Dogs are most commonly preferred as pets. The owners of dogs prefer to call them canines as a gesture of sophistication. What to feed dogs is a matter of great concern for the people who have pet dogs at home. The only question in life that actually matters to dogs is “What’s there for food?”
People who have dogs as pets feel very satisfied to see their dogs tucking into their food while wagging their tails. The feeding time of dogs is actually filled with moments of excitement and anticipation in the house. Cooking for your pet is easy, satisfying and a great way to build a rapport. It is extremely rewarding to see your dog have a hearty meal that is nourishing and tasty. However, there are times when your dog goes off his or her food.
Dogs sometimes can be really tough to handle and they may ingest unhealthy food items that may prove fatal or extremely debilitating for them. There are many such food items out of which one is grapes. The clear cut answer to the question can your dog eat grapes is a very big “No”. Grapes can prove to be immensely hazardous to dogs and it should be avoided in all circumstances. To this day, no other animal species are known to be sensitive to grapes or raisins except dogs.
Can Dogs Eat Grapes? & How Are Grapes Poisonous To Dogs?
Condensed tannins in grapes prove to be extremely harmful to the dogs. It is considered to be a possibility that ochratoxin, flavonoids, polyphenolics, and monosaccharides are toxic to the dogs. There is significant difference in the vulnerability of dogs to grapes noxiousness. The quantity of grapes taken was 12 to 31 gram per kilogram body weight in a controversial series of grape toxicity. The poisonous dose of raisins is 0.1 oz per kilogram of physical weight.
According to a study, four to five grapes proved to be toxic to a dog that weighed 8.2 kilograms. It is quite natural that toxicity gets more intense with the increasing amounts of grapes ingested. However, it was also documented that some animals were asymptomatic even after they had taken 1 kilogram of raisins. The mechanism of toxicity is believed to be some nephrotoxic substance or idiosyncratic reaction that leads to hypovolemic shock and kidney disorder.
First instances of grapes toxicity
It was in the year 2003 that Animal Poison Control Center recognized the case of grapes toxicity. This organization is handled by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Starting from April 2003, more than 100 subjects were examined by APCC in that year. Out of those cases, 50 showed the symptoms of grapes poisoning. It proved to be fatal for seven dogs.
Evaluation of risk
Dogs might have been fed with these fruits by mistake by a family member.. Such dogs are considered to be at risk of grapes toxicity. The toxic dose is absolutely minute. It is in the range of 0.03 to 0.13 ounces per pound of body weight of grapes and 0.15 to 0.43 ounces per pound of body weight for raisins.
Clinical signs and features of toxicity with grapes
The initial presenting sign in dogs is emesis in a day after consumption of the fruits. It usually appears that the ingested fruits have been discarded through the vomit. This, however, is not the case. Vomiting ensues for several hours and the dog gets dehydrated and weak. As a result, it may even get unconscious and die.
You may find the stool or vomitus filled with chunks of grapes or raisins that are partially digested. Dogs appear dull with oliguria or anuria associated with isothenuria sometimes. Azotemia may also be noticed in a number of cases. This is generally because of delay in recognition of the condition and subsequent delayed referral to a veterinary doctor. When the renal failure becomes severe, it leads to serious abnormalities in the metabolism and anuria that can lead to euthanasia as a result of poor response to the treatment. It can also lead to loss of appetite, lethargy, unusual calmness in the dog and abdominal pain. Finally, when the condition remains untreated and continues to deteriorate, it can lead to death.
Laboratory findings include increase in blood urea nitrogen (BUN) and creatinine along with rise in the levels of phosphorous and calcium in the blood within 2 days of ingesting the fruits mentioned. When the kidney is biopsied, it frequently shows evidence of necrosis in the tubules of the kidney which is a serious finding that is not limited to just one area. Moreover, it can also show a collection of enigmatic pigment of golden-brown color inside the epithelial cells of the kidney.
The diagnosis is usually confirmed with the help of positive history of exposure, clinical signs, and histopathologic findings. Mineral analysis of two kidneys collected from a poisoned dog indicated a slightly higher calcium to phosphorous ratio of 0.12 and 0.29 where normal is less than 0.1.
Prevention is the primary key to this condition. Sometimes, despite all the necessary vigilance and preventive measures, dogs may consume grapes or raisins. If you see a dog eat grapes or raisins, you can induce vomiting with the help of hydrogen peroxide, a concentrated salt solution, or ipecac syrup. If ipecac is used, administrate 0.5 to 1 cc per pound of body weight up to a maximum of 15 cc. A heavy concentrated salt solution can be prepared immediately by heating water and adding ample salt to it. Once the salt dissolves, use the solution prepared to induce vomiting. As another option, you can even administer activated charcoal orally.
Call a poison control center or your veterinary doctor as early as possible. Dogs should be treated with appropriate therapy that helps in maintaining renal function. The bottom line remains that dogs with grapes poisoning should be managed very aggressively. Prompt decontamination of the gastrointestinal system through induced vomit and lavage is strongly advisable. The Vitis fruit remains in the gut for some time and that is why emesis should be continued for 120 minutes.
It is inevitable to cautiously monitor the central venous pressure and urine output so that there is no overload of fluids. Other treatments include furosemide, dopamine, mannitol, H2– antagonists and hemodialysis or dialysis of the peritoneum.
If the dogs show ataxia, weakness and renal failure, the prognosis is poor. If these conditions are successfully overcome, it can bring the animals out of danger.
What food items should be avoided in dogs?
Dogs have a short life span and it becomes even shorter if it ingests something that his body cannot endure. Its death can sadden you to the core. To make sure that your dog does not have an untimely death, make sure he keeps away from grapes or raisins. Apart from grapes, alcohol has a very hazardous effect on dogs. It can make him extremely sick.
- Artificial sweeteners can prove to be instantly fatal to dogs. Sometimes, we add artificial sweeteners to our cereal or other food items. Make sure that the leftovers of those food stuffs are not fed to your dog.
- Some food items like Avocado that are considered very healthy for human beings contain a chemical that can harm the liver, heart and lungs of dogs.
- Chocolates contain theobromide which is immensely toxic to dogs. Even 2 oz of chocolate can push your dog into a slow and painful death. If you have a doubt that your dog has ingested chocolate, immediately take him or her to the vet and administrate the suitable antidote for treatment.
- Grease-laden dry pellets or chunk-and-jelly that are generally sold in shops should not be fed to dogs.
- Caffeine proves to be very dangerous for dogs as it can lead to seizures in them. For this reason, coffee should be strictly avoided in them. Espresso beans that are covered with chocolate are specifically toxic for dogs.
- Onions can lead to anemia in dogs and it is best to avoid them to make sure no inadvertent circumstances ensue.
What Is Healthy Food For The Dog?
You can make sure that your dog lives a healthy and active life by keeping in mind some simple points. You should trust your instincts while buying food for your dogs. If it smells awful and contains doubtful ingredients, do not buy it at any cost. Cheap dog food is not cheap without a reason. The only way that makes it so cheap is the usage of restaurant oils, tomato skins, twigs and pips from grapes and other horrifying stuff. Such low-grade ingredients that are totally a waste should definitely not be given to your dogs. They deserve a lot better than that.
Fruits like apples, plums, peaches and cherries can be given to dogs but make sure that you remove stones and pips from these fruits before feeding them to your dog.
Healthy dog food is the best idea to ensure a disease-free life for your canine. If you have a puppy, make sure you feed it several times in a day because they have small tummies. They need lots of nutrition too. As a normal practice, pups that are four months old should be given food four times a day. After that, they should be fed three times a day till they are 180 days old. Once they cross the age of six months, they can be fed twice a day just like an adult dog. Puppies show be allowed to grow at the right rate according to their breed, neither too fast and nor too slow.
You can consider cooking for your dog. It takes some more time than tearing open the package or opening a tin but it is surely healthier for your dog. The food can be prepared in batches and then refrigerated.
If you have made up your mind to cook for your dog on a regular basis, make sure that you include carbohydrates, proteins and fats in the food and give him a balanced diet. Complete dog food should contain all these components and vitamins, amino acids as well as minerals like calcium. They are very important for the growth and development of dogs. If the dog is given dry food and same brand of dog biscuits, he or she would stay alive but not in peak health. Good muscles and healthy tissue growth can be ensured through a regular supply of animal proteins found in meat, fish, poultry, eggs, and some dairy products. They are even easy for the dog to digest. Plant sources also have proteins but they are more difficult to digest. They do not contain the entire range of amino acids that are required by the dogs. However, if you insist on giving your dog vegetarian food items, you can include beans, peas and lentils so that the protein requirement of the dog is met.
Bones of dogs can grow stronger and healthier by adding raw meaty bones or fresh bone meal. Fatty meat proves to be quite healthy for dogs. Lean meat fails to give the key vitamins to the dogs. Include organ meat also in the diet so that critical nutrients are also available to the dog that cannot be found in muscle meat. Liver and kidneys are the ultimate source of vitamin A and minerals. Variety is the key in giving a balanced diet to your dog.
You can include chicken, turkey, beef and lamb too in the recipes given to your dog. If your dog is recovering from an illness, bland white meat such as chicken is the best choice. It is easily digestible for convalescent dogs. Weigh your dog every month or so and give him or her necessary calories that it needs. If your dog gains weight or loses weight, feed accordingly. Ask your veterinary doctor regarding his opinion on the weight that your dog should maintain.
We should remember that our dogs trust us and rely on us for their food and nourishment. They depend on us for their survival. Keeping this in mind, we should feed our dogs the best that exists for him or her.