What Happens If Dog Drinks Alcohol? (Do This Immediately!)

Drinking alcohol is a part of many people’s lives, but it can be dangerous if you are not responsible.

Dogs also enjoy the occasional drink, and there are some risks associated with this.

Alcohol has a number of effects on dogs because it’s similar to how it impacts humans. Dogs often wake up feeling groggy the day after drinking, and many experience slow reflexes, drunken gait, or even a coma – as with alcohol poisoning in people, vomiting is common behavior with these symptoms. Sudden collapse can result in a heart attack on your dog.

This article will discuss what happens when dogs drink alcohol and how to prevent your pup from drinking any in the future!

Do Dogs Drink Alcohol?

Dogs may be curious about alcohol due to its smell and taste, but they do not usually enjoy the effect it has on them. 

Alcohol can cause a dog’s behavior to change drastically, and when consumed at high levels, dogs will become drunk.

Is It Okay For Me To Let My Dog Sip A Bit Of Alcohol?

The bottom line is that it’s never OK to let your dog drink alcohol. Even if you think a little bit of wine or beer won’t hurt them, the truth is that too much can make dogs sick and even kill them over time.

How Much Alcohol Is Toxic To Dogs?

The amount of alcohol that is toxic to dogs depends on the type and size of your pup [1]. If a dog drinks enough vodka, it will become drunk. 

This can happen very quickly! There are different types of alcohol that have varying levels of toxicity:

  1. vodka (alcohol by volume 40-50%)
  2. beer (alcohol content varies)
  3. sherry (alcohol content 20-27%)
  4. wine (less than 12%)

An average size dog can become intoxicated from just a few beers or glasses of wine. 

The toxicity level goes up when the alcohol is combined with any medication your dog may be on, as well.

It is also important to note that there are different types of alcohol. Beer, wine, and champagne all have varying levels of alcohol content.

What Will Happen If A Dog Drinks Alcohol?

A dog that drinks alcohol will have changes in behavior. 

These include increased thirst, loss of coordination, difficulty breathing and walking, vomiting (sometimes with blood), seizures or coma.

The symptoms are much more severe when a dog ingests whiskey which is about 60% alcohol versus vodka at 40-50%.

What Should I Do If My Dog Drinks Alcohol Accidentally?

Immediately call the vet or an animal poison control center.

You can also try to induce vomiting with a standard over-the-counter medication like hydrogen peroxide, but never give your dog anything other than water in case it is highly toxic.

Dogs do not have a gag reflex, so they may choke on vomit or alcohol if it is not induced.

How Much Alcohol Does It Take to Get a Dog Drunk?

dog drunk and is surrounded by alcohol bottles

The accepted answer is that dogs cannot get drunk from drinking alcoholic beverages.

They do not have the same enzyme in their stomachs that breaks down alcohol into an intoxicating substance for humans. So, the answer is none.

How To Prevent Your Dog From Drinking Alcohol?

You cannot always prevent a dog from drinking alcohol. However, there are steps you can take to lessen the chances of it happening:

  1. Do not leave alcoholic beverages or any other toxic substances like hair dye and nail polish remover where your dog might find them.
  1. Keep all medications in childproof containers away from dogs; they may mistake them for food.
  1. Keep alcohol out of reach in your home, or keep it on a high shelf where the dog can’t get to it.
  1. Do not feed your dog from the table. This is an easy way for them to grab bits and pieces of alcoholic items when you are not looking.

What Is Alcohol Poisoning?

Alcohol poisoning occurs when a dog ingests enough alcohol to cause life-threatening health problems.

A few of the more common symptoms include vomiting, lethargy, seizures, and coma.

Causes of Alcohol Poisoning in Dogs

The ingestion of ethanol can result in toxicity at any dose level.

The most common causes of intoxication are binge drinking and exposure to other household substances containing ethanol (e.g., rubbing alcohol, mouthwash, or other products).

The types of alcohol that are toxic to dogs include beer, wine, distilled spirits, and others.

Ethanol is an alcohol compound found in most alcoholic beverages including those consumed by humans (beer, wine) as well as those used for industrial purposes around the home such as rubbing alcohol.

Symptoms of Alcohol Poisoning in Dogs

The symptoms that a dog may have if it has consumed alcohol will depend on the quantity and type.

For example, small quantities will likely cause mild symptoms such as vomiting or diarrhea while larger amounts can lead to coma or even death from respiratory failure.

Some dogs might also show signs of depression, such as shaking or shivering, and may have difficulty breathing.

Treatment for Alcohol Poisoning in Dogs

It is imperative that you take your dog to a veterinarian immediately if they show any of these symptoms after drinking alcohol.

The vet will first need to perform tests on the dog’s body fluids before prescribing treatment options such as inducing vomiting or using activated charcoal to make sure that any remaining alcohol has left the dog’s body.

The treatment for canine alcohol toxicity includes preventing further exposure to ethanol and providing supportive care as needed until the symptoms resolve.

This may include intravenous fluids (IV), electrolyte therapy, or medications such as activated charcoal if given within a few hours of ingestion.

It is important not to give your pet any more alcohol while they are being treated for alcohol poisoning because it may cause the symptoms to worsen, or even lead to death.


It is important for pet owners to be able to recognize the symptoms of alcohol poisoning in dogs and know how they can help their pets if it happens accidentally.

It might also be a good idea to keep all alcoholic drinks out of their reach.

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