Can Dogs Have Wine?

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Introduction

We're going to start this article off with a big, giant, resounding "no!" 

Please, please, please, don't feed your dog wine. We understand that sharing with your dog is one of your favorite things, but even just a few sips of wine (or other alcohol) can be incredibly dangerous for your dog, specifically if you have a smaller dog. That being said, if your dog accidentally laps up a tiny drop of wine off the floor, it's likely that you won't have to rush them to the doggo ER. 

Overall, giving your dog wine or other types of alcohol is an incredibly dangerous game to play, and while it might be a cute, Instagram-worthy photo to have your dog splitting a glass of wine with you, it's going to have negative effects on your dog's health. 
Read on for more information about how wine and your dog certainly don't mix! 

Introduction of Can Dogs Have Wine?

Signs Your Dog has Ingested Wine

As much as you enjoy your "relaxation glass of wine" in the evening, it's important to remember that your dog, even if they're begging, cannot split a glass of wine with you. Dogs' livers are not set up to properly process alcohol, and, just like people, dogs can suffer from alcohol poisoning. 

The difference? The amount of alcohol it takes. Dogs have smaller immune systems, smaller bodies, and aren't set up to digest alcohol, making them prime targets for alcohol poisoning after a few sips. If your dog accidentally gets into the wine, there are important symptoms to watch out for. 

First, if you notice drunk-likes symptoms from your dog, it's likely that's exactly what's happening. If your dog lacks coordination, seems sluggish, is tripping and stumbling, and has a hard time walking, that's your first sign that something is wrong. 

If your pup has a significant decrease in body temperature, a lower blood pressure, starts panting, shaking, having seizures, throwing up, or having other types of gastrointestinal issues, it's likely your pup is experiencing the effects of the alcohol. 

If your dog exhibits any of these signs, it's important to call your dog-tor and get your pet to the vet as soon as possible, as they might need fast, life-saving treatment. 

Body Language

Here are a few body language cues your pup might exhibit if they've had too much wine:
  • Shaking
  • Panting
  • Ears drop
  • Pacing
  • Body freezing
  • Lack of focus
  • Head bobbing
  • Pupils dilated

Other Signs

Here are a few other signs to watch out for:
  • Drunk-like behavior
  • Seizures
  • Lethargy
  • Stumbling, tripping, or falling
  • Vomiting or diarrhea

The History of Wine and Dogs

History of Can Dogs Have Wine?
Sure, wine is a naturally occurring process and it doesn't necessarily need people to happen - let a few grapes ferment on their own and voila, you have wine (albeit, probably not great wine, but wine, nonetheless). And while that's true, it's likely also true that dogs haven't really been exposed to wine without people despite it occurring in nature. 

Dogs don't have an inherent, natural interest in splitting a glass of wine with people, but dogs are definitely nosy creatures. So, if you're drinking a bottle on the weekend, they're going to want to nose around, lick the bottle, and get a better idea of what you're paying so much attention to. 

In other words, you can always expect your doggo's curiosity to shine through. Unfortunately, it's because of us that dogs typically have alcohol poisoning. If we foolishly or ignorantly give our dogs wine, we could hurt them or even kill them without intending to. Other wine issues typically happen when owners leave an open bottle unattended around their pups, and again, that curiosity strikes.

The Science of Wine and Dogs

Science of Can Dogs Have Wine?
When it comes to wine, it's doubly dangerous for doggos. First, it's important to remember that dogs aren't able to process alcohol the way we are, so if we let our dog take a sip or two of our glass of wine, they're going to be feeling the effects much more significantly than we would. If your dog ingests too much wine, they could face issues like diarrhea, vomiting, tremors, coma, depression of the central nervous system, and death. 

Alcohol is toxic for your dogs because of their smaller immune system, their smaller body size, and their inability to process it. If you have a 20-pound dog and he or she drinks a glass of wine in 15 minutes, that's the equivalent of a 200-pound man drinking about 10 beers in five minutes - it's serious stuff! In other words, keep your dogs far away from wine, beer, and other alcohols.

Training Your Dog to Stay Away from Wine

Training of Can Dogs Have Wine?
It's nearly impossible to train your dog to stay away from specific types of people food and to happily accept others, so it's first and foremost important to train your pup to stay away from people food altogether. We suggest first ensuring that your dog understands basic obedience commands. If your pup doesn't have a firm grasp on "no," "sit," "stay," and "leave it," you're going to have a much harder time keeping your pup away from things he or she shouldn't be around. 

Next, you need to teach your pup that begging is inappropriate. While their cutesy tactics might not work on you, other, less knowledgeable members of your circle might feed your pup wine if they beg for it without any idea that they could potentially kill your dog. 

Your safest bet is to ensure your dog doesn't beg in the first place. If they're unable to handle this command, we suggest keeping them in their crate while you eat and drink in order to avoid any issues.

How to React if Your Dog Ingests Wine:

  • Try to get an idea of the quantity your dog ingested - this matters!
  • Watch for signs of alcohol poisoning.
  • Call your vet ASAP to brief them on the situation.
  • Take your dog to the vet, if advised.
  • Consider new spots for your wine so your dog can't get to it.