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“Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole.” — Roger Caras
What To Do If Your Dog Drinks Alcohol
What To Do If Your Dog Drinks Alcohol

What to Do if Your Dog Drinks Alcohol – Our Expert Guide

Dogs are the most curious creatures. As much as we love their enthusiasm and curiosity, it may cause them a few problems when sniffing and licking unknown substances. If you happen to see your dog lapping at your favorite glass of wine, beer or spirit, read on to see how your dog’s body reacts to alcoholic drinks and what to do in this situation.

What To Do If Your Dog Drinks Alcohol

Dogs and Alcohol

It is of utmost importance as a pet owner that you know that alcohol is very dangerous to dogs. Accidental consumption may lead to fatal symptoms and will need a direct visit to the vet.

Different alcoholic drinks vary in the alcohol content but all alcoholic drinks can lead to alcohol poisoning in dogs.

Symptoms and Signs of Toxicity of Alcohol

Depending on the alcohol percentage of the drink and the amount consumed, your dog may have mild to severe symptoms. Regardless of the severity of the situation, you should immediately visit your vet for treatment. Observe your pet for the following symptoms if you are unsure of his alcohol consumption.

  • Nausea
  • Dehydration
  • Lethargy
  • Drooling
  • Vomiting
  • Weakness
  • Collapse
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Shaky movement
  • Low body temperature

If you suspect that your dog has consumed some kind of alcohol, then immediate treatment is vital. Do not wait for the dog to exhibit visible symptoms before going to the vet if you are sure that your dog has drunk alcohol. Let your vet know the amount and type of alcohol consumed. If possible bring the bottle of alcohol to your vet.

Treatment after alcohol ingestion

Stabilizing your dog will be the utmost priority once they are taken into the clinic or hospital. It is important to get there as soon as possible, under 40 minutes from consumption. Nausea and vomiting are treated as well as readjustment of body temperature for dogs that experience a drop in body temperature. Your vet may give respiratory aids such as a ventilator to help your dog with his breathing.

Your vet will then try to remove the alcohol from your dog’s body using intravenous fluids with electrolytes. This will help your pet’s kidneys and urine outflow back to normal and ensure your dog is properly hydrated.

If the symptoms are severe your dog may experience a seizure. If this happens they will be given anti-seizure medicine and tracheal intubation.

Dermal exposure – if your pet gets alcohol on his skin, it is possible that this will also cause symptoms and side-effects to appear. Your vet might take your dog to the bathing and cleaning area to be shampooed.

Your dog will continue to be rehabilitated after the initial treatment to make sure that there will be no recurring symptoms and that the alcohol has been fully removed from the body.

If there is physical damage due to poisoning your dog may undergo therapy do regain normal body movements.

Take extra precaution if you have a pet dog at home or at an event where you will be serving alcoholic drinks as consumption of this by your dog can be fatal and detrimental to his health.

How much alcohol is toxic to dogs?

Any amount of alcohol is toxic to your dog, it just depends on the size of your dog and the amount ingested as to whether it's lethal or not. It's generally accepted that 0.59 ounces per pound of body weight can be a fatal amount.

Can I clean a dog wound with alcohol?

Unless expressly instructed to by your veterinarian, it's best to avoid cleaning any wounds on your dog with alcohol.

Is it bad for dogs to smell alcohol?

It's not going to harm your dog to sniff alcohol, but do make sure that it doesn't lead to your dog having a sip.

If this page on what to do if your dog drinks alcohol helped you, make sure to check out our other pages on items that are toxic to dogs, such as lemons, garlic, grapes, and more.