Grapes and raisins – new hypotheses about their toxicity

A healthy diet can include both muscle meat and offal, and the addition of vegetables and fruit. Unfortunately, not all products that we consider healthy for humans are safe for dogs. On the list of forbidden delicacies, there are e.g. grapes and raisins. Why?

For more advice and information, check out the animal nutrition articles here too.

Toxicity of grapes and raisins – a new hypothesis

It has been known for many years that the administration of grapes and raisins can cause serious health problems in dogs. Interestingly, until recently, it was not known which ingredient of these fruits was responsible for this.

In the latest publications, however, there is information about the so-called tartaric acid. It is this substance that was most likely considered to be harmful! This information came from veterinarians at the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center and two veterinary hospitals, and the information was published in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association. Research needs to be extended, but the hypothesis is a valuable clue.

Note that tartaric acid and potassium bitartrate are found not only in grapes and raisins, but also in some confectionery products (Cream of Tartar) or tamarind paste used in Asian cuisine. It is also a component of popular plastic materials for children, such as play-dough. All these products can therefore cause health problems for your dog.

Grapes and Raisins – How Much Is the Dose Toxic to Your Dog?

The toxicity of grapes depends on many factors. Including possibly the concentration of tartaric acid, which varies depending on the grape variety. Manuals for veterinarians state that even 10-12 grapes pose a threat to the health and life of a dog. The lowest established toxic dose is currently 2.8 grams of raisins per kilogram of dog’s body weight. In the case of fresh grapes, it is around 19.6 g per kilogram of body weight. Symptoms of poisoning with raisins or grapes appear most often within 24 hours, although they may appear even several days after consuming a toxic dose. Also check this article with information on what a dog cannot eat.

Symptoms of poisoning with grapes and raisins

Let’s start with the fact that both grapes and raisins should be in our homes out of the dog’s reach. This rule applies to all toxic substances that should be placed in high cabinets or rooms where animals have no access.

Symptoms of poisoning include:

  • vomiting,
  • diarrhea
  • stomach pain.

Over time, however, acute renal failure develops and animals present:

  • lack of appetite
  • weakness,
  • incoherence of movements.

In animals that have consumed toxic doses of grapes, blood levels of creatinine, phosphorus and calcium are increased. Unfortunately, acute renal failure presents a major challenge for veterinarians. This is a problem that can result in the death of the animal.

In the case of poisoning with raisins or grapes, induction of vomiting, gastric lavage and administration of activated charcoal are used. Additionally, fluid therapy is introduced, which should last at least two days. In some animals, the use of diuretics is indicated when administering fluids. This happens if your dog develops either oliguria or anuria.

Grapes are not the only ingredients of the human diet that are toxic to dogs. Remember not to give your dog onions, garlic, chocolate or alcohol.