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Canine University 71 Clinton St. Malden, MA

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A Natural Health Corner Special Report: Grapes and Raisins Have Been Linked to Kidney Failure and Death in Dogs

It's hard to believe that such a mundane food item like a raisin can cause death in dogs who ingest them. After a client asked us whether it was safe to give raisins and grapes to dogs one of our instructors did a search and found that raisins and grapes cause kidney failure and death in dogs of all shapes and sizes.

According to the ASPCA's Animal Poison Control Center in Urbana, Illinois, raisins and grapes have been linked to many cases of kidney failure and death in dogs. How scary that something so innocent can be so dangerous to our beloved pets.

An article entitled "The Wrath of Grapes" written by Charlotte Means, DVM explains how the toxicity of grapes was discovered and what can be done if a dog eats grapes or rasins accidentally. In general it is recommended that vomiting be induced with activated charcoal, and that the dog be place on IV fluids for a minimum of 48 hours. Blood chemistry should be closely monitored for three days to determine kidney function. If the kidney fails to function, no urine can be made and no waste products excreted. Medications to stimulate urine production as well as continued fluid administration is normal protocol.

In short, don't give raisins or grapes to your dog under any
circumstance. Current research can not identify a reason for a dog's
reaction to this food item; what is known is that neither the size of the dog nor the amount of grapes or raisins the dog ingested mattered- death was imminent if immediate medical attention wasn't given.

Be sure to keep your cabinets under lock and key, and keep a bottle of activated charcoal on hand to induce vomiting if necessary. If your dog has ingested something that you are unsure about you can contact the Animal Poison Control Center Hotline at 888-426-4435.

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