Is Alcohol Dangerous to Pets?


As Saint Patrick’s Day fast approaches (how is it already March???) the team at Green Dog Dental thought it would be a good time to talk about one of the most poisonous substances for pets: alcohol.

Celebrating St. Patrick's Day

Saint Patrick’s Day, perhaps more than any other holiday, has become synonymous with alcoholic merriment. And it has always been that way: St. Patty’s Day first started to honor Saint Patrick on the anniversary of his death. Historically, Christians held a great feast in his honor in which food and alcohol restrictions were temporarily removed, which is why a pint of beer or a mixed drink is a popular staple of the holiday.

No Green Beer for Four Legged Friends

Now that Valentine’s Day has passed (another saintly holiday!), you may think that the risk to your four-legged friend has subsided, especially if you have a dog. But alcohol is just as dangerous, if not more so, than chocolate, and its detrimental consequences can affect cats and dogs alike.

In fact, alcohol is arguably the most dangerous beverage for pets.  Ethanol, a.k.a. alcohol, poisoning in animals can cause diarrhea, vomiting, depression, lack of coordination, trouble breathing, coma, seizures or even death.

Most Cats & Dogs Just Say No!

Luckily, most dogs and cats will steer clear of the hard stuff but are known for lapping up a bit of wine or beer if it’s spilled on the floor. If you’re going to be celebrating with some adult beverages, take care to make sure that none of it ends up on the floor or otherwise in reach of your pet.

What To Do If Your Pet Drinks Alcohol

If you suspect your cat or dog has ingested alcohol, it’s best to bring them to the vet right away, even if they seem fine. Alcohol poisoning can present from 12-24 hours after the ingestion, so it may take a while for symptoms to appear. Your vet can try and flush the alcohol from their system with intravenous electrolytes and curb the ethanol’s toxic effects.

To prevent alcohol poisoning in pets, keep alcoholic beverages well out of reach, clean up any spills immediately (and ask your guests to do the same) and, if need be, keep your pet safely in a room away from the party.

Celebrate St. Patrick's Day Safely!

If you want your pet to celebrate St. Patty’s day with you, dress them up as a leprechaun! They may not love it, but it’s certainly safer than having them partake in other types of merriment.  For more wellness tips visit the Green Dog Gazette and for info on our all natural pet products, visit here!