Stephen Burroughs is a writer, Humane Society volunteer and lifelong dog-lover. Though Stephen would never let his Min Pin consume any alcohol, sometimes the little guy drives him to drink. Stephen writes for Havahart, which specializes in a variety of dog doors.
Beer for Dogs?
There’s something strange brewing in Bend, OR. Daniel Keeton, a brewery employee and dog lover, has fashioned something he calls Dawg Grog—a non-alcoholic beer-like substance for dogs. The product itself initially left me scratching my head, but then I thought about it a little bit more. I’ve been to Bend more than a few times and I live in a city that shares many of Bend’s finer qualities—there are a lot of relatively affluent, outdoorsy-type people who love to spoil their dogs. Dawg Grog isn’t cheap, so it easily falls under the blanket of “spoiling.” Mr. Keeton already has a day job, so he did this out of love for his dog—I think it goes beyond spoiling your pet or the Dawg Grog’s existence as a novelty item, though, so let’s dig a little bit deeper.
We probably all experienced this in our teenage years and early 20s—that one friend who thinks it’s cute to feed a little bit (or a lot) of beer to their dog at parties. “She gets drunk and it’s so cute!” the friend might say in reference to the dog. It might be cute, but it’s bad news.
The same goes for those dogs and cats that like to lick at our beer bottles, cans or cocktail glasses. I have known many cats that were willing to go to the ends of their little Kitty Earth in order to sneak a taste of whiskey and sprite. It’s sort of adorable but it just can’t happen, simply because alcohol isn’t good for our furry friends at all.
Alcohol is toxic to pets (even more so than it is to humans!), and it can cause low body temperature (hypothermia), depression, extremely low blood pressure (hypotension), respiratory conditions and it can even induce seizures. It’s not the end of the world if your dog gets a few licks at your beer bottle while your head is turned away for a second, but all of those possible symptoms are more than enough to override “She gets drunk and it’s so cute!”—dogs and beer don’t mix.
What is Dawg Grog?
I played a lot of The Secret of Monkey Island on the family DOS PC as a kid, so the word ‘grog immediately’ brought the classic point and click adventure game to my mind. In that game, grog was described as containing one or more of the following, “kerosene, propylene glycol, artificial sweeteners, sulphuric acid, rum, acetone, red dye no. 2, scumm, axle grease, battery acid and pepperoni.” Sounds like bad news bears to me. Thankfully, in this case, Dawg Grog is just a cute name for a wholesome product.
Dawg Grog is fairly expensive, but it’s also healthy for your dog. According to the brains behind the operation, it’s made from low-sodium vegetable broth, water and spent grain from the brewery Keeton works at. It doesn’t sound too appetizing to my human palate, but Keeton’s dog seems to adore it. It can be consumed on its own or poured over food.
According to a piece in the NY Daily News, Keeton said that Dawg Grog combines two things that are very important to the city of Bend. “Bend is a dog-loving community and a beer-loving community… I wanted to marry those two together in some way,” Keaton said.
Image provided by Dawg Grog
Sharing with Your Pooch
It’s obvious that Keeton is passionate about beer, and that he wants to share that passion with an important member of his family (his dog) in a safe, healthy way. Even if I never buy any Dawg Grog, that’s something I can appreciate and relate to. I think we can all relate to it. Sharing is one of life’s great pleasures, and our dogs love it when we share with them—especially if that sharing comes in the form of food.
This isn’t about making fake beer; it’s about sharing and forming a stronger bond with our dogs. We want our pets to enjoy what we enjoy, and if it’s safe and healthy for them, they nearly always do. While I never would have come up with Dawg Grog, I really appreciate where he’s coming from. He’s bridging together two important aspects of the Bend community, and he’s allowing people to share something they love with their dogs in a way that’s perfectly safe. He’s also giving Bend dog owners another way to spoil their pooches, but I can think of much worse things than being too good to your furry best friend.
On the surface, Dawg Grog seems a little bit unnecessary. When we dig a little bit deeper and look at why Daniel Keeton conceived the product and what it means to him, it becomes clear that Dawg Grog is pretty reasonable after all. Dawg Grog is just another way to bring people closer to their dogs and make the world a weirder and happier place. Bottoms up!
So what do you think? Will you give Dawg Grog a try?