I am wondering if some of the blogs about feeding pets certain human foods is really harmful for my pet or just some of the latest hype.

Is it safe for my dog or cat to eat grapes, raisins and sultanas?

up vote 6 down vote accepted

Unfortunately is it not safe to feed your pets, especially dogs, grapes, raisins and sultanas.

  • The cause of this toxicity is, as far, unknown, but there have been researched findings that the ingestion of grapes and their derivatives, are known to cause renal failure in our domestic house pets.

  • Symptoms of toxicity from grapes, raisins or sultanas can include, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea, fatigue, drowsiness and weakness. A urinalysis will show an increase in by products that should not pass through the kidneys into the urine, such as glucose.

  • If your pet has ingested any of these foods, the possible symptoms of poisoning will generally appear about 6 hours after ingestion. Having said this, if you fear your pet has eaten these foods, it would be prudent to seek medical help before the onset of symptoms, as this can be fatal, causing irreparable kidney damage. It is a case of prevention is the best medicine.

Ingestion of any quantity of grapes, raisins or sultanas by a dog should be considered treatable. Digestion of the fruits appears to be slow and decontamination several hours post-ingestion may be worthwhile as whole grapes and swollen raisins have been recovered after remaining in the stomach overnight. (1)


References:

  • Some food toxic for pets, Kovalkovičová, et al Interdisciplinary Toxicology Slovak Toxicology Society SETOX & Institute of Experimental Pharmacology and Toxicology, Slovak Academy of Sciences (1)
  • Can you provide any scientific evidence that proves that cats are toxic to grapes? – Sonevol Dec 6 at 15:03
  • raisins and other dried fruits do contain a high content of mycotoxins(toxins made by fungi living on the skin of fruits) – trond hansen Dec 6 at 15:17

DOG

Grapes, raisins (dried grapes), sultanas (another type of dried grape) and currants(another type of dried grape) are HIGHLY TOXIC to dogs.

Veterinary criticalist Dr. Nathan Lippo, DVM, DACVECC, says that -

“The toxin in the fruit is unknown, but we do know it’s in the flesh of the grape — not the seeds, not the skin…. It affects them pretty badly,”
-- Source: How Toxic Are Grapes for Dogs?
Grape/raisin toxicity can even be fatal. Ingesting the fruit could potentially lead to acute (sudden) kidney failure in dogs. According to ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center, they received a total of 3,722 calls involving grapes and raisins in 2016.
-- Source: Are Grapes Bad for Dogs?

According to the book Small Animal Toxicology by Michael Peterson about toxicity of grapes and raisins in dogs-

  • Grapes: Dangerous doses begin at about 1 or 2 grapes for a 10-pound dog, and 3 or 4 grapes for a 20-pound dog.
  • Raisins: Just 0.7 ounces of raisins may be toxic for a 10-pound dog, and 1.4 ounces for a 20-pound dog.
-- Source: How Toxic Are Grapes for Dogs?

Symptoms of grape toxicity in a dog -

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Hyperactivity
  • Depression
  • Lethargy
  • Abdominal Pain
  • Fluid cessation (will not drink water or urinate)
  • Loss of appetite
  • Tremors
  • Dehydration
  • Breathing Difficulty
Followed by Acute Kidney Failure and even Death
-- Source: How Toxic Are Grapes for Dogs?

However, as grape has to processed and absorbed by the body, death is not instantaneous. Here time is precious.

Immediate treatment at home - Induce Vomiting to remove all unabsorbed grapes still remaining in stomach.

  • Offer you dog some food. It may help in vomiting
    1. Measure 1 milliliter (ml) of 3% hydrogen peroxide per pound of the dog’s weight, using either a syringe (no needle) or teaspoon (one teaspoon is approximately five ml). The maximum amount of hydrogen peroxide to be given at any one time is 45 ml, even if a dog weighs over 45 pounds.
    2. Squirt the hydrogen peroxide into the back of the dog’s mouth using a syringe (no needle) or turkey baster.
    3. If vomiting does not take place within fifteen minutes of the first administration, you may try again, using the same amount. This method should not be used more than two times, spaced apart at fifteen minute intervals.
  • Call Pet Poison Helpline or visit the vet ASAP
-- Source: Grape and Raisin Poisoning in Dogs
However, do not induce vomiting if your dog is -
  • Unconcious
  • Is having trouble breathing
  • Is exhibiting signs of serious distress or shock
  • Or if you are unsure of what your dog may have eaten
-- Source: Grape and Raisin Poisoning in Dogs



CAT

Grape is not known to cause toxicity in cats, however to be on safe side, it is advisable to not offer grapes to cats.

Although there is no current scientific evidence that grapes are toxic to cats, this fruit is known to cause severe harm to dogs including acute kidney failure. Because many foods that are harmful for dogs can also harm cats, it is important to keep grapes away from your kitty.
-- Source: Can Cats Eat Grapes?
Grapes and Raisins- Cats are not likely to eat these, and there are no reports of cats becoming ill from these foods.
-- Source: Human Foods that are Dangerous for Cats
there is no concrete evidence that grapes are dangerous to cats
-- Source: Can Cats Eat Grapes? Here’s What to Know About Cats and Grapes

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