Can Dogs Drink Coffee? Is Coffee Safe for your Dog?

If you ask any vet if your dog can drink coffee, the answer will be a conclusive no. This is because coffee is harmful to canines as it has a variety of health risks that you want to consider. 

In this article, we will discuss more about why coffee is so terrible for canines and the dangers of adding coffee or any coffee-flavored treats to your pet’s diet.

A Jack Russell Terrier puppy in a big coffee cup
A Jack Russell Terrier pup in a big coffee cup

Why Is Coffee Bad for Dogs?

So you have heard that coffee should not form part of your dog’s diet because it does carry some health risks, but what exactly are these risks?

1. Heightened Blood Pressure

Caffeine will raise your dog’s blood pressure and cause him to become hyperactive. This means he will be unlikely to sit still and may pace or vocalize more.

2. Cardiac Arrhythmias

Caffeine can cause your dog’s heart rate to increase. This can, in turn, lead to cardiac arrhythmias, which can be fatal for your dog.

3. Loss of Muscle Control

Pets can experience a loss of muscle control when they consume coffee, and seizures can be caused when a canine consumes an exceptionally enormous measure of coffee.

Seizures and tremors can be set off when your dog consumes more than 60 ml of coffee for every kg of their body weight.

4. Vomiting and Diarrhea

As caffeine affects the gastrointestinal tract, coffee may cause your dog to experience diarrhea or vomiting.

Vomiting may help remove toxins from your dog’s body, but one should not try and induce this yourself at home.

5. Urinate more

Just as humans urinate more after drinking a lot, coffee can also cause your dog to need to pee more frequently. 

6. Fatality

As you now know, coffee is dangerous for dogs, and depending on the amount consumed, it can be lethal for canines.

Assuming you realize your pooch has drunk coffee, it’s critical to watch him for any indications of toxicity and contact your vet right away.

Fatalities because of coffee ingestion ordinarily happen when pet owners neglect to get sufficient and timeous veterinary treatment.

Dogs with preexisting conditions, such as coronary illness, may also have a more severe reaction when drinking coffee.

What’s in Coffee that Is Harmful to Dogs?

A dog with coffee
A doggo wants a sip of coffee – Image source

Coffee contains caffeine and theobromine, chemicals that are harmful to pets. Also, most people add milk and sugar to their coffee.

While it’s evident to most people that dogs shouldn’t have added sugar to their diet, many people don’t know that dogs also can’t properly digest the lactose found in milk.

Caffeine belongs to the chemical group known as methylxanthines.

Methylxanthines work to repress the adenosine receptors, which are responsible for causing us to feel lethargic.

These chemicals are so dangerous for dogs because they take a long time to process, causing your pet’s heart rate to increase beyond normal levels.

Can dogs have caffeine-free coffee?

While it’s true that decaffeinated coffee is less harmful to your pet, it’s still not advisable to give your dog caffeine-free coffee to drink.

There are still low levels of caffeine present in decaf coffee and theobromine.

Which Types of Coffee and Foods Made from It Dogs Can’t Drink?

A Yorkshire Terrier with iced coffee
Leo, the Yorkie, asks for one sip of iced coffee – Image source

Did you know that toxicity is so common in dogs that many vet sites offer a coffee or chocolate toxicity meter that you can use to calculate if your dog has consumed a toxic amount of caffeine?

Not all coffees are the same; the amount of toxicity depends on the type of coffee and the amount of caffeine and theobromine it contains.

1. Regular Coffee

In addition to caffeine, which is dangerous for dogs, store-bought regular coffee will have too much fat and sugar to suit your dog.

Also, dogs should not be given milk regularly as it can cause your dog to get an upset stomach.

2. Black Coffee

While black coffee doesn’t contain any milk, it still shouldn’t be given to your dog to drink.

If your pet accidentally takes a sip of some spilled black coffee, he isn’t, however, likely to show symptoms of poisoning as the coffee has been watered down.

3. Coffee Grounds

Coffee made for you to drink isn’t likely to be as dangerous as directly eating coffee grounds.

Ingesting coffee grounds that haven’t been watered down is more likely to lead to severe symptoms of toxicity.

4. Coffee Beans

Like coffee grounds, unused coffee beans are more dangerous for dogs than regular coffee.

In addition, coffee beans are hard and round and can get stuck in your dog’s throat, causing him to choke or end up with an obstruction.

5. Iced Coffee

Iced coffee still carries the same risks as regular coffee.

In addition, some iced coffees include artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives which can cause allergies in dogs or have chocolate sprinkles which also shouldn’t be given to your dog.

6. Coffee Ice Cream

In addition to the coffee being dangerous to dogs, some pets may struggle to digest dairy products, such as ice cream.

Dogs don’t have lactase in their bodies the same way as we do, so they cannot properly digest lactose products.

Too much ice cream can thus cause your pet to experience diarrhea, vomiting, and nausea.

Is There Any Way You Can Feed Fido Some Coffee and Reduce the Health Risks?

A Beagle sticking its tongue out to the sight of coffee
Juno, the Beagle, sticking his tongue out to the sight of coffee – Image source

There’s no good way to feed your dog coffee. Even decaffeinated coffee can contain traces of caffeine which can be dangerous for your dog.

It’s also not advisable to feed your dog babyccinos made for children as these are just frothed milk and dogs can get an upset stomach from drinking products made with lactose. 

Can Dogs Drink Coffee In Certain Amounts?

While you shouldn’t actively give your pet an espresso, a few people report that their canines are totally fine in the wake of consuming coffee.

This is principal because of how much coffee and what type of coffee is consumed.

While a tiny bit of decaf coffee might not affect your dog, an entire cup may make him feel sick, experience runs or vomiting, cause his pulse to spike or give indications of hyperactivity.

Dogs that polish off a great deal of coffee might also experience seizures.

What comprises a great deal of coffee for your dog will depend upon his size, weight, and breed.

How much coffee can a dog drink?

While you shouldn’t let your dog take a sip of your espresso, knowing how much coffee your canine can drink will assist you with deciding whether you’re in a crisis or not.

Indications of coffee toxicity will quite often begin within 30 minutes of ingestion and can last for more than 12 hours.

A Yorkshire Terrier with a cup of coffee
Luna, the Yorkie, poses with a cup of coffee – Image source

A huge German Shepherd will drink considerably more espresso before manifestations of poisoning happen than a smaller dog, similar to a Yorkshire Terrier, for instance.

How much coffee can large dog breeds drink?

Your dog’s weight and size will play a factor in how much coffee he can safely consume without getting sick.

Medium to large-sized dogs will likely need to consume about ten teaspoons of instant coffee for toxicity to occur.

How much coffee can small dog breeds drink?

A fifteen-pound small dog only needs to consume three teaspoons of instant coffee or one cup of strong coffee for poisoning symptoms to occur.

Ingesting just one or two caffeine pills can be fatal for tiny dogs.

What Happens If a Dog Drinks Too Much Coffee?

A Russian Toy dog lying down in bed
A sick Russian Toy in bed

There’s no assurance of how your dog will respond to drinking coffee, and he might have no response by any means, or he might encounter indications of coffee toxicity not long after polishing off this drink.

Common symptoms of coffee poisoning include hyperactivity, an increase in heart rate and blood pressure, and abdominal distress.

The symptoms of coffee poisoning can take a while to show up due to the slow rate at which caffeine and theobromine are processed.

That means that you might not know if your dog has coffee poisoning until six to twelve hours after consuming this drink.

Most dogs will recover from coffee poisoning within two days with the proper treatment.

How to treat Coffee poisoning in dogs?

If your dog does accidentally get hold of some coffee, you can follow these steps.

1. Try not to get frightened: Pets can pick up on your anxiety and may feel stressed if you start to panic.

2. Contact your veterinarian: You should contact your veterinarian on the off chance that you think your dog has drunk some coffee.

Depending upon the quantity of coffee your canine consumed, they may suggest a visit immediately. 

You can also call the pet poison helpline on 800-213-6680 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

There is a $65 consultation fee for calling the center; however, this may be covered if you have an ASPCA Pet Health Insurance plan.

3. Keep any proof: Your vet will require an explanation regarding the quantity and type of coffee your canine drunk. You can show your vet any packaging, assuming there is any left.

4. Take the direction of your vet: Don’t endeavor to treat your canine at home. Regard any direction your vet gives you, as they are best situated to care for your pet. 

Methods of treatment can include giving your dog activated charcoal to prevent further absorption, inserting a stomach tube to remove the toxin directly from the stomach, and giving intravenous fluids to help with hydration.

How Do I Prevent My Dog from Drinking Coffee?

The most effective way to ensure your canine doesn’t consume coffee is to make sure that your coffee is put away in a protected spot your pup can’t venture or get into.

Also, be sure that all family members, including kids, as well as staff or laborers at your home, are additionally mindful that your canine ought never to be given coffee.

Are There Any Health Benefits of Coffee?

A Yorkshire Terrier with a glass of coffee
Mike, the Yorkie, wonders why he is the same color as the coffee – Image source

Regardless of coffee being harmful to canines, coffee made for human consumption often contains such high measures of fat and sugar that that by itself could make your canine sick.

While some fancy pet pastry shops might offer coffee-flavored treats for dogs, these are advised against by most vets.

What other Dangerous Food or Drinks with Caffeine to Avoid Feeding Your Dog?

Caffeine is found in various foods and drinks that you shouldn’t allow your pet to consume. While coffee is the number one source of caffeine, many teas and fizzy soda drinks also contain caffeine.

A Beagle dog with a toy tea set
A Beagle having a tea party

Energy and sports drinks also contain high amounts of caffeine, as do some over-the-counter pain medications or diet pills. 

You should also never let your dog consume chocolate as it contains theobromine and caffeine.

What are Safe Alternatives to Coffee for Dogs

A Labrador Retriever with a puppuccino
Mando, the Lab, has his eyes on a cup of puppuccino – Image source

Some coffee-looking drinks are explicitly made for dogs.

However, these are unlikely to contain coffee. Instead, they’re more likely to have carob, a coffee and chocolate alternative that comes from carob trees. 

Carob contains no theobromine and caffeine, so it’s safe for your pet to drink. It’s also high in fiber and low in fat, making it a healthy choice for your pet and yourself.

What’s the Verdict? Can Dogs Drink Coffee?

As you have read, your canine can’t drink coffee, and coffee is a hazard for your pup due to the caffeine it contains. 

On the off chance that your canine has accidentally got into your coffee stash, it’s essential to talk with your vet, as he will be able to inform the best course of action for treating your pet.

Has your pet ever drunk coffee? Kindly offer your experience in the comments underneath so pet owners can learn from one another.

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