As a Shih Tzu owner, you’ve probably wondered at some point if it’s okay for your furry friend to have a taste of the grapes you’re snacking on.
Grapes may seem harmless, but it’s crucial to know what kind of food is safe for your Shih Tzu.
In this article, I will cover everything you need to know about Shih Tzus and grapes, backed by reputable sources and expert advice.
Why Grapes Are Toxic to Shih Tzus
First things first: Shih Tzus should never eat grapes or raisins.
This is not a matter of personal preference or taste; it’s a matter of safety.
Grapes and raisins are known to be toxic to dogs, and this applies to all dog breeds, including Shih Tzus.
According to the American Kennel Club (AKC), grapes can cause kidney failure in dogs, which can be life-threatening.
The Exact Cause of Toxicity
Although the exact substance in grapes that causes toxicity in dogs remains unknown, it’s clear that even small amounts can be dangerous.
Researchers have yet to pinpoint the toxic component, but the risk is not worth taking.
The Pet Poison Helpline states that the toxic dose varies from dog to dog, and there’s no way to predict how your Shih Tzu will react.
Symptoms of Grape Poisoning in Shih Tzus
It’s essential to recognize the signs of grape poisoning in your Shih Tzu, as early intervention can make a significant difference in your dog’s recovery.
Here are some common symptoms to look out for:
- Loss of appetite
- Abdominal pain
- Increased thirst and urination
- Reduced or no urine production
These symptoms can appear within a few hours of ingestion, so it’s crucial to monitor your Shih Tzu closely if you suspect they have eaten grapes.
If you notice any of these signs, contact your veterinarian immediately.
What to Do If Your Shih Tzu Eats Grapes
If your Shih Tzu ingests grapes or raisins, it’s crucial to act quickly and contact your veterinarian or an emergency clinic.
They will likely recommend bringing your dog in for immediate evaluation and treatment. Here are some steps to take in this situation:
- Call your veterinarian or a pet poison helpline: The Pet Poison Helpline and the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center are excellent resources in emergencies. They can provide guidance on what to do next.
- Do not induce vomiting without professional advice: It’s crucial to consult a veterinarian before attempting to induce vomiting in your Shih Tzu. Inducing vomiting can sometimes cause more harm than good.
- Gather information: Collect information about your dog’s size, age, and health, as well as the amount and type of grapes consumed. This will help the veterinarian assess the situation and provide appropriate advice.
- Follow your veterinarian’s instructions: Your veterinarian may recommend specific treatment, such as activated charcoal or intravenous fluids, depending on the severity of the situation. Be prepared to follow their guidance and bring your Shih Tzu in for a thorough examination.
Treatment for Grape Poisoning in Shih Tzus
Once you’ve reached the veterinarian, they will assess your Shih Tzu’s condition and determine the most appropriate course of action.
Treatment for grape poisoning typically includes:
- Inducing vomiting: If your Shih Tzu has recently ingested grapes, the veterinarian may induce vomiting to expel any remaining grapes from their system.
- Activated charcoal: This substance can help bind any remaining toxins in the digestive tract, preventing further absorption into the body.
- Intravenous fluids: IV fluids are essential to support kidney function and flush toxins from the body. This is particularly important in cases of kidney failure or severe dehydration.
- Monitoring: Your veterinarian will closely monitor your Shih Tzu’s blood work, urine output, and overall health. This allows them to track your dog’s progress and make any necessary adjustments to their treatment plan.
- Supportive care: Depending on your dog’s condition, additional supportive care may be required, such as medication to control vomiting or pain management.
Early intervention is crucial in treating grape poisoning.
If you suspect your Shih Tzu has consumed grapes, contact your veterinarian immediately.
Preventing Grape Exposure in Shih Tzus
To keep your Shih Tzu safe, it’s essential to prevent any exposure to grapes and raisins.
Here are some tips to help you protect your furry friend:
- Store grapes and raisins out of reach: Ensure that grapes, raisins, and any products containing them are stored in a secure location where your Shih Tzu cannot access them.
- Educate family and friends: Inform anyone who interacts with your dog about the dangers of grapes and raisins. Make sure they understand the importance of keeping these items away from your Shih Tzu.
- Be cautious during walks: Keep a close eye on your Shih Tzu during walks, and ensure they don’t have access to grapes that may have fallen from vines or been discarded by others.
- Supervise your Shih Tzu: Always supervise your dog when they’re around food, especially if you’re hosting gatherings or picnics where grapes might be present.
Safe Fruits and Treats for Shih Tzus
While grapes are toxic to dogs, there are plenty of other fruits and treats that are safe for your Shih Tzu to enjoy.
Some safe alternatives include:
- Apples (remove seeds and core)
- Green beans
- Pumpkin (cooked and unseasoned)
- Watermelon (remove seeds and rind)
Always introduce new treats gradually and in moderation to avoid upsetting your Shih Tzu’s stomach.
It’s also a good idea to consult your veterinarian before introducing new foods to your dog’s diet.
In conclusion, Shih Tzus should never eat grapes or raisins due to the risk of kidney failure and other severe health issues.
If you suspect your Shih Tzu has consumed grapes, contact your veterinarian immediately, as early intervention is critical.
To keep your furry friend safe, store grapes and raisins securely, educate others about the dangers, and always supervise your Shih Tzu around food.
With proper precautions, you can ensure your Shih Tzu remains healthy and happy.