Alcohol Poisoning in Dogs

Alcohol is a very common household substance, thankfully our pets tend to avoid drinking it as they find the smell and taste unappealing. However, that is not always the case. Ethanol is what makes alcoholic drinks dangerous to our pets and it can be masked by other enticing ingredients. Our pets can also get Ethanol poisoning from hand sanitizing products and even bread dough.

Ethanol Poisoning Signs:

  • Ataxia – Impaired coordination
  • Weakness
  • Depression
  • Coma
  • Low blood sugar
  • Low body temperature
  • Vomiting
  • Increased heart rate
  • Low blood pressure

If you know or think your pet may have ingested any amount of Alcohol, it is important to stay calm and quickly contact your veterinarian or the Pet Poison Helpline for guidance. Depending on the amount of time since your pet’s exposure, your veterinarian may want to induce vomiting to remove any alcohol in your pet’s stomach. Your veterinarian will likely recommend hospitalization to provide supportive care, monitor your pet’s blood glucose values, and properly monitor your pet’s recovery. We know how important the health of your pet is to you! Thankfully, the prognosis for ethanol poisoning is excellent with proper care and early treatment.


Written By:

Miranda Gibbon, Pet Poison Helpline DVM Student Extern Kansas State University Class of 2024

Samantha Koch, CVT, Veterinary Information Specialist II, Pet Poison Helpline