My dog, Lilly Von Shtupp, loves to drink beer. I only give her an ounce or so once in a blue moon, but I stopped recently because I heard that dogs are sensitive/allergic to hops. Can anyone either confirm or deny this?
I've heard that as well, and seen it mentioned by several sources. According to wikipedia, it causes hyperthermia in dogs.
You didn't exactly ask "Are Hops Bad For My Dog?" but here's that answer.
The best evidence I have seen on-line is the following article (abstract linked) from the Journal of the American Veterinary Association): http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8977648 "Malignant hyperthermia-like reaction secondary to ingestion of hops in five dogs"
4 out of the 5 dogs being described died. In other words, ingestion of hops (as opposed to beer with hops) can be fatal.
You can also find several anecdotal stories on homebrewtallk describing how hops ingestion killed their dog: http://www.brewersfriend.com/2010/05/09/hops-and-dogs/
I combed through some articles awhile back. I couldn't find an LD50 or anything but read some reports indicated 1 oz had been 'proven' fatal, at least for that brewer's dog.
So will beer with hops (most beer right?) hurt your dog? I'd guess not. If your 5g batch was brewed with 4 ozs of hops and somehow they all made it into the bottles (not how that works of course), you'd have 4/50 of an oz per bottle (aka 2/25, aka about 2g). Maybe he shouldn't get that Hop Heaven IPA. Avery's Ellie's Brown Ale perhaps?
There was a Letters to the Editor article in Zymurgy a couple months back and the author confirmed that tossing freshly used hops out to within reach of dogs is a patently bad idea, as mentioned by others.
However, just beer? I defer to the expertise of others, but I recall our dog, a Hungarian Vizsla, drinking beer dribbled from her previous owner's inverted bottle (as seen in home movies - yes, I'm dating myself) while out hunting and she was fine. This is entirely different from putting down a bowl of beer, I should point out.
About all I can do here is quote Buddha: "Everything in moderation, even moderation." ;-)
But seriously, if you have ANY concerns, just avoid it altogether. I agree with another poster's comment regarding the less hoppy offerings as being 'safer'.
As a matter of personal experience, as a young boy many years ago I had a Manchester Terrier who loved beer and who my father would take to the bar every night with her own shot glass. The beer never hurt her and she lived to be 17 years old, outliving my father by several years.
We have two dogs now, and neither will touch beer. I don't think it harms dogs in small amounts. But again that's based only upon personal observation. It could be that the Hops in beer is bad for them. Who knows?
Half of the people I know give their dogs a little beer now and then, whether they're having a barbecue, a bonfire, or simply hanging out at the fishing hole, and like the above post, many of these dogs outlived their human counterparts. So from my experience through the years, beer is not harmful to dogs. Course then, I reckon you'll have to decide that for yourself. Common sense would say, as with all things, the primary part of it is "A little beer now and then."