Grapes are a very healthy snack for we humans. Full of goodness and bursting with flavor.
They seem like a handy treat for a Labrador too. Perfectly packaged up into their own little natural bundle. But we all know that certain foods which might be just fine for us to eat aren’t necessarily the best thing for our Labradors.
In this article, I’m going to run through the important question of whether Labrador Retrievers can eat grapes.
I’ll look into what harm grapes and raisins can do to your Labrador and what signs to look out for to see if your Labrador has eaten grapes.
Labradors cannot eat grapes. Grapes are toxic to Labradors and can have a severe impact on their health, even if they only eat a small amount. In the worst cases, digestion for grapes can be fatal for Labradors.
Why are grapes dangerous for Labrador Retrievers
The short answer is that we don’t really know for sure.
Studies have not been conclusive about exactly what part of a grape causes harm to dogs.
What we do know is that any pesticides or fungi which might be on the grape have been ruled out as the cause, so it seems like it truly must be something within the grape that causes harm.
And the harm they cause can be very serious, even if only a small amount of grape has been digested by your Labrador. Let’s take a look at the potential impacts if your Labrador eats grapes.
The dangers of grapes for Labrador Retrievers
Eating grapes can have a range of very harmful impacts on your Labrador. Some are a reaction to the body itself trying to flush out the poison and in the worst cases, it can cause kidney failure which can be life-threatening within days.
Some of these issues will be visual and can help you identify whether your Labrador is unwell, even if you may not have realized they have eaten grapes.
Loss of appetite
This may be quite noticeable as most Labradors don’t lose their appetite easily!
The body will stimulate a reduction in appetite of the Labrador whilst it deals with the toxic grape in its digestive system.
Lethargy or weakness
This may present itself as an unusual lack of movement from the Labrador, unwilling to do its normal daily activity.
A reaction to the body trying to eject the toxic food from the digestive system. Your Labrador may start vomiting within a few hours of digesting grapes.
Similar to vomiting, your Labrador’s body will attempt to remove the toxic as quickly as possible and your Labrador may develop diarrhea within a few hours of digesting grapes.
This is much more difficult to spot but you may notice signs of discomfort in your Labrador and they may withdraw from your hand if you touch their abdomen (belly).
Enhanced by vomiting and diarrhea your Labrador may begin to suffer from dehydration.
Signs will be a dry nose and mouth and increased panting. Increased panting from an inactive and stationary Labrador would be quite an easy to spot indicator of dehydration.
Naturally, with dehydration, the Labrador’s thirst may increase and you may notice them drinking excessive amounts of water.
The worst eventuality for grapes for Labradors is sudden renal failure. This is where the kidney becomes unable to filter waste products from the blood.
This can be fatal within days and even if treated can have a lasting negative impact on a Labrador’s health.
So it is very important that if you know, or suspect your Labrador has eaten grapes, you should take them to a vet immediately.
Can my Labrador Retriever eat raisins
Labradors cannot eat raisins.
Raisins are just a dehydrated grape and so they potentially still contain the harmful substance which makes grapes so toxic to Labradors.
Some even believe that because raisins are more concentrated, the impact of the toxicity is even worse, this could also be because a far greater quantity of raisins can be eaten more quickly than the same quantity of grapes.
Can my Labrador Retriever drink grape juice
Labradors cannot drink grape juice.
As we don’t know exactly what it is in grapes that is toxic to Labrador’s you should avoid giving them any type of grape related food or drink.
Grape juice could have the same toxic impacts as grapes and raisins themselves.
Can grapes kill Labrador Retrievers
Both grapes and raisins are toxic to Labradors and digestion of them can be fatal if left untreated.
If your Labrador has just eaten a grape or two then they will probably be fine, but if you find they have munched down a whole bunch of grapes you should take them to a vet.
What should I do if my Labrador Retriever has eaten grapes
If your Labrador has eaten a large amount of either grapes or raisins then you should consult with your vet immediately.
Symptoms can begin to develop in just a few hours so it is important to make your vet aware as soon as possible.
Your vet may decide to induce vomiting for the Labrador. If that is the case then you should be sure to supply them with plenty of water after their visit as they will be particularly dehydrated.
How do I know if my Labrador Retriever ate grapes
If you haven’t seen them eat the grapes or raisins then, of course, it can be hard to know.
Many of the symptoms I have described above are very visual and although they aren’t exclusive only to poisoning from grapes, if your Labrador is displaying those symptoms they are probably suffering from something.
Therefore, if you see those symptoms in your Labrador and have concerns about their health you should consult with your vet immediately, even if you are not entirely sure they have eaten grapes or raisins.
What should I feed my Labrador Retriever instead of grapes
You can’t feed them grapes but you just might want to give them a similar treat (without the toxic side effects!).
One option would be blueberries, which are perfectly fine for Labradors to eat in moderation.
They also come in the similar useful natural hard-skinned form as grapes which lets you carry them in your pocket and only give your Labrador small amounts at once.
I’ve written an article on blueberries here. If you’re planning to feed your Labrador them I would recommend reading it as there is a limit to how many they should have.