Are Grapes Toxic To Boston Terriers? 10 Other Items To Avoid

We’ve all had that moment when our Boston Terrier is looking at us longingly as we snack on something tasty. Grapes are a delicious snack, but is it okay to share these with our Boston Terrier? 

We know that chocolate isn’t safe for our Boston to eat, but grapes are more of an enigma. Bella has consumed more than her fair share of grapes that have fallen off the table. 

Can A Boston Terrier Eat Grapes. Are Grapes Toxic to Boston Terriers
Bella next to the nicest grapes I could find at Costco in February

Are Grapes Poisonous?

Grapes are poisonous to Boston Terriers. However, it is unclear why. The exact toxic substance in grapes is currently unknown, but grapes are highly toxic to Boston Terriers nonetheless.

Top 10 Toxins Commonly Ingested By Pets

In 2018, the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center received a grand total of 24,370 cases concerning potential poisonings regarding dogs consuming human foods such as xylitol, grapes, raisins, onions, and garlic. 

Due to this high volume of cases, human foods made number three on their “10 toxins most commonly ingested by pets,” list. Food was only behind over the counter medications and human prescription medications. 

Photo: By ASPCA

Top 10 Reasons For Calls To Animal Poison Control

  1. Over The Counter Products (i.e., ibuprofen)
  2. Human Prescription Medication
  3. Food (Grapes were given a special mention under food)
  4. Chocolate
  5. Veterinary Products
  6. Household Items 
  7. Rodenticides
  8. Insecticides
  9. Plants
  10. Garden Products

Need To Call Animal Poison Control?

Here is the number to Animal Poison Control. This service is provided by the American Society For The Prevention Of Cruelty To Animals.

(888) 426-4435

PetMD Explains Grape Poisoning

What Causes Grapes To Be Toxic?

Researchers had looked into the causes of Grape toxicity back in a 2005 study (Acute Renal Failure in Dogs After the Ingestion of Grapes or Raisins: A Retrospective Evaluation of 43 Dogs (1992–2002)).  This study stemmed from an increase in calls to the ASPCA Poison Control about the ingestion of grapes.

In the study, there was no conclusive evidence as to the number of grapes or raisins that could be lethal. Nor was there a substance verifying what causes renal failure from the ingestion of grapes or raisins. 

Since research is inconclusive about what exactly causes grapes to be poisonous in dogs, but grapes and grape products should be totally avoided. 

Grape Products Your Boston Terrier Should Avoid

  • green grapes
  • red grapes
  • seedless vs. seeded grape varieties
  • raisins
  • currants
  • wine
  • other foods containing grapes like trail mix, baked goods, granola mix, or Raisin Bran cereal. 

What Is A Toxic Dose Of Grapes For Boston Terriers?

Any amount of grapes can be toxic to a Boston Terrier. It’s advised that, as pet owners, we should do everything in our power to prevent our Boston from eating grapes. And we should certainly not feed them grapes ourselves!

The reason why is because there is no conclusive evidence as an amount that is safe. From personal experience, Bella has eaten probably 6 grapes over her lifetime, but all one at a time over the last 10 years.

Be sure to keep grapes and raisins out of reach of your Boston.

Study Findings

In the study, Acute Renal Failure in Dogs After the Ingestion of Grapes or Raisins. 

The median amount ingested was 448 g (16 oz), with a range of 42 to 896 g (1.5–32 oz) reported. The estimated dosage of raisins ranged from 2.8 to 36.4 g/kg (0.1–1.3 oz/kg), with a median dosage of 19.6 g/kg (0.7 oz/ kg). No statistically significant difference was identified in the dosages of raisins ingested by dogs that survived and those that died or were euthanized.

What Do The Above Numbers Amount To?

The median amount of ingested in the study includes both the ingestion of grapes and raisins of 448 grams. While the range of grapes and raisins ingested was 42 to 896 grams. 

The chart below gives you an idea of how many grapes would need to be eaten before your Boston Terrier made it to the 42 grams.

Do Not Use This Chart As A Safe Measure For Giving Your Boston Grapes, Reference Only.

Number of GrapesWeight in grams

*The weight chart used was from the United States Department of Agriculture database. These are Grapes, red or green (European type, such as Thompson seedless), raw.

Take Extra Precaution

There is no agreed-upon amount of grapes that will definitely cause problems. Still, the more significant number of grapes consumed, the smaller the dog, and the sensitivity of the particular dog are the most significant factors. Since Boston Terriers are small dogs, they are already at a higher risk as a result.

Keep in mind that raisins are even more dangerous to dogs, as they are really concentrated grapes, which will cause problems for our sweet Boston Terriers. Raisins are also smaller, which makes it easier for our Boston Terriers to eat at a faster rate. 

What Happens If My Boston Terrier Eats Grapes?

The biggest concern after your Boston Terrier consumes grapes is your Boston going into kidney failure. Unfortunately, this can be a rapid reaction once they’ve eaten grapes or raisins. Sudden kidney failure is the most severe reaction to eating grapes, and this can kill a dog within a few days. 

Another alarming problem that can arise when Bostons consume grapes are the grapes getting lodged as they progress through the body. This may be especially problematic for smaller dogs, who may end up with a potentially fatal intestinal blockage.

What Are The Signs Of Grape Toxicity?

There are many signs to watch out for in your Boston. Even if you did not witness your Boston eating grapes, the following symptoms are concerning enough to immediately call your veterinarian or Animal Poison Control: 

  • Vomiting
  • Lethargy 
  • Diarrhea
  • Lack of appetite
  • Exhaustion
  • Abdominal pain when touched

Vomiting is usually seen within 24 hours of grape ingestion. While lethargy, a lack of appetite, and diarrhea are generally seen within 12 to 24 hours, according to VCA Hospitals. 

The most severe signs typically occur within 24 to 48 hours, which is when acute kidney failure usually begins. This is why you must reach out to your veterinarian upon finding your Boston Terrier eating grapes or at the first sign of them being sick. 

Signs of acute kidney failure include: 

  • Lack of appetite
  • Uremic breath (smelling like ammonia)
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Excessive thirstiness
  • Increased urination

Once kidney failure starts: urine production stops, their blood pressure shoots up, and they will typically fall into a coma. Once a Boston has hit this point, the prognosis is unfortunately very poor. 

What Should I Do If My Boston Terrier Eats Grapes?

If your Boston has eaten grapes or shows any of the above signs, immediately contact your veterinarian. Or contact Animal Poison Control, or bring your Boston Terrier to your veterinarian clinic or animal hospital.

The phone number for Animal Poison Control is: (888) 426-4435

Vet Video Covering Grape Poison

Vet Exmplaing Grape Poisoning


  • 00:00 – Vet Explains Grape Poisoning
  • 04:17 – Vet Explains A Solution You Can Do At Home
  • 8:39 – Vet Explains What A Veterinarian Will Do

Induce Vomiting At Home

Depending on your veterinarian and the severity of symptoms your Boston shows. Your veterinarian may have you induce vomiting at home to try and prevent their body from absorbing the grape toxin or at least lessen the amount absorbed. 

With the severity and speed of grape poisoning, you must reach out immediately – EVEN if your Boston Terrier shows no symptoms yet. 

Many of the above symptoms take 12 or more hours to appear. Early prognoses could mean your veterinarian has a more considerable amount of options for treating your Boston Terrier effectively.

What Can My Veterinarian Do About Grape or Raisin Ingestion?

There is no antidote or perfect treatment for dogs who have consumed grapes. This is because researchers have not yet identified the poisonous substance in grapes. 

Due to this, the primary goal of treatment for grape ingestion is trying to block as much toxin absorption as possible to minimize or prevent kidney damage. A common way this is done is inducing vomiting, then giving the affected activated charcoal to help absorb the toxin. 

Ideally, the activated charcoal will absorb the toxin before it hits the intestines, stomach, and kidneys. Induced vomiting can be done up to 4 to 6 hours after a dog has consumed grapes because grapes and raisins stay in the stomach longer than most food.

After induced vomiting and activated charcoal consumption, your Boston would likely be hooked up to an IV for fluids. This helps flush out any toxins that were absorbed and to keep them hydrated after the vomiting. Due to the side effects of nausea and vomiting of eating grapes, your Boston could be given drugs to help control this. 

Possible Hospital Stay

Dogs will sometimes be kept in the hospital on intravenous fluids for 24 to 48 hours after eating grapes. Afterward, they may need to be monitored for up to seven days and have follow up blood work done after being home a few days. This blood work checks that their kidney blood values are not increasing.

A veterinarian can do a lot for a dog that has ingested grapes, so we recommend that you contact them immediately.

Safer Alternatives Than Grapes For Your Boston Terrier

Our Boston Terriers’ eyes say that they want to eat the same foods as us. While we definitely can’t share grapes or raisins with them, we do have a few alternative options for them.

 Safe, fruity alternatives

  • Strawberries
  • Blueberries
  • Apples
  • Watermelon (with seeds removed first)
  • Raspberries
  • Peaches (make sure the pit is thoroughly removed first)
  • Bananas
  • Mangoes (make sure the mango is pitted first)
  • Oranges in small quantities (See a breakdown here)

Ways To Keep Grapes Away From Your Boston Terrier

Our Boston Terriers are especially good at magically appearing when we drop food or finding mischief when we’re not looking. We all drop food from time to time, which is hard to help, but we can take other precautions to keep our Boston Terriers away from poisonous foods. 

Here are a few ideas: 

  • Keep all poisonous foods out of reach
  • Put toxic foods locked away or in a cabinet, so that they are less likely to be accidentally knocked over
  • Watch your food! Don’t let them sneak food off your plate when you’re not looking
  • Substitute grapes or raisins with healthier safer fruits listed above
  • Fence off areas of your home if they still manage to sneak food

Try some of these tips to keep your Boston as far away as possible from grapes, raisins, chocolate, and other foods that could harm them. 

Final Thoughts

All in all, it’s a bad choice to give your Boston grapes or raisins. If you find they have run off with grapes or swiped some when you weren’t looking, take fast action by calling your veterinarian or Animal Poison Control

This is the best way to lower their risk of kidney failure by having them receive treatment quickly if they need it. 

Grapes are under talked about food that is sadly poisonous to dogs. Let’s keep our Boston’s safe by taking as many preventive measures as possible for prevention is always easier than treatment!


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Donnie Gardner

Donnie Gardner is the owner of the Boston Terrier Society. He has been raising Bella the Boston since 2010. He resides in Kansas with his wife, daughter, and Bella. His favorite activities are hanging out with family, traveling, running (but has bad knees), and reading non-fiction books.

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