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Is There Beer for Dogs? Vet-Verified Types, Info & FAQ

Written by: Jessica Kim

Last Updated on June 19, 2024 by Dogster Team

dog owner beer

Is There Beer for Dogs? Vet-Verified Types, Info & FAQ


Dr. Amanda Charles Photo


Dr. Amanda Charles

BVSc MRCVS (Veterinarian)

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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When we go to restaurants, we’re usually given multiple drink options, while dogs are typically served water. However, many dog-friendly bars and restaurants have gotten creative over the years and have added beer for dogs to their menus.

You don’t have to be alarmed by dog beer. It’s very different from the alcoholic beverage, and you won’t enjoy it as much as your dog will because of the differing flavors and ingredients. Overall, dog beer is a fun drink option that’s completely safe for canines to drink. Here’s what you need to know about beer for dogs and if you should let your pet give it a try.

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How Does It Work?

Dog beer essentially refers to drinks that are specifically made for dogs and are safe for them to drink. Unlike regular beer, dog beer is 100% alcohol-free and often contains nutritious ingredients. It’s a popular treat to serve at dog parties or to have on hand when you’re having a brews-and-barbeque party.

While it’s possible to make your own dog beer, it’s much easier and more convenient to purchase pre-made batches. It can take hours to prepare a bone broth that incorporates grain-based flavors and tastes palatable to dogs.

Both pet food companies and beer companies produce their own line of dog beers. While the number of dog beer producers is relatively low compared to other types of dog food products, you can still find several different options with varying recipes. So, it should not be too hard to find a dog beer that suits your pet’s tastes.

Beer Top View
Image Credit: Frank Luca, Unsplash

What Are the Different Types of Beer for Dogs?

There are several different flavors of dog beer, with the most common type having a beef bone broth base. Some brands include other types of broth bases in their products, so you can also usually find chicken, pork, or turkey broth. To stay on theme, dog beer usually contains whole-grain oats or malt barley for flavor.

Many dog beer brands also market their products as nutritious supplements to a dog’s diet. The ingredients vary depending on which brand you buy, but many contain vitamin B from malt barley, and some include glucosamine and collagen, which may help support joint health.

While dog beer doesn’t contain any alcohol, it’s still best to give it in moderation as a treat. The calories can add up and cause weight gain in the long run.

Where Is It Used?

Beer for dogs first started appearing in dog-friendly bars, cafes, and restaurants. Many of these establishments wanted to cater to their canine customers by creating a dog menu that included dog-friendly versions of their dishes. These menus would often contain foods like dog-friendly burgers, biscuits, and desserts. With alcoholic beverages being the main menu items at bars, dog beer became a creative and cute idea for bars to serve alongside regular beer.

Many dog-friendly bars continue to serve dog beer. However, you can find several different types of dog beer sold at your local pet store or online. Some beer companies like Busch have created their own line of dog beer that your dog can enjoy at home.

a Corgi dog on a leash with owner in a cafe
Image Credit: Masarik, Shutterstock

Advantages of Beer for Dogs

While beer may not sound healthy, dog beer can actually be a nutritious treat for canines. Many companies will incorporate healthy ingredients or add vitamins and minerals to their batches of dog beer. Giving dog beer to your pet can also help them stay hydrated, and it can be a much-appreciated, refreshing treat on hot summer days.

Dog beer can also be used to feed dogs medication. Crushable medication that can be mixed with food can go undetected when served with dog beer. So, it can make medicine time much easier for both dogs and their owners.

Disadvantages of Beer for Dogs

Dog beer may not be suitable for all dogs. If your pet is on a special diet and suffers from food allergies or other medical conditions, it’s best to check with your vet that dog beer is a suitable treat for them. If your pup has food allergies or intolerances, it’s important to read the ingredients list before giving them dog beer. Recipes vary, but for example, many dog beer recipes contain beef and wheat and so are unsuitable for dogs with gluten or beef allergies.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What’s the difference between beer for dogs and bone broth?

Beer for dogs and bone broth are similar in the sense that dog beer’s main base is a type of bone broth. Both dog beer and bone broth can also be fortified with vitamins and minerals. Where these two beverages can differ (apart from the packaging) is mainly in the additional ingredients found in dog beer. Dog beer often includes ingredients like whole-grain oats and malt barley, while bone broth doesn’t typically have these additional ingredients for flavoring.

Is beer for dogs carbonated?

No, beer for dogs is non-carbonated and prepared as a flat drink. While dogs can safely drink small quantities of sparkling water, they may not enjoy the feeling of a carbonated beverage. A flat drink is usually more palatable for canines, so it’s usually best for dog beer to remain non-carbonated.

Beer taps at pub
Image Credit: Mladen Mitrinovic, Shutterstock

Does beer for dogs have to be served cold?

The flavor of dog beer isn’t really impacted if it’s served cold or lukewarm, and dogs don’t really mind the temperature of their dog beer when they drink it. However, dog beer does have to be refrigerated after it’s been opened. Another way to serve dog beer is to freeze it in an ice cube tray and give it to dogs as a frozen treat.

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Overall, beer for dogs is a tasty and often nutritious snack for dogs. It can help them stay hydrated, and it can be a cool summer treat when served frozen. It’s safe for most dogs, but check ingredients beforehand if your dog has food allergies or a sensitive stomach. Make sure also to serve dog beer as an occasional treat, as overfeeding your dog will lead to weight gain.

If your local dog-friendly bar doesn’t offer dog beer, you can also purchase your own at your local pet store or online. So, make sure to have some dog beer in stock so your dog can crack open a cold one with you at your next summer barbeque.

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Featured Image Credit: Lau Bacanal, Shutterstock

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