Can Dogs Drink Beer?

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Introduction

Listen, guys. We get it. You want to share everything with your pup. You love your pooch and want to make sure he or she is enjoying the wonderful parts of life right along with you, but that doesn't always mean your dog can enjoy everything that you do. An example, you ask? 

For starters, your dog can't share a beer with you. We're sure you've heard the classic story from one of your friends about how they split a beer with their pup on a hot summer's day, and regardless of whether that's true or not, it can be a dangerous game to play with your doggo. 

Unfortunately, alcohol of all kinds, in all quantities, can be hugely dangerous for your dog. It's not super common knowledge, but even small amounts of beer can make your poor pup super sick. Why does this happen? How can you tell if your dog has gotten into the beer and is getting sick? How can you help your dog avoid accessing beer? 

We've got all the answers you're looking for in our doggo-beer guide below! 

Signs Your Dog Has Had Too Much Beer

Depending on the size of your dog, it's likely that an accidental spill of beer that he or she laps up is not going to affect them too greatly. However, dogs are much more affected by alcohol than humans are, and they are in no way set up to digest it. Even tiny amounts of beer can cause life-threatening toxicity for your dog. 

So, if your dog has too much beer, whether it be accidental or intentional, it's important that you look out for several signs that could signal he or she is experiencing toxicity. In fact, your dog can be affected as soon as 15 minutes after ingesting a beer. 

Look for signs of system depression like staggering, slowed down reflexes, stumbling, increased urination, and general confusion. These are the first few signs that your dog is being affected by the alcohol they consumed. Your dog could be moments away from seizures, heart failure, respiratory difficulty, coma, or worse, death.

Body Language

Here are a few signs your dog might be giving you if you think they've ingested too much alcohol:
  • Shaking
  • Panting
  • Weakness
  • Low tail carriage
  • Drooling
  • Lack of focus
  • Blinking
  • Freezing

Other Signs

Your dog is probably giving you other signs that something is not right. If you think your dog has consumed too much beer, look for things like:
  • Respiratory difficulty or failure
  • Incontinence
  • Increased urination
  • Vomiting or diarrhea
  • Seizures
  • Drop in blood pressure
  • Drop in body temperature

The History of Dogs and Beer

The only way that dogs have ever been exposed to beer is through us. Because they have lived by our side for thousands of years, and we have been brewing beer for eons as well, it's likely that more than a few pooches have sampled some ale. 

Typically, dogs don't have an interest in splitting a beer with their humans because they want alcohol, they simply just want to have whatever their human is having. Dogs are nosy creatures and they like to get into whatever you're doing, so when you crack open a cold one, you can expect your dog to nose in on the action. 

Unfortunately, one of the biggest causes of doggo toxicity is because of human error - an ignorant or foolish owner might split their beer with their pup without realizing how harmful it can be, or, they'll simply do it for a party trick. 

Other times, though, it's the doggo's fault. As we said before, dogs are curious creatures and likely, they'll get into things they shouldn't. Many toxicity cases are because owners have left beer out where their curious pups can get to it.

The Science of Beer Effecting Dogs

Alcoholic beverages, beer included, are toxic to dogs. If your dog ingests too much, pretty much guarantee that he or she will deal with issues like vomiting, diarrhea, decreased coordination, depression of the central nervous system, and even more seriously, coma, blood acidity abnormalities, tremors, coma, or death. But what makes alcohol so bad for pups? 

First off, dogs are a lot smaller than people. If a 20-pound dog drinks one beer in about 5 minutes, that's like an almost 200-pound man drinking about 10 beers in five minutes, according to dogtagart.com. Can you imagine the havoc that wreaks on your poor dog's system? 

Alcohol overwhelms a pup's stomachs, but hops in beer specifically are extremely bad for dogs - they're toxic and your dog is unable to digest them. In fact, hops are more than just dangerous, they're highly poisonous and fatal for your pup. So much so that if you happen to have any hops growing in your backyard, you need to cut those out ASAP to prevent any munching.

Training Your Dog to Stay Away From Beer

Dogs aren't into beer because it's alcohol, so training your pup to stay away from beer will have nothing to do with addiction. Though sometimes, unfortunately, dogs are incredibly curious, and likely, they'll want to get into whatever you're getting into. 

That being said, train your dog to understand that he or she is not allowed in the area where you keep your beer. Just like people train their pets to avoid furniture or certain areas of the house, you can train your pup to avoid the kitchen or the garage - wherever you keep your stash of brews. 

Make sure your dog gets plenty of positive reinforcement and praise when they do this well, but also make sure that he or she understands when they've violated the rules. That means that your dog should suffer the consequences and receive appropriate action when they violate your rules about being where your beer is. 

If you're extra concerned about your dog getting into your beer, keep your stash somewhere high up or locked away where his or her pup paws can't get to it. Still nervous? If you're concerned about your doggo accidentally getting into your beer stash while you're out of the house, the best thing you can do is train your pooch to love his or her crate. Keep them in their cozy space all locked up while you're gone to ensure that they can't get out, roam the house, and get into your beer.

Safety Tips for Having Beer Around Dogs:

  • Train your dog to stay away from the room you keep your beer.
  • Keep your beer somewhere your dog cannot access it.
  • Never give your dog a taste of your alcohol.
  • Know exactly what to do if your dog ingests alcohol.

We Want to Hear About Your Dog's Experience with Beer!