Dogs are man’s best friend, as the saying goes. These friendly animals have been at humanity’s side since early in our evolution.
As such, inviting them into the kitchen is as natural as going on a walk through the park with them. There isn’t a dog owner alive who hasn’t sneaked their friend a piece of lunch meat or some bacon out of an early morning pan.
We have to be careful, though, when giving our dogs their extra treats. There are certain foods that are entirely unsafe for dogs to consume. Even if these treats are shared in good spirits, they can result in something as straightforward as an upset stomach or a reaction as severe as kidney failure.
When your dog is giving you puppy eyes from beneath the kitchen counter, then, you’ll want to consider what you share with them carefully. You may find yourself asking, “can dogs eat grapes? Mangoes? My leftover breakfast cereal?”
Some of these foods are perfectly acceptable, but grapes, in particular, and raisins, too, are incredibly dangerous for your dog to consume.
Don’t give in to your pup’s begging without doing a bit of research first. You might give your dog a treat that’s perfectly safe – or, if you’re not careful, then you’ll be making a stressful trip to the vet.
When you look into diversifying your dog’s diet, consider some of the following information both about the toxicity of grapes, the impact they can have on your dog’s health, and what kind of foods you can safely share with your pup.
Scavenging Carnivores vs. Obligate Carnivores: An Exploration
It’s important, when considering your dog’s diet, to understand how they are biologically and evolutionarily meant to eat.
Folks looking to vary their dog’s diet need to keep the bare necessities of canine nutrition in mind in order to ensure that their dog isn’t missing out on any essential vitamins or minerals.
In this search, you’re likely to come across several buzzwords that apply to certain nutritional ideas. When working with dogs and cats, for example, you’ll hear the term “obligate carnivore.” Obligate carnivores are carnivores who absolutely must have meat as part of their diet.
Felines of all shapes and sizes are obligate carnivores. Without meat, these critters cannot live as effectively as possible; in fact, their health will suffer if they have to start scavenging for meat substitutes or plant life.
Canines, alternatively, are scavenging carnivores. A scavenging carnivore will thrive on a meat-based diet, but they can manage to live on a plant-based diet. As such, you can integrate certain vegetables and fruits into your dog’s diet without fear.
Avoiding Vegan Diets
You cannot, however, place your dog on a vegan diet. Note again the definition of a scavenging carnivore: while such a carnivore can live off of plant matter for some time, they will need meat in order to live as effectively as possible.
The urge to place pets on a vegan diet comes from the human interpretation of animal rights and a desire to eat more ethically – at least, when it comes to the farming and care of animals.
The human dietary track, however, is different from that of a cat or dog. You can live on varying forms of plant matter, substituting certain protein products for alternatives. Your dog, however, will need you to tend to its protein needs by providing it with the appropriate amount of meat or meat-based kibble.
What Can My Dog Eat?
There are ways you can add flavor to your dog’s diet, though, without removing meat entirely. Variety is even healthy, as it keeps your dog entertained and eager to join you in the kitchen.
If you’re looking to introduce some variety into your dog’s diet, consider some of the following foods:
- Green peas.
- Sweet potatoes.
- Peanut butter.
- Scrambled eggs.
- Cooked chicken.
- Cooked pork.
- Cooked turkey.
- Cooked beef.
Can Dogs Eat Grapes?
You’ll notice that grapes do not make the list of treats that dogs are allowed to enjoy. Grapes and dogs make a poor combination. If you find yourself asking, “why can’t dogs eat grapes?” you’re in good company.
Nutritionists and veterinarians alike don’t entirely understand what about grapes and raisins is especially toxic to dogs, but the reaction that dogs have to the treats is so worrying that it’s highly recommended to never allow your furry friend to sneak a taste.
When dogs eat grapes, they react poorly, exhibiting many of the following symptoms. Your dog may lose energy and become unusually quiet, potentially refusing to move for extended periods of time. Your dog may also vomit or experience intense diarrhea.
Other symptoms include stomach pain, low appetite, increased thirst, and potential kidney failure. If you suspect that your dog has recently ingested a grape, do your best to get them to a vet as soon as possible.
While just one or two grapes may not cause this full range of symptoms, it will certainly affect their health to some degree.
Small dogs will also have stronger reactions than larger dogs, as the quantity is comparatively higher for them.
Fun Dog Treat Recipes
There are plenty of treats you can make available to your dog outside of grapes that will enable them to eat with you.
Listed below are two recipes for dog treats that you can make in your own kitchen and share with your furry friend.
If you really want to share a grape-like experience with your dog, however, there are dog wines available for you to purchase.
These dog wines are made of brewed peppermint and are meant to mellow your dog out, much like how regular wine works as a suppressant for humans. Because alcohol and grapes are both toxic to dogs, this alternative allows the both of you to enjoy a tasty end-of-day drink together.
If you and your dog are interested in something sweet and cold, then yogurt popsicles are the perfect sort of treat.
These treats don’t take too many additional ingredients to make, and they’ll be ready and available to eat on any hot summer day.
- 1 16 oz. container of unflavored yogurt.
- 1 banana.
- 6 oz. of a fruit of your choice that your dog can safely eat, including strawberries, blueberries, and mangoes.
- Blender or food processor.
- Sharp knives.
- Popsicle molds or paper cups.
- 1 baking pan.
Blend together 4 oz. of unflavored yogurt with one of your chosen fruits until the consistency is smooth. Repeat the process with the banana and yogurt, then with an additional fruit of your choice.
Once all of your fruit has been blended, fill each of the cups or molds that you have at your disposal 1/4th of the way full with one layer of blended yogurt. Repeat this process with the additional fruit mix, the banana mix, and then finally with the plain yogurt.
Keep the molds in the freezer for at least twelve hours before you share it with your dog, placing them on an available baking pan in order to keep them from freezing in a lopsided shape.
The treat should slip out of the mold with ease, but take care to feed it to your dog quickly – you don’t want it to melt before your furry friend can enjoy it!
Not interested in waiting several hours to share a fruity treat with your dog? No problem.
The basic ingredients used to make a popsicle that you can share with your dog are equivalent to the ingredients that can make up a doggie sundae.
Take a look at the following recipe and feel free to split this tasty treat with your pup.
- 2 oz. of strawberries.
- 2 oz. of blueberries.
- ½ cup of applesauce.
- 1 cup of yogurt.
- 1 tablespoon of honey.
Separate your yogurt into two separate bowls. Mash up the strawberries and blueberries in separate bowls as well.
Mix together one of your bowls of yogurt with the mashed strawberries, then the other with the bowl of mashed blueberries.
Take scoops of each and place them in the same bowl, while refrigerating the remains. Add a scoop of applesauce to the bowl, then drizzle the whole of the sundae with honey.
Share the treat with your dog and enjoy the way your friend digs in!
Here’s a video showing how to make other safe doggy treats.
So, the answer to the question, “Can dogs have grapes?” is a resounding no.
Grapes and raisins both elicit severe health reactions in your dog that could, if you’re lucky, be as straightforward as an upset stomach, but that could also result in dehydration and kidney failure.
There are plenty of fruity alternatives, though, as well as protein and vegetable substitutes that you can introduce into your dog’s diet if you’re looking to spice things up a little.
Try any combination of yogurt and fruit in order to share a tasty summer treat with your friend, or create a stir-fry of rice, safe vegetables, and cooked chicken in order to treat your dog to a fancier than normal dinner.
Make sure, though, that when you try and spoil your dog with fresh and delicious food, you’re keeping their dietary needs in mind. They’re not obligate carnivores, but dogs are scavenging carnivores – they require meat as part of their diet in order for them to thrive.
Without meat, your dog’s health will suffer. So diversify your dog’s diet as you and your dog please, but remember that there are certain foods, such as grapes, that you absolutely need to avoid, and some foods, such as a variety of meaty proteins, that remain quite necessary.
Do you have any experience with grapes and dogs?