Signs and Symptoms of Alcohol Toxicity in Dogs
Canines respond to the effects of alcohol much like humans, and the impact is often mild. You should, however, contact your vet, emergency clinic, or pet poison hotline if you have any concerns, to establish if treatment is needed. Anytime your dog does get into alcoholic beverages or foods containing alcohol, look for these key warning signs:
You cannot completely control your pet’s environment and what they consume, but education and awareness are the best ways to start to keep your dog healthy.
How does alcohol inhibit the Krebs cycle?
Dogs lack the ability to safely metabolize alcohol. Alcohol can trigger elevated anion gap metabolic acidosis, similar to the anions generated in sepsis and shock states, disturbing the anaplerotic and cataplerotic pathways that enter and leave the Kreb cycle. In short, the introduction of alcohol inhibits high ADP to ATP and NAD+ to NADH ratios from balancing. Effectively creating a metabolic environment hostile to the chemical reactions your dog depends on to convert oxygen, proteins, fats and sugars into energy.
Dogs and alcohol do not mix
Even larger dogs tend to be much smaller than their human companions – this even more true with small dog breeds. So, the minimum effective dosage of alcohol in dogs is substantially less for them than in humans. Even a small amount of alcohol can be toxic and enough to impact a dog in a physically noticeable and negative way. Giving your dog a “sip” of beer or a mixed drink is never a good idea.
Hard liquors such as vodka, gin, whiskey, and rum contain the most alcohol per volume and represent the largest threat to dogs, often requiring immediate emergency vet visits if consumed. Wine and beer contain less alcohol, but can still be just as dangerous.
Can Dogs get Drunk? What happens when you Feed Alcohol to your Dog?
How bad is alcohol for dogs? You might have had this thought if your dog tried to sneak a sip of your beer at a dog-friendly bar or your relaxing glass of wine at the end of a work day. If humans can drink alcohol, is it so bad if your dog has some?
The short answer is dogs absolutely cannot safely drink alcohol. The ASPCA lists it as one of the main substances that you should never be tempted to give to your canine.