Tea originated in southwest China as a medicinal drink and its history spans thousands of years across multiple cultures. You may have wondered whether dogs can drink tea. As long as you are careful, dogs can have tea and it’s actually both safe and healthy for them. For example, chamomile tea can be a flavorful, safe tea for dogs to drink in moderation. However, you obviously can’t give your dogs hot tea since it may burn their mouths. Instead, dogs can drink iced tea or tea served at room temperature.
The type of tea you can give them varies. As a general rule, you should not give your dogs any caffeinated teas like green or black tea since it can lead to caffeine toxicity. This also means that dogs can’t drink matcha tea since this is essentially a powder made from finely ground green tea leaves and has much higher caffeine levels than traditional green tea. You also shouldn’t give your dog sweet tea since it has a lot of sugar added to the drink.
To help you learn more, we’ve compiled this guide on tea for dogs. From health benefits to potential pitfalls, let’s explore why certain teas are good and others are bad for dogs!
Is Tea Bad for Dogs?
Several teas that are perfectly safe for dogs to drink including peppermint and chamomile tea. These herbal teas contain antioxidants and act as gentle astringents that may help treat inflammation, reduce skin irritations, and relax muscles. Furthermore, chamomile tea for dogs is beneficial for reducing anxiety and treating insomnia. Chamomile can be used as a mild sleeping aid for hyperactive dogs. You should not add milk or sugar to teas that you give your dogs.
On that note, you should never allow your dog to drink caffeinated tea. This means that most black, green, white, orange and oolong teas are out of the question. A single cup of tea can have as much as 70 milligrams of caffeine. Even small amounts of caffeine can lead to serious illness in dogs because it is actually toxic for them. In fact, too much caffeine can cause caffeine poisoning, which can be fatal.
However, there are decaffeinated versions of these teas out there that are suitable alternatives. Green tea offers a ton of health benefits as it is high in antioxidants and some dog owners have found that it helps promote fresh breath and reduces foul smells from their stools. However, you should note that even decaffeinated versions have trace amounts of caffeine.
What To Do If Your Dog Ate a Tea Bag
Even if you are giving your dogs chamomile tea (which is safe for them to drink), you should never give them the actual tea bags as your dogs may choke on them. In addition, swallowed tea bags can obstruct your dog’s intestinal tract and lead to potentially life-threatening circumstances. If you drink caffeinated tea, you should never leave the bags where your dog can find them. The tea bags contain a significant amount of caffeine and just one used tea bag could be fatal for smaller dogs.
If your dog ate a tea bag, you should seek medical attention immediately, especially for smaller pups. For larger dogs, you may be able to induce vomiting to get the tea bag out of their systems. However, we recommend seeking a vet just in case.
What If Your Dog Accidentally Drinks Caffeinated Tea?
If you suspect that your dog has ingested caffeinated tea, you should watch them closely for signs of caffeine poisoning. Symptoms may include:
- Hyperactivity and restlessness
- Increased or abnormal heart rate
- Elevated blood pressure
- Increased body temperatures
Contact your veterinarian immediately if you notice any of these symptoms.
Teas That Are Good For Dogs
Many teas can offer lots of health benefits for dogs including chamomile and catnip tea. Chamomile tea is great for dogs because it’s soothing and can help them relax.
Most herbal teas are safe for dogs but it’s recommended to consult your vet before giving them any. Be sure to avoid green tea since it contains caffeine. Other teas that are safe for dogs include peppermint tea, Echinacea tea, and rooibos tea, all of which can help dogs with digestive problems. You may also give your dogs decaffeinated versions of teas that typically contain caffeine, like green tea or black tea.
Yes, Dogs Can Drink Teas without Caffeine in Moderation
If you want to give your dogs tea, you should make sure that it doesn’t contain any caffeine. Also, teas given to your dogs shouldn’t contain any added ingredients like milk, sugar, or artificial sweeteners. Milk may seem like a great option to add extra protein to your dog’s diet; however, lots of dogs are lactose intolerant and milk can lead to diarrhea or other signs of an allergic reaction. Also, be aware that some herbal tea varieties may contain caffeine so it’s important to read the ingredients carefully before giving them to your dogs.