Hey - can I share a drink with my dog?

Every culture has its vices, and booze is among the most common of legal and widely accepted vices in the western world.
Funny fact: While it is strongly recommended you not let your pet drink booze of any variety, oddly enough, guess what the treatment is for antifreeze poisoning: ethanol. What common convenient bottle is kept in most vets’ offices for this emergency? Everclear. And seriously, it’s not for sampling.

So let’s talk about booze and your pets. Nowadays more than ever, pet owners are sharing their food, homes, and beds with their pets. Most can see the logic that a pet owner would perhaps take in offering to share their adult beverage with their pet.

We all enjoy a cocktail from time to time, so why not let your pooch have a few laps, right? No. Dogs and cats often get more than drunk when they lap on your adult beverage–they may get a trip to the emergency vet hospital.


We all know that little bitty girls can’t hold their alcohol as well as big burly experienced drinkers. Well, your dog is (likely) smaller than a 90 lb human lightweight, and almost guaranteed to have a lower tolerance.  Would you expect anything different?


Alcohol in pets–whether it is a beer that was accidentally left alone and your dog found it quite tasty, or if you poured it into his doggy dish, is significantly more toxic to pets than it is to humans.

dog love, golden retriever
He loves you; love him back!

Within 15 to 30 minutes of ingesting alcohol on your pet’s empty stomach, you may be able to appreciate signs of central nervous system depression–that is if you aren’t too boozed up yourself. These signs can include staggering, excitement, or decreased reflexes, along with behavioral changes–increased urination.

As problems increase, they are at risk for a slow respiratory rate, cardiac arrest, and death.  Emergency treatment is CRUCIAL for your drunken and staggering 4-legged companion, and you may not even be capable of even driving him to the vet. Blood tests, IV fluids, and even ventilation may be needed. Somehow sharing that cocktail becomes a lot less fun for all involved.

Remember, prevention is easy; knowledge is power. If you suspect your pet has ingested any form of alcohol, ask a vet immediately. 

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