Paco is my little dog and naturally, he’s spoiled! He is a bit of a wimp and his soul aim in life is to sleep. On a normal day he gets a short walk in the morning, a longer one at night, two square meals and a few treats along the way. As his besotted owner I want nothing more than for him to be fit, healthy and happy. Never would I dream of giving him wine. But whilst sitting here enjoying a nice glass myself, I wonder precisely why not?
One reason may be that he’s only just turned two years old – far below the legal drinking age in the UK. This may serve as reason enough, but according to dogyears.com Paco is 24 – the same as age me, so he qualifies! He is generally a very well behaved dog. I’m sure that if I could somehow convey to him the potential risks of over indulging, he’d be a responsible citizen and limit his consumption to a sensible level.
Another reason for Paco to steer clear of vino may be that grapes, a rather important component in the making of wine, are toxic to dogs. In fact they are so toxic, they can cause sudden kidney failure and a lack of urine production, although the mechanism of toxicity is still unknown. Suddenly, it’s sounding like quite a bad idea…
Exploring it further, I find that yeast is another enemy! Given the opportunity Paco will give almost anything a quick nibble. If he got his little paws on anything too “yeasty”, he could find himself suffering from bloating, metabolic acidosis and even central nervous system depression! Worryingly I found that if he ate something like bread dough, the moist and warm conditions of his stomach could cause the yeast within the dough to ferment.
It’s unfortunate, but we all know the less than desirable effects alcohol can have on us. I appreciate Paco isn’t going to text his ex girlfriend or cry about how much weight he put on at Christmas, but it could have some really nasty effects on the inside of his body.
Ethanol is the alcohol found in wine and as humans we produce approximately 3g of ethanol per day just through the fermentation of the contents of our digestive system! All living organisms have evolved the ability to break down alcohol (even Paco). If they hadn’t, the alcohol in the organism would build up and become toxic. However, unlike humans, Paco does have a nifty way of eliminating methanol, the alcohol found in antifreeze. Potentially, he could just breathe it out, ridding himself of up to 50% of the dose of methanol, unchanged, via his lungs!
Overall, it seems there couldn’t be a worse alcoholic beverage for Paco to consume. I suppose if I think about it, Paco is only 10kg – one sixth of my weight! So for me to consume a medium glass of wine, 175ml, is proportionally the same as Paco consuming 1050ml, or 1.4 bottles of wine. Ouch!
So let the moral of this pondering be: listen to your senses and keep the wine away from your dog. I think Paco will be sticking to water!
Virgin Wines | Personal Wine Advisor