Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Post Type Selectors
Basque shepherd dog smelling grapes

The essentials

  • ALL grapes, raisins, and sultanas are toxic to dogs — Whether they’re fresh or dried, organic or conventional, these fruits are very poisonous to canines.
  • Tartaric acid is responsible for the toxicity — This acid causes dogs to suffer from a variety of poisoning symptoms and can lead to kidney failure.
  • Just one or two grapes can be deadly — The biggest signs of grape toxicity include excessive thirst, diarrhea, and vomiting. In severe cases, kidney damage and death may occur.

Grapes, raisins, and currants are very poisonous to dogs. You should avoid giving your dog any of these fruits, including foods with them as an ingredient—such as fruitcakes. Depending on your dog’s size, even 1-2 grapes can potentially produce a fatal reaction.

Here’s what you need to know about grape safety for dogs and the risks and signs of grape toxicity.

What types of grapes and raisins are toxic to dogs?

All grapes, currants, and sultanas are poisonous to dogs due to the naturally occurring tartaric acid in the fruits. Raisins are a no-no as well since they’re simply dehydrated grapes.

Whether they’re seedless or seeded, commercially grown or freshly plucked from a backyard vineyard, dog owners have reported symptoms of poisoning following ingestion of grapes of any type.

Red wine poses one of the biggest risks — as it’s a heavy source of tartaric acid and alcohol , which is also toxic to most animals.

In general, it’s best to avoid giving your dog any foods with grapes, raisins, currants, or sultanas as ingredients, including foods like cinnamon raisin bagels, grape jelly or jam, trail mix, and raisin bran cereal.

👉 While certain foods like onions, chocolate, and macadamia nuts are dangerous, certain human foods (like cored apples, sliced strawberries, and specific vegetables) make healthy snacks in moderation. Always consult your veterinarian if you aren’t sure if a snack is pet-safe.

How many grapes or raisins cause a problem?

There is no known amount of grapes that are safe for dogs, and there is no exact “toxicity” threshold as far as we know. However, we do know this — the danger is greater depending on your dog’s size. For example, only one to two grapes in a small dog is a potentially significant exposure.

  • Raisins. 0.7 ounces (oz) of raisins per kilogram (kg) of dog is the lowest documented ingestion leading to kidney failure.
  • Grapes. 0.3 oz of grapes per lb of body weight is the lowest documented ingestion leading to kidney failure. Four to five grapes were toxic to an 18 lb dog.

🚨 If you suspect that your dog may have eaten any type of grape, don’t wait for them to start showing symptoms of poisoning. Call your vet immediately to see what to do next.  

Signs of grape and raisin toxicity in dogs

The most common symptoms of grape toxicity in dogs are vomiting, diarrhea, and excessive thirst. In severe cases, kidney failure will occur within one to three days of ingestion, which will cause high blood pressure and a decrease in urine output. Renal failure is difficult to reverse once it starts, which is why it’s important to catch signs of toxicity early.

Here are a few other signs of grape toxicity to watch for in your pup:

👉 Your dog may vomit or have diarrhea within 6 to 12 hours after ingesting a grape or raisin. Some grapes and raisins can cause kidney failure within 24 to 72 hours of ingestion.

What to do if your dog eats a grape 

If you think or know that your dog ate a grape or a raisin — even if it was just a small amount — you should call a veterinarian immediately.  It’s better to let your dog’s vet know right away, even if you’re uncertain that they consumed the fruit.

Once you speak to a veterinarian, you need to take your pup to the clinic as soon as possible and follow any other instructions you’re given.

👉 If your local vet office isn’t open, call the Pet Poison Helpline at (855)-764-7661 immediately. 

Treating grape poisoning in dogs

Unfortunately, the initial symptoms of grape poisoning mimic many different medical conditions. Grapes may not be the first thing that comes to mind since vomiting, lethargy, and diarrhea may signal a variety of problems. However, you should call your vet if you notice these signs, especially if you believe grapes might be the culprit.

Diagnosing grape poisoning

If you suspect that your dog has eaten grapes, your veterinarian will likely order a series of diagnostic tests, such as CBC, a serum biochemistry profile, and a urinalysis.

How grape toxicity is treated

Assessing the extent of the damage and absorbing the toxins are the two key steps to treating grape toxicity. If your dog can go to the vet within 4-6 hours after ingestion, your vet may be able to induce vomiting and retrieve most of the grapes. If more time has passed, however, then the toxicity is likely already absorbed into their blood. Your vet may give your pet charcoal tablets to try to absorb the tartaric acid.

In any event, if it’s determined that your dog has indeed eaten grapes, they’ll likely stay at the veterinary hospital on intravenous fluids for up to 72 hours. Flushing out the toxins and monitoring their effect on the kidneys is generally considered to be the most important part of their treatment.

The prognosis after grape poisoning

As long as your dog’s kidneys aren’t severely damaged, the prognosis is usually pretty good.  However, once the process of renal failure starts, it’s difficult for dogs to make a full recovery.

Kidneys don’t have regenerative abilities like some other organs in your dog’s body, so if the toxin has left lasting damage, your dog may have a more difficult recovery ahead of them. They might also go into full renal failure, which requires additional, more advanced methods of care.

Talk to your family about what’s safe 

Education is your first line of defense when it comes to preventing grape toxicity in your pet. A small box of raisins or a cup of grape juice is often given to children as a snack, and adults enjoy cinnamon raisin bread or fruitcake around the holidays.

So, it’s essential that you talk to your family about NOT feeding these to your dog as a treat, and about staying aware since grapes are so easy to roll and lose under the table.

Mystery finally solved by ASPCA vets

For ages, vets didn’t know why some dogs were ill from eating grapes, and other canines didn’t get as sick. Veterinarians at the ASPCA Poison Control Center (APCC) solved the 20-year-old mystery of why grapes, raisins, and sultanas are poisonous to dogs.

Their expert research found that the tartaric acid in grapes causes symptoms of grape toxicity. These fruits contain different levels of tartaric acid based on the type, where it was grown, and ripeness. This finding helped explain why some dogs get very sick from eating these fruits and others don’t.

All varieties of grapes belong on the no-no list for dogs. While this has been common knowledge for years, veterinarians only recently know why that’s the case. Tartaric acid was recently discovered to be the driving force behind these deadly poisonings, and the reason why you should keep all types of grapes away from your pet.

If you think your dog might’ve eaten a raisin or is showing symptoms of illness, take note of how much they ingested and call your vet immediately. The sooner you catch the accident, the more likely they’ll make a full recovery.

Frequently asked questions

Will one grape hurt a dog?

Yes! One to two grapes in a small dog can lead to kidney failure and even death.

What to do if my dog eats grapes?

If you think or know that your dog ate a grape or any amount of raisins, you should call a veterinarian immediately. Don’t wait for symptoms of poisoning, since damage may have already been done.

Is it okay if a dog licks a grape?

No. Keep grapes and all foods containing them away from your dog.

What are the symptoms of grape poisoning in dogs?

The first signs of grape toxicity include general symptoms of sickness, such as lethargy, vomiting, and diarrhea. After 24 hours have passed, dogs may also display more serious signs indicating renal failure, such as ammonia breath, excessive thirst, and frequent urination. Call your vet immediately if you think your dog might’ve eaten a grape.

How many grapes can a 50-pound dog eat?

Grapes don’t have an established safety threshold for dogs or cats. The lowest known case of toxicity leading to kidney failure was 0.7 ounces (oz) of raisins per 2.2 pounds (lbs) of dog. That’s not a lot of grapes, and you don’t want to take any chances. Make sure to store food — especially food with toxic ingredients — securely and away from your pets.