Can Dogs Drink Alcohol?

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Can Dogs Drink Alcohol?

Can dogs drink alcohol?

No, dogs can’t drink alcohol.

Ethanol is found in alcoholic beverages such as wine, spirits and beer.


Alcoholic drinks contain different quantities of ethanol. Beer contains 3 to 5 %, wine at 9 to 10 % and spirits from 40 to 90 %. So spirits are dangerous than wine and beer.

Ethanol poisoning in dogs can be exceptionally serious. It can even lead to respiratory depression, cardiac arrest and death.

It can even lead to respiratory depression, cardiac arrest, and death.

can dogs drink alcohol

Reasons for Toxicity

Dogs’ intolerance of alcohol comes from their size.

It takes a less amount of alcohol to intoxicate an adult dog than it does for an adult human.

Moreover, dog’s kidneys are not able to correctly process the alcohol content of alcoholic drinks.

Even small amounts of alcohol, particularly in small dogs, can cause life-threatening toxicity.

Ethanol Poisoning

The signs of ethanol poisoning can take just 15 – 30 minutes to develop.

It depends on the amount of ethanol consumed and whether the dog’s stomach is empty or not.

After a meal, it may take 60 minutes until the ethanol enters the bloodstream.

Dog’s central nervous system is affected by ethanol.

This cause changes in dog’s behavior that ranges from depression to agitation, loss of bladder or bowel control and disorientation.

Other clinical signs are:

  • Hypothermia
  • Smell of alcohol on the breath
  • Seizures
  • Hypotension
  • Respiratory failure

The key to prevention is being a responsible owner and making sure that alcohol is out of reach of your furry friend.

If you suspect your dog has ingested ethanol you should seek veterinary advice immediately.


About the Author:

Hi! I'm Dora Mancha, DVM. I am graduated for the Veterinary Medicine Faculty of Lisbon (2009). My degree is recognized by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). I completed my degree in Veterinary Medicine in July, 2009. Over the first years as a veterinarian my work was closely related to the animal health field. I have gained some average experience having worked in Barcelona University (UAB) Equine Hospital and by working with veterinarians in Portugal. In addition, in 2009 - 2010 I was in Madrid at the University Alfonso X el Sábio doing an internship in the equine service. I am also very interested in small animal medicine and surgery. In fact I worked in several small animals clinics in Portugal improving my knowledge about small animal behavior and health. Dogs always have been present in my life, since I was a child. At the present moment I have four dogs a Labrador, a Epagnheul Breton, a Whippet and a mixed breed dog.

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