“My dog ate a raisin a few minutes ago. What should I do? Will they be okay? Help!” Does this sound familiar? You are likely here reading this article and wondering the same thing. Raisins are often in question when it comes to feeding your dog. What could go wrong with feeding your dog a tiny raisin? Read this article first. You may be surprised!
Dr. Jess explains the answer below:
Dog food experts have arguments regarding the safety of serving grapes and raisins to dogs.
Well, as delicious as raisins are, is it actually a health threat to the dogs or are we over-reacting about this?
Let me, the veterinarian, explain my thoughts…
It’s always the best idea to double-check which foods your dog can and can not eat because many foods that are safe and healthy for humans are actually very harmful for your dog to eat, or even poisonous or deadly to them. Taste is never worth the risk of harming your pet.
That’s why I am so glad that you are here making an informed decision before feeding your dog raisins!
What Do Dogs Eat?
Some dogs are not picky at all about what they eat. They’ll eat whatever you offer them- they’re like vacuum cleaners sucking up anything you put in front of them and then some!
Some dogs are on the pickier side of things. Pickier pups can be harder to properly feed because they just won’t eat any food we give them. Try feeding a picky dog something like okra!
A common canine diet for pet dogs consists of a complete dry or wet feed and possibly some form of supplements in some specific cases (however, not all pet dogs need supplements).
Foraging can also be included in the diet if the dog is allowed to roam, or the dog is feral, and of course there are treats that are a part of many dog’s diets!
The diet of every dog breed will very when you are looking into a healthy and complete diet for your pup. So it is important to know when offering food to your dog, what constitutes a healthy choice, and what does not.
An improper diet could put your dog at risk of having problems properly digesting their food and absorbing nutrients correctly. And we don’t want that now do we???
So let’s talk specifically about kiwis, since that’s why you clicked over here today, and talk about how it could affect your dog’s overall health and well-being.
What Are Raisins?
Raisins were once a grape.
That’s right, they are dried grapes.
They are typically made by being sun-dried or by being artificially dehydrated.
Types of Raisins:
They come in all different sizes, colors, shapes, and tastes.
There are over 8,000 varieties of grapes grown across the world, so therefore, there are many different types of raisins.
The more common types of raisins are purple, black, brown, yellow, or orange in color.
Raisin Nutrition Breakdown:
Raisins should not be fed to dogs – and I’ll discuss the reasons why a little bit farther down in this article.
However, grapes and therefore raisins, do have some health benefits when looking at their composition. So you may hear some people tell you that raisins have the potential to be good for dogs.
“Raisins are 15% water, 79% carbohydrates (including 4% fiber), 3% protein, and contain negligible fat. In a 100 gram reference amount, raisins supply 299 kilocalories and moderate amounts (10–19% DV) of the Daily Value for several dietary minerals, riboflavin, and vitamin B6.“https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/1102640/nutrients
Even though raisins have some healthy qualities, please do NOT feed your dog raisins or grapes…. ever!
With how tasty they taste, it shouldn’t come as any surprise that raisins contain quite a bit of sugar, but not as much sugar as some other fruit choices contain.
Too much sugar can cause health concerns such as obesity or diabetes in your dog, so this is yet another reason why you shouldn’t feed your dog this food.
Are Raisins Harmful to Dogs?
Yes, they definitely are harmful to dogs.
Grapes and raisins are highly toxic to dogs. They affect the kidneys very quickly in a condition called acute renal failure.
What is Canine Acute Renal Failure?
Acute renal failure can be broken down like this:
- Canine = “dog”
- Acute = “fast” or “quick“
- Renal = “kidney“
- Failure = “Decrease/halting of function“
Therefore, acute renal failure due to grape or raisin poisoning is a quick-onset of kidney disfunction where the kidneys stop working properly. This condition is very serious and can be lethal within days or hours of onset without rapid treatment.
Research has yet to prove exactly which substance in the grape (and therefore raisins) itself causes this toxic reaction within dogs. But we do know that grapes and raisins are very toxic to your canine companion.
Will One Raisin Hurt My Dog?
Even the ingestion of one single raisin or grape can be fatal to a dog. Consuming a grape or raisin can lead to acute (fast or sudden) kidney failure in dogs. They can very sick very fast!
However, every dog is different – some dogs will be more sensitive to raisins and others will be much less sensitive to raisins. The research has not yet determined why this is.
This can lead to a multitude of problems including things like dehydration and electrolyte imbalances that could impart a trip to the veterinary clinic for your vet to fix.
The higher sugar content in raisins can also lead to some pretty big health concerns as well.
Not only does excess sugar leave your dog prone to weight gain and obesity, but also diabetes and gastrointestinal (digestive) upset due to the sugar-overload in their systems.
These are just a few reasons as to why you should NEVER feed your dog a single raisin or grape!
How Can Raisins Be Harmful to Dogs?
Before we can decide whether raisins are harmful to feed our dogs (spoiler alert – grapes and raisins are very harmful for your dog!), we need to first understand some of the risks involved if we do feed our dogs the fruit.
These are a few of the factors to keep in mind besides the deadly canine acute renal failure discussed above:
Harmful Reason #1: Loose Stool/Diarrhea
Too much fiber or new foods in the diet can mean hypermotile, or increased movement, of one’s digestive tract.
Some dogs are more sensitive to additional fiber or new foods in their diets, so they are more likely to have loose stool and in some cases, full-blown diarrhea.
Other dogs will not be impacted by any additional fiber in their diets.
Now, I have not seen this last scenario with my own eyes, I have had many people tell me that that was their experience.
Harmful Reason #2: Allergic Reaction to Raisins
A dog can develop an intolerance or an allergy to any food, so there is always the possibility that your dog is allergic to raisins.
If you suspect your dog is allergic to raisins do NOT feed it to your dog.
If your dog is allergic to raisins and accidentally ingests it, go to your nearest animal emergency room immediately.
When this happens, the attack sets off a hypersensitivity reaction and can result in any of the following symptoms:
Common symptoms of adverse/allergic reaction to food:
- Itching/Increased grooming
Can Puppies and Juvenile Dogs Eat Raisins?
The risk of becoming sick from a grape or raisin has no dependency on age, sex, or breed of the dog, so you shouldn’t be giving your pup grapes or raisins ever.
Compared to their adult counterparts, puppies have much more sensitive gastrointestinal systems.
Avoid feeding baby dogs any kinds of fruits and vegetables until they reach 12 weeks of age to allow their stomachs to mature with them.
Remember – baby and young, and juvenile dogs have more sensitive digestive systems!
Medical & Health Concerns of Feeding Raisins to Dogs:
Raisins might be bad for your pet? Yes yes yes! Do not feed your dog raisins. Remember that grapes and raisins are highly toxic to dogs.
If you need any more reason not to feed your dog raisins, here are a few other less toxic reasons that raisins can be bad for your pup:
- Pesticides: Raisins should always be checked to make sure they are free of any pesticides or chemicals that could be harmful to dogs.
- Parasites: Raisins should be checked over for parasites that can lead to potential parasite problems with your dog.
- High Sugar Levels: Raisins contain natural sugars in them. Therefore, too many raisins means your dog is getting a lot of unnecessary additional sugar – not a good idea for your dog’s health, especially if they are overweight or have metabolic issues, things like diabetes!
- GI Issues: Too much of a high-sugar treat can cause diarrhea and gastrointestinal upset.
- Puppies: Puppies have a more sensitive digestive system than their adult counterparts do, and therefore you shouldn’t give your rabbit friend any fruits or vegetables.
How To Feed Raisins To Your Dog:
You don’t. You should NEVER feed grapes or raisins to your dog.
Keep the following in mind when serving food to your dog:
And remember that dogs need something other than a bowl or plate of fruit or other human foods – they need a complete and balanced diet.
Whichever complete food you choose for your dog, it needs to have the AAFCO label indicating the diet is complete and balanced for your dog’s life stage.
AAFCO approved foods have gone through testing and compliance to make sure that the diet is safe and healthy for your pet.
Dogs already get everything that they need from their kibble or canned food.
My Dog Ate a Raisin. What Should I Do?
If your dog ingests grapes or raisins, contact your veterinarian right away.
Your vet will want to discuss details and will tell you what to do next. You will likely need to move quickly to give your canine the best possible chance of recovering and surviving after treatment.
We vets want to help and we will best help if we are notified right away.
Trust me, us vets are happy to help!
Find Out If Your Dog Can Eat These Other Foods!
Dogs can not have raisins, even if they are fed in moderation. Nope – do not feed raisins to your dog ever.
Too many raisins can cause a number of health problems for your dog, the largest issue is severe toxicity which can lead to acute renal (kidney) failure.
Do not feed young, growing dogs or dogs with underlying health conditions raisins even as a treat. They can see all kinds of issues, just like adult dogs can.
If you have questions regarding feeding your dog raisins, contact your local veterinarian. They will likely agree with me 🙂 Just don’t do it.