Skip to content

While many dog owners are aware that grapes can be dangerous for their pets, it’s important to understand the potential risks even if their dog consumes just one. In this article, we will explore the seriousness of dogs eating grapes, the specific dangers associated with grapes, the impact of grape-to-dog size ratio, common symptoms of grape poisoning, and the necessary actions to take if your dog ingests grapes.

Determining Danger: How Many Grapes Pose a Threat?

The ingestion of grapes can have serious consequences for dogs. Grapes contain a yet unidentified toxin that can have severe adverse effects on dogs. This toxin can cause kidney failure and potentially be fatal for our canine companions.

While there is no established safe threshold for grape consumption in dogs, the severity of grape toxicity can vary based on the size of the dog and the quantity of grapes ingested. However, it is crucial to understand that any amount of grapes can be harmful to dogs. Some dogs may not display immediate symptoms after consuming small quantities, while others can experience severe reactions after just a few grapes. As a responsible dog owner, it is best to assume that any ingestion of grapes can pose a potential threat to your pet’s health.

Identifying Symptoms of Grape Poisoning:

Recognizing the signs of grape poisoning is vital in seeking prompt veterinary care for dogs that ate grapes. Common symptoms of grape toxicity in dogs include:

  • Vomiting and/or Diarrhea: Vomiting and diarrhea can occur shortly after grape consumption and may continue for some time. Vomiting and diarrhea are the body’s way of trying to eliminate the toxic substances from the system.
  • Loss of Appetite: If your dog typically has a healthy appetite but suddenly shows disinterest in eating, it could be a sign of grape toxicity. This lack of appetite can be accompanied by other symptoms, such as lethargy or vomiting. 
  • Lethargy or Weakness: Dogs that have ingested grapes may appear unusually tired, lack energy, or exhibit general weakness1. They may seem more lethargic than usual, showing reduced interest in activities or reluctance to move. This can be a result of the toxins affecting their overall well-being. If your dog seems unusually weak or lethargic, it is crucial to consider the possibility of grape poisoning.
  • Abdominal Pain or Discomfort: Dogs may whimper, show restlessness, or exhibit behaviors such as pacing or circling because of abdominal pain or discomfort. These symptoms can indicate gastrointestinal distress caused by the toxic effects of grapes. 
  • Excessive Thirst or Urination: The toxins present in grapes can affect the kidneys, leading to increased thirst as the body tries to flush out the harmful substances. You may notice your dog drinking more water than usual and having an increased need to urinate. 
  • Tremors or Seizures: In severe cases, dogs may experience tremors or even seizures. These neurological symptoms can be distressing and require immediate veterinary attention. Tremors are involuntary shaking or trembling movements, while seizures involve uncontrolled convulsions and loss of consciousness.

 If your dog exhibits any of these symptoms after consuming grapes, they should not be discarded; it is an emergency situation, and you should contact your veterinarian or an animal emergency center immediately. By being vigilant and familiarizing yourself with the symptoms of grape poisoning, you can take appropriate action and provide your dog with the necessary care in a timely manner.

Your Dog Ingested Grapes: Taking Action

If your dog consumes grapes, it is crucial to take immediate action:

  • Contact Your Veterinarian: Inform your veterinarian about the situation, providing details on the amount of grapes ingested and the time of ingestion. Follow their guidance and instructions.
  • Avoid Inducing Vomiting: Vomiting may not be recommended if your dog ingested grapes several hours ago or is displaying severe symptoms. Always seek professional advice before attempting to induce vomiting.
  • Follow Your Vet’s Instructions: Your veterinarian may recommend an examination or specific treatments, such as activated charcoal, to prevent further absorption of toxins. It is essential to comply with their instructions for the best possible outcome for your pet.

Aim to Prevent

To prevent your dog from ingesting grapes and ensure their safety, follow these concise measures:

  • Secure Storage: Store grapes and grape-containing products in sealed containers or high shelves to prevent your dog from accessing them.
  • Awareness and Education: Educate family members, guests, and children about the dangers of grapes for dogs to avoid accidental ingestion.
  • Supervision During Meals: Keep your dog at a safe distance during meals or snacks involving grapes to prevent accidental nibbling.
  • Be Cautious with Fruit Bowls: Place fruit bowls in areas that are inaccessible to your dog, such as high countertops, or use decorative covers to prevent them from reaching the grapes.
  • Check Ingredient Labels: Read food labels carefully and avoid giving your dog any products that contain grapes or raisins.
  • Be cautious in outdoor settings: Keep your dog on a leash and prevent access to areas where grapes may be growing, such as parks or gardens.

By implementing these preventive measures, you can reduce the risk of grape ingestion and potential toxicity in your dog, ensuring a safe environment for them.

The Final Word about Grapes to Dog Owners

Grapes can pose significant dangers to dogs, even if they consume just one. The exact toxic component in grapes remains unknown, but it can lead to kidney failure and potentially be fatal for dogs. Understanding the severity of grape toxicity, the associated symptoms, and the necessary actions to take if your dog ingests grapes are crucial for responsible pet ownership. By remaining vigilant, taking preventive measures, and seeking immediate veterinary care when necessary, we can protect our beloved canine companions from the potential risks associated with grape consumption.

  1. Acute Renal Failure in Dogs After the Ingestion of Grapes or Raisins: A Retrospective Evaluation of 43 Dogs, (2008).

About the Writer
Dan Greco , Dog Dad

Having been a dog dad for 5 years, I know how hard it is to make sure your dog gets the right nutrients and stays away from hazardous foods. With the help of a veterinarian who specializes in nutrition, I created this blog to help dog owners quickly access food information they need.

photo of vet holding a pup
About the Contributor
Dr. Hillary Wolfe , Veterinarian & Certified Food Therapist

Dr. Wolfe holds a doctorate in veterinary medicine from Kansas State University and holds nutrition certifications from the NAVC and CIVT. Her business, Tula Veterinary Nutrition, hosts online courses that teach owners how to cook for their pet for optimal health and longevity. Follow her on Instagram at @doctorwolfe.dvm for dog nutrition tips, recipes and insights.