You’re unwinding by your poolside, enjoying a glass of the good, old wine. You step away for a moment to answer a phone call. But when you get back, you realize that your dog has helped himself to the rest of your wine.
As a caring and responsible pet parent, you’re bound to wonder what will happen with the dog. Will he get intoxicated, and if he does, what’s the worst that could happen? Are there other side effects associated with wine for dogs? This article would attempt to shed more light on what could go wrong if you let your dog drink wine.
Are dogs attracted to wine?
Before finding out what could happen if you let your dog drink wine, it’s essential to establish whether dogs love wine or not. Now, dogs are curious animals. Maybe not as curious as to their feline counterparts, but interested enough to check out anything in the house that looks too attractive or doesn’t belong. Unfortunately, that curiosity might also lead them to venture into places they shouldn’t be, such as in your wine cellar.
Dogs also tend to imitate their owners a lot. It’s not unusual for your dog to develop an interest in wine merely because he’s observed you enjoying the drink for some time. The color and shape of your wine glasses might also explain your dog’s love affair with wine. Most wine lovers prefer enjoying their drink in decorative glass bottles, which is a great thing, as these bottles add a glamorous touch to any wine-drinking session. However, enjoying wine from an overly decorated glass also could pique your dog’s interest in the drink.
Dogs are generally attracted to blue and yellow colors. This explains why most dog toys come in these colors. In terms of shape, dogs tend to be attracted to anything that looks like bone. So, if your wine glass happens to be blue or yellow and is slender-shaped, your pup could associate it with a toy or bone. In the process of checking it out, the animal could end up licking the wine inside the glass.
But will a dog love the smell and taste of wine? The good news is that most dogs find the taste of wine repulsive. That’s for the simple reason that dogs aren’t attracted to grapes, the main ingredient in wine. Unless motivated by other factors, your puppy might only end up swallowing a few pints before losing interest in the drink. But as you shall find, those few pints are what it takes to trigger a medical emergency.
What happens if your dog drinks wine?
Wine is made from grapes, and grapes are highly toxic to most dogs. Grapes have been known to cause kidney failure in dogs. So, feeding any grape-based foods to dogs is a terrible idea. Presently, limited studies suggest that wine is just as toxic to dogs as grapes are. All the same, it would help to keep wine as far away from your puppy as possible.
But even if your dog doesn’t develop kidney toxicity from drinking wine, there are still many things that could go wrong. According to veterinary officers, the fact that dogs have smaller bodies relative to humans makes them less effective at processing alcohol. Therefore, consuming wine could result in alcohol/ethanol toxicity. Alcohol toxicity primarily manifests itself in gastrointestinal issues. The condition produces symptoms like nausea, vomiting, reduced appetite, diarrhea (which leads to dehydration), and abdominal pain.
Also, the mere fact that a dog’s digestive system isn’t used to alcohol is something worth considering. Exposure to alcoholic drinks like wine might induce a series of allergic reactions, including gastrointestinal distress, respiratory problems like sneezing, and skin irritation.
Can dogs get intoxicated by wine?
Yes, they can. Wine affects a dog’s brain the same way it affects a human’s. And just like humans, the signature signs of wine intoxication in dogs include incoordination and lethargy. Some dogs can also be overly vocal and begin barking or growling without any apparent cause.
Most importantly, it’s worth noting that dogs don’t know when they’re intoxicated. However, the spatial disorientation that alcohol causes might make them panic and feel insecure. This could lead to escapist behavior, increased aggression, and self-inflicted injuries.
Can wine kill your dog?
Although death may not occur instantly, the side effects associated with alcohol toxicity could lead to your dog’s eventual demise. And how soon death comes depends on the amount of wine your pooch has helped himself to. According to the American Kennel Club (AKC), the official lethal oral dose for alcohol in dogs is between 5.5 and 7.9 grams of 100% alcohol.
But as you shall find, this lethal dose depends on your dog’s age, size, and overall immunity. Puppies, smaller dog breeds, and sick dogs are more likely to develop severe complications of alcohol toxicity even with smaller doses.
So to keep your pup safe, don’t let your dog drink wine.