Can Dogs Drink Alcohol? The Surprising Facts and Risks

can dogs drink alcohol.

Can Dogs Drink Alcohol? Booze and Pooches — Do They Mix?

Everyone loves a party, and when it's in full swing, you may not be fully aware of what your canine companion is up to. Drinks get left unattended, or knocked over, or some may think it's ok to share their Pina Colada with your best buddy. 

But, can dogs drink alcohol?

The answer will surely put a damper on your evening’s events. So, let's delve in and discover the truth — is your poison really poisonous for your pooch?

is alcohol bad for dogs.

Can Dogs Have Alcohol?

The verdict on whether can you give a dog alcohol is pretty conclusive — absolutely not! Regardless of the potency level — heavy or light, pooches are better off sticking solely with their favorite treats and water! 

The underlying reason why serving dogs alcoholic beverages is highly discouraged can be traced back to one factor — their distinctive metabolism compared to humans. Even a small amount can wreak havoc on their systems, leading to a list of health problems. 

Alcohol in drinks contains ethanol, which is poisonous to dogs. Consumption can lead to serious issues.

How Much Alcohol Can a Dog Drink?

They can’t, or shouldn’t drink it at all, even in small amounts. 

However, we all know accidents can happen. The severity of the side effects will boil down to the size of your dog, the alcohol content, and how much and when they consumed it. 

Alcohol can cause liver damage and poisoning in dogs. Remember, canines are unable to process it like humans.

Can Dogs Drink Beer?

Beer is made from fermented grains, such as barley, wheat, or corn — but it also contains alcohol. While the alcohol content is typically lower than other types of booze, it can still cause harm if consumed by dogs.

You can learn more in our guide on Can Dogs Drink Beer?
Can dogs drink beer.

Can Dogs Drink Wine?

No. For starters, wine is made from grapes, and this fruit is a no-no for dogs. Plus, it contains alcohol, which as we’ve seen, is harmful to canines. 

Hence, keep it out of your pooch's reach to ensure their safety. If you suspect your dog has consumed wine, it's important to contact your veterinarian right away.

For a more detailed explanation, check out our guide on Can Dogs Drink Wine?

Can Dogs Drink Whiskey?

Whiskey is a hard liquor, and compared to our two previous drinks, it contains a higher concentration of alcohol. 

So, stop, no, and don’t ever allow your dog to drink whiskey.

How Does Alcohol Affect Dogs?

If your dog drank alcohol, this is what could happen. Note — from the time of consumption, symptoms can manifest in as little as 30 minutes to one hour. 

  • Loss of balance.

  • Disorientation.

  • Vomiting.

  • Drooling excessively.

  • Trembling. 

  • Diarrhea.

  • Shortness of breath.

If left untreated, or in serious cases, your dog could experience:

  • Convulsions.

  • Drop in body temperature.

  • Slow heart rate.

  • Unconsciousness.

  • Breathing depression. 

The main causes of death from alcohol toxicity are down to:

  • Hypoglycemia — low blood sugar levels. 

  • Respiratory system failure. 

  • Acidosis — excessive levels of acid in the body. 

  • Hypothermia.

dog drank alcohol.

How To Prevent Your Dog From Drinking Alcohol

As responsible pet owners, it's important to keep your furry friends safe and healthy, especially when it comes to alcohol. Here are some tips on how to prevent your dog from indulging in alcoholic beverages:

  1. Keep a watchful eye on your pup during social gatherings. Dogs can easily sneak a quick lick when you're not looking.

  1. Store all alcohol out of your dog’s reach. By keeping alcoholic beverages in safe, elevated locations such as cabinets or locked coolers, you prevent your dog from accidentally accessing and consuming them.

  1. Secure garbage and dispose of alcohol containers properly. Dogs are known for their scavenging instincts, and they may be attracted to the smell or taste of alcohol remnants in bottles or cans.

  1. Educate your family and household members on the dangers of alcohol consumption for dogs. Emphasize the importance of not leaving alcoholic beverages within your dog's reach and encourage them to be mindful of their own drinking habits around your dog.

  1. Alcoholic substances can also be found in certain medications, mouthwashes, and cleaning products. Keep an eye out for any spills or leaks that may attract your dog's attention, and promptly clean them up.

  1. When hosting social gatherings at your home where alcohol is present, supervise your dog closely. Make it clear to your guests that boozy beverages are not to be offered to your pooch.

My Dog Drank Alcohol — What To Do

Dogs who consume alcohol can experience a range of symptoms, from mild weakness to life-threatening situations. Here’s what to do if your dog drinks alcohol:

  • Assess the Situation: Determine how much alcohol your dog has consumed and what type of alcohol it was. Different types of alcohol have varying levels of toxicity.

  • Observe your Dog: Look for signs of alcohol poisoning (above). Take note of any symptoms or changes in behavior to inform your vet.

  • Contact Your Veterinarian: Call your vet or a local emergency pet clinic and provide as many details as possible — for example, the type of alcohol, how much consumed, and whether your dog is displaying any symptoms. They will advise you based on the specific circumstances.

  • Do Not Induce Vomiting: Unlike other poisoning cases, making your dog vomit because they’ve consumed alcohol isn’t advisable. Alcohol can cause damage to the esophagus if it is regurgitated.

  • Keep the Dog Calm and Hydrated: Ensure the dog has access to fresh water to prevent dehydration. Keep them in a quiet and comfortable environment to minimize stress.

  • Follow the Veterinarian’s Advice: Your vet may instruct you to bring the dog in for examination or provide specific at-home care instructions. Follow their advice carefully.

Whether your vet advises in-clinic treatment or at-home care, it’s essential to ensure the well-being and recovery of your furry friend. Taking quick and appropriate measures can help mitigate potential risks and ensure the best possible outcome for your dog's health.

In the case of alcohol poisoning, time is of the essence.

Final Thoughts

As a dog lover, you want your pup to be happy and healthy. But sometimes, you might face a few challenges when it comes to keeping them away from alcohol. Whether it’s a party, a celebration, or a night out, there are always temptations and risks that could put your dog in danger. 

That’s what this post is for — to help you prevent your dog from drinking alcohol and protect them from harm. By following our tips, you can ensure your dog’s safety and well-being, and enjoy some quality time with them. 

Having answered the question, can dogs drink alcohol? Remember, it’s a big no-no. Your dog is your best friend, so don’t let alcohol harm them. Cheers to keeping them sober and healthy!

Can Dogs Drink Alcohol? FAQs

Is Alcohol Safe for Dogs in Small Amounts?

No, alcohol can harm dogs even in small doses. It can damage their liver and cause poisoning. Dogs are more sensitive to alcohol than humans and should avoid it.

Are Certain Types of Alcohol Safer for Dogs Than Others?

No, all alcohol is dangerous for dogs. Wine, beer, liquor, and cocktails can all harm your dog if they drink them. Keep all alcohol away from your dog and store it securely.

Is Dog Beer Safe For Dogs?

Yes, it is. Dog beer is a specially formulated beverage geared for canines’ taste buds. It offers your pooch a distinct experience without the risks of alcohol poisoning. 

What to Do if My Dog Licks Alcohol?

If your dog accidentally licks a spilled beverage, firstly, remove the alcohol from your dog's reach and provide them with fresh water to drink. Contact your vet immediately and follow their instructions.

can dogs drink wine.
can dogs drink beer.