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Dogs and Alcohol: The Risks of Irresponsible Drinking as a Pet Owner

How Dogs Can Sense When Their Owners are Drunk

It’s no secret that dogs are incredibly perceptive creatures, able to pick up on the subtlest of cues from their owner’s body language, tone of voice, and smell. This applies not only to our day-to-day emotions but also to when we’ve had one too many drinks.

Body Language

Whether you’re feeling happy or sad, tense or relaxed, your dog can easily pick up on the subtle nuances of your body language. The same goes for when you’re drunk.

Dogs are able to read your body language and determine when you’re not quite right. They can pick up on cues such as unsteady movements, slurred speech, and a lack of coordination that may signify that you’re under the influence of alcohol.

This is why it’s not uncommon for dogs to become anxious or nervous around drunk owners, as they are unable to understand what’s going on.

Tone of Voice

Just like humans, dogs are able to pick up on the tone of voice of their owners. When you’re drunk, your tone of voice is often slurred, slow, and inconsistent.

Your dog can easily sense that something is off, causing them to become anxious or scared. Alternatively, some dogs may also pick up on the fact that their owners seem more relaxed, and end up feeling more calm as well.


Alcohol has a distinct smell that many dogs are able to recognize. Even after just one drink, it’s possible for your dog to pick up on the scent of alcohol emanating from your breath and skin.

This can be particularly concerning if your dog is susceptible to alcohol poisoning, as the smell of alcohol may trigger them to try to consume it as well. How Drunkenness Can Affect a Dog’s Routine

It’s not just our pets that are affected by drunkenness it can also have a significant impact on their daily routine.

Here are some of the ways in which drunkenness can affect a dog’s routine:


When you’re drunk, you may forget to feed or walk your dog as frequently as you otherwise would. This can lead to feelings of neglect, which can have a negative impact on your pet’s mental well-being.

Destructive Behavior

When left alone for an extended period of time, dogs may become destructive. This can be particularly problematic if you’re drunk and unable to properly supervise your pet.

They may end up chewing on furniture or other household objects, leading to expensive repairs and potential health concerns.


Accidents can happen when you’re drunk, and these accidents can have serious consequences for your dog. For example, you may accidentally leave a door open, allowing your dog to escape.

You may also be more prone to forgetting to lock dangerous or toxic substances away, which can be particularly concerning if your dog likes to chew on things.

How Alcohol Affects the Body and Brain

Alcohol is a powerful substance that can have a significant impact on the body and brain. Here are some of the ways in which alcohol affects us:

Alcohol in the Bloodstream

Once consumed, alcohol is absorbed into the bloodstream and carried throughout the body. This can lead to a variety of physical and emotional changes, from feelings of euphoria to slowed reflexes and cognitive impairment.

Receptors in the Brain

Alcohol affects brain function by interfering with the way that neurons communicate with each other. Specifically, it tends to target receptors in the brain that are responsible for feelings of reward, pleasure, and inhibition.

As a result, people who consume alcohol may experience increased impulsivity and decreased inhibition, leading to risky behaviors such as DUI or the careless handling of pets.

Risks of Dogs Drinking Alcohol

While it’s not uncommon for pet owners to share food or drink with their furry friends, alcohol is not something that should ever be given to dogs. Here are some of the reasons why:

Alcohol Poisoning

Dogs are far more susceptible to alcohol poisoning than humans. This is largely due to their smaller size and reduced liver function.

Even a small amount of alcohol can be fatal to a dog, leading to seizures, coma, and even death.

Small Size

Dogs come in all shapes and sizes, and not all breeds are created equal. Smaller dogs are particularly vulnerable to the effects of alcohol, as their bodies are simply not equipped to deal with the toxic effects of alcohol.

Liver Function

The liver is responsible for processing alcohol in the body. Because dogs have smaller livers than humans, they are far less capable of breaking down alcohol and removing it from their system.

This means that even after just one drink, the effects of alcohol can linger in a dog’s body for a long period of time.

In Conclusion

Drunkenness can have a profound impact on both pet owners and their beloved dogs. While it’s certainly understandable to want to unwind with a drink or two every once in a while, it’s important to remember that alcohol is a powerful substance with serious side effects.

By staying mindful of your actions and keeping your furry friend’s best interests in mind, you can help ensure that everyone stays happy and healthy in the long run.

Responsible Drinking as a Dog Owner: Keeping Your Furry Friends Safe

As a dog owner, it’s important to enjoy a balanced lifestyle that includes socializing, relaxation, and responsible drinking. While it’s natural to want to unwind with a cold drink after a long day, it’s vital to keep in mind that your actions can significantly impact your pet’s safety and well-being.

In this article, we will explore some of the best strategies for responsible drinking and keeping your furry friends safe.

Limits on Alcohol Consumption While Being a Dog Parent

One of the most critical steps to responsible drinking is understanding when to draw the line. Everyone has different limits when it comes to alcohol consumption, and it can be challenging to keep track of how much you’ve had, particularly if you’re in a social environment.

However, it’s essential to find an alcohol consumption limit that allows you to keep your wits about you, and not become a danger to yourself or your furry loved ones.


The most crucial aspect of responsible drinking is moderation.

Moderation in drinking means knowing your limits and having self-discipline.

It’s up to you to decide the amount of alcohol that you feel comfortable ingesting without compromising your judgement. If you plan on having a few drinks, ensure that you consume them over a longer period and pace yourself.

Responsible Drinking

Responsible drinking as a dog parent means being conscious of your furry friend’s presence and instincts, before, during, and after the drinking session. Never leave your drink unattended, as your dog may accidentally ingest it.

Additionally, if you have consumed too much alcohol, you may be slurring your speech or have poor reflexes, you might unintentionally step or fall on your dog.

Binge Drinking

Binge drinking is a common problem among pet owners. Binge drinking refers to consuming large quantities of alcohol in a short period.

Binge drinking leads to impaired judgment that can prompt irresponsible behavior, putting both you and your pet in danger. Remember, overindulging can quickly lead to a loss of cognitive and physical function, which can result in serious accidents.

Precautions to Keep Dogs Safe From Alcohol

As a responsible pet owner, it’s essential to take every precaution to ensure that your dog is safe from harmful substances, including alcohol. Here are some precautions that you should keep in mind:


When it comes to keeping your pet safe from alcohol, access is the first thing to consider. Ensure that any alcohol kept at home is kept out of your pet’s reach.

If you’re hosting guests, make sure that they understand the importance of keeping their drinks at a safe distance from your furry friend.


Accidents happen, and sometimes, drinks can spill onto the floor, couch, or carpet. If this happens, be sure to clean up any spilled alcohol right away.

If not cleanned up promptly, alcohol could leave sticky surfaces which your dog might try to lick, causing alcohol poisoning.

Counter Surfing

Dogs are known for their curious natures and their remarkable ability to find their way into things they aren’t supposed to. Thus, it’s important to ensure that your pet doesn’t get access to glasses or containers holding alcohol using common sense precautions, like putting them on high shelves or in closed kitchen cabinets.

Seeking Help For Alcohol Issues

At times, alcohol consumption can evolve into a more severe issue over time. If you believe you have a drinking problem, especially one that affects your day-to-day life, such as your relationship with your dog, it’s essential to address the situation.

There are many ways to get help, including through online options like Ria Health, which offers effective telehealth alcohol counseling and medication-assisted treatment.

Alcohol Use

You may have developed a habit of drinking in certain occasions and feel in control of your drinking. However, if you are in the company of your furry friend, it’s essential to be in control of the amount you ingest, even if you feel you know your limits.

Online Options

Online counseling can be a safe and accessible approach to help you manage your drinking patterns with minimal disruptions in your life. Ria Health offers telehealth services that connect you with licensed healthcare professionals.

The counseling approach is a holistic approach that includes medication-assisted treatment, personalized coaching, and tools to help you track your drinking progress. In conclusion, responsible drinking is a crucial aspect of being a dog parent.

It means being conscious of your pet’s presence and seeking to ensure their safety and well-being.

Moderation is key, and it’s essential not to underestimate the impact of your behavior on your furry friend.

By taking sensible precautions and reaching out for help when needed, you can continue to enjoy happy times with your pet and recreational drinking, without jeopardizing anyone’s life or health. In conclusion, as a dog owner, it’s important to practice responsible drinking and take every precaution to ensure that your furry friend is safe from any harm.

Limiting alcohol consumption, keeping drinks out of reach, and seeking help when necessary are all key aspects of being a responsible pet parent. By staying mindful of your actions and keeping your furry friend’s best interests in mind, you can help ensure that everyone stays happy and healthy in the long run.


Q: Can dogs drink alcohol? A: No, dogs should not drink alcohol as it can cause alcohol poisoning, seizures, coma, and even death.

Q: What are the signs that a dog is sensing that their owner is drunk? A: Dogs can pick up on cues such as unsteady movements, slurred speech, and a lack of coordination that may signify that their owner is under the influence of alcohol.

Q: How can I keep my dog safe from alcohol spills? A: Clean up any spilled alcohol right away.

If not cleaned up promptly, alcohol could create a sticky surface, which your dog might try to lick, causing alcohol poisoning. Q: How can I seek help for alcohol issues?

A: You can get help for alcohol issues through telehealth services, such as those offered by Ria Health, which provides counseling and medication-assisted treatment. Q: Can alcohol affect a dog’s routine?

A: Yes, drunkenness can lead to neglect, destructive behavior, and accidents, which can have a negative impact on your pet’s well-being.

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