My roommate and I have always prided ourselves on taking excellent care of our Border Terrier, “Sparky”. He gets good quality food and only healthy treats. One of the health treats Sparky especially loves are raisins. Recently a friend of ours told us that she had heard raisins are poisonous in dogs. How can this be true when we’ve been feeding Sparky these for months?
In 1999, the ASPCA’s Poison Control Center noticed a correlation between dogs that have eaten grapes or raisins and had developed kidney failure. Typically, the affected animals vomited within a few hours of eating the grapes or raisins, lost all appetite, developed diarrhea, and became progressively depressed and listless. Within a few hours to a few days, signs of kidney damage and failure began to appear on blood tests. If the kidney failure continued to progress, the animal died. The exact cause of the kidney failure from raisins and grapes is still not known.
There is also a lot of variation in how well a particular dog tolerates raisins or grapes. It may be that Sparky is a little more resistant to these toxic effects or you’ve been giving the raisins sparingly. Either way, the better thing to do is to find a healthy, canine-food-product type treat to replace the raisins. Ask your veterinarian for some tips for healthy dog treats.