Raisins are partially dried grapes. For those of you who love having raisins in your salad bowls and don’t think twice sharing it with your dog, we regret to inform you that raisins for dogs are a big NO. Raisins are identified as highly toxic for dogs, although research has not yet shown what exactly causes this deadly reaction. Since it has not been proven yet, it’s best not to give your dog raisins or even grapes just to avoid the hassle altogether.

In 2016, American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) received a total of 3,722 calls concerning health issues related to raisins/grapes and dogs. Since then, it has been noted that eating the fruit can lead to serious and sudden kidney failure in dogs.

Here’s all you need to know about the effect of raisin on a dog’s health and what to do if your dog had consumed a bit of it.

dog eating cookies with raisins

What Exactly is so Toxic about Raisins?

It is still a mystery as to why raisin is so toxic for dogs. For starters, notice if your dog is acting weird. Some dogs develop acute renal failure for no reason which could possibly indicate that your dog has had indigestion due to raisins or grapes. Some researchers are doubtful that mycotoxin, a substance formed by fungus, could be the reason. Others suspect that a salicylate (aspirin-like) drug, naturally found in raisins and grapes, might result in reduced blood flow to the kidneys. Although there hasn’t been any toxic agent directly found in raisins, experts say that it’s better not to give dogs these acidic fruits.

But how are humans safe from this toxin? Well, the dog kidney cells are relatively sensitive to mycotoxins and any other types of toxins. Therefore, their kidneys can get easily damaged if they consume anything toxic since their system cannot flush it out easily.

Signs to Look for if Your Dog has Eaten Raisins

If your dog has accidentally eaten a bit of raisin, chances are that he won’t be affected. But there are signs to look out for that could lead to serious problems, such as:

Immediate Treatment

Your dog will need immediate treatment if he has consumed raisin in order to avoid deadly consequences. However, if he/she has consumed raisins within the last two hours, you’ll need to induce vomiting as soon as possible, before the toxin in the fruit gets fully absorbed. But avoid inducing vomit if your dog is:

  • Panting or having trouble breathing
  • Unconscious
  • Seriously distressed or shocked
  • If you are not sure whether your dog has eaten raisins or something else

Following the consumption of raisins, if your dog starts vomiting on its own, don’t try to force them to vomit some more. The immediate course of action would be to call your vet. If your vet suggests inducing vomiting at home, here are the following method on how you should do it:

  • If your dog has not eaten anything in the past two hours, offer him a little food. This will make the vomiting process easier for your dog.
  • Measure 3% hydrogen peroxide per pound of your dog’s weight. Use either a syringe or a teaspoon (1 teaspoon is about 5ml) to measure the quantity of the hydrogen peroxide. You can use 45ml at max, even if your dog weighs over 45lbs.
  • Squeeze the hydrogen peroxide into the back of your dog’s mouth using the syringe or turkey baster. Do NOT use a needle.
  • However, if any vomiting does not occur in the next fifteen minutes of the first try, try once more. Don’t use this method more than twice and should be spaced at fifteen-minute intervals.

If your dog still does not vomit after the second treat of hydrogen peroxide, don’t use it or opt for anything extra to induce vomiting. Also, don’t use anything stronger than hydrogen peroxide, without consulting your vet in the first place.

What else is Toxic for Dogs?

Other than raisins, onions, alcohol, garlic, fattening foods, cocoa, macadamia nuts and anything else that contains sweetener xylitol can be quite deadly for your dog.

In the case of Ongoing Indigestion in the Past two Days

If the situation permits, you may still induce vomiting. You may give your dog activated charcoal to limit toxin absorption. In addition, you may also give them intravenous fluids that will flush through the kidneys to minimize any damage. Also, monitor their kidney functioning through blood and urine tests. If you see that your fog is all well after 3 – 4 days, chances are that the high-risk period is over.

Prevention

Raisin toxicity in dogs was recognized years back. Vets have been trying to spread this word ever since the discovery. Avoid leaving raisins on tables, counters or open pantries, where your dog usually reaches out for food. Ensure that everyone in the house is aware of the fact that your furry friend is highly allergic to raisins in order for them to also avoid leaving them openly. Specifically, if you have children, make sure that they don’t go on feeding raisins or grapes with your dog, as children are the ones who love sharing their food with pets. If your dog still manages to find its way to a few raisins, take action immediately to avoid complicating the situation.

raisins

Bottom Line

You shouldn’t be worried about your pet dog swallowing a raisin or two. But keep an eye that they don’t swallow down a handful of raisins at once. After all, prevention is better than cure.

In case of raisin toxin emergencies, your vet will need to perform a gastric lavage to deal with the remaining toxins in your dog’s stomach and start treatment to protect your canine’s kidneys. In such cases, stay strong, everything is going to be alright!

Sources

  1. Grape and Raisin Poisoning in Dogs, PetMD
  2. Grapes and Raisins Can Kill Dogs, VetHelpDirect
Olivia Williams
Olivia is our head of content for MyPetNeedsThat.com, mum of one and a true animal lover. With 12 different types of animal in her family, it's never a dull moment. When she isn't walking the dogs, feeding the cats or playing with her pet Parrot Charlie, you will find her product researching and keeping the site freshly updated with the latest products for your pets!

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