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Give that Dog a Beer!

By: Rebecca O'Connor

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Dog beer? Who would have thought.

Do you have a dog that loves to sneak a sip of your favorite brew? You know the kind. Beer bottles left by chairs at barbeques or left haplessly on the coffee table are knocked over and lapped up as soon as no one is looking. Of course, alcohol can be dangerous to dogs, but what can you do when your pooch is a lover of suds? You could buy him some non-alcoholic beer, but wouldn't it be great if someone made beer just for dogs? That's what Jamie and Kevin Miller asked themselves and decided that they should do something about it.

Dog Star Brewing Company in the Napa Valley region of California makes a special brew that gets tails wagging. It's called Happy Tail Ale and is a non-alcoholic dog beer that's brewed especially for the canine connoisseur. The Millers created the brew just for their favorite beer-loving canine, Kodi, an Akita that had long been trying to find ways to get his snout into their beers.

It wasn't as easy as throwing together a few ingredients and finding the perfect brew, however. The Millers started with a combination of soda water, yellow food coloring and beef bouillon. Unfortunately, bouillon and carbonation have an interesting reaction. They explode with mixed! And the soda water upsets doggy tummies. Now the formulation is very similar to beer without alcohol, carbonation or hops, which can cause dog seizures. The main ingredients are water, malted barley and natural beef drippings for flavor.

The Millers started concocting their beer in their own kitchen, but when they happened on a successful formula, it became so popular locally that they had to expand operations. In fact, the Governor of California, Arnold Swarzenegger was reported buying a six pack while he was vacationing there. The dog brew is selling wonderfully!

Something to "Wine" About

If your dog is too cultivated to be bothered with beer, you could try offering some treats from the wine family. Napa Valley Dog Biscuits creates a several canine treats that get their distinct flavor from the Napa Valley beverage of choice. You can choose from Cab*Bone*Net biscuits made from Cabernet Sauvignon and beef-flavor or Char*Dog*Nay biscuits made from Chardonnay and chicken-flavor. They are hand cut in the form of a cluster of grapes and wine bottles. The alcohol in the wine cooks out when baking.

Let's Celebrate!

Now that you've got an idea of some celebratory treats for special occasions, be creative. Your dog can have some fun. How about some wine biscuits at dinner parties and anniversaries? And now your dog doesn't have to miss out on the Irish favorite – St. Patrick's Day! Add a little green food coloring to the dog brew and let Fido join the celebration. These days every day is a dog day, so you may not need a special occasion to drink a beer with your best buddy. After all, he's everyone's best friend. Give that dog a beer!

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