Can Dogs Drink Caffeine?

Who doesn't love caffeine? It stimulates the central nervous system, which for most of us, is a necessity in the mornings. But can our dogs drink coffee?

Unfortunately, no. Caffeine is toxic to dogs. 

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  • Agitation 
  • Hyperactivity
  • Hypertension
  • Hypothermia
  • Nervousness
  • Panting
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Shaking
  • Seizures

So if you thought your dog might benefit from the caffeine rush like you, think again! 

Coffee is bad for dogs! Tea is bad for dogs! Anything with caffeine is bad for dogs! Avoid them all!

If you're thinking, what about herbal teas? Can dogs drink tea that has no caffeine in? Yes. Well, it depends on the herb or plant used, but generally, dogs can have teas like peppermint or rooibos occasionally. 

Take the product (or a photo), note the timing and the quantity consumed as this will help the vet understand the strength of the product and the amount ingested.  

Often, your vet will take blood and urine samples to make sure that it's caffeine poisoning. It sounds obvious, but the symptoms are similar to other poisons - for example, chocolate, nicotine, pesticides and some human medicines. 

It's important to know what's causing your dog's symptoms, so your vet can provide the best treatment possible.

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Top Tips:

  • You can find caffeine in tea, coffee, fizzy drinks and energy drinks, as well as in food or medicine. If your dog has caffeine, you're most likely going to the vet for medical attention. 
  • Because caffeine is so dangerous to dogs, take caution when disposing of coffee grounds, coffee beans or tea bags. Dogs will still ingest caffeine this way; even small amounts can potentially cause stomach upset.
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Treatment Plan

Treatment will depend on how much caffeine your dog ate, the size of your pooch and how quickly you got them treated.

Monitor - Your vet will monitor your dog's symptoms of caffeine poisoning. That usually includes their heart rate, blood pressure and central nervous system. 

Emesis/Stomach Pump - Your vet will either induce vomiting to get rid of most the caffeine in the stomach, or use a saline solution to pump the stomach. Both will remove most of the caffeine in your dog's digestive system. 

Activated Charcoal - It's given after emesis to prevent the body from absorbing any more toxins.

Medications - You vet might administer medicines, like diazepam, to reduce seizures.