Harley kept in overnight for observation amid fears he may have been poisoned

A mischievous cockapoo puppy got more than he bargained for when he helped himself to a glass of wine.

Four-month-old Harley was looking very pleased with himself after knocking over the glass and lapping up its contents, but soon found himself being rushed to Vets Now in Reading and spending the night under observation.

But it wasn’t just the alcohol in the wine that had owner Teresa Latch worried — it was the fear that the grapes it’s made from could cause a toxic reaction.

An image of Harley, the dog that drank wine, sitting in a field in the sunshine looking happy. Image for Vets Now article on dog drank wine.
Mischievous cockapoo Harley got more than he bargained for when he helped himself to a glass of wine

Grapes, as well as raisins and sultanas, can be poisonous to dogs and just one can trigger an emergency.

Teresa explained that she had left her half-finished glass of wine on the floor while she was saying goodnight to her three children.

“We got Harley about a few months ago and did all the research about dangerous foods — onions, garlic, chocolate, grapes and raisins — all of those things,” she said.

“But we are a busy family so it’s not always possible to keep an eye on everything the puppy is doing and I’d only put the wine down for five minutes and heard some snuffling outside the bedroom door.

“I went to investigate and he’d knocked the glass over and, looking fairly pleased with himself, was lapping up whatever was on the floor.

“Harley is very keen on cups generally and is always after any tea or coffee if you put it down. He often tries to get into the shower as well even though we have water available for him all the time.

“I’m not sure how much wine was left in the glass, but when I sat down and thought about it I realised there was a risk because of the grapes.”

As it was 9pm, Teresa called her local Vets Now clinic in Reading, which provides out-of-hours emergency care for pets in the area.

An image of Harley playing with his Gromit chew toy for Vets Now article on dog drank wine
Grapes, as well as raisins and sultanas, can be poisonous to dogs and just one can trigger an emergency

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She was advised to bring Harley in to be checked over. Staff couldn’t spot any obvious signs of alcohol ingestion.

But, as a precaution, Teresa opted to have Harley kept in overnight to guard against any kidney problems that might have been caused by the grapes.

Teresa said: “It’s the first time we’ve had a dog and we’re all completely smitten with him. I did not want to go home wondering if there was anything else I could have done to help him.”

Vet nurse Sophie Bedford, who works at the Vets Now clinic in Reading, praised Teresa for erring on the side of caution. She said: “Harley’s case demonstrates how important it is for new puppy owners to do their research and to puppy-proof their homes.

“His family did the right thing in getting him checked over as both alcohol and grapes can be toxic to dogs, particularly when they’re still puppies. Thankfully, there were no complications on this occasion and Harley was able to bounce out of the clinic the next day — no doubt looking to get up to more mischief.”

Teresa said she’s delighted to have Harley home as he’s brought a new dimension to her family’s lives.

An image of Harley, the dog that drank wine, sitting in the sunshine in a field outside. Image for Vets Now article on dog drink wine.
Thankfully, there were no complications with Harley's treatment and he was able to go home the next day

She added: “When I finally caved in and agreed to get a dog the kids couldn’t believe their luck because we have such a busy household with three kids and both of us working that they assumed I’d always say no.

“It’s been really good for all of us, getting out and about in the fresh air and having Harley as a companion. We are only a few months in, but it’s been the best family decision we have made because he brings a different dimension.”

The Vets Now clinic in Reading — where Harley received treatment — is one of 58 Vets Now clinics and pet emergency hospitals across the UK that are open through the night, seven-days-a-week, and day and night on weekends and bank holidays, to treat any pet emergencies that may occur.

All of Vets Now’s premises have a vet and vet nurse on site at all times.