There are some foods that humans love to eat, but they can be toxic to your pets. One such food item is grape jelly.
Grape jelly is one of the most likable additions to your meal, especially to your breakfast toast, and sometimes you might feel like sharing the grape jelly with your dogs, but do you know it can be dangerous?
The combination of dogs and grapes does not go together; grapes can damage a dog’s health, and any by-product of grapes or any ingredient with grapes present in it can be toxic for dogs.
In severe cases, dogs who ingest grapes show unhealthy signs of toxicity, like vomiting, diarrhea, and even kidney failure. So, when you feel like giving your dog a treat that comprises grape jelly, refrain and put it away.
In this article, we will discuss in detail the potential risks of grape jelly consumption in dogs, what it is in grapes that makes them toxic for dogs, and the treatment of grape toxicity.
Let us start the journey by understanding what is in grape jelly that causes so much trouble for dogs.
Table of Content
What’s in Grape Jelly?
As the name suggests, grape jelly is purely made up of grapes. It is generally made as a sweetened jelly, which is used in toasts, cakes, pastries, and many other dishes.
It is a sweet preserved jelly, more like a jam, which can also be homemade. Grape jelly is generally made by boiling the grapes and then mashing them.
When they are purely mashed, the next process is to strain them, and then a lot of sugar is added to the jelly.
Pectin is also used in grape jelly. Pectin helps to thicken the grape jelly, and there is also a no-sugar pectin that can be used to lower the sugar content in the jelly, but remind you grape jelly is only for human ingestion and not for pets.
Why Grape Jelly is Bad for Dogs?
Grape jelly is purely made up of grapes, and grapes are known to carry substances that cause toxicity in dogs. The basic harmful substance in grape jelly is sugar; too much sugar is harmful to both humans and animals.
Grape jelly contains a high amount of processed sugar, which can cause diabetes, obesity, and other health issues that can cause major health conditions in the future.
Other substances and ingredients that trigger toxicity in dogs are still not discovered, but it is said that grapes overall are bad for dogs’ health, and any by-product of grapes, like grape jelly or grape juice, has the same adverse effect on dogs as eating a grape.
Grape consumption can even lead to kidney failures, and it is advised to keep them away from the dog’s reach.
Potentially Harmful Ingredients in Jellies and Jams
Any person who has the slightest idea about diets and animal care will know that jellies and jams are harmful to dogs and at no time should be made accessible to dogs.
There are harmful ingredients in jellies and jams which can cause severe health issues in dogs. They are:
- Fruits: Jelly is made up of fruits of almost any kind, and fruit flavors like grapes, cherries, lemons, or plums should be avoided as they are harmful and toxic to dogs.
- Sugar: The one ingredient that affects both humans and animals is sugar. Jelly has one of the highest sugar content in terms of overall percentage in foods. Sugar adds to the flavor and enhances the taste.
Sugar does not provide many benefits to the body; in fact, it causes diabetes in humans and dogs very quickly. It also causes obesity in dogs, which can lead to other severe health issues.
- Acid: Another harmful ingredient in jelly or jams is acid. Generally, it is through lemon or lime, which helps in forming jellies. These acids are very dangerous to a dog’s digestive system.
Acids will cause upset stomachs in dogs, along with vomiting and weakness. It can also cause diarrhea if consumed in large amounts.
- Pectin: It is one of the most troublesome ingredients in a jelly. It is used to provide the thickness in a jelly or a jam. In humans, pectin can cause stomach cramps, diarrhea, and many other digestive problems if consumed naturally unaided.
Similar consequences are seen in dogs of pectin, and it is best to keep them away from a dog’s reach.
7 Safety Steps to take if Your Dog Ingests Grape Jelly
When your dog has consumed grape jelly, it is an emergency, and by following some steps, you can ensure the safety of your dog.
- The first thing you should do is remain calm your dog will panic seeing you panic. Hence, you should remain composed.
- Then, evaluate the type of jelly your dog has consumed if it’s a fruit jelly that is nontoxic to dogs, then keep an eye on your dog for any abnormalities
- If your dog has ingested grape jelly, look out for any discomfort and contact your veterinarian immediately
- If there is no discomfort shown by your dog after they have consumed the grape jelly, wait for a couple of days and check for the poop to know whether the body has excreted the jelly or it is still in the system
- If you have witnessed the ingestion of grape jelly, let the vet know the quantity of the grape jelly ingested by your dog
- Collect a sample of the jelly ingested by your dog to give it to the vet for examination, which will ease the diagnosis and treatment process
- If you see signs of grape poisoning, then provide your dog with fresh water and calm your dog down. Do not induce vomiting without a vet’s consultation. Visit a veterinarian and seek immediate medical help
What is Grape Poisoning?
There is no conclusive evidence of what actually causes grape poisoning in dogs, but it definitely causes disturbances in a dog’s system.
There are some substances in grapes that are almost indigestible, and grapes can often cause choking in dogs. These threats are enough to keep grapes away from dogs.
There is a substance called tannins in grapes, which somewhat hinders iron absorption in the body and then affects the kidney as it does not get enough iron to work properly. This causes kidney failures in severe cases and can be fatal at times. Grapes in any form are not for dogs.
Symptoms of Grape Poisoning in Dogs
There are a few symptoms of grape poisoning in dogs, which, if ignored and not treated, can cause severe damage to a dog’s health.
Below are some common symptoms of grape poisoning in dogs.
- Vomiting: Your dog may start vomiting, and the throw-ups may contain grape or raisins after grape ingestion.
- Diarrhea: One sign of grape poisoning is diarrhea or loose stools.
- Lethargy: The grape consumption will cause a sudden change in your dog’s behavior and will make your dog lazy and lethargic.
- Lack of Hunger: Your dog will skip meals due to the congestion in its digestive system, which will eventually lead to loss of appetite and weakness.
- Excessive Thirst: After eating grapes, your dog will feel thirsty; keep fresh water available at all times.
Grapes in any form, be it juice, a mere jelly, or just raw fruit, are poisonous to dogs, and grape ingestion asks for immediate medical help.
Treatment of Grape Poisoning in Dogs
The first thing you should do if your dog suffers from grape poisoning is contact a veterinarian and ask for instructions. It may be possible that the veterinarian will tell you to induce vomiting, and only on a vet’s instruction should you induce vomiting.
Inducing vomiting in the first 24 hours after poisoning will stop any further soaking of the poison and clear the stomach of any remaining poison.
Or a vet will induce vomiting itself or try other means like gastric lavage under anesthesias to prevent any absorption of harmful substances.
A vet may administer intravenous fluids to strengthen the dog’s digestive system and to provide some strength after the weakness caused by the poisoning. This will also increase the load on the urinary system, which will start working and help in excreting the poisonous substances.
It will also help in the proper functioning of the kidney, as other medications may be prescribed to dogs by the vet, which will help stimulate the kidneys. Urine production is essential in grape poisoning, or it may result in kidney failure.
Yes, dogs can eat other types of jellies besides grape jelly, but those jellies should also be nontoxic.
No, there is no safe amount of grapes or grape products for dogs to consume. Any amount, be it small or large or in any form or shape, can cause severe health issues in dogs and should be avoided at all costs.
Tomatoes, cherries, raisins, and avocados are some fruits that are very harmful to dogs and should be avoided from feeding them.
Grape in any form can be fatal to dogs be it in any form. Grapes, jelly, sugar, and other toxic substances can be harmful to dogs and cause diseases like diabetes and kidney failure.
Take this article as a guide to understanding grape jelly toxicity in dogs, ways to treat them, and what you should do if you come across a situation like this.
Dr. Lillian is a D.V.M. passionate about promoting awareness of dogs. She shares her expertise through her blogs on canineweekly.com and provides animal care services, including internal medicine, dermatology, and emergency care. Dr. Lillian is committed to contributing to animal welfare.