What Should You Do If Your Dog Drinks Alcohol

Most responsible dog owners would never dream of giving their dog alcohol, but accidents can and do happen. Most dogs will not drink alcohol, especially if it’s in the form of hard liquor but they may be drawn to it if it’s mixed with something sweet, like a fruity base.

Beer, wine, hard liquors and craft beer all have higher levels of alcohol than a light beer, so it’s not really the type of alcohol your dog consumed but how much of it. Of course, it’s going to be more detrimental for a smaller dog than a larger one, but again, it depends on how much your dog drank and that is not always easy to determine.

Of course, alcohol is contained in other liquids such as perfume and colognes and in aftershave and mouthwash as well, which can also be a source of alcohol poisoning in dogs. Diet alcoholic drinks and some mixers may also contain the artificial sweetener xylitol, which is very dangerous and often deadly for dogs. 

If you suspect your dog has consumed alcohol, immediately consult with your veterinarian or if they are closed, your emergency veterinary clinic or a pet poison hotline.

Look for these warning signs for clues that your dog has alcohol poisoning:



Vomiting or retching

Weakness and/or collapse


Low blood sugar

Low blood pressure

Low body temperature

Again, see your veterinarian if you suspect your dog has ingested alcohol.

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By Ellen Britt

Dr. Ellen Britt has loved dogs since she was a child. She is particularly fond of the Northern breeds, especially Alaskan Malamutes. Ellen worked as a PA in Emergency and Occupational Medicine for two decades and holds a doctorate (Ed.D.) in biology.

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