Is coffee safe for dogs? You might wonder about this if your dog sneaks a taste when you’ve spilled some coffee, or maybe they got into the coffee grounds you threw in the trash. If humans can drink coffee, can dogs safely drink some too?
The short answer is no, dogs can’t safely consume coffee. In fact, coffee is something that you absolutely want to avoid letting your dog ingest as it could lead to very serious — and even potentially lethal — consequences.
Here’s what you need to know about coffee and dogs, along with what to do if your dog accidentally drinks some.
Why Is Coffee Bad For Dogs?
The caffeine that gives coffee its kick is a stimulant. While some humans feel that a shot of caffeine can help kickstart their day, dogs are far more sensitive to its stimulant effects.
If a dog consumes coffee — either by drinking it, eating coffee beans and grounds, or scarfing down food that contains coffee as an ingredient — then it could cause their heart rate to increase to a dangerous level. This can bring on bouts of hyperactivity, restlessness and agitation.
Some of the other potential consequences for dogs include:
- Irregular heart rhythms
- Higher blood pressure
- Higher body temperature
In the most severe cases, dogs may slip into a coma, suffer from a seizure, or even die.
What Should I Do If My Dog Drinks Coffee?
If you notice that your dog has managed to drink some coffee or eat some coffee grounds or beans, then it’s important to note how your canine ingested the coffee and how much they consumed. This information will help your veterinarian provide advise and care.
If your dog took only a tiny sip of a drink of coffee, whether on its own or coffee that has had milk added to it, there’s a good chance that they’ll be okay. Just make sure to monitor for any adverse symptoms and call your vet if you see them.
The size of your dog will also make a significant difference when it comes to how strongly coffee will adversely affect them. It’s estimated that ingesting nine milligrams of caffeine per pound of the dog’s weight is the level at which coffee can bring on negative symptoms. At around 75 milligrams, seizures might happen.
If you realize that your dog has consumed more than a very tiny amount of coffee, it’s important to seek the advice of your veterinarian straight away or even call a pet poison hotline.
Depending on the symptoms and the amount of coffee consumed, a vet may want you to bring your dog in so that they can induce vomiting, prescribe activated charcoal to help absorb the toxins, or recommend the use of an intravenous drip.
Has your dog ever accidentally drank some of your coffee or eaten coffee grounds or beans? Did they feel sick afterward? Let us know in the comments below!