Is Beer Bad for Dogs? – What To Do If Dogs Drink Beer

Is beer bad for dogs? This is a potential health concern for a growing number of dog owners who have replaced a glass of wine (or two) with a craft brewery tour. Beer has made its way into our hearts and homes, and it’s not going anywhere. Just ask Homer Simpson. But just because we’ve learned to love drinking beer, doesn’t mean it’s safe for our furry friends.

Is beer bad for dogs? That’s a question I see people asking a lot. While this isn’t the most serious of questions, it does deserve an answer. So, let’s take a look at whether beer is bad for your dog or not.

Is Beer Bad for Dogs?

In short, yes, beer is harmful to dogs.

If your dog has a taste for beer, you might want to keep him away from the fridge. As it turns out, beer is bad for dogs. While there are no known cases of dogs dying from drinking beer, it can cause some serious problems if they ingest enough of it.

The alcohol content of beer is between 3% and 7%, which is on par with wine and liquor but much less potent than hard alcohol such as vodka or whiskey (which can be as high as 95% alcohol). Although various sources differ on how much beer a dog would have to drink in order to become intoxicated, most agree that a pint-sized glass would be more than enough to get even the largest dog drunk. And when a dog drinks too much alcohol, he can experience vomiting, diarrhea, and other gastrointestinal problems from ingesting too much sugar along with the alcohol.

In addition to getting drunk from drinking too much beer, there are other side effects that can occur when dogs eat human food like this — although these are less serious than getting intoxicated.

Is Beer Bad for Dogs Yes, Beer Is Harmful to Dogs

You already know the answer to the question “Is Beer Bad for Dogs?”, but is that detailed enough? Let’s learn more about this together.

Toxic Ingredients in Beer for Dogs

According to the ASPCA, “a large percentage of poisoning cases in dogs involve chocolate, xylitol (an artificial sweetener), onions, and garlic.” Beer is also in this list. This beverage contains alcohol and hops, both of which can be toxic to dogs.


The main ingredient in beer is alcohol. Alcohol causes hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) in dogs, which can lead to seizures, coma, and even death if not treated immediately. Because it takes longer for alcohol to leave a dog’s system than it does for a human’s, an intoxicated dog may continue to suffer its effects long after he has stopped drinking.

Ethanol is an organic compound that has two hydroxyl groups attached to a carbon atom at R-OH position. It is an intoxicating substance that can cause death when ingested by dogs if they consume too much of it in one sitting or over time (long term). Ethanol is also known as ethyl alcohol or grain alcohol which contains 60% to 90% ethanol content depending on how pure the alcohol is.

In dogs, ethanol is metabolized into acetaldehyde which is toxic to organs such as liver and kidney. When dogs ingest large amounts of ethanol, it can lead to serious health problems such as vomiting, diarrhea, depression and even death if not treated immediately.

Hops (Humulus Lupulus)

Hops, a bittering agent used in beer, is toxic to dogs. Hops contains an ingredient called xanthohumol, which causes stomach upset and vomiting when ingested by dogs.

In some cases, xanthohumol can also cause liver damage in dogs that have ingested large amounts of hops. Dogs who ingest hops may also develop jaundice or experience anemia due to their damaged livers.

The amount of hops in beer varies depending on the type of beer being made and how much hops are used in each batch. Darker beers such as stout or porter often contain more hops than lighter beers such as pale ale or lager.


The carbonation in beer causes gastrointestinal distress in dogs. This includes flatulence, stomach upset, and diarrhea. Carbonated beverages also contribute to pancreatitis — a painful inflammation of the pancreas that can lead to death if left untreated.

We have answered the question “Is Beer Bad for Dogs?” in detail above, so have you ever wondered why dogs like to drink beer? Let’s find out together.

What Makes Dogs Enjoy Beer?

A dog’s sense of taste is not as developed as a human’s. Dogs can taste sweet, salty and bitter flavors, but they have difficulty distinguishing between other tastes.

So what makes dogs enjoy beer?

  • Beer Has a Sweet Flavor to It.

Dogs love sweets — especially ice cream and cake — and beer has the same sweet flavor as those treats. As with humans, some dogs are more sensitive to the sweetness than others.

  • Beer Smells Good to Dogs.

When you open a beer bottle or pour it into a glass, it smells like yeast and hops — two things that dogs love. Some breweries even add food flavoring to their beers to make them smell more appealing to dogs (and humans).

  • Dogs Enjoy Beer Because So Does Their Human Family.

A dog may try beer because he wants to be part of the family and enjoy the same things that his owners do. In fact, there are many videos online of dogs drinking from their owners’ glasses and cans of beer without any encouragement from them — they just want to be included!

The question “Is Beer Bad for Dogs?” has been answered, you also know beer is not good for dogs. So how to detect if your dog has drunk beer and poisoned it? Below we will show you.

Signs and Symptoms of Alcohol Poisoning in Dogs

According to the ASPCA, 31% of pet owners have given their dogs alcohol. Overdosing on alcohol is common in pets, but it’s also very dangerous.

There are a few signs and symptoms of alcohol poisoning in dogs that you should know about so that you don’t risk harming your pet:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Vomiting
  • Seizures
  • Disorientation/Confusion
  • Loss of coordination
  • Hypothermia
  • Coma or death

Determining whether your pet has had too much to drink is easy if you look for these red flags. If you notice any of these symptoms in your dog, contact the vet immediately for treatment advice.

The question “Is Beer Bad for Dogs?” has been answered. So the next question that often arises is “What Should I Do if My Dog Drinks Alcohol by Accident?”, let’s find the answer.

What Should I Do if My Dog Drinks Alcohol by Accident?

Is Beer Bad for Dogs - What Should I Do if My Dog Drinks Alcohol by Accident

First, don’t panic. If you find that your dog has been drinking alcohol, you might be a bit freaked out. Alcohol can cause intoxication in animals just as it does in humans. In fact, dogs can even get drunk from eating chocolate! While this may seem like a silly problem, your dog could become seriously ill if you don’t manage the situation correctly.

The first thing to do is to make sure that there is no more alcohol left around. Any bottles or glasses should be removed from the area immediately. Next, call the vet. Explain what happened, and tell them exactly how much your dog consumed. If possible, have them take an alcohol reading on your dog’s breath or blood before you bring him in so they know where he started off at and have a benchmark for comparison when they take his second reading.

If you are able to bring your dog to the vet right away, it will help to keep him calm and relaxed while they work with him. A calm animal will recover much faster than one that is stressed out. Be sure to tell them everything you know about the situation and what your dog has eaten today in addition to the alcohol. They will want to monitor him for any signs of organ impairment or heart problems.

The answer is “beer is bad for your dog” to the question “Is Beer Bad for Dogs?”. So how to avoid possible risks to your dog? Let’s learn more.

Keeping Your Dog Away From Alcohol

If you’ve ever come home after a night out to find your dog snooping around the kitchen trash, it’s no surprise—our pets are cunning and highly resourceful. But what if you came home to discover your dog had also helped herself to some of the bottles in your liquor cabinet? And what if that wasn’t her first time?

You can read about how to keep your dog away from alcohol on our blog.

Put Your Dog in His Crate or in a Separate Room

When you’ve got guests over and nobody wants you to lock up your dog in the basement, it can be hard to keep your fuzzy friend from getting into the drinks. The best way to do this is to put him in a separate room, like his crate, and close the door.

Even if he whines or barks at first, he’ll quickly get bored and go to sleep. If you don’t have time for this, try putting him in an area that can’t be accessed by anyone but you—like a screened-in porch or a bathroom—and shut the door while you’re entertaining.

If there’s something that smells like alcohol near the door—like a rag soaked in vodka—try placing it outside the door so your dog will be distracted by it.

Keep All Types of Alcohol Out of Your Dog’s Reach

Keeping all types of alcoholic beverages out of your dog’s reach is a good idea. If your dog is a chewer, he could easily break the seal on a bottle of beer or wine and drink the alcohol. If he’s a drinker, he might try to knock over an unattended glass of wine or beer and take a sip himself. He could also get into hard liquor if you leave an open bottle around.

It’s best to keep all varieties of alcohol out of your pet’s reach when you’re home or not supervising him. That way there’s no chance that he’ll get into it if you have guests over who have had too much to drink. You can store bottles in cabinets that are out of reach, behind closets, or even in the basement if you don’t want them in your kitchen.

Some dogs will go through great lengths for a taste of alcohol if they can get their paws on it, so it’s important to keep any alcoholic beverages out of reach at all times.

When Other People Come Over, Pay Attention to Your Dog

Your dog is cute and you’re happy to have him around, but that doesn’t mean he should be included in any and every activity. If you’re serving alcohol at a party, don’t assume that your dog won’t sneak a sip. Dogs are curious animals and will investigate anything new, so make sure your guests know not to leave drinks unattended or in the open. You can also take precautions like having your own glassware or using coasters to prevent spills and broken glass.

Keep an Eye Out for Spills

The time you leave your dog alone with an unattended drink, you may find the floor of your living room awash in broken glass and alcohol. And while that hilarious incident might make for a great story, you may be wondering how you can prevent it from happening again.

The best way to keep your dog away from alcohol spills is to take them off the table entirely. That way, your dog doesn’t have access to the area where the booze is, and can’t knock any drinks over as he comes up onto the counter or table. If you absolutely must leave drinks out on a regular basis, you should use rocks glasses instead of stemware and leave them on coasters—they’re much less breakable than real glasses, so they’ll spare you some cleanup.

You already know the answer to the question “Is Beer Bad for Dogs?”. But you still want your dog to join in the fun at parties, here are some suggestions to help you solve that problem.

Beer Alternatives for Your Dog

There are many alternative options for giving beer to your dog, though your dog may have different opinions from you on which is the best. You probably shouldn’t try this with any beer that isn’t made specifically for human consumption. While it may make your dog a bit tipsy, in most cases it won’t cause harm. If you want to know if a certain type of beer will work well as an alternative for your pet, first check the ingredients on the label. Your dog’s digestive system is much more sensitive than a human’s, so if there are any ingredients that might upset him, you should probably find another type of beer.

As far as alternatives go, one popular suggestion is milk—it’s safe for both humans and animals (and it contains those same B vitamins that are in beer). Plus, the calcium in milk helps strengthen bones and prevent osteoporosis. Another suggestion is broth or tea—just boil water with some chicken or beef.

We also have some other articles about beer, you can click on the link to see more like non-alcolholic beer, and skunked beer.


Is Beer bad for dogs? The short answer is yes, alcohol can be bad for dogs. And that’s before you add in the sugar and other ingredients found in beer—not to mention there are a lot of better things you can give your dog to drink.

So what’s a dog owner going to do? Well, the easiest answer is that you should avoid giving beer to your dogs. Your dog will probably never have the chance to get into your beer again, so it’s not worth the potential risk. Perhaps one day there will be research that clearly states whether or not beer is bad for dogs. Until then, your best bet is to err on the side of safety.