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Why You Should Never Feed Your Pet Grapes or Raisins

August 15, 2021

Have you ever considered feeding your furry buddy a grape, or its dried counterpart, the raisin? It’s not a good idea. It turns out that grapes and raisins are actually quite toxic to our animal friends. These tiny fruits can cause poisoning, and, in the most extreme cases, can be deadly. Read on as your local veterinarian tells you more about grape and raisin poisoning in pets. 

Why are grapes and raisins poisonous?

You may be surprised to learn that no one knows exactly why grapes and raisins are toxic to pets. Some believe that mycotoxin, a fungal byproduct, is responsible. Others think that pesticides sprayed directly on the fruits could play a role. Even more bizarrely, some pets seem to be able to eat the fruit without suffering any ill effects all, which only makes matters even more confusing. But whatever the cause, it’s just not worth the risk to feed these fruits to your pet.

What are the symptoms of poisoning? 

Symptoms of grape or raisin poisoning usually appear a few hours after ingestion. Some of the clinical signs include lethargy, increased thirst, vomiting, and diarrhea. Without treatment, renal failure (which is the medical term for kidney failure) can occur. That’s why it’s so important to keep your veterinarian’s number on hand, and to call immediately in the event of an emergency. Take your pet to the vet’s office or emergency clinic immediately if you know or suspect that they’ve ingested grapes or raisins. 

What’s the treatment? 

The goal of treatment is to get rid of the toxin in your pet’s system as quickly as possible. This might be achieved by induced vomiting. Or activated charcoal might be given to absorb the remaining toxin in your pet’s stomach. Pets that have progressed to kidney failure might require intravenous fluid therapy or even blood transfusions in the most serious cases. Your vet can discuss options once they have the information they need.

How do I prevent grape and raisin poisoning? 

Clearly, you’ll want to prevent grape or raisin poisoning, rather than dealing with it once it’s happened. Luckily for you, that’s as easy as restricting your pet’s access to these foods. Keep them in the refrigerator, or closed cabinets or containers, so that pets can’t reach. Also beware of foods that contain grapes or raisins, like desserts or salads.

Would you like more advice on foods your pet shouldn’t eat? Give your vet’s office a call today. We’re always happy to help.