Can Dogs Drink Alcohol?

Humans love a pint or two, but can dogs drink alcohol? 

No. Unfortunately, dogs are much more susceptible to alcohol poisoning than we are. As a result, they don't have to drink a lot before they start experiencing dangerous side effects.

In dogs, alcohol poisoning is severe and requires immediate vet attention. 

It only takes 30 mins for the alcohol to absorb into the skin or digestive tract before they start displaying symptoms. 

Can dogs die from drinking alcohol? Yes. Symptoms can range from mild intoxication to seizures, breathing difficulties or death. 

can dogs drink beer alcohol


  • Ataxia - Loss of muscle coordination
  • Confusion
  • Death
  • Dehydration
  • Diarrhoea
  • Difficulty breathing 
  • Drunkenness
  • Excessive drooling
  • Excitement changing to depression
  • Heart problems
  • Low blood sugar
  • Low body temperature
  • Respiratory distress
  • Seizures
  • Slow heart rate 
  • Too much acid in the body
  • Unconsciousness
  • Vomiting

Death can occur due to:

  • Low blood sugar
  • Low body temperature
  • Respiratory distress
  • Too much acid in the body

If your dog has consumed alcohol, then take them to your vet immediately. Take the bottle or product with you (or a photo) to help with the diagnosis. 

The vet will need to work out the alcohol % and the amount consumed. Also, they will need to know what additional ingredients were in the drink that might be dangerous to dogs - for example, a mixer or other chemicals.

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Top Tips:

  • It's not just the beverage that is poisonous either. Rubbing alcohol, antifreeze or even cough medicine are all possible sources of alcohol poisoning. 
  • Other hazards include vomit inhalation or eye irritation from splashes. So, be careful your dog is out of reach when you're pouring yourself a drink, or vomiting up your last. 
  • If your dog starts displaying signs of poisoning, you need to seek veterinary help immediately. Doing so prevents further distress and can make the treatment much more effective. 
  • Store any household item containing alcohol out of the reach of children and pets. Just doing this will help significantly reduce the likelihood of alcohol poisoning. 
can dogs have cough medicine

Treatment Plan

A blood test will confirm alcohol ingestion and determine the level of poisoning. Treatments will vary, depending on the level of toxicity and how they got poisoned.

Washing - If poisoned through the skin, your vet will bath your dog. It's the most effective way to decontaminate your dog quickly. 

Emesis - If consumed, your vet may induce vomiting to get as much of the alcohol out your dog's stomach as possible. They will then administer activated charcoal to prevent your dog's body from absorbing any remaining toxins. 

IV Fluids - Your vet will give your dog intravenous fluids to rehydrate your dog. It will also help flush out the toxins quicker.

Monitor - Having given your dog the appropriate treatment, your vet will then monitor body temperature and blood sugar levels. Alcohol poisoning in dogs is life-threatening. Therefore, always speak to your vet if you believe they are at risk.