Most people think that it is not a big deal giving their dogs wine or beer without accounting for the possible health complications and consequences. There are a lot of good ways to enjoy with your dog, but sharing alcohol is definitely not one of them.
Here are the reasons why dogs cannot and should not drink beer, wine and other alcohol beverages:
- Dogs are naturally not adapted for drinking alcohol.
Dogs are carnivorous animals originally created to eat flesh. Meat is sufficient to provide them with enough protein for their bodies. Besides, the body size of a dog is so small that even a little amount of alcohol is enough to cause toxicity. When compared to humans, dogs can barely tolerate even small doses of alcohol.
- The main ingredient of wine is toxic to dogs.
While grapes may be among the sweetest fruits you know, grape juice and wine are quite toxic to dogs. However, the reason behind wine toxicity in dogs is still not well studied by veterinary science. Though, it is believed that a certain fungus that usually attacks grapevines produces chemical substances, that are toxic for dogs. This mycotoxins are found in almost all kinds of grapes whether they are seeded, seedless, green, red, bought from the supermarket or planted in the yard.
- Alcohol damages dog’s kidneys.
Alcohol content in wine and beer depresses the nervous system of your dog and has a tendency to cause metabolic acidosis by altering the biochemistry of the body fluids. Acidosis is dangerous and damages both the liver and the kidneys. Consequently, this can lead to chronic failure of the kidneys which can cause inability to urinate properly.
- Ethanol intoxication is deadly for dogs.
Ethanol intoxication, commonly called alcohol poisoning, is enough to make a fully grown man unconscious. Dogs, being relatively smaller in size, experience severe symptoms from this toxicity. The symptoms are mostly related to the gastrointestinal tract and may include vomiting and dehydration. If not managed well, the dog can die.
- There is no cure for alcohol intoxication in dogs.
While dogs may sometimes recover from ethanol intoxication, the cure for some adverse effects such as kidney failure is not guaranteed. You may rush your dog to the veterinary clinic if you suspect alcohol consumption, though this will only alleviate certain symptoms.
Dogs don’t need to actually drink alcohol to suffer intoxication
Since you may not fully control the movement of your dog around, it can sometimes consume alcohol without your knowledge. Exposure to alcohol may happen in the following ways:
- People are often careless when disposing off cans and bottles used to sell alcoholic drinks. When dogs find these containers, they often sniff and lick the contents. Even this may be enough to harm the health of your dog with alcohol.
- Moreover, alcohol spills are common in most drinking spots and sometimes at home. They may also draw attention of your canine friend.
The potential risk of alcohol harm should prompt you to watch out for spills and dispose containers carefully, away from your dogs and puppies.
How can you tell that your dog is suffering from alcohol intoxication?
There are specific signs to look for if you suspect that your dog is suffering alcohol intoxication. Usually, the first symptoms are vomiting and persistent loose stool. The condition can then progress to significant loss of appetite and inability to walk well due to lethargy. Seizures and respiratory failures are also common, as well as reduced blood pressure and body temperature.
If you are aware of, or suspect that your dog is suffering alcohol intoxication, you should report the case to your veterinarian as soon as possible. The vet will prescribe rehydration measures to restore the normal level and biochemical composition of body fluids. Close monitoring is also necessary. Most medications are administered intravenous for rapid onset of action.
Non-alcoholic beer for dogs
Yes, it exists and it is intended only for dogs. This beer is made only from dog friendly ingredients, it is non-alcoholic and non-carbonated, and usually flavoured with chicken or beef. This product is not widespread, but if you really want to enjoy beer with your best friend, you can find it online and in some local stores.
Whether you are out partying or just drinking wine, beer or any other alcohol beverages at home, it is not appropriate to share them with your dog. Also, you have to prevent it from drinking alcohol by accident. This is important if you want to keep your dog healthy.