Dog owners know not to give their dog alcohol, but accidents happen. You leave your drink unattended on the coffee table and come back and see half of it gone. You know you didn’t drink that, so the culprit is your pup. Before you get mad or upset, first think about how alcohol will affect your dog and what you should do. Here’s everything you need to know:

Is Alcohol Bad for Dogs?

Alcohol must be kept out of the reach of dogs because it can cause severe poisoning. Poisoning may cause symptoms such as seizures or breathing difficulties that need hospitalization and supportive care. Dogs can be poisoned by alcoholic drinks, but did you know they can be poisoned by yeast, too? If a dog eats rising bread dough, they can experience poisoning from the alcohol from the fermenting yeast. Alcohol rapidly absorbs into the bloodstream which results in alcohol poisoning.

Clinical Signs of Alcohol Poisoning

Alcohol poisoning in dogs can appear within minutes of ingestion. The severity of the poisoning depends on the amount ingested. A dog’s stomach will most likely be irritated and that can lead to vomiting. Excessive vomiting may lead to dehydration and cause a risk for aspiration. Eye irritation may result if an alcohol-containing beverage is splashed into the eyes. Your dog may exhibit the following signs of alcohol poisoning:

  • vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • tremors
  • seizures
  • loss of control
  • hypersalivation
  • mood changes
  • breathing difficulties
  • loss of consciousness
  • dehydration

Alcohol Poisoning Treatment

If your dog drank alcohol and is exhibiting symptoms of poisoning, immediately take them to the emergency vet clinic to get medical attention. Your vet may induce vomiting to rid their body of the toxins. Adjusting your dog’s body temperature, ventilation, and keeping them hydrated can help them recover. Intravenous fluids aid in the elimination of alcohol. If the dog’s symptoms are severe, intubation may be needed.

Who To Contact If Your Dog Drank Alcohol 

If your dog drank alcohol and is exhibiting any symptoms, call Pet Poison Helpline® at (855) 764-7661 and your veterinarian. Alcohol poisoning needs to be treated right away because of how quickly it acts in the body. By getting your dog immediate help, you are saving them from experiencing worsening health and even death. Take care of your pup and contact Pet Poison Helpline® for help from people who care.