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Why You Should Never Feed Your Pet Grapes or Raisins

August 1, 2021

Have you ever considered feeding your dog or cat a grape or its dried counterpart, the raisin? Don’t do it! It turns out that grapes and raisins can actually prove toxic to our animal friends. These humble fruits can cause poisoning and even death in the most extreme cases. Read on as your local veterinarian discusses grape and raisin poisoning in pets.

 Why are grapes and raisins poisonous?

You might be surprised to learn that no one is sure exactly why grapes and raisins are toxic to pets. A fungal byproduct called mycotoxin could be responsible. Some think that pesticides sprayed on the fruit could play a role. To make it even more confusing, some pets seem to be able to eat the fruit without suffering any ill effects at all. But whatever the cause, it’s just not worth the risk. Give your pet something you know is safe.


Symptoms of grape or raisin poisoning usually appear fairly quickly. These may include lethargy, increased thirst, vomiting, and diarrhea. Without proper treatment, renal failure (the medical term for kidney failure) can occur. Unfortunately, this can be fatal. That’s why it’s so important to keep your veterinarian’s number on hand to call in the event of an emergency. Take your pet to the vet’s office as soon as possible if you know or suspect that they’ve ingested grapes or raisins.


To treat grape or raisin poisoning, the toxin must be flushed from your pet’s system as quickly as possible. This might be achieved by induced vomiting. Your vet may recommend activated charcoal to absorb the remaining toxin in your pet’s stomach. Pets that have progressed to kidney failure might require intravenous fluid therapy or even blood transfusions in the most serious cases. Follow your vet’s specific instructions.


It’s always best to prevent issues when you can, rather than dealing with it once it’s happened. Luckily, in this case, that’s as easy as restricting your furry friend’s access to these foods at all times. Keep these–and other unsafe foods–in the refrigerator, or closed cabinets or containers, out of paws’ reach. Also beware of foods that contain grapes or raisins, like desserts or salads.

Would you like more advice on foods your pet shouldn’t eat? Give your vet’s office a call today. We’re always happy to help.