‘Hilarious’ Drunk Dogs Get Millions of Views Online, But Can Dogs Drink Beer? Can Dogs Drink Alcohol?

Videos of dog owners coming home only to discover that their dogs have accidentally gotten drunk frequently go viral online like this video reposted by LADbible on TikTok with more than 21 million views. Funny at first, videos of dogs stumbling, struggling to hold their body weight, or appearing visibly nauseous after ingesting alcohol aren’t as innocent as they may appear. 

Can Dogs Drink Alcohol

Alcohol is extremely toxic to dogs, and cannot be metabolized properly by their bodies. Even small amounts of alcohol can be life-threatening to your dog, and time could be of the essence. While most dogs will avoid alcoholic beverages because they don’t smell or taste good to them, some sweet or bitter alcohol can pique the interest of your pup. If you discover that your dog has somehow gotten into alcohol, contact a pet poison helpline and/or an emergency vet before you film them for social media.  

Can Dogs Drink Alcohol? 

No. Under no circumstances should you purposefully allow your dog to consume alcohol. If your dog accidentally drinks alcohol, it should be considered a potentially life-threatening emergency, and you’ll need to take action immediately. 

Can Dogs Drink Beer?

No. Beer contains alcohol, which is toxic to dogs. Many varieties of beer are also made with hops which is toxic to dogs. Consuming hops can cause abnormal increases in body temperature and other life-threatening health issues in dogs. 

Can Dogs Drink Wine? 

Can Dogs Drink Alcohol

No. Not only does wine contain alcohol but it’s also made with grapes which are extremely toxic to dogs and can cause kidney failure. Whether you’re wondering “can dogs drink red wine” or “can dogs drink white wine” the answer is the same—no, never. 

Can Dogs Drink Hard Liquor? 

No. Hard liquor—like vodka, rum, tequila, etc.—have a very high alcohol percentage, and are even more likely to cause alcohol poisoning in dogs than beverages like beer and wine. This doesn’t mean that beer or wine is a good substitute for hard liquor—dogs shouldn’t drink any alcohol. 

Can Dogs Die From Drinking Alcohol? 

Yes, dogs can die from drinking alcohol. Thankfully, most dogs are deterred by the smell of alcohol, but there are rare occasions when dogs willingly consume a significant amount of alcohol. 

Can Dogs Drink Alcohol

Any amount of alcohol can be dangerous for dogs, but, according to the most up-to-date research on ethanol (alcohol) toxicosis in dogs, a lethal dose of alcohol is around 4.33 to 6.26 milliliters of pure ethanol per kilogram of body weight. To give you an idea of how little this is, a standard “shot” of alcohol is 44.36 milliliters. So, for example, a 15 lb (6.8 kg) dog would only need to consume around 29 to 42 milliliters to have consumed what is considered a lethal dose. 

It can be difficult to know exactly how much pure ethanol your dog has consumed if they drink beer, wine, or spirits, because these beverages only contain a percentage of ethanol. Alcoholic beverages display the percentage of pure ethanol they contain on the packaging, usually in the form of a percentage. For example, most beer is around 5% alcohol, wine around 12%, and spirits around 40%. 

So can dogs die from drinking wine? Yes, absolutely—any alcoholic beverage has the potential to injure or kill your dog. Take note of the type and amount you believe they have consumed for your vet’s information, but don’t waste time calculating just how pure alcohol they’ve consumed—get to the vet ASAP. 

Signs of Alcohol Poisoning in Dogs

If you know that your dog has consumed an alcoholic beverage, don’t wait for signs of alcohol poisoning to set in—contact your local animal poisons helpline or emergency vet immediately. 

Can Dogs Drink Alcohol

Signs of alcohol poisoning in dogs typically present 30 minutes to one hour after they ingest the alcohol. If you notice some of these symptoms—even if you haven’t seen your dog drink alcohol—reach out to your veterinarian. 

  • Lethargy
  • Disorientation
  • Stumbling, tripping, or trouble holding up body weight
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Shivering, trembling, or lowered body temperature (hypothermia)
  • Extreme thirst
  • Increased urination

Like in humans, alcohol can suppress a dog’s central nervous system, affecting cognition coordination, and function of organs. Alcohol can also reduce a dog’s blood sugar to dangerously low levels, which can cause tremors, seizures, impaired vision, and more. 

Alcohol consumption can also give your dog metabolic acidosis, which can result in a suppressed heart rate and respiration, sudden drops in blood pressure, and increased risk of heart attack. 

What To Do If Your Dog Drank Alcohol

If your dog has consumed alcohol, do your best to get the dog to the vet as quickly as possible. On the way, have a passenger call the pet poison hotline and your veterinarian to let them know you are on the way. 

If you are far from your nearest veterinarian, call a pet poison hotline or your vet to ask for further instructions. Do not induce vomiting without explicit instructions from your vet. 

Can Dogs Drink Alcohol? FAQ

Can Dogs Drink Alcohol

Now you know what to do if your dog drinks beer, wine, or liquor, and how dangerous alcohol can be to your dog’s health. But, what about alcohol-adjacent drinks? For example, can dogs drink alcohol-free beer? What about foods with “beer” in the name? 

Let’s go over common questions from dog owners about dogs and alcohol. 

Can dogs drink non-alcoholic beer? 

No. Dog’s shouldn’t drink any beer made for humans, even if it is alcohol-free. Even non-alcoholic beers are often made with ingredients (like hops) that are toxic to dogs. If you want to give your dog a special beverage, try giving them some sips of bone broth or another dog-safe drink like goat milk. 

Can dogs drink root beer?

No. Root beer isn’t alcoholic, but it is high in sugar, citric acid, artificial flavorings, and other ingredients that will upset your dog’s stomach. 

Can dogs drink eggnog without alcohol? 

No. Eggnog is very sugary and made with heavy dairy products that will upset your dog’s stomach. Eggnog often also includes spices that are toxic to dogs, like nutmeg and mace. 

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