Grapes: You love them; they are sweet and go perfectly with your Friday night wine and cheese. Heck, you even like raisins which are just dried grapes. You have never outgrown those ants-on-a-log snacks. But your dog, Priscilla, is not a fan. She practically runs away if you drop a grape on the floor, which you know is a good thing since grapes are so dangerous for dogs. Even though you know that Priscilla should not be eating grapes, you are not entirely sure why, and you suddenly feel compelled to look into the matter. You wonder how ”dangerous” these luscious grapes could actually be.
The Root of the Behavior
After a further investigation, you discover that grapes are very dangerous to dogs and can even cause death! It turns out that some ingredients in grapes and raisins get absorbed as toxins in a dog's system. It does not matter the breed or size of the dog because even a small amount of grape or raisin can be fatal. Signs of grape toxicity include vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, dehydration, decreased urine, ulcers, tremors, coma, and loss of appetite. If your dog experienced this in the past, then odds are she will never want to go near a grape again. If your dog ingests a grape, it can also lead to sudden kidney failure. The toxins affect the dog’s entire system and end up shutting down critical bodily functions. Perhaps the most surprising information you found is that doctors do not know the exact ingredient in grapes and raisins that prove to be so toxic to our canine friends.
Priscilla could be avoiding your grapes instinctually, or she may have ingested a small piece of grape in the past, and although was lucky, learned her lesson. A lot of dogs are usually not fans of a lot of fruit, besides bananas, which Priscilla loves. Moreover, most owners know that their beloved canine should not have grapes, so they freak out if a grape gets too close to their pooch. Believe it or not, this response is good and makes it so Priscilla associates grapes with something negative. Dogs are one of few creatures that can pick up on human emotions, and this benefits them when they pick up the human concern for dogs eating grapes. So now you know that grapes are very dangerous to dogs because of the toxins, and you also know the horrible effects that grapes can cause, but how can you further discourage Priscilla from eating grapes? And what do you do if she somehow sneaks a piece?
Encouraging the Behavior
It’s a good thing if your dog does not like grapes for the harmless fruit for humans can be fatal and lead to kidney failure in dogs. If your dog happens to eat a grape, your vet may want you to induce vomiting to clear out the grape before all the toxins have been absorbed. According to experts, you should give your dog 1 ml of hydrogen peroxide per pound of dog, not to exceed 45 pounds. Squirt the peroxide into the back of your dog’s mouth and then take her to the vet immediately. The vet might also perform an active charcoal treatment to alleviate the symptoms.
Owners should also know that dogs cannot have anything with grapes in it. This means no grape jelly, grape juice, etc. Basically, if it says grape on it, don’t let your dog have it. And of course, you need to be careful when you are eating your own grapes. Don’t leave the wine, cheese, and grapes, on the edge of the counter. It might even be a wise idea to put Priscilla out on the lanai while your scarf down your grapes and raisins. Also, after eating these foods, make sure you sweep the floor and check for remnants that may have escaped your mouth. And if Priscilla does happen to get a piece of a grape, try your best to remain calm for both of your sakes, and call your vet immediately.
Other Solutions and Considerations
If you suspect your dog ate a grape, take her to the vet. Even if you are unsure, your vet can perform a urinalysis to see if she ate any bad toxins. Make sure that you are very observant of Priscilla when she is around grapes and always clean up after yourself, even if you feel that Priscilla does not like the food. Of course, never leave your dog unsupervised around grapes, whether she likes them or not. Grapes and raisins are just too high of a risk to your friendly friend, and you want to make sure that Priscilla never eats any of this dog-toxic fruit.
So now you know that grapes are incredibly severe concerns to Priscilla’s health, and you take the warnings about your dog eating grapes even more seriously than before. You still eat your grapes and cheese and drink that wine, but you have decided to put Priscilla outside during this time because you just don’t want to risk her accidentally eating a grape. You also are diligent with cleaning up after yourself, which your significant other seems to appreciate. Who would have thought that grapes would have been such a doggone problem?
By a Shiba Inu lover Patty Oelze
Published: 02/12/2018, edited: 01/30/2020