Dogs can strike quickly when a chance for a free snack arises, and it can often lead to an upset stomach and even the need for medical intervention. From the dog that grabs a child's toy and swallows it quickly to the stealthy pup that gobbles up forbidden food left on a kitchen counter or table, it is essential to understand what dogs should, shouldn't and absolutely must not consume. Most owners are aware of the troubles brought about by the consumption of chocolate, but not as many know about grape and raisin toxicity.
According to the medical experts at PetMD.com, this sort of toxicity is "well documented in dogs. Although the exact substance that causes the toxic reaction is not yet known, dogs should not eat grapes and raisins because even small amounts can prove to be fatally toxic…"
That puts to rest the idea that a dog can eat any number of grapes. For example, many don't ask "what happens if my dog eats grapes or raisins?" so much as "how many grapes can a dog eat without getting sick?" The simple truth is that you just cannot let your beloved pet consume any sort of grape or raisin.
When a dog eats grapes or raisins, they may not seem to have been affected by it because they may not immediately become ill. However, the most severe side effect of consuming them is kidney damage that leads to rapid onset kidney failure. This prevents your dog from producing urine, and this is usually going to cause death.
What is so odd about the whole grape and raisin issue with dogs is that some dogs have absolutely no response while others have rapid deterioration of the kidneys. If you are a household that frequently consumes grapes and raisins, and your dog is one to never say no to temptation, it is important to make everyone aware of the risks. Be sure that children understand that grapes and raisins can mean death to the dog and find ways to ensure that grapes and raisins are kept out of reach of your pet.
Also, it is a good idea always to know the signs of grape or raisin toxicity. They vary widely, but can include:
Even if a dog has eaten grapes or raisins in the past without any issues, it is best to remain vigilant about the issue. Whenever a dog does manage to gulp down the fruit, it is best to go to the vet immediately (no more than two hours should pass) and get whatever care is necessary.