Why Are Grapes Bad But Cranberries Good For Dogs?

Here’s something non-dog owners might not be aware of: grapes are lethal for dogs. But cranberries? They’re all good with dogs.

Why is this? Both are berry-ish fruits and seem like they’d cause no harm since, well, humans are immune to any toxicity involved with these treats. How are dogs different?

The reason is a lot more complicated (and mysterious) than we know. As the American Kennel Club explains, grapes are absolutely fatal for dogs. “It has been proven that the fruit can cause kidney failure in dogs,” they explain. “As little as one grape per pound of body weight is enough to cause an issue in some dogs.” This affects all types of dogs—regardless of breed, gender, age, size, etc.—and can be triggered by raisins as well. This may sound trivial but grape poisoning is an extremely urgent emergency for dogs.

So, never give a dog a grape.

But cranberries? Sure! In moderation, of course.

As the American Kennel Club explains, this fruit is good for dogs and can actually prevent UTIs. The science has not been proven behind this either but there is some evidence that it’s a food that can help your pup. Similarly, strawberries (and blueberries and bananas and cantaloupe and apples) are good for dogs as well, promoting healthy weight, anti-aging benefits, and immune system boosts. Who knew?

If curious, absolutely peruse this full list of foods and always check before you feed a dog something random. A lot of things are good (Cranberries!) but a lot of things are bad (Grapes!). Do your homework, ask a pet owner, and always keep an eye on dogs in social situations involving weird foods because it would be a shame if you fed a dog some weird food at a holiday party and they died on Christmas day.

Imagine that weight on your conscience when entering a new year.

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