If you find yourself asking, can dogs drink beer? I’ve a feeling you already know the answer!
To skip to the end: it is best to keep your alcohol, to yourself.
Sharing is not caring in this particular instance. Dogs should not drink beer.
Beer, wine, alcohol of any kind, in ANY amount, can cause alcohol poisoning for your best four-legged friend. Even the yeast in your rising bread dough should be kept out of reach of your pets.
Let’s take a look at some dangers of alcohol ingestion by your dog.
Now that we have established that beer is toxic to our dogs, even if they were to lap a spill up. Let us try to find out why it is so dangerous for their health and wellbeing.
A dog’s liver isn’t designed to process alcohol. Experts at the subject say that a specific kind of alcohol, grain alcohol, is produced during the fermentation process that results in beer.
That grain alcohol is the reason for feeling a little lightheaded, tipsy, and clumsy if you have had one too many beers. And you, are a much larger creature than any dog, even a huge one.
In researching alcohol and its effect on our dog’s digestive systems, it was discovered that alcohol is not the only factor owing to poisoning, but the hops in beer as well are culprits.
Hops are the female flowers of the hop plant, which is used to add tanginess to beer and used as a stabilizing agent. These seemingly harmless flowers are poisonous and fatal. In any shape or form.
Any ingestion of these can cause your dog to have shortness of breath, restlessness, anxiety, possibly even seizures and muscle tremors.
One of the bigger repercussions of your pet consuming hops is a condition called malignant hypothermia, where the body temperature increases steeply till over 108 degrees Fahrenheit which can result in damage and failure of their organs and internal systems, according to the Animal Poison Control Center (ASPCA).
While there are cases in which a dog has consumed alcohol and lived to tell the tale, it is all dependent upon an individual dog’s height, weight, breed, genetic predisposition, etc. It is not a risk one should take.
Symptoms Of Alcohol Consumption In Dogs
When a dog or a puppy has ingested any quantity of beer, there will be a few symptoms that can arise. As diligent human parents, we should make note of these and be aware of our dog’s behaviour enough to notice when a change is happening.
Beer may cause them confusion, lethargy, trouble walking or standing. Some severe reactions might include slower breathing rate, lower than normal body temperature, dehydration. A drop in their level of blood glucose, which could even cause body tremors and seizures.
If your dog is behaving unusually and exhibiting any of the above symptoms, it is of prime importance that you take them to your nearest vet in the blink of an eye. That is all it could take to make the difference between life and death. Apologies for being so grim, but this is not a topic to be taken lightly.
Can’t My Dog Just Sleep It Off?
Unfortunately, this situation is a lot more complicated and sleeping it off will almost definitely not be a good idea for your dog.
If your dog seems to be drunk, even if you yourself haven’t seen them consume any kind of alcohol, take them to the vet asap.
There are stages to alcohol poisoning that can develop rather quickly, and are often life-threatening. The toxicity of alcohol depends upon body weight, smaller breeds are more likely to get alcohol poisoned much quicker than a dog of a larger stature.
A dog gets affected by alcohol in pretty much the same way as we do, a slowing down at first, becoming drowsier by the beer can/wine glass, can’t walk straight if life depended on it. Heart rate slows down, breathing slows down, body temperature drops.
Can you imagine all of this happening on a much tinier creature? A bigger person can tolerate a lot more alcohol than a smaller person, that’s a fact.
Contrary to popular belief, a dog’s liver is not meant to take care of alcohol the same way human liver does. A dog does indeed metabolize the alcohol much quicker than us, but it does not get rid of it.
Human liver breaks down the alcohol and either provides us with energy or gets rid of it. This is why we run to the bathroom oh so often after chugging down on anything alcoholic.
Livers can get damaged permanently by excessive alcohol, in both humans and dogs, but your dog’s liver won’t last nearly as long as yours if you keep helping them to a sip of beer now and then.
Dog livers metabolize alcohol into pure ethanol, yikes. And the high-speed metabolism only helps speed up the ghastly process of ethanol toxicity.
Hydration is important for every living creature. For every function in our body, we need water. Alcohol is a diuretic, it draws out the water out of the body, causing us to tinkle so much faster than we normally would. The same applies for dogs.
Dehydration can be caused fairly quickly, again, thanks to quick metabolism. Further leading to kidney function issues, which may or may not be fatal, but will definitely change their quality of life.
A professional can provide the necessary treatment, provide electrolytes and plenty of hydration, bring your dog’s glucose up to normal and regulate the body temperature. All helping to negate the impact of the alcohol. And I dare say most of these are not something you can “do-it-yourself”.
How To Prevent Dogs From Consuming Alcohol
One of the easiest ways, DO NOT GIVE THEM ANYTHING ALCOHOLIC.
Should be fairly simple right?
Other methods are not so simple and easy, they involve in you being responsible and keeping a close eye on them when alcohol is in the vicinity. Keep them by your side. Take care of open containers on counters.
Alcohol is not just in our drinks; it is in seemingly everything around the house. Things like cosmetics, mouthwash, perfumes, deodorants, hand sanitizers, cleaning supplies, possibly even markers and paints.
So, what now?
Luckily, patented, tested by FDA, no salt, no alcohol, no carbon beer exists for just your special furry best friend. Bowser Beer is the most famous “beer” among dogs, it is a meat broth which certainly seems to interest our canines, so, let’s call it “beer for dogs”.
There are certain to be other brands up and coming with this same idea. Keep an eye out for those, and in the meantime, keep your dogs away from alcohol.
You dog cannot and should not drink beer.
If you really must (for whatever reason) then it can only beer the specific dog friendly beer that you’ll find in trustworthy pet stores.