No Drinks for Dogs!

June 18th, 2005 in Dogs, Pets



Alcohol is toxic for dogs.  Your vet might not ask how many drinks a week your dog has, but maybe that’s because they know if they are having any, they wouldn’t be there. 

I couldn’t find anything on the web about alcohol and dogs so I am posting my experience so others can learn from it.  Note that I used to have a friend that fed his dog beer and the dog didn’t have any noticeable side effects.  But one drop of gin was way too much gin for my dog.  Here it is …

We were having a drink on the porch with friends and my boyfriend finished his gin and tonic and put the glass on the floor.  One of the dogs knocked it over and both dogs ate the ice cubes.  We didn’t think anything of it since the drink was empty.  An hour later my dog Teddy couldn’t walk straight, a half hour after that her legs wouldn’t support her at all, she was having trouble breathing and she started vomiting all over the floor and herself.  (And made no move to clean herself up or move out of it.)  She was also terrified and just wanted to lie as close to me as possible.  Wait till you watch your dog try to flop across the floor to get next to you – it’s terrifying.  Two hours after the gin flavored ice cube she was fine.  (I then felt like I might need a gin and tonic myself!)  Before we remembered the glass and the ice cubes, the emergency clinic vets were thinking back problems and neurological disorders.  When we finally remembered the knocked over glass, they immediately said that was it.  So, NO ALCOHOL FOR DOGS.  Not even a drop!

67 Responses to “No Drinks for Dogs!”

  1. Brabas says:

    My cockapoo Duke has some beers at the weekend, i really try to stop it but every Friday he jumps the fence and trots down to the local Spar-he arrives back smelling of cat where i send him right to his kennel

  2. aworthlesscharity@yahoo.com says:

    i just gave my ten pound beagle puppy a shot of vodka she loves the stuff and she never even gets tipsy really

  3. Tali says:

    I’ve seen some of the comments saying they’re dogs are fine after a drink – but like all people, dogs have different tolerance levels depending on size, type of alchohol consumed and general metabolism. My dog has previously been allowed a few drops of alchohol from my father, he thinks its funny she likes it – and so far no ill effects but i’ve strongly discouraged him from doing it. On the other side of the fence, my friends staff/lab mix almost died after a mouthful of brandy from a stray glass last new years. She was wobbly on her legs, then she couldn’t get up at all, then she passed out. She lived, but it terrified her owners and she had to have fluids and a shot from the vet afterwards which cost a considerable amount. Dogs get the samesymtoms we do when we drink, but what takes several rounds for a person takes a few sips for a dog – really, its beter safe than sorry. Don’t give your pets alchohol unless you’re prepared to lose them or at least pay a large vet bill.

    James Reply:
    December 19th, 2010 at 11:50 pm

    Brandy is made from grapes. Grapes are very dangerous for dogs to eat. If your dog drank brandy that was a lot worse than just about any other alcohol you might have fed him. It’s worth considering the possibility that it wasn’t the alcohol alone that was affecting your dog, although I’m sure it contributed to it.

    Full disclosure: I used to let my dog drink a bit of my White Russian back when I used to drink a lot. He loved it, he never stumbled or seemed like he was having a serious problem. Bearing in mind, this was years ago the last time it happened and he hasn’t had a drop of the stuff for a long time, nor will he because there’s just no good reason to give a dog booze. But I seriously doubt that if a dog drinks a small amount (for its body weight) that it will be a serious problem

  4. beth007bond@gmail.com says:

    I am very concerned about my 90 pound Catahoua. I too have seen her drink small amounts of beer (because she has knocked over a bottle or glass). We have never had any scary after effect. However, she got into our trash yesterday and ate a large peice of rum cake. The rum had been poured over the cake and was pretty potent (that’s why we didn’t eat it). She seemed fine for several hours, until she ate. She then became nauseous. We were so concerned about the strange behavior that we drove an our to an emergency clinic. She was given something for pain and nausea. She rested comfortably last night, but is still not herself. When she stands in one spot, she shivers and sways. Our vet believes that the alcohol may have caused minor pancreatitis OR she could have a damaged vestibular system The vestibular system effect balance and can be irreversible. I really do not think that giving your pet alcohol is a funny thing. I was looking for some input from others that have had this experience as I am VERY worried about my sweet baby girl. Please refrain from encouraging others to do something life threatening to their pets for a few giggles. For those stories that were helpful, thank you.

    Stan Reply:
    May 14th, 2012 at 12:54 am

    My puppie last night drank my drank while I was gone and when I came back he was out of it. He ate and went to sleep today he was throwing up and has a little sway to him he’s 3 mounths old and I’m scared becouse he drank so much but he seems fine now. Just not to active.

  5. stormy says:

    I hope he wakes up ok. People and dogs shouldn’t pass out from alcohol – it means they’ve had too much!

  6. stormy says:

    beth007bond, I really hope your Catahoua is ok! Our dog was ok after a day. Best of luck to all of you.

  7. stormy says:

    I have seen dogs become very obnoxious in search of alcohol! (Cats too.)

  8. stormy says:

    Yes, the problem is that dogs can’t tell you when they’ve had enough and all the signs we are used to in people (slurred speech, stumbling, etc) don’t translate well for dogs.
    So the best thing is not to give your dogs any alcohol! It can cause permanent damage.

  9. Tonya says:

    I drink coffee brandy,its sweet and no doubt my little Min Pin loves sweet.Two laps of my drink and she became sad and was shaking as if somebody had threatened her within an inch of her life.She just seemed so frightened.Shes resting now but i was afraid she wouldnt recover.I agree,not one drop,not one,if you want to be able to cuddle your dog the next day.

  10. Kevin says:

    People have been giving dogs alcohol for quite some time. It’s widely known that wealthy noblemen and royalty in victorian times (and earlier) often gave their dogs whiskey and/or beer along with their dinners.
    It’s really not a big deal, but I think certain breeds have a much lower tolerance for it. Hunting dogs (retrievers and hounds) seem to have a pretty good tolerance for fermented drink. They have been domesticated for hundreds of years, of course. So perhaps they have been bred to hold their liquor better.
    Obviously you should not give a dog as much liquor as a person can drink, and the really concentrated stuff (anything clear) should be avoided.
    My beagle had a few laps from a margarita, by accident, a few years ago, and suffered no ill effect. I have given her a very small amount of 3/2 beer on her birthday every year. She loves the taste. She has never been drunk off of it, but it does make her sleepy and extremely affectionate. Probably a good thing she isn’t a boy or she might start humping people’s legs.

  11. Levi says:

    Seriously. I’ve been searching and trying to find reasons why we shouldn’t give our dog beer. All that I have found is that it makes your dog drunk. Duh!! That’s what alcohol does. My dog tries to lick the top of my beer every time I open one. Oh well. I’ve explained to him the side effects of alcohol and the long term effects of it. If he still wants to lick the top of my can I guess that is his decision.

  12. Sebastyne says:

    I find it ridiculous that people would even think about giving their dogs alcohol as you MUST KNOW it’s not good, even if you didn’t know it’s potentially deadly. There’s tons of other stuff you can give as a treat, there is absolutely no reason why you would want to gamble with alcohol if you care for your animal. Stupid, stupid people! (I understand accidents, but deliberately giving alcohol to dogs!)

  13. Tony says:

    The acute toxic effects of alcohol ingestion are one thing, but what about frequent low level exposure? I lost my beloved Deerhound/Beddlington lurcher at the age of nine years and I now live with the guilt that I may have inadvertently contributed to her demise. She developed a taste for a small beer in the evenings -never enough to cause intoxication- and stupidly I usually gave in to her demands.She was a fit and active dog who loved nothing better than to run and catch her frisby and chase deer, rabbits, etc. That was until she suddenly became very ill. She was admitted to the vet hospital and given iv fluids and analgesics. Blood tests found her liver enzymes and white cells to be raised. An ultrasound scan of her tender abdomen showed she had advanced liver cancer. She was euthanased the same day, the dog I had known from when she was a few minutes old and had such a close bond with died in my arms. We were and are devastated to have lost her – she was beautiful.
    Perhaps this would have happened regardless of my ‘kindness’(read stupidity) but I will never know.
    So, please don’t give your dog even small amounts of alcohol, there’s no reason to and doing so could have unforeseen consequences.

  14. Chillax says:

    Relax everyone. Giving a dog a little beer every once in a while is fine. Those of you who had dogs that got extremely sick probably drank more than you saw. Why wouldn’t we want to give dogs alcohol? They are our friends. We want our friends to have a good time, too! As has been already mentioned people have been giving dogs alcohol for centuries. Probably especially hunting breeds. Think about it… a dog and his owner are out hunting in the woods in the cold winter. The owner drinks a little whiskey to harm himself up, then gives a little to his buddy. Just remember – MODERATION. Every once in a while a little bit, not a lot and not all the time.

  15. Morgan l Anderson says:

    I just adopted a 7 month old German Shepard Australian dingo mix. She’s super nervous and shy around strangers but LOVES captain Morgan and coke. I give her less than a martini glass full and she loves everyone. Since then she has been much more social and friendly with people even with out drinks.