You make a beeline for your coffee first thing in the morning because it’s hot, wet, and teeming with caffeine. Whether you like it strong and black or sweet with thick cream and sugar, it’s always delicious and a necessity for a successful start to your day. Do you remember that scene in Lady and the Tramp where Lady is given a small saucer of coffee in the morning? While it was a charming scene, that coffee was incredibly bad for that sweet pup.
Is Coffee Safe for Your Dog?
Coffee is not safe for your dog in any form. Coffee is loaded with caffeine (which is why you like it, right?), and large amounts of caffeine lead to seizures in dogs. Caffeine is a stimulant, but it can actually depress a dog’s nervous system, leading to breathing difficulties on top of the neurological side effects.
How much coffee it takes to become toxic largely depends on how big your dog is. A large dog who drinks a small amount of coffee may become hyper, but even a small amount could be fatal for tinier dogs. If you need a guide to specific amounts/limits, most experts agree that caffeine is fatal at 150 milligrams per 2.2 pounds of body weight. One cup of coffee contains at least 100 milligrams of caffeine.
Signs of Caffeine Poisoning in Dogs
Symptoms of caffeine poisoning can be mild to severe. A lot dogs will initially present with vomiting and diarrhea. If the dog has had enough caffeine, they will experience difficulty breathing, muscle tremors, increased heart rate, and nervousness. If the poisoning progresses, your dog will start to experience seizures and eventually death.
It Isn’t Just Coffee That’s Dangerous for Dogs
While the liquid form can be deadly, it isn’t just the drink that can harm your dog. Some dogs find coffee grounds quite tasty, especially dogs who are prone to digging in the trash. If your dog falls into this category and your family drinks a lot of coffee, make sure you throw the grounds away where your dog can’t access them. The grounds can actually be more dangerous than the coffee because the grounds are more concentrated in caffeine.
Espresso beans are a tasty treat for you, but they are incredibly dangerous to dogs. If you like to snack on them, keep them far away from where your dog can get them, especially if they’re covered in chocolate. Even a small amount can have extremely dangerous consequences. Anything that is coffee flavored contains some amount of caffeine, so make sure your coffee-flavored treats aren’t accessible to your dog.
Remember that caffeine is present in a variety of sources, not just coffee. Tea and tea bags can be dangerous, too, as are sodas, diet pills, and migraine medications.
What Should You Do If Your Dog Gets Coffee?
If you know your dog has ingested coffee, you should call your vet immediately. Don’t wait to see if they experience any symptoms before you seek medical attention; by then, it could be too late. The best way to ensure your dog pulls through a bout of caffeine poisoning is to get them veterinary care immediately. If it’s been less than two hours since they’ve ingested it, your vet can safely induce vomiting. They will probably administer activated charcoal to soak up any remnants in the stomach and intestines, too. Because caffeine elevates the blood pressure, they might give medication to lower the blood pressure or anti-seizure meds to prevent any seizures. Your dog will then require IV fluids and sedation until their symptoms have subsided.
Dogs’ bodies aren’t able to process certain foods like we can. While some things are harmless to us, the same can’t be said for dogs, and coffee is one of those things. Save your morning pick-me-up for yourself and use caution when you’re storing or throwing away food items that contain caffeine.
Hi, I’m Jacob. I’ve been a professional blogger for over 6 years and in that time I’ve written countless blogs that have reached millions of people. I am a DVM by profession but all you need to know is that I LOVE DOGS!
SDO started way back in 2015 on a whim. I’d read a couple of dozen blogs online while searching for the best products for my pup and the amount of misinformation online from unqualified sources giving potentially harmful advice shocked me. Then suddenly it hit me, hey, I can do this too! And I can do this RIGHT! Without even knowing what a blog was or how it makes money. I jumped right in to share the years of knowledge I have of dogs with the world.
Within a few months I realized that people were reacting extremely positively to my blogs. My website had taken off and I would receive countless emails from happy dog owners telling me how my website was a God-send for them and their pups were doing so much better after they followed my advice. I would get so many questions as well, and in my attempt to consolidate and answer all the questions I would get from my readers, my blog has evolved to the website you see today. Over the years I encouraged my good friend Tina who is also a DVM to share her experiences and better guide the people who read us. By the Grace of God we now reach close a million people a year and we get such a warm feedback on how we have made life easier for new dog owners all over the globe.
As a dog owner only you would know the feeling you get when you come home at night and you pup is there at the door wagging their tail in sheer joy. The bond a person and their dog share can not be explained in mere words. Yet dogs are like children, and they need to be cared for and trained, and that’s why Smart Dog Owner exists, to give you the precise and exact information that you seek about your dog. No matter how minute that detail is, chances are we will be there to help you out! As someone who has raised 7 of her own dogs. Jacob will always help you out.