Can Dogs Drink Coffee? Harmful Effects of Caffeine on Dogs!

Can Dogs Drink Coffee?

Coffee is a famous beverage prepared from roasted coffee beans. Experts estimate that people around the world consume 2.25 billion cups of coffee per day. It has been found that coffee has plenty of health benefits other than just keeping you active. But what about dogs? Can Dogs Drink Coffee?

Can Dogs Drink Coffee?

In a word, No. Coffee is harmful to your dog as it contains caffeine, and all forms of caffeine are highly toxic to most pets. Dogs are more sensitive to the effects of caffeine than people are. While small sips won’t do much harm, ingesting moderate amounts of coffee grounds or tea bags can easily cause death in small dogs.

Also check out: Can Dogs Drink Almond Milk?

How Does Caffeine Affect Dogs?

Caffeine is an alkaloid made by plants to kill off any creatures trying to eat them. Humans and other plant-eating animals have developed defenses to common alkaloids over the years, but dogs haven’t. It directly affects the nervous system and the heart, both in humans and pets. Dogs have a lower tolerance to caffeine, meaning it can dangerously increase their heart rate. Ultimately raising blood pressure, which can cause severe health problems in dogs. Dogs may also lose muscle control and may experience seizures. One helpful side effect of caffeine, however, is that it affects the Gastrointestinal tract, which induces vomiting that helps remove some toxins from the body.

Symptoms of Caffeine Poisoning

Severe symptoms of caffeine poisoning can appear within 1 or 2 hours of your dog ingesting caffeine. If you notice your dog ingesting a relatively small dose, you don’t have to be worried, but if they have swallowed a moderate amount, you should look out for the following symptoms:

  • Hyperactivity
  • Elevated Heart Rate
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Tremors
  • Seizures
  • Restlessness
  • Vomiting
  • Higher body temperature
  • Abnormal health rhythms
  • Collapse
  • Death (in the worst case)

How Much Caffeine Is Too Much?

The lethal dose of coffee depends on your dog’s weight. Your dog’s size and the amount of caffeine they ingested play a significant role in determining the severity. Small breeds such as Chihuahuas can get severely ill just from consuming 0.1 oz of coffee beans or 3 ounces of regular brewed coffee. Larger breeds like the Great Dane would need to ingest a little more to get sick. In simpler words, just a sip of coffee won’t do any irreparable harm to your pup, other than them possibly getting a little ill. But if they were to eat some coffee grounds directly, it could lead to serious health problems.

My Dog Ingested Some Caffeine Infused Drink/Food? What Should I Do?

Firstly, you should try to find out how much caffeine your dog ingested. If they had a small amount, you don’t have much to worry about, but if it was a moderate or high amount, rush to get veterinary care as soon as possible. The quicker you get your dog to the vet, the greater the chances of having a positive outcome. The vet can assess the situation and administer proper treatment.

According to Ollie, treatment includes inducing vomiting, monitoring organ function, heart rate, blood pressure, and administering medications for tremors and seizures and IV fluid therapy. Your dog might even need to be hospitalized for several days, based on the severity of the case. Schedule follow-up appointments with your vet even after your dog has shown promising signs of recovery.

But the most important thing is to keep caffeine away from your dog. Keep your coffee beans, tea bags, and diet pills far away from your dog’s reach, and make sure to restrict their access to the trash.

Sources of Caffeine to Be Wary of:

Coffee is a major source of caffeine kept in many households, but it isn’t the only caffeine source that people keep in their homes. The below-mentioned sources of caffeine are just as dangerous as coffee if not fed in moderation:

  • Tea
  • Diet Pills
  • Chocolate
  • Soda
  • Energy Drinks
  • Chocolate Cake

 

So, Can I Give Coffee to My Dog?

Can I give coffee to my dog? - Pug staring at a cup of coffee

It’s best to keep any caffeine-infused drinks away from your canine companion. There is always a possibility of health problems when your dog ingests caffeine, even if fed in small amounts. No matter how much you might want to share some coffee with your four-legged buddy or how much they work their puppy-dog eyes, you should refrain from giving them any caffeine-induced drinks. Your canine bud may accidentally get their paws on your coffee someday; you’ll need to be watchful then. You can check varying cases of caffeine poisoning in this article by NCBI.

Are Only Dogs Susceptible to Caffeine Poisoning?

Not only dogs, but even cats are prone to caffeine poisoning. Just like with dogs, caffeine can cause organ damage in cats. Small doses won’t give many health problems, but every time you provide them with any caffeine-induced drink/food, the caffeine will damage their heart and nervous system.

 

Dogs absolutely cannot drink coffee. In case your dog ingests some coffee or other sources of caffeine, watch out for symptoms of caffeine poisoning and if needed, contact your vet immediately!

For more information regarding foods and drinks your dog can/cannot have, visit our website.

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