Can Dogs Drink Beer?

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The CanDogsEatIt Team

Can Dogs Drink Beer?
Reading Time: 5 minutes

Can dogs drink beer? The short answer is no. Creating beer involves the use of certain ingredients that are highly toxic to dogs, such as ethanol. Ingestion of this alcoholic beverage can result in a fatal situation.

Find out the life-threatening issues that may occur if your dog drinks beer.

2 Deadly Ingredients in Beer to Dogs

can dogs drink beer 7Is beer bad for dogs? Yes. Beer is mainly made up of dangerous ingredients for dogs, making it bad for them. Ingesting this alcoholic beverage can lead to life-threatening outcomes because it contains the following:

1. Ethanol

We often come across the question: “Can dogs drink alcohol?” The answer is a big no. Booze, including beer, contains a colorless and intoxicating liquid called ethanol.

Dogs’ stomachs cannot metabolize this compound, unlike humans do. When ingested, it can result in alcohol poisoning or intoxication.

The amount of ethanol consumed will determine if toxicity will arise. According to a study, the oral lethal dose of this substance to dogs is 5.5 to 7.9 g/kg of 100% ethanol. One milliliter of ethanol is equal to 0.789 g.

Note that each type of alcoholic beverage contains varying concentrations of ethanol. Craft beer, wine, and hard liquor belong to the higher end of the spectrum.

They are very likely to induce severe alcohol poisoning in dogs compared to light beer, which has lower ethanol content.

2. Hops

can dogs drink beer 3Hops are a staple ingredient when brewing beer, along with grain, yeast, and water. The ASPCA has warned dog owners who love homebrewing about the plant’s toxicity to dogs.

Ingestion can lead to dangerous side effects, such as an abnormal rise in body temperature. In the worst cases, irreversible kidney damage may occur.

Experts have also observed that some breeds are more susceptible to hops poisoning than others. These include:

  • Akita
  • Alaskan Malamute
  • Border Collie
  • Chow Chow
  • Doberman
  • English Springer Spaniel
  • Golden Retriever
  • Greyhound
  • Labrador Retriever
  • Pointer
  • Saint Bernard
  • Samoyed
  • Siberian Husky

Similar to ethanol, the number of hops in beers may vary. IPAs and double IPAs tend to contain more hops than other types of beers, such as pale ale.

Alcohol-Free Beer vs. Beer for Dogs

can dogs drink beer 3Can dogs drink alcohol-free beer? Non-alcoholic beer or alcohol-free beer is also off-limits to dogs. More often than not, this type of beer contains trace amounts of alcohol, around 0.5%.

The amount might not seem a lot, but it can still potentially induce toxicity in dogs, particularly smaller breeds.

A safer and better alternative to alcohol-free beer is a beer for dogs. This beverage is specifically made for your furry pal, so it does not contain alcohol and hops.

Beer for dogs is usually made of beef broth mixture and malt barley. Both of which are safe for canines. The drink may come with added nutrients such as glucosamine and vitamin B, depending on the brand.

The Lethal Amount of Beer to Dogs

can dogs drink beer 8How much beer can a dog drink? Even in small amounts, offering beer to your dog should be avoided. Allowing him to have a taste is not worth the many dangers it can cause. So keep beer strictly for your consumption only.

“Will a little bit of beer hurt my dog?” is another question commonly asked by dog owners. The answer is yes.

It only takes small amounts of alcohol to cause intoxication and poisoning in dogs. This is especially true for small breeds. Thus, never let your dog drink beer, no matter the reason.

Symptoms of Beer Intoxication in Dogs

can dogs drink beer 4Can dogs get drunk when drinking beer? Yes. The ethanol and hops content of the beer can get dogs drunk. Clinical signs of beer or alcohol intoxication in canines depend on the amount they consume.

Early Signs of Alcohol Poisoning

  • Disorientation
  • Lack of coordination
  • Restlessness
  • Involuntary urination and defecation
  • Excessive panting

Severe Signs of Alcohol Poisoning

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Tremors
  • Increased heart rate
  • Low blood pressure
  • Low blood sugar
  • Seizures

Beer poisoning or toxicity symptoms typically appear within 30–60 minutes of ingestion if consumed on a full stomach. They will manifest earlier if your pooch has not eaten anything.

Many worried pawrents ask: “Can dogs die from drinking beer?” Unfortunately, yes. Severe cases of beer intoxication in dogs can result in death, as vital organs will begin to shut down.

Thus, if you suspect your dog drank beer, immediately contact the Pet Poison Helpline and send him to the vet immediately for examination and treatment.

Treatment for Beer Intoxication in Dogs

What to do if your dog drinks beer? If you catch your dog drinking beer, take him to the vet immediately. They would induce vomiting if the ingestion happened within 40–60 minutes.

Never attempt this method at home without vet assistance since it can cause your dog to choke on vomit.

Other treatment options for beer intoxication in dogs involve supportive care. IV fluids will be used to keep your dog hydrated and also help in flushing away the alcohol from his system. Alcohol-induced seizures are treated with medications.

Some dogs will be given oxygen if their toxicity symptoms cause breathing problems. Some cases of severe intoxication will require pooches to have tracheal intubation.

The vet may require your dog to extend his stay in the clinic for continued treatment and close monitoring.

Preventing Beer Intoxication in Dogs

can dogs drink beer 1Keep your canine companion safe from the dangers of beer by taking these preventive measures:

Immediately wipe off spilled beer.

Some dog owners wonder: “Can dogs lick up beer?” The answer is a big no, as it can lead to poisoning. So if you encounter any beer spills, instant clean-up should be done to keep your dog from licking them off.

Put all alcoholic beverages in a secure place.

Store beer inside the fridge or in a cabinet with locks to prevent your dog from accidentally knocking it down your kitchen floor.

Never leave your dog unsupervised around beer.

Do not risk placing beer on countertops or tables unattended. Even if it is just a short amount of time, your dog might see this as a good opportunity to sneak a taste. Discard your beer or place it in an inaccessible area before you leave.

Inform guests that beer is off-limits to your dog.

Curiosity can lead some people in social gatherings to let your dog lap up beer. Prevent this from happening by telling them ahead of time that beer is dangerous to him.

For your furry friend’s safety, consider placing him in a secure room if guests might become very drunk and forget your advice.