Most people are aware that chocolate can be toxic to dogs. What many don’t know, however, is that raisins can also be toxic to dogs. I found this out the hard way when my dog Leroy decided to get into a bag of chocolate raisins in the backseat of my car while my wife and I were on our way to our cabin for the weekend.
We were talking and laughing in the front seat, unaware of what our dog was doing in the backseat (he was eating, but we thought he was eating a bag of dog treats we had left for him). Suddenly, my wife, who was in the passenger seat, turned to me and gasped. She grabbed at the bag Leroy was sticking his nose into and showed it to me — chocolate-covered raisins.
I’ll note right away that Jack was fine in the end. We took him to the vet, and they gave him something to vomit just in case what he had eaten had been toxic. It was unpleasant for about half a day, and we all rested up a bit the next morning. But by the second evening, our little ball of fur was running around as usual.
This was a good story related to dogs eating chocolate-covered raisins. However, our vet did tell us about a small dog she had once seen who had not fared so well because he had done the same thing — eaten chocolate-covered raisins — and his owner had waited too long to do something about it.
For this reason, I wanted to raise this subject and explain to dog owners what they should know about dogs and the consumption of chocolate-covered raisins.
Can dogs eat chocolate-covered raisins?
They shouldn’t, no.
Why shouldn’t dogs eat chocolate-covered raisins?
There are two reasons, actually: chocolate and raisins.
First, chocolate is toxic to dogs. This is because it contains theobromine and caffeine. Both of these chemicals are heart stimulants, and dogs cannot metabolize them the way we humans can. Consuming too much of these ingredients can throw off a dog’s system enough to actually harm him. In most cases, however, it’s important to note that dogs simply get very ill if they eat too much chocolate. Still, not a good idea.
The second reason that chocolate-covered raisins are not a good idea for dogs is that raisins are actually toxic to dogs too. Of course, we all know that raisins are actually grapes, and it’s really the grapes that are toxic. That’s the real trouble.
Grapes and raisins don’t always harm dogs, but they can. Mostly, the potential problem is the shutting down of the kidneys. Surprisingly, just one raisin or one grape can be fatal to a dog.
What happens if my dog eats chocolate-covered raisins?
If your dog has already eaten chocolate-covered raisins, it’s important to induce vomiting. It’s best to take your dog to the vet immediately in order to do this. If you can’t manage to do this because of timing or your location, you can still induce vomiting at home on your own. Of course, it’s always a good idea to speak to your vet concerning exactly how they recommend you go about doing this as there are several different ways.
How to induce vomiting in a dog.
Generally speaking, in order to induce vomiting in a dog, you want to use hydrogen peroxide. Choose the 3% solution.
As long as your dog has not already developed any significant symptoms such as being severely lethargic, vomiting already, having difficulty breathing or swallowing, going into hyperactivity, etc., you should be able to administer the hydrogen peroxide, then wait approximately 30 minutes to an hour for your dog to vomit. In some cases, the vomiting will last for quite a while — up to 45 minutes. So, it’s important to be in a place (outside) where they’ll be able to do this safely.
You should give your dog the 3% hydrogen peroxide solution in the following way:
Take your dog’s overall weight and divide it by five. Let’s say your dog weighs 40 pounds. 40 divided by five is eight. Give your dog eight teaspoons of the hydrogen peroxide. Keep in mind that there is a maximum dose of approximately three tablespoons of hydrogen peroxide for those dogs that are over 45 pounds.
How many raisins are toxic to dogs?
Even one raisin can be toxic to dogs. If you know that your dog has eaten one raisin (or one grape), you should call your vet right away or begin to induce vomiting.
How long after eating raisins will a dog get sick?
As stated, you don’t want to wait until your dog has developed symptoms from raisin or grape consumption to get help. If you know that your dog has eaten a raisin or grape, take action right away. On the other hand, it’s also important to know the duration of time that usually passes between consuming grapes or raisins and experiencing symptoms. In general, for dogs, symptoms of raisin or grape toxicity will show up about six to 12 hours after the initial consumption.
When could kidney failure occur?
If a dog has been affected by raisin or grape toxicity, their kidneys may begin to fail within 24 to 72 hours after their initial exposure to these foods.
Will my dog be OK if he ate one raisin?
Not necessarily. I don’t say this to scare you. I say it to protect your dog.
If your dog has eaten just one raisin or one grape, you need to take action. Call your veterinarian, or if you’re not at home, call a local veterinarian’s office. If they are not in the office, they will usually have an emergency phone line that you can dial outside of typical business hours.
The veterinarian you speak with will be able to tell you how to induce vomiting. It is highly unlikely that a veterinarian will simply let it go and say that your dog will probably be fine because toxicity from raisins and grapes can happen after even the tiniest amount of these foods is consumed.