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Why You Should Never Feed Your Dog Grapes or Raisins

Woman picking grapes in a vineyard with a dog.
Ramon Alberich/Shutterstock.com

We all know the old (and true) adage to never give chocolate to dogs. But there are plenty of other human foods and drinks you shouldn’t feed them either—and grapes and raisins are at the top of the list.

But why exactly are these fruits so bad for dogs?

Grapes (and raisins by extension, since they’re dried grapes) naturally possess an organic acid called tartaric acid. This acid is present in many other fruits, including bananas and tamarinds.

In moderation, tartaric acid is beneficial to humans as it helps improve digestion. Dogs are another story. As it turns out, tartaric acid can lead to a whole mess of problems in dogs—vomiting, diarrhea, excessive thirst, kidney damage, or even outright kidney failure. Vets have long seen these symptoms and issues in many pups after they ate grapes or raisins. But it wasn’t until quite recently that tartaric acid was identified as the culprit.

Cadet Gourmet Duck Jerky Treats for Dogs

Stick to premium dog snacks like these when you want to give your pup a special tasty treat.

Though you should mainly stick to giving your dog actual dog food rather than feeding them from the table, this doesn’t mean that all human foods—or all fruits—are harmful to your canine companion. In fact, there may even be some fruit that is good for dogs.

But since even a single grape or raisin can lead to kidney failure in dogs, you should never, ever, ever feed them to your own pooch. It’s not worth the risk.

Meghan Herlihy Meghan Herlihy
Meghan Herlihy is a full-time writer for LifeSavvy and How-To Geek and has written across a wide variety of topics, genres, and formats, including radio talk shows, local sports journalism, and creative original fiction. She received her bachelor's degree in communications from Ithaca College and a master's in writing from Johns Hopkins University. When she's not writing, you're most likely to find her reading a book, petting every dog within eyesight, and indulging in her love of travel. Read Full Bio »
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