For 20 years, it’s been the grapest mystery of all. So before we put them on our Christmas table, it’s time to finally uncover whether grapes are really toxic to dogs and cats.
And what to do if they steal one…
For a tiny fruit, they’re sure packed full of controversy. For years, we’ve been hearing the hype around the potential danger of eating grapes causing renal failure while at the same time, there are hundreds of dog parents who have fed grapes without any problems.
In fact, even in emergency hospitals, only 1-5% of dogs and cats who had eaten grapes showed any signs.
And then just recently, a breakthrough. A study out of the US might have finally found what the mystery toxin in grapes actually is.
The answer? A chemical called tartaric acid. You might know it as cream of tartar; a common baking ingredient.
In grapes (as well as avocado and tamarinds), this acid gives some grapes their bitterness.
While it’s not officially confirmed, it does at least give some potential answers to why grape toxicity affects some dogs and not others.
So back to the biggest question of all. Are grapes actually toxic? Well, here’s what we can say…
Some pets seem to be more sensitive to tartaric acid than others.
Some grapes (like red grapes) have higher levels of tartaric acid than green grapes.
Obviously, the safest option is to avoid grapes altogether.
But this is probably the most interesting part. If you’re wondering if you need to race to the emergency hospital if your little mate eats a single grape, read this.
There ‘seems’ to be a ‘safe level’. Provided no more than 1 grape per 5kg (10 pounds) of their body weight has been eaten, the research says you ‘should’ be ok. But just play it safe with proper treats yeah?!