Toxic Food for Dogs: Grapes, Raisins and Sultanas

With the holiday season fast approaching, Christmas tables will be full of delicious festive food, like Christmas cake, pudding and mince tarts. 

Together with chocolate, grapes, and it's by-products like raisins and sultanas, are toxic to dogs. As raisins and sultanas are a common ingredient in celebration cakes, puddings and tarts, they should be avoided by your dog. 

Effects of Grape, Raisin and Sultana toxicity

The exact cause of the toxicity isn't well known because the effects are often variable and can be challenging to pin down.

Whatever the reason, grapes and it's by-products are known to cause kidney failure in dogs. 

How does poisoning occur?

Poisoning is caused by your dog eating grapes themselves or as part of a cake or tart.

How many Grapes, Raisins, and Sultanas are poisonous?

Any amount eaten should be considered a problem as some kidney damage could occur. 

What are the signs of grape toxicity?

The signs of poisoning usually occur within 6hrs of eating. The early symptoms include:

  • vomiting
  • diarrhoea
  • stomach pain
  • decreased appetite
  • weakness
  • dehydration
  • thirst
  • tremor's, and
  • lethargy

These symptoms will get progressively worse over time. 

What can you do to avoid this?

  • Make sure any grapes, raisins or sultana and products associated with them are out of reach of your Spaniel.
  • Make sure your little people don't share they Christmas treats with their furry friend.
  • If you suspect that your dog has eaten grapes or grape by-products, get them to the nearest vet hospital immediately. This poisoning is treatable if caught early.

The holiday season and any celebration can be a busy time, the last thing you want is a sick Spaniel; being aware of dog toxic foods will help you avoid any problems.  

Of course, if you have any concerns about your pet's health, please contact your local vet. 

Food toxic to Spaniels


1. Interdiscip Toxicol. 2009 Sep; 2(3): 169–176.

Published online 2009 Sep 28. doi: 10.2478/v10102-009-0012-4

2. Merck Vet Manual

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