Samoyed with a green tie on sitting next to a green drink and hat.

How Much Alcohol Will Kill A Dog?

6 mins |

We all want to keep our beloved pets safe. It’s natural then to want to know what to watch out for. So, how much alcohol will kill a dog?

Only a small amount of alcohol can kill a dog. The oral lethal dose is 5.5 to 7.9 g/kg or 2.5 g/lb of 100% ethanol. In other words, 0.2 oz/kg or 0.08/lb. For reference, a shot glass is 1.5 oz.  

What Happens When Dogs Drink Alcohol?

Dog dressed up and next to some empty beer bottles.

This will depend on your dog’s breed, age, and size. It also depends on how much they drink. The shortest answer though is that alcohol is toxic to dogs. Even a few licks can be dangerous for smaller dogs.

How Much Alcohol Will Kill My Dog?

According to a study, by the U.S. Department of Energy (Office of Scientific and Technical Information), the oral lethal dose for dogs is 5.5 to 7.9 g/kg of 100% ethanol. If that’s confusing, in ounces this would be 0.2 oz/kg or 0.08/lb. A shot glass is 1.5 oz.

How Long Does Alcohol Stay In A Dog’s System?

This will also depend on the dog’s size, breed, and how much they ingested. In general, though, recovery can take a few hours to a full day or more.

Can My Dog Get Drunk?

Dogs may show signs of being drunk, such as will be described below. However, it’s better to think of it less as them being drunk and more of them having alcohol poisoning.

Signs My Dog Is Drunk

It may take some time for your dog to show signs of the alcohol they’ve ingested.

When they do, look for the following:

  • Weakness
  • Lack of energy
  • Vomiting
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Collapse
  • Difficulty moving

Please note the above list doesn’t cover every possible symptom. In general, if you think your dog has ingested alcohol, call your vet right away and look for any unusual behaviors.

Can Dogs Drink Non-Alcoholic Drinks?

Although non-alcoholic drinks may not have alcohol in them, they can still contain other ingredients which may be toxic to dogs. Always check with your vet before giving your dog any human drink.

That said, there are actually dog-specific drinks you can buy. They do not contain alcohol and are created to be a healthy, tasty snack. Here’s one and here’s another.

What To Do If My Dog Drinks Alcohol

Thankfully, there are several things you can do if your dog drinks alcohol. The first thing to do is to call the vet.

1. Call The Vet

In any medical or emergency situation, call your vet first. If they’re not available, try an emergency vet. Sometimes, vets will have these numbers listed on their websites.

2. Poison Control

Even if a vet is available, calling animal poison control can be helpful too. The ASPCA has information, and the Pet Poison Helpline also has information. They are open 24/7, and there are other helplines too, if for some reason these aren’t available or aren’t helpful.

3. Induce Vomiting

Inducing vomiting is the last resort in any situation like this. If you can, let a vet do this for you. If it can’t wait, such as if your dog drank a life-threatening amount of alcohol, inducing vomiting may be something you have to do. Still, every dog, breed, and situation is different, and as such inducing vomiting can cause more harm than good.

You won’t want to induce vomiting if your dog is struggling to breathe, is already vomiting, or is showing other abnormal health signs. Also, don’t induce vomiting if it’s been more than 2 hours since your dog ingested the substance. If you still want to try, please follow the steps below.

1. Purchase 3% Hydrogen Peroxide Solution

First, make sure you have 3% hydrogen peroxide solution on hand. Once given to your dog, it will take about 10-15 minutes to work, but can take close to an hour for the vomiting to stop.

2. Give Your Dog The Solution

Every dog is different, but the suggested dose is 1 teaspoon per 5 pounds (2.27 kilograms) of the dog’s body weight. For the suggested maximum dose, give the dog no more than 3 tablespoons for dogs 45 pounds (20.41 kilograms) and up. Give your dog the solution with a feeding syringe by squirting it between their teeth. Don’t let them inhale the solution.

3. Monitor Your Dog

After giving your dog the hydrogen peroxide, monitor them throughout the entire vomiting process. Look for any unusual health issues as a result of the vomiting, things like difficulty breathing, for example. Continue to do this in the following hours and days, and schedule an appointment with your vet as soon as possible so they can officially check out your dog. If you can, bring a sample of the vomit for them to inspect.

Got more on your mind about dogs and alcohol? Here are some answers to more questions you might have.

Is It Illegal To Give Dogs Alcohol?

Purposefully giving any animal something toxic can be considered animal abuse. Animals do get into things and accidents happen, but when done purposefully there could be fines and jail time.

Any Other Drinks I Shouldn’t Give My Dog?

Any drink with sugars is a bad idea for dogs. Also, milk isn’t a good idea either. For any other drink, we recommend checking with your vet beforehand.

Is Alcohol Safe For A Dog’s Skin?

No. If you need to apply an antiseptic to a wound, consult with your vet or a poison control helpline first.

Should I Give My Dogs Alcohol So They Throw Up?

No, never give dogs alcohol to throw up.

In Conclusion: How Much Alcohol Will Kill A Dog?

Dogs and alcohol just don’t mix, not even a little bit. So, when it comes to how much alcohol will kill a dog, we recommend the best treatment of all: not letting them have any.

What do you think though? Had any experiences with this before? What were they like? Let us know in the comments below!