Can Dogs Drink Alcohol?

Is alcohol ever okay for your dog?

You’ve seen the posed photo of a dog at a craft brewery or next to a glass of wine after a “hard day’s work,” but as we know from chocolate, not everything we consume is good for dogs. 

It’s the holiday season, which means the sugar and starches run aplenty and the alcohol overfloweth and just around the corner or right behind you is your pooch, waiting for anything to fall onto the floor and into their belly!

At The Vet Set in Carroll Gardens, the holidays bring celebrations which can mean an accidental poisoning as your dog is exposed to a variety of human cakes, candies, and beverages that make an appearance this time of year. Take a moment with us today and explore the topic of alcohol and how it impacts your dog. 

If boozy beverages are left out during your holiday gatherings, dogs may have the urge to peruse the floor and lap up any unattended drinks, but how does alcohol impact dogs and how do you know if your dog gets alcohol poisoning?  

First things first, let’s explore the different kinds of alcohol your pup may be exposed to. 

Can dogs drink wine?

While a frosty beer or heavy pour of your favorite red may be just the trick to ease your mind, long before they’re fermented into such desired adult beverages, they can be toxic or cause a sensitivity in your dog. 

Grapes are toxic to dogs, so anything derived from nature’s candy — wine, raisins, etc — are too. Needless to say, if the alcohol doesn’t affect your dog, the fermented grapes sure will. It’s important to keep your dog away from wine because it is toxic to their health. 

To better keep the wine in your guests’ glasses and away from your dog, consider using high cocktail tables for your party — they’re high and the food and beverages are well out of sight and reach for your dog. Or, keep them separated from the main party in a room or in doggy daycare for a couple of hours. 

Can dogs drink beer?

While grapes, thus wine are harmful to dogs, some dogs are sensitive to wheat or may even have an allergy. And there are the delicious extra hoppy beers which are a mainstay in many of today’s craft beers, but it’s the hops that dogs are also toxic to dogs, so if your dog consumes hops, they may have an extreme and unpleasant physical reaction to them. Hops can cause immediate vomiting, labored breathing, and fluctuations in body temperature.

Like wine, even if alcohol is not the issue, the hops in beer will be. 

If you’re a homebrewer, be sure to store hops in a secure location out of reach of your dog, and don’t let your dog near your brewsky — even for a cute pic.

Can dogs drink alcohol?

We’ve explored two of the most common boozy beverages, and as it turns out, they’re both poisonous to dogs because of the fermented ingredients in them. But, what about other types of alcohol?

While you should never give your dog alcohol for any reason, other beverages may still pose a risk, but the ingredients in them may not be toxic to your dog.


Alcohol Poisoning And Your Dog

When it comes to dogs ingesting any type of alcohol, you have to take into account their physiology, including their size and weight. What may only slightly impact a large breed such as a Great Dane could cause serious ramifications in a small pug. It’s also important to remember, that it takes far less alcohol to affect a dog than it does a human. 

Alcohol doesn’t even have to be lapped up from the floor or in a glass; foods with alcohol in them, such as some sweet treats like rum cake or bananas foster, can affect your dog.   

Alcohol’s Intoxicating Effect

The same signs of intoxication that affect humans will also be displayed in your dog, but this may happen at much faster rates and have much more dangerous results. The higher the percentage of alcohol they drink combined with how much will determine how serious its effects are. 

Signs of alcohol toxicity in dogs include:

  • Disorientation
  • Confusion
  • Weakened motor functions

Signs of alcohol poisoning in dogs include:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Concerns urinating
  • Kidney failure
  • Heart failure
  • Coma


At the end of the day, no, dogs cannot drink alcohol for the risk of alcohol intoxication and alcohol poisoning that may lead to serious health consequences. With as much as you want to snap a funny pic or experiment what alcohol will do to your dog, just don’t! 

Enjoying adult beverages means also being a responsible dog parent and keeping them away from what’s harmful.  

Stay curious and committed to your dog’s health and connect with us if you have additional questions about alcohol and your dog. 


Call our Carroll Gardens office today!


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