Grapes and Dogs: Keep the Grapes Out of the Dog Bowl

My Diet Matters
grapes and dogs

Grapes are a healthy and easy snack for adults. And for toddlers, they are a great finger food. They are a rich source of cancer fighting phytochemicals. One-half cup of grapes have about one gram of fiber and only 60 calories. As a dietitian, I am eager to recommend grapes to my patients as part of a healthy eating plan. But, grapes for dogs is another story. This fruit has to stay in the fruit bowl for humans and far away from our furry friends. 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 about grapes and dogs

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. After she sucked the juice out of the grapes, she pitched them on the floor. With all the dinner chaos, most of us hadn’t noticed that the grapes were ending up on 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. Being the animal lover I was, I knew better.  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. As they went online, I immediately called the animal hospital. After very little discussion, the vet’s office decided it was best to bring our dog Mollie in. Vomiting was induced. Ultimately, we found that Mollie hadn’t actually eaten 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.

A family learned a lesson on grapes and dogs

Pay attention to what’s on the floor when your pets are with you, especially if there are young children around!  Let’s face it, kids love to throw food on the floor. So, until they stop, you will always need to keep on eye on the floor while your dog is around. And, be aware, that the ASPCA Poison Control Center 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
  • artificially sweetened foods

Keeping pets safe all year round

According to, the holidays are one of the busiest times of the year for vets. In addition to potentially dog toxic human foods and treats, holiday decorations and pretty holiday plants can be potential health traps for our fur babies. If looking for a way to keep your canine safe with special treats, offers up the following as safe treats:

  • green beans
  • sweet potatoes
  • cranberries
  • turkey
  • and lots of human attention!

Take away

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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Sue Rose, MS, RD, LDN

Sue Rose helps readers sort through the maze of nutrition information available to the public. As a seasoned clinical dietitian/nutritionist with decades of experience, her blogs attempt to educate and inform the public at a time when there is so much information it is often overwhelming to understand. Stay tuned for clarity on a variety of topics!


Use this information at your own risk. Although I am a licensed IL dietitian/nutritionist, I am not your dietitian. The information in my blog Chew on This located at is for educational and informational purposes only. It is also my own opinion and subject to change in the future. Please consult with your own medical professionals for individual treatment.