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Health & Wellness

Can dogs eat raisins?

Absolutely not!

You’re munching on some trail mix, and your dog gives you those eyes. You think maybe your pup would enjoy the tartness of some raisins. But is it safe to share this treat with your dog?

According to Dr. Kelly Diehl, DVM, MS, Dipl. ACVIM (SAIM), veterinarian and the senior scientific programs and communications adviser at Morris Animal Foundation, you should keep your pup away from raisins at all costs, no matter how big their eyes may get while you’re eating them.

Are raisins good for dogs?

No! All raisins are dangerous pups and can lead to severe health conditions such as kidney failure. Simply put, raisins and dogs don’t get along.

“There’s clear evidence of an acute kidney injury when a dog eats raisins,” Dr. Diehl says. “It’s still up in the air, but tartaric acid may be the cause, like in playdough toxicity.”

Can dogs eat grapes?

There doesn’t seem to be evidence that grapes are better or worse than raisins when it comes to toxicity. Therefore, it’s best to not feed your dog  grapes, raisins and currants altogether.

“Different grape types and varieties vary in tartaric acid level,” Dr. Diehl explains. “It’s very variable, but both grapes and raisins are bad – stay away!”

RELATED: Can dogs eat grapes?

How many raisins can a dog eat?

Unfortunately, experts are unsure how many grapes are toxic to dogs, likely due to how hard it’s been to determine the exact substance that causes grapes and raisins to be harmful, Dr. Diehl says. Even one raisin can lead to severe health complications and even death. No amount has been proven to be safe.

There doesn’t seem to be a connection between breed, age or gender and susceptibility to raisin toxicity. Since it’s hard to determine the root cause of raisin toxicity, it’s unclear which dogs may be more susceptible and develop severe complications.

“Some dogs get really sick, and others don’t,” Dr. Diehl explains. “Even if you have a big dog, it’s best to keep them away.”

My dog ate raisins. What should I do?

If your dog eats raisins, contact your veterinarian or the Pet Poison Helpline (877-921-2416) for advice immediately or consider taking them to an emergency vet clinic. Depending on when your dog consumed the raisins and how many they may have eaten, they may advise you to induce vomiting or to take your dog to an emergency veterinarian. Do not induce vomiting in your dog without consulting a veterinarian, as it can be dangerous for your pup.

“The onset of symptoms can happen quickly,” Dr. Diehl says. “Within 1 to 3 days, there will be signs of kidney failure.”

Dogs who have eaten raisins may exhibit vomiting, lethargy, decreased appetite, abdominal pain and dehydration. If a dog’s negative reaction to raisins goes untreated, it can sometimes be fatal.

Responsible snacking

Although raisins are a great snack for humans, keeping them away from your dog is best. No matter how careful you are, accidents happen; it’s very easy to drop a raisin as you snack away. Consider trying a trail-mix brand that doesn’t include raisins and be diligent about grapes and raisins around the house or yard. Even birdseed contains raisins, so be sure to purchase a raisin-free variety.

We’re confident that raisins aren’t the only human food your dog would love to sink their teeth into (cue the drool). Although there are plenty of safe snacks, there are also plenty of toxic foods for dogs. Check out our series “Can dogs eat ... ?” to learn more about which human foods are off-limits and what’s fair game.

The Dig, Fetch's expert-backed editorial, answers all of the questions you forget to ask your vet or are too embarrassed to ask at the dog park. We help make sure you and your best friend have more good days, but we’re there on bad days, too.

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