I've read that raw hops can be bad for dogs, somehow causing hyperthermia. But once it's brewed, is beer bad also? What about very hoppy beers? Answers might include reports on what it is in hops (alpha acids?) that make hops bad for dogs.

Please keep answers restricted to the effect of brewed hops. I already realize the fermented alcohol can be bad for smaller pets. I'm not looking for alcohol related answers, just answers on boiled and fermented hops.

As an aside, it seems okay for cats. Mine decided to take a sip, seemed to like it, and came back for more.

  • No joke, a family member's Doberman really likes wheat beer so you have to watch your glass in their house. She'll walk up to you and just help herself if you don't pay attention.
    – rickhg12hs
    Commented Jun 17, 2014 at 17:32
  • My grandfather had a little poodle that loved beer. He used to pour a bit in a bowl for her all the time to keep her from barking at whoever was drinking. Not saying anything about the health effects there, but she certainly enjoyed it.
    – Falsenames
    Commented Aug 7, 2014 at 22:05

3 Answers 3


I haven't looked for a full toxicology report (not that I would be able to understand it), but this Wikipedia article mentions that hops causes hyperthermia and may cause death.

I personally do not think that a sip of beer, especially of the standard lagers, will cause any major problems, but I prefer to err on the side of safety when it comes to my pets.

  • 1
    That article also lists alcohol itself as being a problem for dogs. Commented Jun 10, 2014 at 15:45
  • That article seems to imply they are talking about actual physical hops. I'm wondering if the acids leftover in the beer have any effect.
    – CDspace
    Commented Jun 10, 2014 at 16:18

Spent hops (hops dumped from a brew kettle) may cause hyperthermia in dogs in addition to raw hops, so you should never dump them as fertilizer in an area accessible to dogs. Source: Vet Learn web site

Beer is bad for dogs (and cats!) due to the alcohol. I don't know about the hops, but I wouldn't risk it with my pets. It seems like someone sneaking booze into a punch bowl -- the animals that trust you aren't consenting to it.

  • 1
    hyperthermia, not hypothermia. Commented Jun 11, 2014 at 18:14
  • yes, corrected.
    – jalynn2
    Commented Jun 12, 2014 at 16:30

Independently of any ingredients like hops and barley, beer and any other beverage or food containing alcohol is SUPER BAD for your dog.

A few drops licked from the floor may not be a problem for a 70 pound dog (like mine) but in greater concentrations such as a cup or bowl it will cause your dog's liver to fail killing him/her in a short period of time.

It also depends on how much the dog weights and his/her particular sensibility to alcohol.

  • The question was about hops in beer, and if it's bad for dogs. This answer did nothing to address that. And FWIW I'm not trying to feed my dog hops or beer, just looking for a what if/oops scenario
    – CDspace
    Commented Aug 1, 2014 at 5:28

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