Alcohol and Our Pets

One of the worst substances you can let your pet have is alcohol. Beer, liquor, wine, and even champagne can all be very dangerous for cats and dogs. Learn more below from an Indianapolis veterinary professional.

How Does Alcohol Affect Pets?

Alcohol affects pets the same way if affects us—the difference is, your pet’s much smaller body can’t handle it nearly as well. It will only take a small amount of alcohol to do severe damage to your pet’s internal systems. Younger puppies and kittens are at an even greater risk, since their organs haven’t fully developed yet.

What are the Symptoms of Alcohol Poisoning?

An intoxicated pet will show increased drooling, vomiting, dry heaves, low blood pressure and elevated heart rate, weakness, stumbling, and collapse. If left untreated, coma and death will follow.

Are Alcoholic Beverages the Only Hazard?

Alcoholic beverages aren’t the only potentially harmful substances—some foods that have been prepared with alcohol can present a hazard as well. Baked goods soaked in alcohol or other foods cooked with wine, liquor, or beer can be dangerous. Keep your pet away from these foods to be safe.

What If My Pet Accidentally Consumes Alcohol?

If you witness or suspect your pet has consumed a dangerous amount of alcohol, rush him to your local veterinary emergency room immediately. Your vet may have to pump your pet’s stomach to rid the body of the toxic substances. Fluid therapy, medications, and other treatment may be required. The sooner you take action, the better chance your pet has for a full recovery.

How Do I Prevent Alcohol Poisoning in My Pet?

Pets may decide to take a sip of anything they can get their paws on—as such, it’s important to make sure no alcoholic beverages are left sitting out. Keep all beer, wine, liquor, champagne, and any food prepared with alcohol out of your pet’s reach.

As always, keep your Indianapolis veterinarian’s phone number nearby in the event of an emergency, and don’t hesitate to ask for more advice about harmful foods or drinks in your home.

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