Grapes? Treats for dogs? Definitely not.
There are many things that we want to share with our pets, visits to the beach, going for walks, our comfy beds, meals and treats. Unfortunately those last two can be a problem because even though we share most of our lives with our furry companions they have different intolerances to us.
There are certain foods that we would not think of having a problem with and one of those is grapes. A yummy and healthy treat for us, grapes are actually very hazardous for our four legged friends. Even in very small amounts, grapes can cause acute (sudden) kidney failure. It doesn’t matter if your pet has only had one or two, or even if they have had them every day for weeks. It can just take that one time too for the grapes to affect their renal function.
Acute renal failure can develop within 48 hours if ingestion and signs can include vomiting, diarrhoea, weakness, abdominal pain increased thirst and lack of appetite. If your pet is showing any symptoms like these then it’s important to get them to a vet quickly.
Interestingly the exact reason why grapes have this affect is unknown. It doesn’t matter where the grapes are grown, whether they are seeded or seedless or what colour they are. This includes dried sultanas and raisins as well. There are also many foods that have raisins in them such as fruit cakes, muesli bars, chutneys, curries, salads, biscuits and some breads.
If your pet has ingested any raisins, grapes or dried fruits then get them to your vet ASAP. In most situations, if only a short amount of time has passed since they’ve eaten the toxic fruits then your vet can induce them to vomit and expel the unwanted grapes.
You’ve probably heard a hundred times over that chocolate is not good for dogs. It can cause gastrointestinal upset including vomiting and diarrhoea. Other symptoms can include hyperactivity, restlessness, nervousness and excitement. In larger or stronger amounts it can cause tremors, irregular heartbeats, seizures and potentially trigger a heart attack.
Theobromine is the component in chocolate that is toxic to cat and dogs, the amount of theobromine varies on the type of chocolate. You’ll find that dark chocolate, cocoa powder and baking chocolate all have a higher level than milk chocolate and white chocolate has the least. The size of the pet and the amount consumed is a major factor in the how much you pet can be affected.
If your pet has eaten chocolate you contact your local vet even if it was only a small amount. If you're interested in reading more about what chocolate does to dogs then you can check out our article what does chocolate do to dogs.
Other foods you should avoid feeding to your pets include:
- Avocado – Who would have thought a human brunch favourite would be a pet peril?! Avocado pits have the potential to cause an intestinal blockage while the avocado skin and leaves contain a toxin for dogs called Persin.
- Other stone fruits - Fruits like apricots, peaches and plums have seeds, leaves and stems that also contain cyanide as well as the pip which has the potential to cause an intestinal blockage. Popular in summer, it’s important to keep any fruit trees well out of bounds from your pets.
- Apple Seeds – You might be thinking to yourself ‘who feeds their dog apple seeds?’ You’d be right in thinking it’s a strange thing to feed a dog, however plenty of people like to treat their dog to the core of an apple which obviously contains apple seeds. Unfortunately these contain cyanide that is toxic in large doses for dogs. If you want to feed your dog apple, consider cutting it up into smaller bite sized pieces and removing the seeds.
- Cherries – The seeds and cherry plant itself actually contain cyanide and is toxic for dogs.
- Currents – These can have a similar effect as grapes and raisins.
- Citrus Oil – Citruses in general are repulsive for dogs, however if ingested the citrus oils can cause vomiting and gastrointestinal upset.
While you might already be aware of this and which foods are toxic for your pets – during holiday seasons and times when all your family and friends get together, it’s important to remind guests not to sneak something under the table to treat them. If it’s a fruit cake or anything containing toxic properties for dogs then your celebrations may have to be cut short for an emergency trip to the vet.
There are plenty of other ways to keep your dog occupied while you’re eating human food. If you wanted to give them a bit of chocolate, how about rewarding them with carob drops instead? Consider treating them to a boredom busting treat that will not only keep them occupied, it will help keep them fed in between meals too!