Grapes could be one of the scariest toxins for dogs because of the perceived ‘health’ of offering fruit as a treat. While grapes, raisins, and the related Zante currant are perfectly healthy snacks for us humans, they can be kidney-destroying, and therefore life-threatening, to some dogs.
At this point, we don’t know exactly what makes these foods toxic, and we don’t know exactly the number of grapes, raisins, or currants that must be eaten before a dog shows signs of toxicity. Also, it appears that not all dogs are susceptible to this toxicity, and there are currently no ways to predict which dogs are, and which aren’t. What we do know is that, in susceptible dogs, the ingestion of these common ‘people snacks’ can cause acute kidney failure. Kidney failure is an expensive condition to treat, and can cause long-term consequences – even death. So, while we in the veterinary world may not yet know everything there is to know about grape, raisin, and currant toxicity in dogs, we do know enough to strongly recommend that people never knowingly feed grapes, raisins, or currants to their dogs and that they take all reasonable and necessary steps to prevent their dog’s accidental exposure to them as well.