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What Happens When a Pet Consumes Alcohol?

What Happens When a Pet Consumes Alcohol?

Even though the modern culture doesn't openly promote alcoholic beverages, movies often show scenes where a person comes home after a hard day at work and pours a glass of wine. Friends meet over a martini in a cozy cafe, take beer for a barbeque and opt for something stronger at parties. Many people believe that it is the only possible way to relax, and there is nothing wrong with drinking alcohol when you are an adult.

However, sometimes an inquisitive pet will sniff around an unattended glass of booze and begin to sip. So what happens if that occurs?

What happens when a pet consumes alcohol?

Firstly, it is worth saying that if you don't know what tasty food to buy for your furry friend, you should read the taste of the wild cat food reviews to have several options. Secondly, a responsible pet owner should know the whole list of forbidden products for their four-legged buddies. Thus, things that seem tasty to you, for example, chocolate or avocado, can turn out to be harmful to your pet.

If you searched for the whole list, you would know that even the tiniest amount of alcohol can be toxic and dangerous for animals. It doesn't even matter whether your dog or a cat drinks it straight or consumes it as a part of syrups, cakes, or bread dough. Your pet may get heavily intoxicated both with ethanol and hops. Alcohol affects an animal in the same way as a human, but everything happens much faster. Even a few milliliters are enough to get the same effect. Besides, an animal becomes alcohol-addicted much faster as well (about two months are enough). Pets can suffer from a hangover on equal par with their owners. And if a dog is usually not very friendly, it can show aggression when intoxicated.

Thus, even though it may seem harmless when your pet drinks the smallest portion of wine or beer, it is never okay. You must be a responsible owner who never puts your furry friend's health at risk. If you drink an alcoholic beverage, make sure your pet will not get it under any pretext. A forgotten glass of wine may have too unpleasant consequences both for you and your four-legged friend.

Influence of alcohol on an animal's body

Alcohol can affect animals differently. Everything will depend on its age, health condition and some other features. Some people laugh at a drunk animal, believing it behaves funny. For example, a pet may become more active, demonstrate mood swings or disorientation. However, in severe cases, it can start vomiting, suffer from excessive panting, difficulty breathing, muscle tremors and seizures. If you don't take any measures and leave it untreated, body systems failing will lead to an animal's death.

  • Liver. Its size depends on the breed, but in most cases, it is still smaller compared to a human's one. Consequently, it has a decreased ability to process the poison without further consequences.  
  • Dehydration. Consumed alcohol causes severe dehydration and destroys electrolytes, crucial for normal body functioning.
  • Nervous system. Alcohol slows down an animal's nervous system. In turn, it leads to the inability to move and decreased heart rate. In some cases, such states result in a coma.
  • Lowered blood sugar. It causes seizures and brain damage.
  • Kidney. Even a sip of alcohol can "turn off" this organ and even lead to death.

What to do if your pet has consumed alcohol?

If your pet has found a glass of alcohol and drunk it, you should immediately contact your vet and ask for tips on what to do. Further actions will greatly depend on the type and amount of alcohol consumed. Thus, you might be asked to come ASAP or wait it out and watch your pet's reaction. If you don't know how much alcohol your pet has drunk, it is better to visit the vet right away. An animal with alcohol intoxication must be treated in the shortest time possible to prevent severe organ damage.

How to avoid such situations?

If it seems impossible to keep your pet away from alcohol, the best solution for both of you will be to give it up. There are many other ways to please your furry friend. You can purchase one of the best leather collars for dogs, toys, or goodies. Besides, the modern market offers harmless "alcoholic" drinks for dogs. For example, you can search for Japanese Wan Wan Beer or American Dawg Grog and Bowser Beer, or UK Dog Beer that smells like beer and tastes like beef.

Don't leave your drinks unwatched even for a while because a curious pet may decide to give it a try. Always keep it out of its reach. If you have guests, explain that they should never leave their glass unattended. In the case of spills, it is worth getting your pet away and keeping it separated until you clean everything up.