As you probably know, beer is a type of alcoholic beverage that contains the chemical ethanol in its drinkable liquid form. But not all beer is made the same. Some of these beers are brewed with non-alcoholic ingredients such as sugar or fruit juice and there is no alcohol in them whatsoever. For this reason, many people think giving a glass of non-alcoholic beer to your dog wouldn’t be a bad idea. If you’re one of them, we have bad news.
So, Can Dogs Drink Non-Alcoholic Beer?
Dogs cannot drink non-alcoholic beer. This may be surprising, but even a non-alcoholic beer still has some ethanol in it. The alcohol content in these beers is usually just a small percentage, ranging up to 0.05% ABV (Alcohol by Volume). This quantity is considered insignificant, thus typically labeled alcohol-free in most nations. This is why, while such beers may not affect humans at all, it can still be lethal to dogs.
It’s important to understand the difference between an alcoholic and a non-alcoholic beverage is. All beers have alcohol in them – the difference is whether or not they’re sold as “non-alcoholic” or if they contain as little as 0.5% alcohol by volume (ABV). Alcoholic drinks usually contain about four times this percentage of ABV (8%). The reason non-alcoholic beers exist at all is for people who are worried about their health and want to avoid “too much” alcohol. So, it’s not the absence of alcohol that makes a beer non-alcoholic, but merely low levels of alcohol.
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Why Dogs Shouldn’t Drink Non-Alcoholic Beer
This answer has two parts: biology/physiology and taste
The first part of the mystery is the physiology and biology involved in why dogs can’t drink non-alcoholic beer. It turns out that the reason has to do with how alcohol affects both canine livers and kidneys. While humans generally have a fairly high tolerance to alcoholic drinks, dogs have a much lower tolerance – about half that of the average person (around 2 or 3 percent ABV rather than 5 or 6%). This is because these organs are adapted for digesting food, not breaking down alcohol.
Additionally, they’re not able to process the alcohol as fast as humans, so it lingers in their bloodstream longer and affects them more. As is said earlier, most non-alcoholic beers do have low alcohol content. Even if it’s just 0.5% ABV, for a Labrador that weighs around 60 pounds, this is about 10 ounces of beer. This amount is negligible to humans but is enough for dogs to make them drunk.
The second reason is taste. The main ingredient that makes these “beer replacements” is called xanthohumol, which is the same substance that gives normal beer its bitter, hops flavor. In comparison to regular beers, non-alcoholic brews have a much higher concentration of xanthohumol because they don’t contain enough alcohol needed to balance out this bitter flavor. As a result, these ingredients will usually end up ruining the drink’s flavor right off the bat – and in addition, smell foul to dogs.
Dogs can’t drink non-alcoholic beer. Even with low alcohol content, the chances of canines suffering from alcohol poisoning are pretty high. So, remember to keep any non-alcoholic beverages out of your pooch’s reach.
Thank you for reading the article.
To explore more, check out our other alcoholic beer-related dog articles in beer for dogs.
Did you already know that non-alcoholic beer is bad for dogs? Have you ever shared a sip with your dog? What was their reaction? We would love to hear from you. Please share with us by leaving a comment below!