PSA: Hops are Poisonous to Dogs

Gathering around the boil kettle with your bi-pedal friends is always a great time, but sometimes you can’t beat the assistance of your trusty brew dog. He may not offer much help during clean up or bark an unwarranted suggestion in your ear from time to time, but at the end of the day he’s there by your side through thick mash and thin layer of boil-over.

Unfortunately for our canine friends, the hops we find so irresistible in our favorite ales and lagers are highly poisonous and can be fatal to dogs. Whether the hops are on the bine in your back yard, in pelletized form on your kitchen floor or in a pile of mush post-boil, the bitter cones must be kept away from dogs.

Dogs who ingest hops can suffer effects including excessive panting, restlessness and signs of pain including muscle tremors and seizures. The most significant symptom is a rapid increase in temperature called malignant hyperthermia, which can cause fevers surpassing 108°F. Such a high fever results in damage to and failure of organ systems, according to the ASPCA.

If you suspect your dog has consumed hops, seek veterinary care immediately or call the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at 888-426-4435.

It has been suggested that some other animals may also suffer such adverse effects from ingesting hops, though research to back up this claim is not extensive. When in doubt, keep your hops in a safe and secure place where your furry friends can’t gain access.

Photo © mytoenailcameoff via Flickr CC

Homebrewers Association
Homebrewers Association