Grapes For People, Not Pups!

 

Mollie, my sweet 10-year old Golden Retriever

Grapes are a healthy, easy snack for adults and a favorite finger food of toddlers. They are a rich source of cancer fighting phytochemicals, such as resveratrol, ellagic acid, and quercetin. In addition to these anti-oxidents, one-half cup of grapes have about one gram of fiber, and only 60 calories.  As a dietitian, I am eager to recommend such a fruit to my patients.  However, as a dog owner, I wish to share a story and a word of caution about how dangerous this fruit can be for our four-legged dog friends.

My story

Recently, my family gathered together for a Sunday dinner. My beautiful one-year old granddaughter was “eating” grapes, but really just sucking the juice out of them and throwing the rest to the floor. Our family dog, Mollie, came over to help “clean up”  the scattered food on the floor.

My family did not know grapes are poisonous to dogs.  As I saw what was happening, I yelled out a warning that “Dogs can’t eat grapes!”  My family, aghast, was thinking perhaps I was mistaken or overreacting. They proceeded to verify the dangers of grapes for dogs online. They went online, but I immediately called the animal hospital. After very little discussion, the vet’s office decided it was best to bring our dog Mollie in. Vomited was induced. Ultimately, we found that Mollie hadn’t actually consumed any grapes, but had she, she might have suffered kidney damage or death. The harm from eating grapes to a dog comes within a short time-span. Those grapes can hurt the kidneys in as little as six hours, unless the necessary precautions are taken.

Lesson learned

Pay attention to what is on the floor when your pets are with you, especially if there are young children around!  And, be aware that the Animal Poison Control Center of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals also sounds an alarm for the following foods which are toxic to dogs: raisins, chocolate, avocados, onions, garlic, coffee, tea leaves, Macadamia nuts, raw yeast dough, salt, alcohol, and artificially sweetened foods. Our pets are counting on us to keep them safe, so I hope my sharing this experience will help keep other pets safe as well.

For more information on preventing pet poisoning click here.

Does anyone else have a story to share about keeping their 4-legged friend safe from poisonous substances?

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