Dogs are curious creatures and will try just about anything once. Dogs will test their boundaries repeatedly, whether it’s licking their fur, eating strange things from the floor, or digging up the garden to get at the potatoes.
However, just because a dog will try something once doesn’t mean it should do it again. As owners of dogs who love to eat almost anything and everything, we must know what is good for them and what isn’t.
Let’s take a look at whether a dog can drink coffee. And if not, why not?
Can dogs drink coffee?
Dogs can not safely consume coffee because the substance in coffee that makes it a popular morning pick-me-up, caffeine, is also one of the reasons why you should never allow your dog to ingest it. Ingestion of coffee by a dog can be very dangerous and toxic. If your dog has consumed coffee, contact your veterinarian or the Pet Poison Helpline (855-213-6680) for medical advice.
This is also the case with regard to dogs eating coffee beans.
The caffeine in coffee effect on dogs
Dogs are more sensitive to caffeine’s effects than humans, so coffee can be highly toxic to dogs when ingested.
Caffeine raises blood pressure and causes dangerous cardiac arrhythmias. Pets may also experience muscle weakness, tremors, or seizures. Caffeine affects the gastrointestinal tract, causing vomiting and diarrhea.
Depending on how much coffee a dog drinks, it could be enough to cause caffeine poisoning, which can lead to serious health problems. It is best to avoid letting your dog drink coffee altogether.
Why is coffee bad for dogs?
Coffee is bad for dogs because it contains caffeine, a very dangerous and toxic chemical to cats and dogs. Ingestion of coffee can be fatal to dogs, even in small amounts.
Dogs are much more sensitive to caffeine’s effects than humans, so coffee can be highly toxic to dogs when eaten or drunk. While many people drink coffee daily without ill effects, even a small amount of caffeine from coffee can be highly dangerous and potentially fatal to dogs.
How much coffee is toxic to dogs?
While a few licks of coffee likely won’t hurt most pets, ingesting even a small amount of caffeine can be toxic to dogs. According to Vetmeds, 140 mg/kg (63 mg/lb) can be toxic in dogs. Here is the full breakdown by weight and the types of coffee:
Many people enjoy coffee every day without incident, but it is important to remember that dogs are much more sensitive to caffeine’s effects than humans. A few laps of coffee can contain enough caffeine to cause dog poisoning.
The amount of toxic coffee to dogs depends on the pet’s weight and how much they consume.
Dogs: Caffeine toxic consumption chart
Pug, Boston Terrier, Poodle
Beagle, Scottish Terrier
Boxer, Cocker Spaniel
Retriever, German Shepherd
Great Dane, St. Bernard
|1 – 10 lbs.|
(0.45 – 4.6 kg)
|11 – 25 lbs.|
(5 – 11.4 kg)
|26 – 40 lbs.|
(11.8 – 18.2 kg)
|41 – 70 lbs.|
(18.6 – 31.8 kg)
|71 – 90 lbs.|
(32.3 – 40.9 kg)
|91 – 110 lbs.|
(41.4 – 50 kg)
|Vivarin Tablets||> 0.3 tablets||> 3 tablets||> 8 tablets||> 13 tablets||> 22 tablets||> 28 tablets|
|Tea||> 3 oz||> 38.5 oz||> 91.5 oz||> 144.5 oz||> 251 oz||> 321 oz|
|Coffee Beans||> 0.1 oz||> 1 oz||> 2.5 oz||> 4.5 oz||> 7.5 oz||> 10 oz|
|Regular Coffee||> 3 oz||> 38.5 oz||> 91.5 oz||> 144.5 oz||> 251 oz||> 321 oz|
|Decaffeinated Coffee||> 78.5 oz||> 874 oz||> 2064 oz||> 3254 oz||> 5652 oz||> 7244 oz|
|Cola Beverages||> 8 oz||> 93 oz||> 220 oz||> 347 oz||> 602.5 oz||> 772.5 oz|
Caffeine poisoning in dogs can cause vomiting, diarrhea, loss of muscle control, tremors, seizures, and collapse. While dogs can recover from caffeine poisoning, it can sometimes be fatal. Therefore, it’s best to keep your dog away from coffee entirely.
What to do if your dog drinks coffee
Suppose you think your dog has ingested caffeine by drinking coffee, eating coffee grounds, or scarfing down food containing coffee as an ingredient. In that case, you first want to call your veterinarian and see how quickly you can get them in to be seen.
To help reduce the severity of symptoms, it is important to prevent your dog from having access to any more caffeine. This means cleaning up all spilled coffee and ensuring none of your pets can get into caffeinated drinks or food. If your dog had a lot of coffee or developed signs of serious caffeine poisoning, he might need to be rushed to an emergency veterinarian.
Symptoms of caffeine poisoning on dogs
While taking a sip of hot coffee or iced tea probably will not adversely affect most dogs and cats, consuming too much caffeine can lead to poisoning.
Symptoms of caffeine poisoning in dogs and cats include hyperactivity, restlessness, vomiting, tachycardia (elevated heart rate), and seizures. In severe cases, death may occur. Dogs and cats may exhibit clinical signs of caffeine toxicity within 30 to 60 minutes of consumption.
Symptoms to watch for in your dog or cat include hyperexcitability, hyperthermia, and tachycardia. If your pet has consumed too much caffeine, seek veterinary attention immediately.
How to prevent your dog from drinking coffee
The best way to prevent your dog from drinking coffee is to keep it out of their reach. This means not leaving cups of coffee within their reach and keeping any food or drink containing caffeine out of their reach. If you think your pet has ingested caffeine, watch for signs of an emergency and call your veterinarian.