can dogs drink coffee

Can Dogs Drink Coffee? (Caffeine Toxicity)

Reviewed by Rachel Katz, VMD

Caffeine can be dangerous to a dog, so it begs the question: “Can dogs drink coffee?”

Dogs are curious creatures, and we sometimes can’t resist the look on our feline friend while drinking or eating, so we share our meal with them.

Due to the corona pandemic, people are spending more time at home, and dogs have also had more time to get into more pet hazards around the house.

However, when it comes to coffee and caffeine, you should probably be careful, since caffeine can be life threatening for your dog.

A lick or two of coffee is nothing to worry about. However, if your dog ingests unused coffee grounds or beans, it can cause serious toxicity, since it’s more concentrated in caffeine.

Coffee is not the only source of caffeine. There are other sources of caffeine that can be dangerous to dogs, if not kept out of reach.

Common caffeine sources include energy drinks, tea, caffeine pills, diet pills, soda and chocolate.

If you know your dog drank coffee or any caffeine products, you should monitor them for signs of toxicity.

So let’s jump in and find out: Can dogs drink coffee?

Can Dogs Drink Coffee?

can dogs drink coffee

Humans can safely drink 400mg of caffeine per day. However, that amount can be deadly for dogs. Caffeine can affect the nervous system and the heart.

The safe dosage of caffeine differs depending on the dog’s size. Small dogs such as Chihuahuas, Shih Tzu, Yorkshire Terrier, or Affenpinscher.

Large breeds such as Golden Retrievers, Beauceron, or German Shepherd need to ingest more amounts of caffeine to become ill.

Caffeine is lethal to dogs at concentrations of 150 milligrams per kilogram (2.2 pounds) of weight.

In an 8-ounce cup of coffee, there’s only about 100 mg of caffeine. However, eating coffee grounds can lead to serious poisoning, since they are more concentrated in caffeine.

Call your vet immediately if your dog drank coffee or ate coffee grounds. Your vet can evaluate the potential risk depending on the dog’s weight and the amount of coffee consumed.

Signs of Caffeine Poisoning

can dogs drink coffee

The signs of caffeine poisoning in dogs can appear after 30 minutes up to an hour after ingestion. They can last from 12 hours to a couple of days.

After ingestion, your dog may seem hyperactive or weird. You should monitor your dog for these common signs:

  • Unrest or hyperactiveness
  • Panting
  • Diarrhea or vomiting
  • Tremors
  • Elevated heart rate and blood pressure
  • Unusual heart rhythms
  • Elevated body temperature known as hyperthermia

In severe cases, your dog may collapse or have seizures. The quicker you see a vet and get the treatment started, the better results.

What To Do If Your Dog Drinks Coffee

can dogs drink coffee

If your dog drank coffee or ate coffee grounds or any type of caffeine products. Visit your veterinarian immediately.

The veterinarian will analyze all the symptoms taking into consideration the dog’s weight and the amount they ingested, and recommend suitable treatment.

If your vet is not available, contact a pet poison control center immediately and bring your dog to the nearest emergency clinic.

Once your dog is stabilized and recovered, schedule a follow up as soon as possible to get a second check up on the dog’s health.

Treating Caffeine Poisoning

can dogs drink coffee

Depending on how severe your dog’s condition is, the treatment varies. If a few hours had just passed after ingesting, the treatment would include inducing vomiting, so the dog won’t keep absorbing it.

In addition, the vet may give your dog medications to control heart rate, tremors, and seizures. IV fluids may be given to extract the caffeine from their body.

In severe cases, your dog might need to be hospitalized for several days, to monitor organ functions, heart rate, and blood pressure.

Preventing Caffeine Poisoning

can dogs drink coffee

Avoid giving your dog any amount of coffee, even if it was just a sip. Keep all your caffeinated products such as coffee grounds, beans, chocolate covered espresso beans, or tea bags out of reach of your dog.

Additionally, when you throw away your coffee beans or grounds, secure the trash bag and make sure it’s not accessible to the dog.

Finally, remind your family and guests that coffee needs to be kept away from your dog. It’s also important to teach your dog the “leave it” command to stop them from eating something they shouldn’t be eating or drinking.

When to See a Veterinarian

can dogs drink coffee

If you think your dog ingested coffee, coffee grounds or beans. Monitor your dog carefully and look for any unusual signs.

Because symptoms of caffeine poisoning show up after about 30 minutes of ingesting, and can elevate quickly.

If the dog became hyperactive or started to act weird, it’s best to call your vet immediately, to get toxins out of the body as soon as possible.

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