Drunk Animals Are No Laughing Matter! Keep Them Safe This Saint Patricks Day!

The number one word associated with Saint Patrick’s Day is “alcohol.” Most people understand moderation when it comes to drinking. We can contextualize it, and we understand what is happening when we get a little too much in our system, but our pets can’t. It’s a sad fact that people will give their dogs beer, holiday or not. And while it might seem fun to share a lap or two of beer with your best friend during this beer-riddled holiday, it is anything but fun.

Beer, and all alcoholic beverages, are very poisonous to dogs for a myriad of reasons. Even accidental ingestion can lead to a litany of issues. Since information is the best weapon we can have to keep our pets safe, here is a run down on the hows and whys of alcohol consumption in our furry friends.


1. Hops

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One of the main (and most delicious) ingredients in beer is hops. Ingestion of hops, fresh or cooked, has been linked to extreme rises in body temperature in canines. The fevers, which can exceed 108 degrees, can damage organs and cause them to shut down. Dogs will become restless, pant excessively, and can have seizures or tremors. Any of these symptoms require IMMEDIATE attention.


2. Wine

Wine is delicious, in just about any form. However, as we know, it comes from grapes – which are dangerous for dogs. While the exact cause of the toxic reaction, which can kill some dogs while having no effect on others, is still unknown, eating raisins and grapes can lead to kidney failure. Those that have managed to eat grapes will typically show signs within 12 hours. Vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, and dehydration are all signs that you need to get to the vet, immediately.


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3. Ethanol

Seems like a given, but ethanol isn’t just in gas. Grain alcohol, which is just about every kind out there, is a huge danger on its own simply because dogs are so much more sensitive to it than we are. Even a small amount can cause intoxication. This means anything from delicious eggnog (a very appealing treat to dogs) to syrups and even raw yeast bread! Dogs react with vomiting, loss of coordination, and disorientation. Depending on the amount, dogs can even become comatose, suffer seizures, and even die due to overdosing.


Holidays are always a blast, and responsible adults should absolutely indulge when they celebrate. Just remember, part of that responsibility is making sure your fur babies are safe and sober! Think of them as your DD and make sure they stay away from your drinks.

If you’d like more detailed information, check out the ASPCA and their comprehensive list of dangerous foods for you loved ones.

Most importantly, enjoy your Saint Patricks Day!

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Adam Greene may reside in West Michigan, but the majority of his time is spent providing a comfortable lap for his many animals. When not covered in cats, he is probably writing and drinking ridiculous amounts of coffee.