What If My Dog Drinks Alcohol?

What If My Dog Drinks Alcohol?

Author WDF Staff


Alcohol is toxic to dogs, just like onions and chocolate. Even just a few drops can have serious consequences, not only in alcoholic beverages but also in cakes and syrups. Ethanol and hops can cause alcohol poisoning, and if that somehow happens, here are the things you should look for;

  • Tremors
  • Panting
  • Restlessness
  • Disorientation
  • Muscle spasms
  • High temperature or fever

Worst-case scenarios can lead to organ failure and death.

Should you ever let your dog have a sip of your drink?

You might think it is harmless to let your dog have a sip of your beer or wine, but you should never let your dog have alcohol. As a dog owner, you should never risk your dog’s health for the sake of fun. You carry the responsibility for your dog’s health, and that should include keeping your dog off the booze.

party dogs

What should you do if your dog somehow drinks alcohol?

If something like this happens, the first thing you should do is call your vet. Depending on the quantity, your vet might tell you that you come to the station immediately, and if the amount wasn’t too large, then your vet might advise you to see if your dog has any reaction and then take the next step.

If it is a smaller dog breed like the Pomeranian or the Maltese, even the smallest amount of alcohol can be fatal. Larger breeds like German Shepherds probably won’t suffer serious problems, but it would be best not to test that theory.

If you think your dog took more than a couple of sips, or you are not entirely sure how much it actually drank, it would be best if you take them to your vet immediately. Suppose your regular vet is closed, head to the nearest pet emergency. Dogs that are suffering from alcohol poisoning should be treated as soon as possible. It is a great idea to call your vet in advance so that they can prepare for your arrival.

wine glasses

Tips on how to stop your dog from reaching for the bottle

Here are some basic tips on how to prevent your dog from accidentally ingesting alcohol.

  • All alcoholic beverages should be kept out of your dog’s reach. Keep them in the fridge, in a cupboard, or storage space. Hiding alcohol bottles and cans will stop a nosy dog from grabbing them and drinking alcohol.
  • Never leave alcoholic beverages without supervision. This is also a great life hack and a rule that should be followed, especially if you are going to clubs and bars. If you are a dog owner, make sure your dog can’t reach your unattended or leftover beverage. Place it safely in a fridge or on some shelves.
  • Talk to your guests and make sure they understand that it is never OK to give your dog alcohol. If there is a possibility that you or your guests might get seriously intoxicated, it might be better to keep your dog away from the party and safely locked in another room. Even a better option would be to let someone keep an eye on your dog.
  • In case spilling happens, make sure you remove your dog before you start cleaning everything. Your dog cannot be replaced, but a wine-stained sofa can.

Now that you know what happens, if your dog drinks alcohol, do whatever you can to always keep them away from it. No matter how curious your dog might be, you should never give in to their curiosity and let them have a sip. If something does happen, at least now you know what the right steps are. If you are not sure what else could be poisonous for your dog, call the ASPCA animal poison control.

World Dog Finder team