood calcium levels) was frequently present, as well as elevated levels of blood urea nitrogen, creatinine and phosphorous (substances that reflect kidney function). These chemistries began to increase anywhere from 24 hours to several days after the dogs ate the fruit. As the kidney damage developed, the dogs would produce little urine. When they could no longer produce urine, death occurred. In some cases, dogs who received timely veterinary care still had to be euthanized.

So, if you’re one of those people who is letting your dog snack on grapes or raisins, make sure you find another treat.  And, if your dog has gotten into this kind of fruit, watch for the symptoms above and seek treatment immediately!

Until next time,

Good day, and good dog!

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4 thoughts on “Raisin & grape toxicity in dogs”

  1. We just had to put our sheltie down Friday evening. He had ate almost an entire bag of raisins and it was a horrible experience. The vet had him monitored and on iv fluids all day and he died a few hours after coming home. What we have read that it is a horrible and painful death (we saw that first hand) and we are devastated. The raisins had been kept on a top shelf by the stove. We determined that he had jumped onto the stove and pulled the bag out of the breadbox. What is said about dogs not eating raisins is so true…

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  3. My dog was being fed grapes for over a 18 month period. I knew of other toxic foods but was not aware of grapes .This was 3 years ago. She has shown no signs or symtoms that i’ve read about. Is this someting I should worry about since it’s been so long ago?

  4. The mystery chemical in raisins that kills dogs: sugar.
    If a dog eats a lot of raisins, the dog’s kidneys get a double-whammy. First the kidneys are overwhelmed trying to rid the body of the sugar. In order to do that a lot of water is pulled out with it– oliguria is the symptom. At the same time, the raisins (which are almost all sugar) are putting an osmotic load on the animal. Instead of water from the intestines being absorbed back into the body, the sugar concentrate sucks water out of the body into the intestines. When there is no longer enough water in the bloodstream to allow the kidneys to get rid of the sugar, the kidneys shut down (anuria). The final blow comes from the sugar that keeps on entering the bloodstream.

    This dosn’t affect humans in the same way because people get sick of raisins long before it got to a lethal amount.

    Sugar is not good for dogs. Their natural diet is meat, and even though they can eat other things, pure sugar is not something dogs (or humans) were built for.

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