Brewing kits are popular, and allow you to combine different malt extracts with different blends of hops, to make a wide variety of beers from home. One thing to keep in mind though, is that hops are a deadly poison to dogs. Many people are unaware, as hops can even be mixed with cattle food. However, in dogs it causes malignant hyperthermia, and potentially death.
Home brewers will sometimes save the used hops, also referred to as spent hops, and place it in a compost pile or as a lawn fertilizer outside. If your dog eats even a small amount of the hops, it can cause an uncontrollable fever, severe panting, restlessness, and rapid heartbeat. In all documented cases, only one dog managed to survive hop toxicity.
If you discover your dog eating hops, it’s best to get him to the veterinarian, before the symptoms even start. If your veterinarian is unaware of hops toxicity, they can call the animal poison control for assistance on treatment. The Animal Poison Control Center phone is (888) 426-4435, they charge $60 but they are open 365 days a year, 24 hours a day to help. Treatment may include cold water baths to try to get temperature down, administration of activated charcoal, IV sodium bicarbonate to reverse metabolic acidosis, pumping the stomach, and possibly sedation to prevent the involuntary muscle contractions.
If you make beer at home, make sure to dispose of the hops in a sealed container, that your dog cannot get into.