Can Dogs Have Beer? You Should Not Be Messing With Liquid Courage

Many of us will enjoy a beer or two on a relaxed day, but is it safe to drink a cold beer with your dog? This might be a question you are seriously wondering about whether to give your dog some beer to enjoy with you or just for laughs. So, can dogs have a beer?

No, beer is bad for dogs. Dogs should not consume beer, as even a small amount of alcohol of any kind could lead to alcohol poisoning for your pooch. A small taste out of your glass or your dog lapping some spilled beer off your floor can be bad for your dog’s health.

When we think and hear about poisoning in dogs, we only think about human foods and pesticides, and often we overlook alcohol. However, if you want to enjoy a drink with your dog, you can give them non-alcoholic, non-carbonated beers.

We have researched and come up with this post discussing whether dogs should have a beer. So, let’s find out why your furry friend should not mess with liquid courage.

Can Dogs Have Beer?

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The simple answer is no. Dogs should not consume any beer with alcohol content. There is no safe amount of beer that your pooch can drink.

First, a dog’s liver is not designed to process alcohol, and therefore, dogs could suffer from toxicity or alcohol poisoning just like humans.

The dog’s small size makes them more vulnerable, and depending on the alcohol volume and body size, beer can easily become dangerous for your dog.

In addition, although a good beer may seem to intoxicate dogs pleasantly, just like humans, you should think of your pooch as the ultimate “lightweight.” This means that they may get intoxicated faster than any human. The intoxication could make your dog aggressive and even fearful.

Generally, beer or any form of alcohol is unhealthy for your dog. However, to help you understand some health reasons, we have compiled a guide on why dogs shouldn’t ingest beer.

What Happens When A Dog Drinks Beer?

Dogs are more sensitive to alcohol and can suffer from alcohol poisoning even in small doses. Although giving your dog beer may seem harmless, beer can be toxic and very poisonous to your furry friend. Most dog owners who enjoy a beer cannot mean harm and only want to share their experience with their pooches. 

When a dog drinks beer, even just a little for the smaller breeds, it can appear confused, have difficulties standing up, walking about, and become sluggish or more lethargic. So how common is alcohol poisoning in dogs?

Beer is harmful to your dog, just like some human foods like onions and chocolates. It is at the top of the list of drinks or foods that humans enjoy but are toxic to dogs.

Why Is Beer Bad For Dogs?

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Beer is bad for dogs because dogs lack tolerance for alcohol, including beer, so even a small amount can cause detrimental effects. 

In dogs, beer causes alcohol poisoning or ethanol toxicosis. Beer causes the same reactions to pooches as with humans, just that your dog’s reactions will occur faster and will be more serious. The higher the alcohol content, the harder the beer will be on your dog’s body and system. 

Beer is harmful to your pooch and can lead to the following:

Dehydration

Alcoholic beer removes your pooch’s body of water, minerals, and electrolytes that it needs to stay energetic and healthy. In addition, once a dog consumes alcohol, you will have to spend some money to rehydrate your dog if it is dehydrated. 

Liver Failure

Dog owners may need to have consumed a lot of beers over a long period to be at risk of liver failure. However, it’s not the same for dogs since the size of their livers is smaller than humans. A small amount of beer or alcohol can put your pooch at serious risk of liver failure

Kidney Failure

Similar to liver failure, your dog’s kidneys are smaller than yours as a dog owner. Therefore, your dog’s kidneys can’t properly filter even a small amount of alcoholic beer they ingest.

Coma

Depending on how much beer your dog has drunk, it could lead to a coma. It might start as losing its coordination abilities and will go all the way to a drastic decrease in its heart rate. After a while, your furry friend will experience a decrease in blood sugar levels and go into a coma state.

Is Beer Poisoning Common In Dogs?

Alcohol poisoning is not common in dogs because most owners know that it is not good to give dogs alcohol. 

There are few cases of beer poisoning since alcohol is distasteful to most dogs, and therefore, your dog will not regularly seek it out. 

However, now and then, some accidents that occur and the ingestion of alcohol can cause significant harm to your dog. Although dogs are not particularly attracted to beer or alcohol, they are curious and love to consume food and drinks they have seen their owner consuming.

Image from Barkbox

What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Alcohol Poisoning In Dogs?

If you are confident that your dog did not consume too much beer and only exhibited some mild symptoms, you can let them sleep it off, and they will be fine.

However, keep watch of your dog and consult with your vet if you are unsure how much beer your pooch ingested or observe some symptoms progressing.

Some of the early symptoms of alcohol poisoning include:

Beyond the above early symptoms, a dog’s system can respond in undetectable ways to beer consumption, such as a drop in body temperature, blood pressure, and blood sugar.

Serious alcohol poisoning can include:

  • Muscle tremors
  • Seizures
  • Slowed heart rate
  • Extremely slow and shallow breathing
  • Decrease in body temperature
  • Loss of consciousness or fainting spells

Any of the above symptoms cause alarm, and if your dog has drunk beer, it’s not safe to assume that it will be okay. If unsure of what to do, reach out to Animal Poison Control Center, and they may be able to help. However, the best option would be to call your vet.

How Do You Prevent Your Dog From Drinking Beer?

Some basic tips for preventing your dog from ingesting alcohol in the future include:

Store All Forms Of Alcohol Out Of Reach Of Your Dog

Storing all alcohol forms out of the reach of your pooch will prevent a curious pooch from sinking its teeth into the can or knocking over the bottle or glass. You can store alcohol safely in a cabinet stored up or a refrigerator where it will be difficult for your dog to access it easily.

Avoid Leaving Your Alcoholic Beverages Unattended

When indulging in your drink and you need to walk away from your glass for one reason or another, you should ensure you keep your drink out of its reach.

Curious pooches may decide to take a few laps before you come back, and it can be dangerous. In addition, when going to bed at night, ensure you throw out or store any leftover alcohol in your refrigerator.

Stay On Top Of Spills

Most dog owners enjoy having their dogs clean up after them in the kitchen, especially for the messy cooks or young kids. However, when it comes to spills of beer or any drinks or food containing alcohol, you should clean up immediately and keep your pooch away.

If there is a spill, ensure you attend to your dog first and then clean later after you are sure your pooch doesn’t have access to the alcohol. While you can wipe off the alcohol from the kitchen floor or replace your favorite rug, you cannot replace your dog.

Image from Barkbox

Don’t Allow Your Guests To Give Your Dog Beer

When having a social gathering, your dog will always be there, and therefore, you should ensure your guests know that they shouldn’t give your dog alcohol at all.

If you intend on getting heavily intoxicated, you should consider putting your pooch in a secure area to avoid any accidents from beer consumption.

What Should I Do When My Dog Drinks Beer Accidentally?

If your dog still ingests alcohol despite your precautions, the first thing to do is consult with your vet to be given recommendations on how to proceed.

Depending on how much alcohol content your dog has consumed, some vets may request you to take your pooch in for a checkup immediately. However, on some occasions, your vet may suggest you wait it out to see if your dog will react before bringing it in.

If you are unsure how much alcohol your dog ingests, it’s best to immediately take it to the vet. If your vet is unavailable, find an emergency veterinarian center.

In addition, if your dog seems drunk, head to your veterinarian immediately since a drunk-looking dog may be in danger.

Notably, never allow your dog to sleep it off when it appears drunk, as it can be life-threatening.

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Pete Decker