What You Must Know About Giving Your Dog Beer — Even In Small Amounts!

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Are you wondering if it’s okay to share a cold beer with your dog?

We know this is a disappointing answer but, truth be told, you really shouldn’t!

Can I Give My Dog Beer?While a minimal amount is unlikely to cause harm, one should never underestimate the effects of alcohol. The fact is canine consumption of beer can be tragic.

Too much beer could easily damage your dog’s organs including their kidneys and liver.

So, despite what some owners may think, we cannot approve.

Dogs Should Not Be Given Beer

And especially to the point of intoxication.

But, any amount is potentially poisonous. Alcoholic beer is just a bad idea.

Here’s an alternative…

Sure, some folks share a bit of beer and it turns out to be harmless.

Nevertheless, we still cannot recommend it. Here’s why…

Brain Damage to Dogs

Beer can harm your dog in unexpected ways. I’m talking about brain damage.

Don’t believe it?

Check out this neuropathologic study that was done on 5 dogs.

Bad news. Basically, it proves loss of brain cells and also white matter is severely affected.

There are, unfortunately, plenty more downsides to beer.

Small Liver — Big Problems

Your dog has a relatively small liver and this makes processing beer’s alcohol difficult.

So what?

Liver damage is permanent and can be fatal.

More Reasons To Ban Beer

A dog’s central nervous system (CNS) function can easily be affected by beer.

Your little guy’s heart rate and breathing could slow.

Slipping into a coma is possible.

Alcohol may also make your dog’s blood overly acidic. This can lead to Cardiac arrest.

Beer, like all alcohol, causes blood sugar levels to drop.

Seizures are possible. And beer can indirectly harm canine kidneys.

Your dog will get sick or could even die.

What To Watch For

Ethanol absorption occurs with beer consumption, wine or other alcoholic beverages.

Dogs can’t process or metabolize ethyl alcohol very well.

A small body size compounds a poisoning problem. It could come quickly and quite seriously.

Here are the telltale side effects (suffering):

Mood changes, confusion, hyperactivity, loss of coordination, increased urination, difficulty breathing, decreased temperature and again seizures.

A Quickly Drunk Dog

Even a small amount of alcohol, especially on an empty stomach, may bring on poisoning in as little as 30 minutes.

Observable drunkenness is very worrisome.

Such a scenario is not like when you see a drunk person stumbling around. Dogs can’t handle the effects.

A Pet Poisoning Plan

You will urgently need your vet’s help if your dog is sick from beer.

They’ll measure blood alcohol content (BAC) and check internal organs.

FYI: Activated charcoal cannot remove toxins from a dog’s bloodstream because it stays in the digestive tract.

It’s Just A Bad Beverage

One last thing…

Beer obviously does not hydrate! It’s a diuretic!

Avoid unnecessarily depleting your dog’s electrolytes.

Valuable minerals like sodium, chloride and potassium are lost during dehydration.

The Bottom Line

It is irresponsible to give alcohol, including beer, to your dog.

Irreversible effects are possible. There could be deeply regrettable consequences.

Save the beer drinking for your human pals.

Please don’t downplay the dangers for dogs. No beer!

What Do You Think? Have Your Say Below…

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15 thoughts on “What You Must Know About Giving Your Dog Beer — Even In Small Amounts!”

  1. From a dog brain/alcohol study: Five experimental dogs were provided 36% of their calories as ethyl alcohol for 1 year. Compared with a similarly handled control group, the alcoholic dog brains showed lateral ventricular enlargement, cortical thinning in the temporal lobe only, and fewer glial cells in the temporal and frontal cortices.

    For a 30-pound dog consuming 800 calories daily, 36% as ethanol would be roughly the equivalent of two full bottles of beer a day. For a year. For a 180-pound human couch potato consuming 2500 calories daily, 36% would be 7-8 bottles of beer. Monday through Sunday. For 52 weeks. I agree: that’d have a deleterious effect on your white matter, not to mention other organs.

    But a quarter-ounce in the palm once in awhile as a treat? Not as healthy as a Milk-Bone, sure, but deadly?

  2. Eaglebeagle says:

    I gave my 8 month old Beagle four palms of 3% alcohol beer. I put beer on my palms then let her lap it up. I just wanted her to taste it, because she was eyeing it curiously. I don’t think there’s any danger or is there?

    1. Lady Door says:

      Surely there should be no danger.

  3. Obviously we shouldn’t, but I see no harm in an occasional drink from time to time. A beer here and there never hurt anyone (actually proven to be beneficial), nor will it ever hurt a dog, scaled down of course.

    Brain damage, kidney and other organ failure sounds like the result of allowing a dog to get hammered frequently. I see no scientific harm in allowing a dog to enjoy a cold one from time to time, not a whole beer but 1/4 of a can or bottle.

    1. Re-read the paragraph that illustrates how much smaller canine organs are compared to human organs. Allowing even a small taste of anything potentially harmful, in any quantity, is not only irresponsible but falls within the bounds of cruelty.

      Please stop giving your dog alcohol. It can dangerously over-tax the animal’s system and prove to be fatal for your dog.

      1. My older purebred Rhodesian Ridgeback’s arthritis is getting worse as he ages. I let him lap up one beer out of the six pack at the end of the night. He sleeps soundly in my arms through the night without any side effects. A little common sense can go a long way! I assume most people commenting just want what’s best for their best friend.

  4. Surely just a non-alcoholic beer would be fine.

  5. A lot of people seem to have different ideas on what the answer to this question is. My neighbor’s dog once knocked over my glass of red wine and began to lap it up. We laughed about it, but stopped him right away because it just didn’t seem like a good thing for him.

    I’ve heard about people that let their dogs drink beer. My Dad said that he would never do it, but says that a tiny amount shouldn’t hurt them.

    I think that not even half a glass is an okay amount, purely because dogs are smaller than humans. The smaller you are then the more drunk you get (unless you drink all of the time). Dogs would probably also get liver cancer and such if they binge-drunk like some humans did.

  6. I have a English Lab that has been over 100 pounds since he was 9 months old. He has gotten completely hammered on multiple occasions. Some of them by him knocking over beers and drinking some because, well he’s my boy. I don’t give him any unless he wants it. I ask him “you wanna beer?” and if he barks like he does when begging for a treat then I give him one. If he does nothing then I don’t.

    He has lived well past the age that even the vets thought he would because of his size. I also have a black lab that is 66 pounds of pure muscle and he doesn’t like beer at all, but he loves hard liquor like brandy. He’s only 4 years old but I do the same thing with him. If he doesn’t want it then I won’t give it to him.

    But then again Labs are a strong breed and I know my boys like the back of my hand. I have had both of them smashed but it’s funny how they will tell me when they have had enough. However, I would not recommend giving any drank to a dog that is a small or toy breed.

    1. I just had to comment that this is one of the greatest posts I have ever read on a thread. Good luck to you and your boys sir. What a team!

  7. People drink alcohol to temporarily forget their woes, unwind, “chill” and relax. Many humans are constantly hiding behind a mask and most seem unable to let their hair down and unwind without alcohol. Now ask yourself if your dog suffers from the same limitations before feeding them alcohol.

  8. All the reasons you list go the same for human beings, but we drink alcohol all the time. I’m sure occasional doses and a low blood concentration, e.g. <1 g/L, is relatively harmless or does no more harm than it does to a human.

    1. Evan, I just cannot recommend anyone giving alcohol to a dog. Of course, people do so all the time without incident. This article is intended for people who are on the fence about it.

      1. It has been my experience that vets are more okay with feeding a dog beer than feeding a dog chocolate. Due to toxicity, which should be made a point. Alcohol in small doses is nowhere near as harmful as say grapes or chocolate (of equivalent doses).

        In some cases it may actually be beneficial to the animal, particularly as alcohol is loaded with carbohydrates and can be an excellent source of nutrition for working animals. I would suggest giving a dog alcohol on a very moderate basis would do them no harm. You can grab a toxicity table to show what might be an acceptable amount of alcohol.

    2. Dogs have a more sensitive liver and kidneys compared to people. I drink beer or wine every day (and get drunk much more than I should), but never would consider giving my dog even a beer.

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