Beer is one of the most widely consumed drinks in the world, ranking third after water and tea. It tastes good, but more than that, it makes you feel good. But have you ever wanted to share a pint with your dog? Well, we are sorry to tell you, but dogs CANNOT drink beer.
Firstly, hops, the main ingredient used to brew beers, are highly dangerous to your dog’s health. It may lead to malignant hyperthermia- a condition that causes a persistent rise in body temperature, and a rapid increase in heart rate.
Secondly, beer and all other alcoholic drinks contain a chemical named ethanol. Ethanol is a psychoactive drug that is responsible for the change in mood, cognition, and behavior, that is associated with drunkenness. A dog’s kidney is not equipped to handle the toxicity of ethanol.
So, the answer to the question ‘Can dogs drink beer?’ is No. While you might find it entertaining to watch your dog fall over and stumble away, in reality, it is highly dangerous for your canine companion.
Here’s everything you need to know about alcohol and its adverse effects on a dog’s health.
Can Dogs Drink Beer and Get Drunk?
You already know that dogs cannot drink beer. But can they get drunk if they ingest some?
Yes! Dogs can, in fact, get drunk. Dogs are relatively small in size and so, their body is highly sensitive to alcohol. Even a small amount can get them drunk very fast.
Dogs are curious beings by nature and will put anything they find into their mouth. A sip of your drink here and a lick of a drop off the table there, you won’t even notice when your pooch gets tipsy.
What Happens When You Give Beer to Dogs?
While the most that can happen to you when you drink beer, or any alcoholic drink, is a terrible hangover, it is an entirely different case for dogs. The initial signs are the same- they will have problems walking and standing up. They will become drowsy and unresponsive and can experience vomiting and excessive urination. After that, their condition goes from bad to worse in a blink of an eye.
The dog’s blood sugar level drops seriously low, so does their temperature. Their heartbeat races up. Without immediate attention in this stage, the drunk dog can fall unconscious, collapse, and even die from respiratory arrest.
How Can My Dog Have Alcohol Poisoning?
The most common reason for alcohol poisoning in dogs is simple human error. An owner might get too excited and get his/her dog drunk just for the fun of it, without knowing how harmful it can be to their beloved pet. Other times, it is the dog’s fault. They can get nosy and do the exact things that they are not supposed to do. You might have left a beer out and your dog will run towards it in no time.
Just rolling around and walking in alcoholic drinks can also be a risk as dogs can absorb liquid through their skin.
Apart from beverages, dogs can get alcohol poisoning accidentally through various foods and products that have alcohol content.
Some common household products that may contain alcohol are:
- cough and cold medications
- baby wipes
- hand sanitizer
- flea, tick, and bug sprays
- perfumes, cologne, and body washes
- skin cream and hand lotion
- soy sauce
Dogs may also ingest alcohol present in over-ripen and fermented fruits.
Research conducted at the University of Kaiserslautern and published in the Journal of Analytical Toxicology estimates that some foods and drinks that are labeled non-alcoholic does, in fact, contain some amount of alcohol. You can find the study that contains a full list of food and drinks that can contain alcohol here.
Likewise, around holidays, cakes and muffins are normally baked with alcohol in it. Be careful to keep your whiskey/brandy flavored holiday dessert out of your canine’s reach.
“I Think My Dog Is Drunk. What Should I Do?”
If you find your dog drinking beer, do not wait to check the symptoms. Run to your veterinarian right away.
You can also call Animal Poison Control Centre (ASPCA) immediately at (888) 426-4435 if you’re in the United States. The center is open 24 hours all year round.
How Can I Prevent My Dog from Getting Alcohol Poisoning?
In the case of alcohol poisoning in dogs, it is better not to risk the life of your four-legged friend at all, rather than regret it after the deed is done.
Here are a few things that you can keep in mind.
- Always keep alcohol bottles out of your dog’s reach. Shut them tightly.
- Dispose of the drinks carefully and make sure you don’t spill a single drop.
- Separate the products that contain alcohol from regular products and keep them away from your dog.
- Watch your dog safely especially during gatherings and festivals. Make sure they don’t steal a lick or a bite of foods containing alcohol.
Even the most random of products can have alcohol content in an unexpected way. Read the labels carefully.
Can Dogs Drink Non-alcoholic Beer and Root Beer?
You will be surprised to know that even a non-alcoholic beer/alcohol-free beer has a little ethanol in it. It can range up to 0.05% ABV (Alcohol by Volume). This amount is considered negligible and thus, is labeled alcohol free in most countries. Such non-alcoholic beer may not have any effect on the human body, but, it is still dangerous to a dog’s health.
On the other hand, root beer contains Aspartame, an artificial sweetener that is about 200 times sweeter than sugar.
So, the answer to the question, “Can dogs drink non- alcoholic beer and root beer?” is NO.
What Beverages Can Dogs Drink?
Thankfully, a whole range of dog beer is available in the market.
Of course, dog beer is not a beer in the real sense, it is a pretend beer. For those of us who want to enjoy the feeling of sharing a chilled beer with our furry best friend, dog beer is the only choice.
Maybe we could all choose to stay sober and stick to water, but that’s an entirely another argument!
Can dogs drink beer? Sadly, No. Beer and all other alcoholic beverages are harmful to your dog’s health. As a matter of fact, feeding your pet alcohol is considered animal abuse. If your pet dies of purposeful alcohol consumption, you can even face charges.
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