Is isopropyl alcohol toxic to dogs? Let’s Explore

Isopropyl Alcohol – Safe for Dogs?

Dr. Ann Hohenhaus, staff doctor at The Animal Medical Center in NYC claims “many pets lick this off their fur and the small amount consumed is not dangerous. The same would be true for the small amount of isopropyl contained in pet wipes. Clearly, the alcohols contained in medications have been proven safe or the Food and Drug Administration would not have approved the use of these medications.”

I have heard of dog’s drinking anti-freeze (supposedly has a sweet taste), gasoline, and loving bitter apple (bitter taste!), so I would still keep it out of reach. But what if it’s put on their body and they lick it off?

The MSDS goes on to warn about acute oral, dermal, and vapor toxicity in animals, though (sadly) special remarks on toxicity to animals are “not available.”

Why You Should Care About Isopropyl Alcohol

Isopropyl alcohol is rapidly absorbed through your dog’s skin. It has several negative effects.

  • Skin irritation and excessive dryness.
  • Delays healing of skin tissue.
  • Removes the skin’s naturally occurring moisture barrier.
  • Can cause respiratory tract irritation when inhaled.
  • Is a neurotoxin (harming the nervous system).
  • Contains petroleum-based propene, which makes it unfit to drink … and twice as toxic as ethanol.
  • The liver oxidizes isopropyl alcohol into acetone. With prolonged exposure this process can damage the kidneys.
  • Isopropyl alcohol goes by a few other names. So … look out for these names when you shop for dog products.

    What Is Alcohol Poisoning in Dogs?

    All three main types of alcohol—ethanol, methanol, and isopropanol—are rapidly absorbed by the digestive tract (stomach, intestines, and colon) and through the skin.

    These chemicals can depress the central nervous system (CNS), damaging the organs throughout the body and impairing their ability to function. If left untreated, alcohol poisoning in dogs can cause organ failure and death.

    The kidneys will try to eliminate toxins through urine, and from the lungs through exhalation (breathing out), but enough alcohol can overwhelm these systems and lead to toxicity.

    Isopropyl Alcohol (Isopropanol) Poisoning in Dogs | Wag!

    “I host a lot of get-togethers in my home and my dog “works the room” begging for treats. Most of my guests know not to feed him, but I’m nervous he’ll lap up the alcoholic beverages left unattended without my knowledge. How much alcohol is too much? Are some alcohols more dangerous to dogs than others? Lastly, what do I do if my dog does drink alcohol?” -Party Animal

    Dear PA: Alcohol toxicity is not as common as you may think, because dogs are not innately drawn to alcoholic beverages. However, accidents can happen. Just as with humans, the safety issue is not with the type of alcohol your dog consumes but rather, how much was consumed. For example, hard liquor, wine, and craft beer contain higher alcohol levels than lite beer.

    If your dog does accidentally consume alcohol, it’s hard to know whether the amount consumed is at dangerous levels. The health and weight of the dog in relation to the type and volume are both variables to consider. For example, for toy breeds a smaller amount of alcohol would be considered is dangerous than for larger breeds.

    The amount of ethanol needed to cause intoxication varies depending on its concentration in the substance ingested. The published oral lethal dose in dogs is 5.5 to 7.9 g/kg of 100% ethanol. One milliliter of ethanol is equal to 0.789 g.