We live in the age of social media and I’m sure each one of us has had some point looked at a picture of a cute dog with a bottle of beer or a glass of wine. Whenever I see something like this I too have a strong urge to kick back and share a nice cold craft brew with my furry companion. 

But can dogs actually drink beer? Or wine? Can they drink any alcohol at all?  

Let’s have a look;

Dogs and Alcohol

Like chocolates, onions, and almonds, alcohol is toxic to dogs. Even minute amounts, especially in small dogs and cats, are poisonous for them.  This does not mean just proper alcohol but also in foods that have added alcohol i.e. syrups and raw bread dough, all of these things have the potential to poison your dog.  Two major ingredients of alcohol ethanol (wines) and hops (beer) can cause intoxication in dogs. 

Why Can’t My Dog Have Beer? He Loves It!

A dog’s liver is not designed to handle alcohol. So, just the ways humans do, dogs too can end up with alcohol poisoning or toxicity The speed at which a dog gets affected is directly proportional to its size, 

After their first lick of beer, it takes only about 15-30 minutes for the central nervous system to show signs of depression.  The list of symptoms includes staggering, slowed reflexes, and increased urination.  You might look at the list and wonder, these are all the symptoms that I go through when I have a couple of drinks.   

Well, now understand the difference in our size and weight. What might end up being fun for you is actually a death sentence for your dog. As they are at a heightened risk for a slow respiratory collapse, cardiac arrest, and eventual death.  

What Other Factors Are At Play? 

The breed of your dog also plays a huge role in how susceptible they are to hop poisoning. Some breeds are genetically predisposed to a condition called ‘malignant hyperthermia’.  This is what happens when a dog’s body reacts to hop poisoning. 

In malignant hyperthermia, the dog’s temperature rapidly rises about 6-10 degrees over the normal amount.  Because the temperature climbs so fast the chances for permanent brain damage and death increase.  

Breeds most at risk are Greyhounds, Labrador Retrievers, Saint Bernards, Pointers, Border Collies, Dobermans, Golden Retrievers,  English Springer Spaniels, Chow Chow, Akitas, Siberian Huskies, and some others.

How To Prevent Your Dog From Drinking Alcohol

There are certain basic precautions you can take to ensure that your dog does not get alcohol in our future.

Keeps All Alcohol Stored Out

You can pick where you want to store your alcohol. Pick between your refrigerator, cabinet, or a storeroom your alcohol needs to stay hidden to ensure that no pup makes its way into your stash. 

Do Not Leave Beverages Unattended

If you do walk away from your glass for any reason, do ensure that it is out of reach of your dog. Keep it on a table or cover it to ensure that they don’t get in a couple of licks before you return. If you are about to go to sleep and your drink isn’t finished, either throw it out or put it in the fridge.

Inform Your Guests

If you have guests over and your dog is around them, ensure that all of them understand that it is not okay to give your dog even a sip of their drink. If you feel that your guests are a little too drunk, it is a good idea to lock away your dog to make sure that they don’t accidentally give your dog anything. 

Avoid Spills

In case, you drop alcohol on the floor, make sure that you get your dog away from the site of the accident as fast as possible and then worry about cleaning the mess you have made. The carpet can be easily replaced but your dog on the other hand cannot. 

Some Fun Alternatives For Your Pup 

Even though you cannot give your pup alcohol per se, there are some  fun alternatives that can make an appearance their diet 

Browser Beer 

Even though actual beer is out, your dog can always try out Bowser Beer. It is free of alcohol, instead, it has glucosamine which is actually great for the bones and joints of your dog as well you. 

Dogwine

Who does not like a glass of wine at the end of the day. The only thing that can make it better is if you share yours with your pup. Pick up some dogwine on your way home. This is formulated with salmon oil and organic bacon extract, making it great for your pooch. 

 
More Beverages To Avoid

Apart from alcohol, it is also in everyone’s best interest if you keep your pup away from all juices, tea, coffee, soda, and lemonade. Some things if given in moderation are fine but most of them are best completely avoided. This also extends to food. Just because you can eat food from all over the world does not mean so will your pooch.  

One thing you need to remember is that no matter how human-like your pooch might seem. Whether it is your emotional support dog or just a pet, it is still a dog. Their digestive system works very differently from ours and so it is important you take care of what you give them.