How Many Raisins Can Dogs Eat?

Raisins are aged grapes, and like grapes, can be extremely toxic to dogs. However, no one truly knows what raisins contain that makes them so lethal to dogs. Neither does someone know exactly how many raisins can dogs eat? People can speculate only, but one thing is clear. You should never intentionally feed your dog a raisin. Nonetheless, dogs are curious creatures, and they can nibble on anything they find while you’re not there. If your dog does eat raisins, here’s all you need to know about them.

Are Raisins Poisonous for Dogs?

Yes. Raisins in their individuality are toxic to dogs, however, nobody knows why. There is no scientific explanation about what it is in raisins that makes them so poisonous to dogs. However, there have been multiple theories to explain raisin’s effect on dogs.  Raisins are aged grapes, and so whatever makes grapes toxic to dogs, is probably what explains raisins being poisonous. The interesting thing is that raisins are toxic to dogs, and have no negative effect on humans.

Recent sources and research claim that tartaric acid or cream of tartar is responsible for the toxic effect of the raisins on dogs. The hypothesis was made after the scientists observed that ingesting raisins in dogs produced the same results as ingesting play-doh. Cream of tartar was one of the components common in both raisins and play-doh.

 Still, you must have seen some dogs accidentally eat a raisin or two, and be perfectly fine afterward.

You see, the poisonous effect of raisins on dogs is relative. It depends on several factors, and the answer to how many raisins can a dog eat changes from dog to dog.

How Many Raisins Can Dogs Eat?


The toxicity of the grapes varies from dog to dog because the effect depends on the amount of poison taken per kg of the animal’s mass. This means, the poison will be stronger for smaller, and weaker dogs, while larger, stronger dogs will suffer less harsh effects from the poison. You can use this to govern the effect of the dosage of raisins on dogs because this is true for all poisons. 

Dogs have been recorded to experience severe health repercussions from eating 0.05 ounces of raisins for every pound of body weight. You should always contact your vet for his advice because this isn’t a confirmed amount. 

The second thing about the effect of raisins on dogs is that it is unpredictable. Your dog could have a considerable amount of raisins one time and be perfectly fine. However, the next time, consuming one raisin only might be enough to have a lifetime of problems, if not fatal consequences.

The amount of raisins a dog can eat depends on his weight

How Does a Vet Save a Dog That Has Eaten a Raisin?

The first thing any dog does is flush out the animal’s stomach. Next comes active charcoal, however this isn’t necessary in some cases. If days have passed since the dog ate the raisin, the vet might skip active charcoal. Active charcoal prevents the toxin in raisins from binding to the dog’s cells. If the dog consumed the raisin a long time ago, the toxins have either been excreted from the body or have been absorbed already. Active charcoal doesn’t prove to be effective.

If the dog ate the raisin a few days ago, the vet will check the kidneys for any liver damage, and flush them out to prevent any problems in the future. The dog is at risk for about 3-4 days after consumption. The dog is considered safe after this time.  The vet runs constant checks on the dog’s kidneys and blood during his time. 

If the dog shows no signs of improvement, the doctor will start him on life support. The doctor uses fluid therapy, and life support for the dog once he enters acute kidney failure. 

A vet pumps a dog's stomach if he has eaten raisin

What to Do if My Dog Eats Raisins?

Call your vet immediately, even if your dog shows no adverse effects. Tell your vet the number of raisins your dog consumed, and the weight of your dog. This way, the vet can calculate the amount per kg of body weight consumed. This is also the best time to mention any underlying health conditions or medical history might have.

Once the vet does the necessary calculation, he will tell you whether or not you need to bring your dog in for a checkup.


Small amounts of raisins, either by themselves or as raisin bread, are okay with most dogs. However, even if they don’t have any visible negative effects, you must not give your dog raisins. If your dog does eat raisins, call your vet immediately, even if he looks fine. Most times, raisin poisoning, and acute kidney failure can be without symptoms until the last minute. This can mean by the time you identify them, it might be too late for your dog.  

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