Gone are the nights—or for some of us days (don’t act like you don’t like day drinking…)—of drinking alone. Need someone to ride co-pilot while you combat a case of the breakup blues by spending the weekend binge watching Ryan Gosling movies and crying into your glass of wine? (I mean, uh…hypothetically of course). Never fear, dog beer is here to ensure that you never have to celebrate or tackle a case of the sads without your pooch partner in crime.
Dog beer is the latest “buzz” going on around the world, although it’s more of a bonding experience than anything else, as dog beer doesn’t actually contain alcohol. (I mean, hey – someone’s gotta make sure you don’t send that text, right?) It simply allows your pal to be a part of the party instead of just a spectator, as chances are, you hate leaving him out.
Human beers are harmful to dogs for a variety of reasons – the most obvious being alcohol content. Which, according to Dr. Laci Schaible at VetLive, can lead to a host of scary things like cardiac arrest and kidney and liver damage in as little as 15-30 minutes. This is because toxicity is dependent – in a large part – on body mass. Even a commonly larger breed such as the Golden Retriever only weighs in at around 60-80 pounds. Combine that with the tolerance level of a college freshman – meaning your pooch hasn’t had alcohol before – and you’ve got a recipe for disaster.
Hops and Dogs
Melvin Peña over at Dogster also shares that the key ingredients involved in making traditional beers can be just as harmful as the alcohol itself. For example, carbonation can potentially contribute to a dangerous condition known as dog bloat. Here an excess of gasses cause the stomach to swell and cut off vital blood supply. Hops are also pretty hazardous as they have been known to cause body temperatures to spike to an astounding 108 and even higher, which could lead to multiple organ failure. For this reason dog beer is non-alcoholic, non-carbonated, and hop-free.
What is Dog Beer?
So what exactly is dog beer if it doesn’t contain alcohol? While different brewers have their own unique ingredients, flavors, and brewing secrets, dog beer is commonly made from a stock of meat and/or vegetables that simmers for several hours and is then mixed with a liquid extracted during the mash process (just like with regular beer). Most brands seem to recommend serving it to your drinking buddy poured over his food, in a bowl of its own, or even straight out of the bottle. Although, the latter option is a lot more messy than it sounds since pups don’t have lips and the bottles don’t accommodate sweet little snouts.
Flat 12 Bierwerks
Flat 12 Bierwerks is a newer maker of hound hooch, says their brew is ok for human consumption with a taste similar to soup broth.
But I think I’ll just take their word for it on that one.
Paws Dog Brew
So, what’s better than sharing a brew at home with your pooch? Sharing one at the brewery while watching you favorite football team on the big screen. Indianapolis residents can now do just that, as Flat 12 Bierwerks(above) has just released their newest craft beer: Paws Dog Brew. Paws is currently only available on tap at Flat 12 where you can purchase a pint for your pup for the mere price of $1. What’s even cooler is that all the proceeds earned from Paws Dog Brew will be donated to local animal shelters. I love supporting companies who support animals.
One of my favorite things about dog beer aside from the bonding experience it provides me and the pupster is the inventive names. I’m such a sucker for catchy names and attractive packaging. That’s what first caught my eye about Dawg Grog. It comes in the coolest stubby bottles that are sort of reminiscent of the popular human beer, Red Stripe.
An added bonus of Dawg Grog is that their recipe is 100% vegetarian! It includes so many healthy ingredients that the company even considers it to be a supplement, meaning your pooch gets to call his beer a multi-vitamin (human beer makers…take note). My pooch loves it straight out of the bottle or as their website recommends: frozen into cubes in the hot summer months. Their website also gives you recommendations for serving size based on weight, which is nice. You can find Dawg Grog in a whole pack of places around Oregon, Idaho, Pennsylvania, Texas and Washington.
My absolute favorite brand of dog beer (as if my opinion matters to my pup’s taste buds) is from Seattle-based company Bowser Beer. My pup is particularly fond of the chicken flavored Cock-a-Doodle Brew. Their other two flavors are Beefy Brown Ale and their newest – Porky Pug Porter. Bowser Beer is also available in plastic bottles to avoid any potential danger of broken glass, which is a nice touch.
The best part of Bowser Beer in my opinion is that you can order your brew with customized labels complete with a picture of your furry friend and a catchy name of your choosing! (I told ya I was a sucker for that kind of thing) Bowser Beer is also the most widely available. You can currently find it in 42 states or directly from their website where you can also enter your location to find the nearest retailer.
Most pup parents like me enjoy sharing everything with their pal. Unfortunately there are still a lot of things that are off limits. But now with dog beer and dog ice cream a lazy Sunday just got even better. Just make sure to give your drinking buddy a good brush afterwards.