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Can Dogs Eat Raisins?

raisins

No, dogs should never eat raisins under any circumstance—this goes for grapes as well. They are highly toxic for dogs and can potentially lead to kidney failure, which can be fatal for your pup. Contact your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (1-888-426-4435; a consultation fee applies) immediately if you discover your pet consumed raisins. 

Why are raisins toxic for dogs? 

Veterinarians aren’t exactly sure what component of grapes and raisins makes dogs so sick. Some theories include a mycotoxin produced by a mold or fungus on the fruit or salicylate. This aspirin-like compound naturally occurs in grapes, decreasing blood flow to the kidneys. Recently, tartaric acid has been identified as a potential cause. In any case, dogs can’t eat grapes or raisins safely and have been known to suffer severe adverse effects from as little as one raisin. There is no known toxic dose for raisins or grapes; however, even one can potentially lead to acute kidney failure and eventually death. 

The answer to “Can dogs eat raisins?” is a firm “No.” 

Signs of grape poisoning in dogs 

Symptoms of toxicity can show within 4–6 hours after eating grapes or raisins. While you should never wait for symptoms to present before contacting your veterinarian or ASPCA animal poison control if your pet accidentally consumed grapes or raisins, a dog who has consumed grapes or raisins may develop the following symptoms. 

  • Gastrointestinal distress, particularly vomiting 
  • Shivering 
  • Loss of appetite 
  • Reduced energy 
  • Dehydration  

If grape toxicity is advanced and kidneys are affected, the following symptoms may be seen: 

  • Decreased or no urination 
  • Abdominal pain or tenderness when touched 
  • Breath that smells like pungent ammonia 
  • Coma 

What to do if your dog ate raisins  

If you know or suspect your dog has eaten grapes or raisins, you’ll want to act fast and get your pet to your veterinarian or contact pet poison control right away. If the symptoms get worse, it’s a sign that acute kidney failure has already begun. If kidney damage occurs, your dog will lose their ability to remove waste and toxins from their bloodstream, which can be a fatal prognosis for your pup making it imperative you never offer grapes or raisins to your pet and never wait for symptoms to develop before seeking veterinary care.  

Once at your veterinarian’s clinic, they’ll take steps to decontaminate your pet as quickly as possible. This may include treating your pet with activated charcoal, which can bind with and absorb the toxins in your pet’s system. Your pet may be hospitalized for many days to monitor their kidney function and keep them on intravenous fluid therapy to support their renal system while dealing with toxins. 

If addressed quickly enough, your dog can potentially reach a full recovery. However, if the issue is not addressed until damage to the kidneys has already begun, the dog will have a guarded to poor prognosis. If you’re wondering whether your dog can have raisins, remember the outcome can be fatal. 

How can I prevent my dog from eating raisins? 

Properly storing raisins and grapes is the biggest preventive measure you can take in preventing dogs from experiencing raisin toxicity. Keeping raisins or food containing raisins sealed adequately and on high shelves, in cabinets or pantries out of your pup’s reach or in locked containers can reduce your pet’s opportunities at sneaking some.  

Because raisins are a common treat for young children, monitor your children closely when they’re snacking around your dog. For older children, make sure they know not to feed their canine sibling raisins. Always supervise young children when grapes or raisins are being eaten to ensure none are offered to the dog or thrown/dropped in a place where the dog could pick one up, and be sure to clean up any spills quickly and thoroughly.  

FAQs About Dogs Eating Raisins 

Absolutely not. Chocolate and raisins are two of the most toxic foods for dogs, and they shouldn’t have either—much less both at once.  

No. The toxic effects of raisins are not appropriate for any size of dog; adverse reactions include kidney failure and death.   

If your dog eats a raisin, treat it like a potential medical emergency. Call your veterinarian or animal poison control or seek out emergency veterinary attention immediately. Failure to do so could lead to acute kidney failure and even death for your pet.   

It is possible for your dog to eat a raisin and live, especially if you seek out emergency veterinary attention for them as quickly as possible. However, your dog might not show any symptoms of a toxic reaction until it’s too late. Therefore, raisin ingestion needs to be treated as a medical emergency, and raisins should never be offered to your dog because even one raisin has the potential to be fatal.   

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Reviewed by Petco’s Animal Care, Education and Compliance (ACE) Team

Petco’s ACE team is a passionate group of experienced pet care experts dedicated to supporting the overall health & wellness of pets. The ACE team works to develop animal care operations and standards across the organization and promote proper animal care and education for Pet Care Center partners and pet parents, while also ensuring regulatory compliance.