Last Updated on July 14, 2021 by Marco
Dogs love to eat and drink pretty much anything that catches their attention which leads us to wonder can dogs drink grape juice or is it a bad idea? Many dog owners love to give their pooches some weird things to drink such as Gatorade, apple juice, grape juice, and others. And while some of those are tolerable in moderation the question of is grape juice bad for dogs has a very different answer.
Can Dogs Drink Grape Juice?
So, can dogs have grape juice? Absolutely not! Grape juice is extremely toxic for dogs – even more so than some other substances like chocolate that are famous as dangerous to dogs.
Unlike apple juice and Gatorade, the thing that makes grape juice dangerous to dogs isn’t the mere presence of sugar – that’s manageable. The problem with grape juice is actual grape poisoning.
Why Is Grape Juice Poisonous To Dogs?
Frustratingly enough, scientists don’t yet know what causes grape poisoning in dogs. Veterinarians have observed the problem extensively, however, and we know for a fact that all grapes are toxic to canines. This includes not just grape juice but also fresh grapes, raisins, sultanas, currants, and other types of grapes.
This means that you shouldn’t just avoid giving your dog grape juice – you should also steer clear of fields of grapevines. Unfortunately, dogs don’t know that grapes are poisonous to them and will happily munch on them if they see them on the ground. The same goes for your dining table – while several clusters of grapes can look awesome in a bowl on the table, they can also spell your dog’s death sentence.
How About Seedless and Peeled Grapes?
One of the first theories scientists explored when they became aware of grape poisoning was that something in the seeds or peels of grapes can be causing the problem. Thanks to some recent research, we now know that’s not the case, however. Whatever the toxic ingredient is, it’s something inside the grapes themselves. So, even peeled and seedless grapes can be disastrous for your pooch.
Are All Dogs Equally Affected By Grape Poisoning?
It seems intuitive that smaller dog breeds like the dachshund will be at a higher risk from grape poisoning. The size difference between a mini dachs and a giant breed like the St. Bernard is so significant that a single grape shouldn’t be as much of a problem for the hairy giant as it is for the tiny Doxie.
Yet, nature doesn’t seem to follow this logic. All research and veterinary statistics we’ve seen so far show that dogs of all breeds and sizes can be affected by grapes in a similar fashion and to a similar degree.
There are some variations but those seem to be on an individual basis. So, while one dachshund can be dropped unconscious by a single grape, another can eat a dozen before starting to experience some of their milder symptoms. Similarly, a giant dog breed can drop after a single grape while another giant dog can consume quite a few grapes.
So, this means that your dog may not be at that high of a risk if you’re lucky. As we don’t know the exact cause of the toxicity, however, the only way to test that would be by trial and error. So, it’s best to just keep your pooch away from grapes altogether.
How Much Grape Juice Is Too Much For Your Dog?
The lowest recorded amount of grape juice to lead to immediate kidney failure is 0.3 ounces per pound of body weight. For raisins, the quantity is 0.05 ounces per pound of body weight.
So, for a 20-pound (or 9 kg) dachshund as much as 6 ounces of grapes or a single ounce of raisins can be disastrous.
What Can Happen To Your Dog After Ingesting Grape Juice?
The symptoms and effects of grape poisoning can differ from one dog to the next. However, the main things to watch out for include:
- Breathing difficulties
- Loss of consciousness
- Seizures and tremors
- Physical weakness
- Abdominal pain
- Lack of urine or sudden increase of urine (which can lead to dehydration)
- Very bad breath
- Increased thirst
- Kidney failure
- Loss of appetite or thirst
- Vomiting or diarrhea (which can lead to dehydration)
As you can see, some of those symptoms are not too significant but others can be disastrous. What’s more, one symptom can quickly be followed by another. So, if all you’re seeing are some mild breathing difficulties, you can’t be certain that this will be the extent of it.
Can Dogs Drink Grape Juice and Die From Grape Poisoning?
Unfortunately, yes. Especially if some of the immediate consequences such as seizures, loss of consciousness, or kidney failure aren’t addressed quickly, your pooch can quickly leave your side. There are many such recorded cases and an untold number of deaths that indubitably never got reported to a veterinarian.
What To Do If Your Dog Has Ingested Grape Juice, Grapes, Or Raisins?
First and foremost, you should call your vet immediately. Ideally, your veterinarian will have experience with this problem and will know your dog. By describing to your vet the specific symptoms your dog is experiencing, he or she will instruct you how to proceed.
The most commonly recommended things to do in case of grape poisoning include:
- Induce vomiting to help your dog release as much of the grape or grape juice as possible. Note, however, that you should never do this unless you’re sure your dog has eaten grapes. You also should avoid this step if your dog is experiencing seizures, is comatose, or is lethargic.
- If your dog has gone through excessive vomiting, diarrhea, and urination after ingesting grapes, it’s important to keep the dog hydrated.
- Get your dog to your vet as soon as possible no matter what else you’re doing. Even if everything seems fine, you should never skip on the immediate vet visit after your dog has eaten grapes or drank grape juice.