photo credit: Garden State Hiker, Creative Commons License

You pour yourself a tall pint glass of pilsner and head for the patio to take in the friscalating dusk light. Rover the Dog darts between your legs, and you start to stumble. Instinct takes over and you raise your beer hand high in the air trying to prevent beer tragedy. Your other arm reaching out, grasping for purchase but no luck. You’re going down. All you can do is hope there aren’t any pointy corners in your path. Somehow as you fall your beer hand weaves back and forth, dropping and rising, defying that motherfucker, Gravity, and keeping every drop of glorious beer contained.

You hit the ground. It hurts, but the beer is safe! You put a hand down to push yourself up, and at that moment Rover runs full bore jumping into your chest and knocking your beer hand askew. Most of a pint of beer leaves the glass and puddles around the kitchen floor. Sonuva…

Dogs on Tap
instagram.com/dogsontap @half_pint_of_doodle

You look for a towel but when you turn around little Rover the Dog has already lapped up most of the beer. You laugh out loud and half-heartedly shoo him away. Then you panic. Is it okay for dogs to drink beer? What about cats? Are they going to be okay? How much beer is safe for an animal to drink? What if they get sick? What do I do?

We have no scientific data on how many pets consume beer in a given year. Between spills, people trying to get laughs at parties and the sheer number of pet owners we’d imagine it happens a lot. There are even Instagram accounts like Dogs on Tap¬†or Cats on Tap devoted to pictures of pets with beer. We’ve all seen that guy at the backyard bbq offering up a sip of his Shlitz to a dog that isn’t his own.

We’re not experts on pets. We’re not even experts on beer (we just really like it) so we called a professional. Dr. Dylan F is a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine.

We asked him, “Is it ethical to let your pet drink beer?”

Dr. Dylan F: It’s a slippery slope you know. I mean, technically alcohol is a toxin. But it is a toxin for them like it is for us. Pet’s just don’t have the option of choosing to intoxicate themselves. A small sip is not necessarily unethical, because it has limited capacity to cause true damage.

Cats on Tap
instagram.com/catsontap @kayenicholas

The rule of thumb is to not give your dogs alcohol because it can cause liver damage, but in general, a tiny sip is not going to kill them. I’d say look inside yourself and ask what your motives are. Why are you going to let your pet drink alcohol?

If you’re going to do it (intentionally)…then make sure it is low alcohol and in small quantities. I’d say, “Good luck with cats.”

Actually, there is one particular scenario that calls for the force feeding of Vodka in dogs. It is when they drink antifreeze, which they are prone to do because it tastes sweet.

Lightning Bolts of Awesomeness

We googled it and apparently it’s true. If your dog drinks antifreeze it will cause liver failure, but having a PROFESSIONAL administer doses of alcohol (commonly vodka) over time can help counter act the chemical processes going on inside your pet. That’s probably why you always see a bottle of Smirnoff behind the counter at your pet’s vet office. Probably.

VERDICT: ETHICAL….ISH.

Having done the research and called in the experts we’re going to say we are going to treat our pets the way we would probably treat a child. If there is an accident or a spill and a drop of beer (probably good craft beer) lands on their tongue it is okay to laugh it off and not worry about it. Anything more than that and we’ll be cautious. As a rule we’re not going to offer it up.

Cheers pet owners.

  • Dogs on Tap

    We don’t and would never encourage owners to give their dogs any beer or any type of alcoholic beverage. In fact, in our bio we specifically state, “beer is not made for animal consumption,” and we refuse to share photos of dogs drinking beer. From time to time we share PSA’s, after consulting with a vet, on the dangers of not only beer, but also the ingredients that make up beer (for home brewers hops are extremely dangerous to dogs). Accidents can and do happen, but we would never condone intentionally sharing beer with your pup. As a social media outlet for photos of dogs and craft beer, we can say it is never ethical for us to condone the intentional sharing of beer with you dog, even for just a photo.

    • Thanks for that info @dogsontap:disqus. Especially, about homebrewed hops.
      We follow your feed because we like dogs and we like beer. Though we find not all people can separate the photos from endorsement. We agree that it is best left avoided. This post came because we spilled a few ounces of beer and the dog was on it with lightning speed! That’s when we called the vet.