Can Dogs Get Drunk? What Science Says

Did your pup just end up sipping alcohol, and you have no idea what will happen next?

Dogs, just like humans, get drunk if they consume alcohol. However, due to the small size, their tolerable range is less, and therefore, drinking alcohol not only gets them drunk but can also lead to alcohol poisoning. Therefore, you should try your best to keep your pup miles away from alcohol. 

But want to know how dogs get drunk and get affected by alcohol? Then dug into details as this article covers it all.

Can Dogs Really Get Drunk By Sipping Alcohol?

Dogs get drunk on the consumption of alcohol just like humans as long as they are given dog beer. However, if you give them human alcohol, they are likely to develop alcohol toxicity.

Moreover, it is known that small breeds of Dogs get drunk and are affected by alcohol at a much faster pace as compared to the larger breeds.

And the effects are pretty alarming. The reason is that due to reduced size, dogs cross the permissible limit after consuming a small amount of alcohol, even if given in the form of unbaked yeast dough and fruit cakes. Soon after the level of alcohol increases beyond the safe limit, the internal temperature of the dog’s body drops and causes reduced heartbeat.

How Does Alcohol Affect Dogs? 4 Toxic Tipples To Consider

From the type and amount of alcohol consumed to the nature of the breed, numerous factors matter when considering the effects of alcohol on dogs. 

However, some of the general adverse effects of drinking alcohol:

  • Impairment Of The Central Nervous System¬†

One of the prime effects of alcohol on dogs is that it impairs their Central Nervous System, just like that of humans. As soon as the alcohol is consumed, it starts to delay the cognitive function of the brain and to respond. As a result, the dog begins to lose coordinated movements, starts stumbling around, and sometimes gets over-excited due to improper hormonal release. And what is more mind-boggling is that even a minute amount of alcohol consumption can result in lost coordination. 

So, if you see your canine stumbling around after getting exposed to alcohol, it means its CNS has been impaired.

  • Hypoglycemia¬†

The second effect of Drinking alcohol on dogs is Hypoglycemia. 

Yes, just like in humans, alcohol is known to stop glucose production in dogs, too, as well as drastically reduce the sugar level. As a result, your pup starts to face dizziness and lethargy and sometimes can even experience seizures. 

So, if your puppy just sipped some beer, it is best to give them water and some pet sweets that can prevent its blood sugar level from dropping too much.

  • Metabolic Acidosis

It is quite surprising that alcohol consumption can also result in a rapid rise in acidity levels of dogs, which in turn can be so adverse that it can turn out to be life-threatening, too, at times. Some of the symptoms of metabolic Acidosis in dogs are:

  1. Reduced heart rate
  2. Heart failure
  3. Hyperthermia 
  4. Low blood pressure 
  5. Low respiratory rate
  • Gastrointestinal Distress

Moreover, just like humans, alcohol consumption is known to irritate the digestive lining of dogs. As a result, it gets swollen and causes various problems like vomiting, diarrhea, upset stomach, drooling, etc.

Lastly, in extreme cases, alcohol consumption can also result in alcohol poisoning in dogs by damaging the organs throughout the body and overwhelming all the organ systems.

Case Study

A study reported in the Australian Veterinary Journal shows that a male and female dachshund was brought to a veterinary hospital, where they lapsed into vomiting and unconsciousness. 

During treatment, a yellow poisoning substance was vomited, which was later identified as a form of homemade alcoholic eggnog. 

Therefore, it becomes clear to what extent alcohol is toxic for dogs.

How To Know If My Dog Is Drunk?

Dogs Get Drunk

The signs and symptoms of being drunk are more or less the same in more mammals, except for the fact that these small creatures face intense effects. These include 

  • Vomiting
  • Nausea¬†
  • Drooling
  • Racing heart¬†
  • Lost coordination¬†
  • Weakness
  • Letharginess
  • Hypotension¬†
  • Hypoglycemia¬†
  • Muscle tremors¬†
  • Staggering¬†
  • Sudden Collapse¬†

Can Dogs Drink Human Beer?

No, dogs can’t drink beer specially brewed for humans. The reason is that it contains some content of ethanol in it which is utterly harmful to dogs and can result in ethanol toxicity within no time.

So, even if your puppy feels attracted to the sweet aroma of alcohol, always keep it away from their reach. Else, you can end up losing your pup.

Is Dog Beer Safe For Dogs?

Dog beer is quite a different product from human beer and is a safe drink for dogs. It contains nearly 99% water and various other ingredients. These include herbs, veggies, whole grain Oats, bone broth, fruits, nuts, etc., and thus, it is counted as a rich source of

  • Vitamin A and B¬†
  • Potassium¬†
  • Glucosamine¬†

Therefore, it is completely safe for your dog to have dog beer. However, it shouldn’t replace the meal. Moreover, one dog beer a day is considered enough.

Moving on, some of the well-known brands of dog beer are:

  • Dog Brew by Busch
  • Bark Brew
  • Good Boy Dog Beer
  • Bowser Beer

What To Do If Your Dog Gets Drunk?

Dogs Get Drunk

The best way out is to keep alcohol away from your pooch’s reach. However, if, despite all your efforts, your dog has ended up drinking alcohol, the safest move to opt for is to take your pup to a vet immediately. He will examine his health, do a proper checkup and provide you with some guidelines and medical care depending on the severity of the problem and level of alcohol consumption. 

Some of the known ways to prevent alcohol from dogs are:

  • Keep it out of reach of your pup by storing it in cabinets
  • Throw all the empty alcohol bottles out of your house
  • Make sure to provide them with alcohol-free food

Final Verdict 

To sum up, yes, dogs get drunk if they drink alcohol. However, they are more exposed to alcohol toxicity even at low amounts.  Therefore, you should try to keep alcohol away from them. And if they have consumed it, take them to the vet as soon as possible. Else, you can even end up losing your pup. 

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