Coffee beans, grounds, and brewed coffee have caffeine, which can be dangerous and toxic for dogs. While most of us need caffeine in the morning, your dog can’t drink coffee. Caffeine is bad for pets and can even lead to toxicity levels that can be life-threatening. Some owners may try to argue that you can give your dog decaffeinated coffee, but canines get all the hydration they need from drinking water. As general advice, it’s always best to err on the side of caution when dealing with matters that may affect your dog’s health. If you catch your dog drinking coffee or eating grounds, you’ll want to monitor his health for the next 24 hours to ensure he doesn’t get sick. To help you learn more about keeping your pet healthy, let’s explore caffeine toxicity in pets and why your dog shouldn’t have coffee.
Is Coffee Bad For Dogs?
Coffee is a major source of caffeine, which can be very harmful and poisonous to dogs. Factors such as your dog’s body weight and any preexisting health conditions affect how much coffee can be dangerous for them.
In addition, this depends on whether they ate any coffee grounds, the type of coffee beans that were used (many of which contain higher concentrations of caffeine), and the method in which the coffee was brewed. For example, one cup of percolated coffee can contain 100mg of caffeine.
Typically, 150mg of caffeine per 2.2 pounds of body weight is considered a lethal dose for dogs. Using this equation, a single cup of coffee may not be fatal for larger dogs, but it can be devastating for small breeds like Chihuahuas and Yorkies.
Signs of Caffeine Poisoning
If your dog has ingested caffeine, it can take about one to two hours for symptoms of caffeine poisoning to appear. The severity of the symptoms depends primarily on the amount of coffee that your dog has ingested. These symptoms will range from mild to extremely severe, the latter of which requires immediate veterinary care.
Some of the most common effects of caffeine poisoning include:
- Excessive thirst
- Heavy breathing or panting
- Excessive urination
- Increase in body temperature
- Rapid heart rate
- High blood pressure
Treating Caffeine Toxicity in Dogs
Unfortunately, there isn’t an antidote available for dogs with caffeine poisoning. However, your dog can undergo treatment from a trained professional. Your veterinarian can induce vomiting if your dog has ingested a large amount of coffee (a few licks from your cup once in a while isn’t going to hurt her).
If your dog is suffering from a serious case of caffeine toxicity, your veterinarian may use medication to help lower her blood pressure and/or administer anti-seizure medications. Sedation may be necessary, as well as medical observation until your dog stops experience any symptoms of caffeine poisoning.
No, Dogs Can Not Drink Coffee
Generally, it’s unlikely that a small amount of coffee will hurt your dog. However, you should contact your veterinarian immediately if you think that your dog may have drank large amounts of coffee.
Remember, it’s not just coffee that contains caffeine. You should also be careful with soda, energy drinks, chocolate (both chocolate and caffeine are toxic to dogs), and any products that have coffee flavorings, including ice cream.