A dog laying on the ground and not looking so good.

How Soon Does A Dog Throw Up After Alcohol?

Although we are used to seeing the word alcohol and straight away thinking about a cold beer in the summer or a delicious wine, alcohol is not restricted to beverages. We can find alcohol in foods, beverages, oral products, medications, fermented fruits, unbaked dough, hand sanitizers, and detergents. Regardless of the source, alcohol is toxic for your dog and can lead to nausea, vomiting, and even more severe symptoms. But how soon does a dog throw up after alcohol?

Usually, a dog will throw up between 15 to 30 minutes after ingestion/absorption of alcohol, but in some cases, it can take up to 60 minutes to 2 hours. Vomiting can be one of the first symptoms, but the case can evolve into a more serious scenario too. So, if you catch your dog ingesting a product with alcohol or suspect it has, don’t wait for the signs to immediately take it to the vet.

Is Alcohol Toxic To Dogs?

All it takes is drinking two or three beers to discover that alcohol is a nervous system depressant. We start to feel more relaxed and our words may sound a little messy. But while alcohol ingestion for humans usually means fun, it will mean a trip to the vet for your pet.

Just as alcohol can result in severe symptoms for humans when ingested in high amounts, dogs can easily be intoxicated by it as well. Due to their size and the way they metabolize alcohol, the effects on dogs can appear much more quickly and much more severely. So, yes, consider every source of alcohol toxic to your furry friend and make sure to keep them away from it.

How Does Alcohol Poisoning Occur?

When dogs ingest alcohol, it is quickly absorbed by the stomach and intestines, eventually getting into the blood. It can also be absorbed by the skin straight to the blood. Once in the blood, it is processed by the liver, and the results of this activity will affect the brain, followed by the respiratory tract and the heart, progressively resulting in intoxication. The action on the stomach, the brain, the lungs, and the heart, and the effect of the poisoning itself on the body will be responsible for the symptoms described ahead.

But before we jump to the symptoms section, we want to make you aware of some alcohol sources, including ethanol, methanol, and isopropanol.


Ethanol is the least toxic of the three types of alcohol. It is the alcohol found in human beverages, but it can also be found in raw bread dough, fermenting fruits, hand sanitizers, mouthwashes, and some oral medications.


Methanol is also called wood alcohol. Its lethal dose is 4-8 ml/kg, but symptoms can be seen in much smaller doses. It can be found in antifreeze, gasoline additives, and windshield washer fluid.


Isopropanol is the most toxic of the three types of alcohol. Less than 0.5ml/kg can cause significant symptoms. It is found in detergents, nail polish removers, perfumes, colognes, and alcohol-based flea sprays or grooming products.

What Are The Symptoms Of Alcohol Toxicity?

Depending on the size of your dog, the amount ingested or absorbed by the skin, and how full the stomach is, symptoms may vary in kind and intensity. Smaller dogs can experience more serious symptoms. Larger amounts or an empty stomach can also lead to more severe cases.

The initial and most common symptoms result from the alcohol effect on the gastrointestinal tract and on the brain. They include:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Excessive salivation
  • Incoordination
  • Weakness 
  • Lethargy
  • Disorientation
  • Tremors

More severe cases affect the respiratory tract and the cardiovascular system. They usually show signs that are a result of the poisoning itself. Symptoms include:

  • Seizures
  • Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar)
  • Hypothermia (low body temperature)
  • Slow breathing
  • Slow heart rate
  • Coma

If the dog is not treated, symptoms unfortunately can be fatal and result in death.

How Soon Does a Dog Throw Up After Alcohol?

Throwing up is one of the symptoms of alcohol poisoning, and the time it takes for symptoms to appear also depends on the amount ingested/absorbed, the size of the dog, and the fullness of the stomach. A large dog with a full stomach will take longer to show signs than a small dog with an empty stomach. Usually, a dog will throw up between 15 to 30 minutes after ingestion or absorption, but in some cases, it can take up to 60 minutes to 2 hours until the pet starts to throw up.

What Should I Do If My Dog Have Contact With Alcohol?

If you know or are suspicious that your dog may have ingested alcohol or may have absorbed alcohol by its skin, immediately call your vet or the closest emergency vet. You can also call animal poison control as well. Even if you still haven’t noticed any symptoms, remember that the signs can take time to appear and the soonest your dog gets support the better. 

When taking your pet to the vet, make sure you inform it about every detail you know about the intoxication (when did it happen, what were the products, how much your dog ingested or got in touch with) because this will be very important in how the vet treats your dog. Also, don’t try any approach or medication at home that the vet didn’t recommend. Make sure your pet is in a safe place during the trip to the vet as well.

How to Prevent Alcohol Poisoning?

Always keep any source of alcohol away from your dog in order to prevent alcohol poisoning. Don’t ever leave drinks unattended, keep your mouthwash in a cabinet, don’t leave your fermenting bread dough within reach, and always check with your vet about any flea spray or grooming product. By doing this, you make sure your dog is not exposed to any potential source of alcohol, and you keep your buddy safe.

Conclusion: How Soon Does a Dog Throw Up After Alcohol?

Throwing up is one of several symptoms a dog can experience after alcohol ingestion or absorption. Usually, the pet will start to throw up after 15 to 30 minutes, but depending on the amount, the dog’s size, and the fullness of the stomach, it can take up to 60 minutes to 2 hours until the start of vomiting. In any case, get in contact with a professional for help as soon as you can.

So, now that you know this information, let us know how you plan to keep your dog safe. Have you already taken steps to do so? Let us know in the comments below!

Thamiris da Rocha
Thamiris da Rocha
Thamiris has been passionate about animals for as long as she can remember. When she was a little kid, she used to ask her parents to stop the car at every corner to try to rescue a dog from the streets and take it home. Years went by and that passion became a graduation in Veterinary Medicine, which she completed in 2019 at Sao Paulo State University (UNESP), the best Vet School in Brazil. Now she is more than happy to share her knowledge with people and help them have more information and a better relationship with these amazing and special souls.