Are Raisins Bad for Dogs?

It’s no secret that having a pet is a huge responsibility. You’re in charge of your pup’s well-being, and that includes foods that they should or shouldn’t eat.

We’ve covered other foods that are off-limits for dogs, but today’s post is about raisins. Are raisins bad for dogs? Let’s find out!

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Are Raisins Bad for Dogs?

The answer is a definite yes. Raisins are, in fact, extremely bad for dogs and can be poisonous if they ingest them. Raisins can prove to be fatal for your pup as they can cause acute kidney failure and may lead to death.

Doctors aren’t exactly sure what makes them toxic to dogs, but the fact remains that raisins and grapes, in general, are extremely toxic and shouldn’t be ingested by your dog in any way.  

How Toxic are Raisins for Dogs?

There’s a bunch of questions around grape toxicity that vets don’t have a complete answer to, such as why some dogs’ kidneys are much more affected than others, and what the “toxic number” of raisins is.

Although the exact level of grapes or raisins that causes a dog harm is not known, smaller dogs are more at risk because their body weight and size relative to the toxic food.

Even a few raisins can do serious damage to a smaller dog, such as a Bichon Frise or Chihuahua.

The effect of ingesting raisins isn’t instant. The symptoms might appear anytime between 24-48 hours after they ingest them.

Some vets have concluded that the darker the raisin, the more toxic it is. This is because darker raisins contain lower water content than lighter ones. 

This also means that grapes of every type are poisonous to dogs. The same is true of grape products, such as grape jelly. All grape- and raisin-related food and beverage products should be kept away from dogs. This may also include bread or other pastries containing raisins.

Dogs who already have kidney problems are in much greater danger than dogs that aren’t, and any contact with raisins will probably be deadly.

Signs That Your Dog Has Eaten Raisins

Raisins are not the only food that is toxic to dogs, but the following signs may appear if your dog has eaten raisins. Notes that these signs may take a while to appear.

These signs include:

  • Increased drinking or urination (in the beginning stages after eating raisins or grapes)
  • Vomiting or diarrhea within a few hours of ingesting raisins or grapes
  • Weakness
  • Dehydration
  • Not urinating at all (signs of kidneys shutting down)
  • Loss of Appetite
  • Bad breath

What to Do If Your Pet Ingests a Raisin

If you saw your dog eating raisins and you were too late to stop it, or if someone stumbled across your pet eating raisins and told you after it happened, get your pet to a vet right away.

You can also call one of two animal poison helplines:

Pet Poison Helpline: 855-764-7661

ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center: at 888-426-4435

PetMD recommends that you do not induce vomiting unless you’ve been instructed to do so by the poison helpline or your vet.

After you arrive at the vet, your veterinarian will be able to safely induce vomiting, as well as provide methods of absorbing the remaining toxins out of your dog’s stomach.

Your pup will likely need to be under veterinary care (and possibly IV fluids) for a day or two afterwards.

Conclusion

Are raisins bad for dogs? The answer is yes. They’re especially hazardous to small dog breeds.

You should always be on the lookout for what your pet is eating; they don’t know any better and will probably eat anything they might come across, especially if they’re hungry. 

If you suspect that your dog has eaten some raisins or any other toxic food, you must call the vet immediately. Every second counts!

PuppyLists is written by J., who has owned, trained, volunteered with, and loved dogs for nearly three decades. When she isn't writing or researching, she's out adventuring with her 14 year old Lab mix.