There’s nothing like sharing a nice cold beer with your buddies after a hard day’s work. Maybe you’d like to share one with man’s best friend, too, but is it really okay to give your dog alcoholic beer?
Dogs who drink too much alcohol, including beer, can experience symptoms ranging from vomiting to brain damage, even death. No matter how much they beg, alcoholic beverages should be off limits for your pet.
Longer term, and just like in humans, beer consumption can bring about serious damage to your dog’s organs including their kidneys, the liver and the brain.
Can I Give My Dog Beer? Answer: No
It may be funny to watch your intoxicated dog stumble around, especially after you’ve drunk your share, but beer should be on the list of things not to give your dog.
If you see them acting drunk, you’ve already gone too far! But if you can safely give your dog with a very moderate amount of beer then it may be harmless.
Beer Health Risks
Liver damage – A dog’s liver is small. They’ll have a hard time processing the alcohol in beer. Liver damage is irreparable and can be fatal. Unless you want to put Fido on dialysis, keep them away from beer.
Dehydration – Drinking beer instead of water will not hydrate your pet. Dogs need plenty of water to stay healthy. Drinking beer depletes them of water and also essential electrolytes. Minerals like sodium, chloride and potassium are lost following dehydration.
Physical depression – When they drink too much beer their central nervous system slows down and becomes depressed. Canines can lose coordination, their heart rate and breathing will slow down and slipping into a coma is possible.
Cardiac Arrest – High levels of alcohol in your dog can make their blood too acidic inducing cardiac arrest.
Low blood sugar – Beer or any other alcohol can cause your pet’s blood sugar to drop. Low blood sugar causes seizures and brain damage.
Kidney damage – Your dog’s kidneys filter blood, balance water and electrolytes in the blood stream. Alcoholic beer can disrupt or damage canine kidneys. Without proper kidney function, your dog will get very sick or die.
K9 Alcohol Symptoms
If a dog drinks beer or wine or any other alcoholic beverage, ethanol is absorbed into their body. Their metabolism can’t process ethanol as well as you. Size matters greatly when consuming alcohol and so dogs will get alcohol poisoning more quickly.
Any dog drinking too much beer, either on purpose or by accident, will likely get alcohol poisoning. Symptoms to look out for, before it’s too late, in such a situation are:
- Changes in mood
- Loss of coordination
- Increased urination
- Difficulty breathing
- Decreased temperature
If they consume even a small amount of alcohol on an empty stomach, you may begin to see symptoms in as little as thirty minutes. If your dog has recently eaten, you may not notice any signs for one or two hours. Observable canine drunkenness is much more serious than when you see a drunk person because dogs simply can’t handle the effects.
Treatment for Alcohol Poisoning
If you think your dog might be sick from drinking beer, get them to a veterinarian ASAP. Fortunately, most dogs can be successfully treated for alcohol poisoning if taken to a vet in time.
In most cases, the vet will draw blood to measure your dog’s blood alcohol content and check for damage to internal organs. Treatment may include activated charcoal which can help remove alcohol from your dog’s blood stream. They’ll also likely give your dog IV fluids to rehydrate and stabilize blood sugar levels.
If you got your best friend the proper treatment in time, they should begin to recover from an alcohol encounter within eight to twelve hours. This assumes you don’t have a really drunk dog!
Conclusion on Dogs & Beer
Giving beer to a dog is a bad idea. The risks that you’d potentially put your dog through by giving them beer, which is commonly made with barley, just aren’t worth it. Enjoy time with your dog in other ways. Save the beer drinking for when you are with your human pals.