Dogs are known for their love of exploring new flavors and as pet owners, it’s only natural to wonder about sharing certain foods with our furry friends. One such common query is whether dogs can safely consume grape jelly. While jelly itself may seem harmless, it’s important to understand that grapes, and by their extension, grape products, can pose serious health risks to our canine companions. Whether they are fresh, dried or in the form of jelly, grapes have been shown to be toxic for dogs. It causes acute renal failure in susceptible puppies.
Will One Serving of Grape Jelly Hurt a Dog?
Consuming a single serving of grape jelly can be extremely toxic to some dogs. However, it is important to note that even grapes and raisins can be toxic to dogs and are known to cause kidney damage. In fact, it only takes 1–2 grapes to poison some 10-pound dogs. The exact mechanism behind this toxicity is not fully understood and sensitivity to grapes or raisins varies from dog to dog. While grapes are the most concerning ingredient for dogs, other ingredients in grape jelly can make your dog sick. Most jellies include grapes, syrup, sugar and pectin. The high sugar content of grape jelly can wreak havoc on a dog’s gastrointestinal tract. Excessive amounts of sugar can also cause stomach upset in dogs. Eating too much grape jelly may cause your dog to experience symptoms such as vomiting and diarrhea.
What Will Happen to a Dog That Eats Grape Jelly?
When dogs are sensitive to the toxins in grape jelly, their symptoms usually begin with vomiting and diarrhea within the first 24 hours. Many dogs get sick within the first 6–12 hours and may experience symptoms such as:
- Loss of appetite
- Abdominal pain
- Increased thirst
In some cases, ingestion of grapes or raisins can lead to kidney failure, which is a potentially life-threatening condition.
It’s worth noting again that the toxic effects of grapes and raisins can vary from dog to dog. Some dogs may be more sensitive to the toxins than others, and even a small amount can cause severe problems in certain cases. Therefore, it’s best to err on the side of caution and keep all grape products away from dogs to ensure their safety.
What If My Dog Ate a Lot of Grape Jelly but Is Acting Normal?
It may take 6–12 hours or more for symptoms to appear, but by then the kidneys may have suffered serious damage. Inform your vet about the situation, including the quantity of grape jelly your dog consumed. They will be able to provide specific advice based on your dog’s breed, size and health condition.
Keep a close eye on your dog for any unusual behavior or symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, decreased appetite, abdominal pain, weakness or changes in urination. These can be signs of grape toxicity, and if any symptoms occur, seek immediate veterinary assistance.
Why Is Grape Jelly Toxic to Some Dogs?
Studies have shown that potassium hydrogen tartrate for dogs and tartaric acid are two substances to which dogs show extreme sensitivity. Both are present in high concentrations in grapes.
Some grapes used in grape jelly may contain mycotoxins
Whatever the causative agent, we know it damages the epithelial cells in the kidney tubules. Due to kidney failure, the dog will stop drinking and producing urine. At this point, most dogs will not recover from the poisoning.
What You Should Do Immediately If You Suspect Your Dog Has Been Poisoned by Grape Jelly?
Use the following guidelines if you think your dog has eaten grape jelly:
Remove the source. If you see your dog consuming grape jelly or suspect that they have ingested it, try to remove any remaining jelly or grapes from their reach to prevent further consumption.
Contact your veterinarian. Reach out to your veterinarian or the nearest emergency veterinary clinic immediately. They can provide guidance over the phone and advise you on the next steps to take based on your dog’s condition. Make sure to provide them with all relevant information, including the quantity of grape jelly your dog may have ingested and any observed symptoms.
Observe and document symptoms. Keep a close eye on your dog’s behavior and note any unusual symptoms or changes. Symptoms of grape toxicity in dogs can include vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, abdominal pain, weakness, lethargy, increased thirst, increased urination and decreased urine production. The sooner you can communicate this information to the veterinarian, the better they can assess the situation.
Do not induce vomiting. While inducing vomiting may be recommended in some cases of poisoning, it is not advised for grape or raisin toxicity. Inducing vomiting without professional guidance can be dangerous.
How Will My Vet Treat Grape Jelly Poisoning?
Your veterinarian may use the following methods to treat your dog:
Induce vomiting. If your pet has recently ingested grape jelly and it’s within a short timeframe, the vet may induce vomiting to remove the toxic substance from their stomach. This is typically done using medications or by administering hydrogen peroxide.
Give activated charcoal. In some cases, activated charcoal may be administered to help absorb the toxins in the gastrointestinal tract and prevent further absorption into the body.
Provide fluid therapy. The vet may provide intravenous fluids to help flush out the system and maintain hydration if your pet has been experiencing vomiting or diarrhea as a result of the grape jelly poisoning.
Monitor and give supportive care. Your pet may be closely monitored for any signs of complications or organ damage. Supportive care, such as medications to control symptoms or protect organ function, may be provided as needed.
How Long Will It Take for My Dog to Recover From Grape Jelly Poisoning?
The recovery time for grape jelly poisoning will depend on several factors, including the amount ingested, size of the dog and how quickly treatment was initiated. Some dogs may show signs of recovery within 2–3 days, while others may require longer hospitalization and treatment.
Protecting Your Dog From Grape Poisoning
Now that you know how dangerous grape jelly can be, it’s best to take a few precautions to protect your pet. Fortunately, protecting your furry friend from grape poisoning isn’t difficult—make sure to keep grapes and grape jelly out of your pet’s reach.
While it’s important to steer clear of grape jelly and grapes, there are plenty of safe and dog-friendly alternatives to satisfy your pet’s sweet tooth.
Alternative Treats for Dogs
Dog-safe fruits. Opt for dog-friendly fruits like apples, bananas, blueberries or strawberries. Remember to remove any seeds or pits and introduce new fruits gradually to ensure your dog tolerates them well.
Commercially-prepared dog treats. Numerous dog-specific treats are available in pet stores, offering a wide range of flavors and textures while ensuring the safety of your pet.
While dogs may appear eager to sample everything we eat, it’s essential to prioritize their health and well-being. When it comes to grape jelly, err on the side of caution and avoid sharing it with your canine companion. The risks associated with grapes and grape products, including grape jelly, are too great to overlook. By opting for safe and vet-approved treats, you can ensure that your dog remains happy, healthy and free from any potential harm.