Grape leaves are not toxic to dogs, even when raw.
We all love our furry friends, but some people just can’t hang with their high-maintenance needs. One prime example is homemade dog food. It’s always best to consult your vet before switching over any of your pet’s food to a homemade diet, especially if you’re planning on using fruits and vegetables as the bulk of the meal plan.
Now it should be noted that there’s no real reason for healthy human foods to be harmful or toxic to an animal – so long as we keep in mind the differences in anatomy and physiology when we’re picking out which foods to feed them. However, some plants seem completely innocuous for us which can be harmful or even deadly for our pets!
Let’s take a look at grape leaves in particular: this large leaf from the grapevine is often used as a wrap to hold anything from lamb, rice, and veggies to nuts and cheese. While I have never seen grape leaves on sale here in Canada, they must be available somewhere because people were certainly talking about whether or not it was a good idea to give them to their dogs…
First of all – none of the symptoms mentioned by those asking if these leaves were toxic appeared in any clinical study or report I could find. However, that doesn’t mean grape leaves are completely harmless to dogs.
For one thing, grape leaves contain a chemical compound called psoralens which can cause photosensitivity in animals. This substance is also found in bergamot oranges and limes, common ingredients in tea that are served with meals here in Asia. It appears that dogs specifically are susceptible to this condition when exposed to these substances; I haven’t been able to find anything linking grapes or grape leaves directly with this problem, but it only makes sense that an animal who has trouble making use of sunlight could end up very sick if they eat something that makes their skin hypersensitive to the sun!
And it turns out there’s another reason why people were warning each other against feeding grape leaves to dogs: the Greek army included grape leaves in their standard rations during training exercises because they’re so rich in antioxidants, omega 3 fatty acids, and vitamins A, C & K. They also contain more calcium than yogurt or milk!
As for whether or not they could be toxic to your dog even if you didn’t let them soak up too much sunlight… I couldn’t find anything by way of medical research on the subject (although this article does mention that grape leaves can cause vomiting, abdominal pain, and diarrhea) but I certainly wouldn’t take the chance. Cover the food inside those grape leaves with something thicker like cheese or another protein instead! And maybe keep them out of direct light until after mealtime is over just to play it safe.
Are grape leaves poisonous?
Grape leaves are not poisonous to dogs, after all, they do make omega3 fatty acids and antioxidants. As with any human food you should use common sense when feeding your dog grape leaves (or anything else for that matter).
If they’re eating the whole leaf consider it like eating a piece of lettuce; too much is not good for them but it’s not poisonous. Wrapping food in grape leaves is a common practice in some regions but has nothing to do with whether or not the leaves are poisonous. As always talk to your vet if you have questions about making sure your dog gets proper nutrition.
Are grapevines poisonous to dogs?
On grapevines, grapevines are not poisonous to dogs. The leaves of the grapevine contain psoralen which is what causes skin sensitivity in some pets. So feel free to enjoy a freshly picked grape but just make sure your pup won’t get at it while you’re away!
How soon will a dog show signs of grape poisoning?
It depends on how much they ate. If your dog eats 1 grape, it might take a few hours for signs to develop. If they eat several grapes or an entire bunch, symptoms can be seen more quickly-severe vomiting and abdominal pain within 2-3 hours, followed by lethargy and diarrhea.
Which part of the grape is toxic to dogs?
All parts of a grape can cause problems, including the leaves which can cause photosensitivity in dogs. The seeds are especially dangerous – once ingested, they can obstruct the small intestine. Ingestion of a whole bunch or entire bag of grapes can be fatal due to the rapid onset of symptoms such as shock and acute kidney failure.