Individually wrapped, tasty, and healthy: In theory grapes should be the perfect dog treat…but can dogs eat grapes?
Reward-based training is a wonderful way to bond with your best buddy. By giving your dog praise or a tasty treat when he does good work it encourages him to try harder to earn another goodie. But with an eye to your four-legger’s waistline, healthy titbits are best.
Sadly, tasty as they are, grapes and raisins should NOT be given to dogs as they can cause kidney failure.
Can Dogs Eat Grapes?
Grapes are one of several human foods that we can eat with impunity but are toxic to your pet. Indeed, all the fruits and products of the common grapevine (Vitis vinifera) should be marked with the poison skull-and-cross-bones sign when it comes to your four-legged friend.
Do NOT allow Ingestion of others delights from this family including:
Whilst other human foods with a toxicity for pets include:
So yes, you guessed it – this means for your dog no rich fruit cake, no fruit flapjacks, and no handy snack packs of raisins no matter how much he works those puppy dog eyes.
Can dogs eat grapes? Whilst your fur-friend may well wolf down a juicy grape with aplomb, dog owners must be the voice of his conscience and never give grapes or vine fruits.
Are Grapes Safe for Dogs?
The toxic effect of grapes and raisins varies from dog to dog. Whilst some dogs eat grapes and don’t become sick, others become very ill indeed after eating relatively few.
Indeed, the toxic dose varies widely between individual dogs. However, one sad is recorded of a 9kg dog passing away after the ingestion of just four or five grapes.  Only a few grapes can do a great deal of damage, so don’t assume that by only giving one or two your dog will be safe. When wondering “Can dogs eat grapes?” the only safe answer is a big fat “No!”
And for those pet owners who have given their dogs grapes with no ill effects. Phew! You got away with it. With more ‘unknowns’ than ‘knowns’ about the ingestion of grapes and toxicity, it seems a few lucky dogs have a narrow escape and are unaffected. If you even suspect your dog has eaten grapes, immediately phone your veterinarian or the animal poison control center for advice.
Are Grapes Healthy or Toxic? Breaking Down the Nutrients
So far vets have struggled to identify the toxins in grapes and raisins. Whilst researchers have identified the part of the kidney that is damaged, leading to renal failure, they’re left scratching their heads as to what grapes contain that does the harm.
This is such a shame because for humans grapes contain a bounty of good things including:
- Resveratrol: The phytonutrient is linked to activating human genes that promote long life
- Antioxidants: These help repair cell damages and therefore aid healing
- Anti-inflammatories: Grapes contain natural anti-inflammatories which can help limit joint or skin inflammation, as well as soreness.
- Fiber: To promote good gut health and regular bowel movements
- Vitamins: For example, Vitamin K which is required to form healthy blood clots
So the take-home message is to save the grapes for your own lunch box and find a healthy alternative for the dog.
Dogs Need Their Daily Minerals and Vitamins too!
Dogs are omnivores and a balanced diet should include good quality meat protein along with vegetables and fruit.
What Vegetables/Fruits can Dogs Eat?
Do give your dog plenty of fresh plants and fruits, but first always check they are safe for dogs. After all, you might have thought “Can dogs eat grapes?” a silly question until now!
Feeding Your Dog Grapes: Possible Side Effects!
The side effects of eating grapes and raisins can be divided into short term and long term.
In the short term, the first and most obvious symptoms are abdominal pain, vomiting, and diarrhea. This usually develops within just six hours of eating the grapes. This is often accompanied by the dog lacking energy and losing his appetite.
However, rather than emptying his tummy, getting rid of the nasties, and slowly returning to normal, the after-effects of eating grapes then take a more serious turn.
The as yet unidentified toxin in grapes can cause poisoning, including kidney failure. Signs of this can develop as soon as 24 hours after eating grapes. “Can dogs eat grapes?” I think we know the answer by now…
Symptoms of renal failure include the dog drinking more water than usual, passing bigger puddles, and possibly having urinary accidents in the house. He may continue vomiting and become dehydrated. A worse sign still, is the dog that is drinking lots but doesn’t pass any urine. This can mean his kidneys are already badly damaged.
Without immediate and intensive treatment, within a few days to weeks, the unhappy dog may collapse and pass away.
Eat All The Good Things: Food Dog Can Eat
To set your mind at rest, here are a list of fruit and veggies approved by the ASPCA:
Make Healthy Treats for dogs: The Ultimate Fresh Treats Recipe Your Pet Will Love
You want to keep your dog healthy but also have a well-behaved canine citizen. The trap in reward-based training is all those extra calories that can accidentally add up to a wider waistline.
One way to avoid piling on the pounds is to weigh out the dog’s daily kibble and carry a portion in a small pot or pouch, to ration out to him over the day. Alternatively, take a look at these healthy options:
- Asparagus: Simply chop some raw asparagus into kibble sized chunks and carry it in a plastic pouch. This provides a treat power-packed with vitamins, iron, copper, potassium, and folate.
- Blueberries: You don’t even have to chop up these pop-in-the-mouth bundles of blueberry goodness. Each one contains high levels of antioxidants and resveratrol.
- Green Beans: For a satisfying crunchy chew try green beans. As an added bonus they are rich in fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamins A, C, & K.
- Melon: Cubes of melon are a refreshing treat containing vitamins B6 & C, along with anti-cancer enzymes.
Dog Not Eating Healthy Treats or Dog Won’t Eat Your Meal? 5 Tips to Help Them Out
- Let the dog see you eating it. If mom enjoys it, it has to be worth trying!
- Mix a little with a food the dog likes so that he gets used to the taste
- Keep fruit and veggies fresh. No one likes soggy veg or brown fruit.
- Feed it to another dog. The competitive factor will make your dog want to try it
- Don’t offer alternatives. Nothing sharpens the mind like having no choice
Comparing Apples and Oranges: What Can Cats Eat as Well as Dogs?
Actually, most of the fruit and veggie mentioned above are just fine for cats as well as dogs. However, your cat may have other ideas! The meat-eating habits of the housecat mean she’s likely to turn up her nose at a food that didn’t have fur, feathers, or scales when alive. That’s cats for you!
Just Food for Dogs: 3 Foods Your Dog Can Eat But Not Your Cat
- Dog Food: This can be lower in protein than cat food, or contain protein derived from plant sources which leave a cat deficient in vital amino acids
- Soy Protein: Plant-based proteins lack many amino acids, such as taurine, which cats are unable to synthesis for themselves. Over time the cat will become deficient leading to blindness and heart failure
- Lots of Fiber: A cat’s carnivorous diet means they are ill-equipped to deal with a high veggie / high fiber diet. OK as a treat, but not as a main meal.
What do Dogs Eat? 10 Ways to Feed Your Dog Healthy Treats
- Broccoli florets
- Apple slices
- Banana slices
- Cubes of cooked sweet potato
- A baked potato (make sure it’s cool first!)
- Steamed carrots
- Steamed Brussel sprouts
- Grilled cauliflower steaks
So, Are Grapes Good for Dogs? Can Dogs Eat Grapes?
Sadly, grapes are NOT good for dogs; in fact, the opposite is true. An unknown toxin in both grapes and raisins can induce kidney failure.
Whilst this doesn’t happen to every dog, vomiting and renal failure is sufficiently common to say grapes and raisins should never be given to dogs.