Can my dog eat grapes or raisins?

NO, your dog should not be eating grapes or raisins. They are toxic to dogs, and the poisonous reaction can be very severe. In fact, it has been fatal to dogs in some cases. The ASPCA has released information on 10 cases of grape poisoning in dogs, and 5 of the dogs had reactions so severe that they died or were euthanized.

   

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Keep in mind that the dogs had eaten a pound or two of grapes or raisins each - so if your dog has just had a couple, you do not need to rush it to the emergency room just yet (unless it is an extremely small dog). If you think your dog has had an excessive amount of grapes, you should have its stomach pumped by the vet. They can also give it charcoal to absorb the toxins. ALSO - remember that raisins are grapes with the water dried out. A raisin is as toxic to a dog as a grape. So if your dog ate 20 raisins, it is the same as eating 20 grapes - a big quantity that means you should take it to the vet.

What are the symptoms of grape poisoning in dogs?

Symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, refusal to eat or loss of appetite, and general lethargy. These symptoms can last for some time, up to a few weeks. They are happening because grapes damage the dog's kidneys, and can cause kidney failure and then death.

If a dog has these problems, it will need to go on dialysis. If you have not caught the problem early on, the toxins will already be in the dog and it will be more serious, but you should take the dog to the vet as soon as possible.

Is it an urban legend?

NO! A lot of people think this is an urban legend because of a chain letter started by a pet owner whose dog died of grape poisoning. You can read about it here. The letter was genuine, but many people thought it sounded too strange and was just another e-mail scam. 

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