What’s Good For Us is Bad For Them

by Joanne on January 23, 2010

This morning I told you how I gave Shane some raisins while on our run.  It was a mini box of raisins, total content .4 ounces.  I ate 3/4 of them and Shane only had a few.  Thanks to some caring pet owners, they alerted me to the fact that raisins and grapes can be toxic to dogs.  Now Shane is a big boy, about 98 lbs, but even so, I don’t take chances.  No more dried fruits for him!

Curiously enough, when baking these doggy biscuits (a mix given to Shane by Mocha, my mother’s dog, at Christmas –we make the dogs give each other gifts….as if !     ),



a note after the directions says “*Other ingredients can be added to customize your biscuits, including: 2 T Peanut Butter, 1 TBS honey, Up to 2TBS small pieces of vegetables, dried fruits or nuts. 


More pet notes:  Shane is allergic to peanut butter – I can only give him just a lick off my finger otherwise he begins scratching.  German Shepherds are also NOTORIOUSLY allergic to wheat. This cookie mix has a wheat flour base.  I’ll give him one and see how he is.  If all goes bad, Mocha gets a care package sent from NY.   The regular treats Shane gets are 100% dried meats – no cookies.  He also gets fresh carrots but is not real thrilled about those like the other treats.


In the meantime, and for all of you who are curious to learn more (as I was), I found this on the internet:  

Although many dog owners and dog trainers have traditionally used raisins and grapes as treats, RAISINS AND GRAPES IN LARGE QUANTITIES CAN BE LETHAL TO DOGS.  As few as a handful of raisins or grapes can make a dog ill; however, of the 10 cases reported to the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (APCC), each dog ingested between 9 ounces and 2 pounds of grapes or raisins.


If your dog has ingested large quantities of raisins or grapes, (s)he will immediately begin to vomit repeatedly, and will become extremely hyperactive and jittery.  After about 24 hours, the dog will become lethargic and depressed.  (S)he may experience abdominal pain and may stop urinating, drinking, and/or eating.   (S)he will also become dehydrated.  Both his/her vomit and feces will contain partially digested raisins or grapes.  His/her breathing may become irregular, and (s)he will also become hypercalcemic (high calcium concentrations) and hyperphosphosphatemic


Ultimately, without treatment, the dog will go into renal (kidney) failure, and may die a horrible very painful death.  Of the 10 reported cases, only 5 dogs survived, & these only with early, aggressive, &  long-term treatment

The best cure for an overdose, of course, is prevention.  Because dogs can get hold of raisins or grapes from a variety of sources—the kitchen counter, the coffee table, vines in a private vineyard, a child’s lunch box—DOG PROOF YOUR VINEYARDS & REMOVE RAISINS AND GRAPES FROM CANINE REACH.  Do not feed your dog raisins/grapes as treats so that you can avoid him/her “getting a taste for them”.  Remember that raisins are even more concentrated (and hence more toxic) than grapes—approximately 4 pounds of grapes equal 1 pound of raisins.  The APCC also warns that any substance in large doses can be toxic.

However, if you suspect your dog has eaten a large amount of raisins or grapes, take your dog to a veterinarian immediately, and have them contact the Animal Poison Control Center for assistance.  Have your veterinarian initiate decontamination measures, and administer fluids and/or dialysis to assist/restart the dog’s kidneys.   Be aware that initially your veterinarian may suspect rat poison as the above symptoms are very similar to the symptoms of rat poison.

The APCC is still unable to determine the cause of renal (kidney) failure.  Possibilities include 1) an agent in grapes and raisins themselves; 2) fungicides, herbicides, or pesticides contamination; 3) heavy metals; 4) high amounts of Vitamin D; or 5) fungus or mold contamination.


Information on raisin and grape toxicity is still very new; therefore, your veterinarian and fellow dog owners may not yet be aware of the danger.   Please pass on this information to every dog owner, veterinarian, rescue group, breeder, newsletter, listserve, and pet food store you can. 

For more information about grapes and raisin toxicity and/or all substances toxic to dogs and other animals, please see the ASCPA Animal Poison Control Center

Website: http://www.dogbreedinfo.com/grapeandraisin.htm

Those scary thoughts spurred the idea for a recipe, definitely on a lighter note, for the awful infliction of…..LOOSEY–GOOSEY, better known as DIARRHEA.  Not in dogs but in people.  For dogs, well that’s another story and hopefully I won’t have to go there, but for us humans, try this tasty treat.   And for all of you on Gather and through email and comments, thanks for alerting me to the dangers of raisins and grapes for dogs.  That kind of honesty makes blogging informative and worth while.   

Carob-Honey Sponge Cake (from Maureen Kennedy Salaman “Foods That Heal”)


Lots of liquids, food high in potassium, acidophilus and fiber help to restore the bodies natural balance and avoid hydration.  Fruits that contain significant sources of potassium include citrus fruits, cantaloupe, bananas, kiwi, prunes, and apricots. Dried apricots contain more potassium than fresh apricots.  *People undergoing dialysis for renal failure should NOT over eat foods high in potassium.

Milk and yogurt, as well as nuts, are also excellent sources of potassium.

  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup carob powder
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 2 bananas or 3/4 cup canned pumpkin (100% pure pumpkin –nothing added)
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tsp Black Cherry Concentrate (or use grape juice)
  • 5 eggs,  separated

Preheat oven to 300 F

Combine flour, carob, nutmeg, cinnamon. Mix well.


Beat the yolks with the oil and honey.  Add the water, bananas (or pumpkin) and concentrate (or juice) to the egg mixture. 


Combine both mixtures and stir well.


In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until they form peaks.


Fold them into the batter very gently.  Just to incorporate.


Pour the batter into greased 9” loaf pans. *I used a medium sized loaf and a mini loaf.  A large loaf pan would most likely be sufficient


Bake about 1 hour or until the knife comes out clean when inserted into the center.  ` 

This is a good treat for breakfast.  It isn’t overly sweet and uses healthy ingredients, not only ingredients that are easy on your body when suffering discomfort but ingredients that are  wholesome, natural, and offer a lot of flavor to this sponge.


You don’t have to be suffering to enjoy this treat!

And earlier in the day…. I had a massage. 

That got me in the mood for this, after all the baking was done.


That would be a nice glass of wine in a hot, soapy tub.  Couldn’t be a better end to an accomplished Saturday.  Time to relax.

News just in…. Pam is engaged!  Okay Fam. & Friends… whose reading?!!!!


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1 Comment

  • […] that point I didn’t declare “It’s a Nuns Fart!”  Since on a previous day I had baked a carob-honey sponge for diarrhea and he was certain to begin wondering where my baking was going.  Ted came in the […]

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