I'm inclined to agree with him. I've read somewhere reputable that some dogs are allergic to hops, but it's actually very rare. Wish I had a source. In any case my dog drank an IIPA one time and he was fine. He likes to knock over peoples' beers and drink them if no one is around.
As for these pests, I've had japanese beetles so far this year. Sevin killed them, but they still would eat a bunch before finally dying. I think a combo of sevin and flicking them off the plant does the trick, because they're too weak to climb back on. I don't really have any qualms about using Sevin because it's so early in the season.
Now I have aphids, and neem seems to be doing the trick.