February 4, 2016

Dogs and Alcohol

Posted in: Dog

Toby with a beer

We tell Toby all the time that he isn’t a real dog because he doesn’t lick up food that has fallen onto the ground. Unless it’s cheese, food on the ground is sniffed by the Wigglebottom and looked at in a strange manner, as if it’s poison.

Recently at a friend’s house, my friend knocked over her wine glass and a very small amount of wine spilt onto the floor. She called over her dog, Missy to lick it up. After Missy had cleaned the floor it dawned on me, ‘Alcohol is poisonous to dogs!’ It wasn’t much that was spilt so my friend just brushed it off and said, ‘It’ll be fine’.

It wasn’t fine.

For hours poor Missy had diarrhoea and was vomiting all over the place. It was really scary to watch because she is such a big, solid dog and a few drops of alcohol had turned her into such a mess. Thankfully everything was OK in the morning but really we should have taken Missy to the vet straight away.

So, what is it in wine that is a ‘no no’ for dogs? In wine, it’s the grapes. They are toxic and cause serious harm or even death. Grapes in any form whether ingested as a fruit, raisin or in wine is not on. Scientists say the don’t know exactly what it is in grapes that causes dogs harm but once ingested dogs of any age and breed can experience kidney failure which is the most extreme reaction and it can cause death.

Other symptoms include weakness, abdominal pain, dehydration, passing only a small amount of urine and loss of appetite.

If your dog does consume grapes you need to treat it as an emergency and induce vomiting straight away before the toxins can be absorbed. Call your vet and get advice on  how to do this. They will also be able to tell you if you should come in straight away.

Obviously beer doesn’t contain grapes therefore some people think it’s OK to let your dog have some. It’s not, any alcohol can cause harm to your pooch so as a rule of thumb, dogs and alcohol do not mix.