CAN DOGS AND PUPPIES HAVE TEA?
“Sunlight shant break through yonder window till I consumeth my tea.” – Naruto the Dog.
If you are anything like me, beginning the day with tea is an important step; without it, nothing can be done. This is why, like all other Smart Dog Owners, you would want to share anything you’re having with your dog.
While it is important to keep having bonding experiences with your dog, it is crucial to understand what dogs can and cannot consume. So, Can Dogs Have Tea?
Can Dogs Have Tea?
Can Dogs Have Tea? Dogs can have tea, but there’s more to it. Small puppies and dogs can only consume small quantities of tea and should not consume any tea that may have caffeine because it will lead to caffeine toxicity.
What tea types can dogs have?
The product has been around for centuries and is said to be one of the most consumed items in the world right now, with over 200 million cups being consumed every day on average.
In terms of whether our little furry friends can consume this product, there are a few specific types you should know about. Essentially, any tea containing caffeine should not be consumed, while herbal teas made from flowers, roots, or gingers are relatively safer for our dogs.
Non-Consumable Teas that your dogs shouldn’t touch!
Simply put, your dogs should not consume all teas containing caffeine since these teas include the camellia Sinensis plant, which aids in the caffeine in different types of tea. These teas include black, green, oolong, and white tea.
Can dogs have Tea? Black Tea is a Big NO NO!
Black tea is the tea that most people consume every day, and it’s mostly the one that is served in restaurants and can most commonly be found in every household in the UK or in Asian Countries.
The problem with this form of tea is that it absolutely cannot be consumed by our little furry friends because it is extremely high in caffeine, and additionally, this type of tea is most likely served with sugar and milk.
Which are the two items that dogs should not consume because these may lead to concerns with the dog’s digestive system. Excessive sugar also leads to diabetes in dogs.
Green Tea – Another No Brainer for Dogs!
Green tea is relatively milder as opposed to black tea. However, the only primary difference between the two is that it is harvested immediately and dried down, which is why this type of tea is lower in caffeine.
Caffeine in small quantities won’t harm the big dawgs, but the small amount of caffeine in green tea can have dangerous consequences for smaller breeds like pugs; even smaller amounts can lead to higher health concerns and eventually caffeine toxicity so be wise in what you feed your dog!
Oolong Tea falls between green tea and black tea in the sense that it is dried down immediately but still takes a little time to become harvested; hence caffeine levels in this type of tea are significantly high as well, and we do not recommend this form of tea for your precious dogs.
White tea is quite similar to Oolong tea since caffeine levels are the same; however, the flavors differentiate the two teas.
No matter how tempted you are to make your dogs try tea, do not make the mistake of giving these teas since it may lead to caffeine toxicity.
I understand that sharing sweet items with our dogs that we consume ourselves is something we want to do but always remember the rule that a dog’s health should be your number one priority; hence we do not recommend these four teas to be consumed by dogs.
Essentially, all herbal teas fall within this category since they are not made from the Camellia Sinensis plant, which is why many do not consider herbal teas as teas, but being honest, sharing herbal tea with your cute puppies is a better alternative since it is safer and can benefit your dogs as well.
Herbal teas are a mixture and a unique combination of flowers mixed in with roots and dried fruit. They are rich in their elements, and many Koreans used to use these teas for post-treatment medicinal purposes; hence these are quite safe for your dogs to consume as well.
These essentially include Rooibos tea, Chamomile tea, Ginger tea, and Peppermint tea.
- Chamomile tea helps in calming, which is why if your dogs are anxious or are highly aggressive, then giving them chamomile tea will benefit them since it is an Earthly potion to relax the body, aids in boosting the immune system, and smells incredible. The scent is almost similar to consuming apples dipped in honey; hence it helps with bad puppy breath as well.
- Rooibos tea is particularly good in preventing diabetes. Many dog treats contain an excessive amount of sugar (if the brand is not good) which can cause diabetes in dogs as well; hence we recommend using Rooibos tea since it can act as an antioxidant that aids in reducing diabetes and cardiovascular concerns.
- Peppermint tea is a potion for bad breath; however, it also comes with other advantages. While it improves the overall breath and freshens it up, it also aids in relaxing the muscles and helps give your dogs a good sleep since peppermint smells were used to help with congested noses and relax the muscle so that the patient could sleep. The same can be applied to dogs; hence Peppermint tea for our puppies is the way to go!
- Ginger tea aids in nausea, so if your dog is feeling nauseous and is not interacting a lot, then giving this tea might help; however, we would always advise consulting a medic just in case your dog is feeling highly nauseous.
BENEFITS OF CONSUMABLE TEA
Simply put, herbal teas are excellent options for your dogs since it does not contain any caffeine; hence caffeine toxicity can be avoided. Herbal teas are not just a replacement for caffeinated teas; rather, it comes with their own fair share of advantages, for example:
- Chamomile tea can help reduce diabetes by reducing blood sugar levels which can be quite a hassle since many dog treats are full of sugar.
- Herbal teas also reduce the risk of any cardiovascular diseases by normalizing high blood pressure and promoting better blood circulation.
- These teas also lower internal inflammation such as allergic dermatitis, chronic arthritis, or hepatitis; hence herbal teas should be consumed by dogs, but then again, it is also better to take another word from the pet doctor since exact measurements, and daily consumption can be better told by the medic looking at your dog’s health history and also the type of dog.
- Consumable tea, in general, boosts the dog’s immune system
- It helps calm an upset stomach, which is quite common in dogs that rely solely on dog food, especially dogs that are allergic to different food items. Teas like ginger tea and chamomile tea can help in the process.
- They help in feeling relaxed; hence it is highly recommended to give herbal tea to dogs who are aggressive in nature and are feeling highly anxious as herbal tea aids in muscle relaxation and overall makes the dog’s mood better.
HEALTH RISKS OF TEA FOR DOGS
There’s a debate that keeps going around whether caffeinated teas should be given or not. Can lower amounts of caffeine harm the dog? The answer is simple.
It depends on your dog, and in general, any tea that contains caffeine is harmful to your dogs, so why put your dog at the risk and then take them to the vet later on? Do not risk your dog’s health simply because you want to share a good time with your dog.
It is better to shift to herbal teas to keep your dogs safe, but even plain water will be enough to keep your dogs hydrated even if you are doubtful about herbal teas.
Many teas come with their own set of ingredients, including which are Tannins. Tannins are a preservative to keep the tea plant consumable for a long time, but the problem is that this doesn’t just cause iron deficiencies in humans, but in dogs, it can lead to even larger issues than that.
For example, tannins can possibly induce a nauseous feeling in dogs which may later on result in either excessive vomiting and, in some severe cases and even lead to diarrhea; hence it is crucial to keep your dogs safe, especially small puppies or dogs that should not consume teas in large quantities except herbal tea.
How To Spot Caffeine Toxicity in Dogs?
Overconsumption of caffeinated tea, like black tea or even green tea, can lead to health concerns directly resulting from caffeine toxicity. To see whether your dog is experiencing caffeine toxicity, the following symptoms are most likely to occur:
However, it also needs to be noted that a dog must have consumed more than 80 cups of caffeinated drinks to reach this level of caffeine toxicity.
Small quantities of caffeinated tea don’t immediately hinder the dog’s health, but in some cases, even consuming 3 to 4 cups can lead to caffeine toxicity. In this case, we would advise taking your dog immediately to the VET to ensure your dog’s safety.
At times, even if you are not providing your dog with caffeinated tea or any product that may include caffeine, yet caffeine overdose is still detected, searching the surroundings would be recommended since it may be possible that the dog might be getting caffeine from some other source.
Many kids tend to feed dogs with whatever they have on deck, so always be vigilant and always double-check.
HOW TO SERVE TEA TO DOGS?
Unlike ourselves, who love drinking boiling hot tea, our dogs cannot. Hence, it is advised to make sure to serve tea at room temperature and place it in the bowl where you would usually place your water.
Some people make the mistake of giving tea exactly in small cups as we would for ourselves, but this would be inaccurate when it comes to dogs.
Dogs cannot sip from small cups since the diameter is small, so placing tea in the dog bowl where you would usually place the dog’s water will be convenient.
Additionally, room-temperature tea will be better because there’s a risk of the dog getting its tongue burnt if the tea is not cooled down enough because dogs cannot take small sips.
Dogs generally put in their tongues directly to get a large sum of fluid, which is why cooled down or room temperature will be ideal for your best pal.
Most dogs cannot consume whole milk as it may cause some digestive issues; hence milk should not be given with any tea at all costs. Additionally, sugar should not be added to any herbal tea because it will increase blood sugar levels in the dog and cause far adverse effects.
It is better to discuss with the vet beforehand, but herbal teas are generally sweet on their own, so adding sugar and milk will not be required if herbal teas are being consumed.
WHEN TO SERVE TEA TO DOGS?
Serving tea to your dogs need not have an occasion; however, serving caffeinated tea should be avoided at all costs unless instructed by the VET. In most instances, giving your dog caffeinated tea is never recommended.
Instead, you can provide your dog with herbal tea, partly because it does not contain the same level of chemicals and caffeine as black tea or green tea might and also because herbal tea is made of natural ingredients like dried-out chamomile flowers or dried ginger.
Providing your dogs with herbal tea is always a safe bet, but the vet must advise them before administering it. Herbal teas should be served in the following cases:
- Many dogs feel extremely restless at times, which can increase aggression. If you have kids in the house, then administering ginger tea or chamomile tea to relax the dog can be a great way of keeping their mood high and ensuring that they do not elicit aggressive behavior.
- Some dogs tend to get anxious around new people. If you have guests over, it is highly likely that your dog will get anxious and will start showcasing anxiety, in which case it is better to give your dogs some peppermint tea and/or Rooibos tea to calm them down and aid in boosting their immune system.
- Additionally, herbal teas are very good for dogs with severe health issues for instance Rooibois tea is recommended for several tumor types that are in dogs, be it in their colon, intestine or rectum. Rooibos tea can help prevent cancer cells because it aids in excreting carcinogens, reducing cancer risk.
- Herbal teas are also anti-inflammatory in nature, so if your dog has allergic reactions or has an inflamed stomach and liver, then herbal tea is an ideal route that you must take to keep your dog healthy and happy.
- If your dog has mouth sores conditions or if there are any hot spots, or even in general if you just want to clean behind the dog’s ear, then using cold green tea can help in the process as well as long as green tea is not being consumed in large quantities to cause caffeine toxicity.
HOW TO MAKE YOUR OWN HOMEMADE CAFFEINE-FREE TEA FOR DOGS?
If I am completely honest, creating your own tea bags with the entire process of using dried herbs can feel like some form of mythical magic is at work, and I am part of the potions class at Hogwarts.
Putting this feeling aside, making your own tea bags can ensure that the tea you are using is caffeine free and can cost you less than those pre-packaged tea bags.
Things you need to make your tea bags or tea concoction are:
- 1 to 3 teaspoons of fresh herbs, depending on what you require (dried chamomile, dried ginger, peppermint, etc.)
- Cotton or Muslin sheets to make tea bags (or even an empty container can suffice)
- 250ml of water
What you need to do is first decide on what herbs you want to use. Personally, I use dried cardamom to give my tea a sweet flavor and add dried chamomile. Both ingredients can be easily obtained from your nearest herb store or even at the grocery store.
Once you acquire the herbs, you can cut them into tiny pieces and mix them together. Add this point; you can see if you want to add more herbs like peppermint. It all depends on what your dog and you love.
Once everything is mixed, ensure it is still dry and cut up muslin or cotton sheets to put the dried mixture in.
Put the mixture in the muslin sheets and tie it down tightly so the herbs don’t come out. If you cannot acquire Muslin sheets or cotton sheets, then I like to use an empty container and place the dried mixture of herbs in there.
Whenever I need to make tea, I take out the container, use a spoon to measure the amount needed, place it in boiling water, and voila! You’ve made your tea.
If you have tea bags, then simply place the tea bag in the boiling water or the cup; otherwise, use a strainer to separate the tea leaves and the water.
Step 6: Once you are done, let it cool down until the tea becomes normal in temperature, then give the tea to your dog by placing it in your puppy’s water bowl.
SAFE ALTERNATIVES OF TEA FOR DOGS
Herbal teas are the best form of tea that can replace any caffeinated item. However, some dogs cannot consume herbal tea then; in that instance, the safest alternative is a bowl of fresh water.
Water is enough to keep your dogs hydrated and can also keep your dogs safe from any health concerns, especially in this heat. However, if your dog can consume herbal teas, then there is nothing better than caffeine-free ones!