More on the Grape/Raisin Toxicity Myth

Following are testimonials from dog owners whose dogs ate what should have been a fatal quantity of raisins and did not die or even get seriously ill.  If you have a similar story to tell, please email me and I will add it.  I think it would be helpful to others who find themselves in like circumstances.  When making a decision such as whether or not to seek veterinary intervention, it is best to be fully informed, especially when there are risks both ways.

Story #1

Dear Nora,

I read with interest your article on dogs and grapes/raisins. I would like to say thank you for writing it as there are seemingly only 2 articles on the internet which really question the ‘link’ between dogs and raisins. Your description of the dog that ate the grapes was so similar to my own that I thought I would write and tell you of our story. I spent a sleepless night reading everything about raisin toxicity and could not find any clear description of the progression of symptoms which led me to believe that it may not be true!

On New Year’s Eve my 17kg dog stole and ate half a very large Christmas cake (including approximately 1lb / 500g mixed raisins and sultanas and lots of brandy, marzipan and icing). We were about an hour from the emergency vet down a snowy mountain so decided to wait it out at home. I had been told that raisins were toxic, and everything on the internet states any amount is toxic, so we spent a very sleepless night worrying about him. He vomited about an hour later (and my other 50kg dog rushed to eat one pile..) and had diarrhoea which started about 2 hours later. However he was moving around as normal, urinating fine and in the morning asked for some breakfast. He slept a lot but within about 24 hours he was back to his normal bouncy self.

His symptoms were no more than I would expect after a dog eating so much non-dog food. My other dog had no problems whatsoever. They are both raw fed which may have helped.

I am very glad I did not go to a vet as having his stomach pumped, being put on a drip and stuck in a cage without us would have made him so stressed it would have made him more sick. Also being stuck in a cage and unable to vomit and relieve himself freely would have increased his illness. I gave him turmeric which may have helped but I feel that so many raisins would have killed him if they were definitely toxic.

On a side note after reading so many articles about raisins I remembered that years ago we stopped giving him grapes as he would always get a bad cough – this may actually have been caused by the sulphur dioxide on them. So I thought I would write to say thanks and to give our story in the hope that it may help others to make a calm and rational decision about their pet’s care.  

Story #2


Last night my son fed my pup (8 months) a whole bunch of grapes. I saw him feed the last one and asked him how many. He said a lot and all of them (admittedly I did not see them all get fed to the pup).  I had heard that grapes are dangerous so did the Google thing and started to freak out a bit with the results.  Fortunately I read a little deeper and came across your article on the subject. Having a BSc and thus a basic science background made me realize that what the article said made complete sense. So, I decided to wait and see. 24 hours later and I have a happy puppy with no symptoms of illness.  That was a whole bunch of grapes. Interesting since 2 or 3 could supposedly be lethal for the dogs weight.

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3 thoughts on “More on the Grape/Raisin Toxicity Myth”

  1. Frank K Clements

    I have read every article on the internet regarding grapes and their toxicity to dogs. I started reading about this several years ago. I am convinced that grapes are perfectly safe for dogs to eat in any resonable quantity. I have been feeding my dogs grapes for many years. I still feed grapes to my last two dogs. One is 9 and the other is 10. Both are hunting dogs are have eaten every thing they have found in the woods. One now has a slight case of food allergy, and symtoms of IBD. I still feed her grapes everyday. After we finish hunting I give each of them a few grapes as a refreshing snack. We, my dogs and I, find that grapes tastes so much better while eating them in the wilderness.

  2. I lived in Russia between 2004 and 20017 and I had no idea that grapes were toxic to dogs. I don’t think anybody in Russia had heard of grape toxicity back then. My pup loved fruit and grapes were her favorite. So each summer-autumn when grapes were in season I actually bought them just for her and fed her about 150g (ca 5 oz) as a snack daily during the whole season. But I must say that she ate a 100% home cooked diet all her life, she was 27 kg (ca 60 lb) and lived to be 13.

  3. Margie Obendorf

    This is a story about my previous dog, Orio, who used to seek out grapes on a vine at the school where I worked. When she first did this I hadn’t heard about the grape myth. Then another teacher saw her do this and got very worried and told me how toxic grapes can be for dogs. I really had a hard time believing it because my dog never show any kind of symptoms at all after eating the grapes, plus it didn’t seem to me very likely that a dog would seek out something that would be so harmful. I did make sure she didn’t eat several at one time after that, but I did sometimes let her have 2 or 3. She lived to be over 13 years old. A pretty decent age for a 30lb. dog.

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