Ahhh! Nothing like sharing a nice cold beer with your buddies after a hard day’s work. You’d like to share one with man’s best friend, too, but is it really a good idea to give your K9 pal a beer? We’ve seen dogs being fed beer in movies and funny home videos, but giving a dog beer is a really bad idea.
Giving your dog beer can cause symptoms ranging from vomiting to brain damage and even death. No matter how much he begs, all alcoholic beverages should be consider a big “NO!” for your pet.
Beer can cause the same damage to a dog’s kidneys, liver, and brain as it can in humans. But because of a dog’s smaller size, the damage happens much quicker and can be deadly to your dog.
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 definitely be on the list of things NOT to feed your dog.
Liver damage – A dog’s liver is much smaller than a human’s and will have a much harder time processing the alcohol in beer. Just like humans, liver damage is irreparable and can be fatal. Unless you want to put Fido on dialysis, keep him away from the beer
Dehydration – Drinking beer instead of water will not hydrate your pet. Dogs need plenty of water to stay healthy and drinking beer not only depletes him of water but also essential electrolytes. Minerals such a sodium, chloride and potassium are lost when a dog becomes dehydrated and can lead to death.
Physical depression – When a dog drinks beer, it causes their central nervous system to slows down and become depressed. This causes the dog to lose his coordination and can even slow his heart rate and breathing down to the point that he slips into a coma.
Cardiac Arrest – High levels of alcohol in your dog’s blood stream can make his blood too acidic and cause him to go into cardiac arrest.
Low blood sugar – Beer can also cause your pet’s blood sugar to drop drastically. Low blood sugar can cause seizures and brain damage in your dog.
Kidney damage – A dog’s kidneys are designed to filter blood, balance water and electrolytes in the blood stream, and regulate acid-based concentrations in the body. Even the small amount of alcohol found in beer can disrupt or damage a dog’s kidneys. Without proper kidney function, your dog will get very sick.
Symptoms of Alcohol Poisoning
When a dog drinks beer or other alcoholic beverages, the main ingredient, ethanol, is absorbed by his body. A dog’s metabolism is much different than a human’s and is not able to process the ethanol as well as yours does. Size does matter when dealing with alcohol and a smaller dog will be poisoned with alcohol much more quickly than a larger dog. The better your dog’s general health, the slower alcohol takes to affect the dog.
If your dog drinks beer either on purpose or on accident, alcohol poisoning is likely. Know the symptoms to look out for so that you can get him the help he needs before it is too late.
- Changes in mood
- Loss of coordination
- Increased urination
- Difficulty breathing
- Decreased body temperature
If your dog consumes even a small amount of alcohol on an empty stomach, you may begin to see symptoms of alcohol poisoning in as little as thirty minutes. But if he has recently eaten, you may not see symptoms for one or two hours.
If you think your dog might have alcohol poisoning from drinking beer or other alcohol, it is important that you get him to a veterinarian as quickly as possible. Fortunately, most dogs can be successfully treated for alcohol poisoning if taken to a vet in time.
The vet will draw blood to see what your dog’s blood alcohol level is and check for damage to his internal organs.
Treatment may include giving the dog activated charcoal, which can help remove the alcohol from your dog’s blood. The vet will also likely give your dog IV fluids to help keep him hydrated and keep his blood sugar levels normal.
If you got your dog treatment in time, he should begin to recover from his encounter with beer within eight to twelve hours.
The Bottom Line
Can you give beer to your dog? This is a definite “NO!” The risks that you put your dog in by giving him beer just aren’t worth it. You can enjoy time with your dog in many ways, but save the beer drinking for when you are with your human pals.