Guinness is Good For… Your Dogs?

My Grandmother used to give her dogs a rather unique breakfast. Every day started with a dish of steel cut oatmeal, two raw eggs (including the shells) and a pint of Guinness Stout. When asked why, she’d always tell us that “everyone knows Guinness is good for you”.

Turns out that there might be scientific proof for that after all.


A pint of the black stuff a day may work as well as a low dose aspirin to prevent heart clots that raise the risk of heart attacks.

Drinking lager does not yield the same benefits, experts from University of Wisconsin told a conference in the US.

Guinness was told to stop using the slogan decades ago – and the firm still makes no health claims for the drink.

The Wisconsin team tested the health-giving properties of stout against lager by giving it to dogs who had narrowed arteries similar to those in heart disease.

They found that those given the Guinness had reduced clotting activity in their blood, but not those given lager.

The researchers told a meeting of the American Heart Association in Orlando, Florida, that the most benefit they saw was from 24 fluid ounces of Guinness – just over a pint – taken at mealtimes.

From BBC News

I had always assumed that a breakfast including a pint of Guinness could add some shine to a dog’s coat – that old wive’s tale about washing your hair with beer for added shine is, no doubt, at the root of that myth. But claims about Guinness’ “healthy qualities” have been around for almost as long as the beer.

Blood donors in the UK routinely were given a pint of Guinness after giving blood (which sure beats a cookie and a glass of orange juice), as were patients recovering in the hospital. New mums were told that a half pint of Guinness twice daily could help ‘bring in their milk’, and I know of old time dog breeders who believed that the same worked for bitches who were slow to have their milk come in.

As an added bonus, slightly drunk dogs might be easier to do nails on. Hmm – Maybe it’s time to revive one or two old lost family traditions.

3 replies
  1. vicky
    vicky says:

    Zenyatta, recently retired, now in foal, and one of the greatest race horses ever, was given Guinness everyday during her racing career.

    • frogdogz
      frogdogz says:

      I remember reading about another trainer that give his horses stout. I have to dig, but it might have been Man O’ War’s trainer.

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