Can Dogs Eat Coffee Beans? Caffeine Toxicity & What You Should Do

Short answer:

Coffee beans should not be fed to dogs on a regular basis. It’s fine if a few beans end up in your dog’s monthly diet by accident. However, if your dog eats a full bag of coffee beans, you should seek medical attention as soon as possible.

When it comes to sniffing out delectable or smelly food, dogs are masters. They’ll gobble it down before you have a chance to grab it. Without you knowing, your four-legged friends will scavenge the refrigerator, cabinet, and garbage cans. However, not all foods may be classified as “dog-friendly.” Knowing what foods or goods are poisonous to your dogs can help you avoid getting food poisoning.

Caffeine and coffee beans

Animals are more sensitive to the effects of caffeine than humans. Caffeine’s chemical boost can be poisonous to your pet, and even a small amount can be fatal. Caffeine is found in coffee beans. Unlike instant or brewed coffee, coffee beans have a high concentration of caffeine, which can cause clinical toxicity in most pets right away.

This emphasizes the significance of properly storing your coffee supplies, especially wasted grounds. Make sure your pet doesn’t have access to the contents of your pantry or garbage can.

Edibles with caffeine

Aside from coffee, there are other caffeine-containing foods that can be detrimental to your dog or cat. This information is important because you may have certain foods in your home you need to keep out of reach. If your dog eats any of this food, it may take twenty-four to forty-eight hours for it to pass through the system, therefore seeking care for your pet in a timely manner can be critical and save your pet’s life.

Some of these are:

  • Chocolate bars
  • Yogurt with chocolate
  • Hot chocolate
  • Energy drinks
  • Protein bars
  • Ice Cream that has chocolate
  • Diet pills
  • Soda
  • Chocolate bars

Are coffee grounds harmful to dogs?

white ceramic cup with brown powder inside

Caffeine toxicity can occur if your dog eats coffee grounds, so you’ll need to act quickly.

Because coffee grounds contain significant quantities of caffeine, they have the potential to be hazardous to dogs. Caffeine (methylxanthine, a kind of chemical) is a stimulant. It has qualities that can make us more alert and give us a burst of energy in small doses.

However, at extremely high dosages, it can cause a variety of side effects. Animals are also far more susceptible to the effects of caffeine than humans, therefore eating highly caffeinated goods can be detrimental to them.

Signs of toxicity

Caffeine poisoning symptoms in dogs are dependent on the amount ingested. If the dog ingests coffee beans, he will begin panting, spitting up, becoming sweaty, developing diarrhea, and maybe developing a high temperature within minutes.

Undigested coffee beans are frequently found in the dog’s vomitus, providing a solid indication of what the dog ate. If the amount taken was excessive, the dog could have seizures and perhaps die. Pets may become energetic, as well as having a faster heart rate than usual. They become agitated, twitchy, and unable to remain still. They may bark incessantly to express themselves too!

Caffeine sensitivity is higher in dogs and cats than in humans. While a drink of hot coffee or iced tea is unlikely to harm most pets, ingesting one or two caffeine pills can be fatal to tiny dogs and cats. Symptoms can appear 30 minutes after intake and extend for 12 hours or longer. Many caffeine-containing goods also contain additives such as carbohydrates or other stimulants.

The amount of caffeine consumed, as well as the size and health level of the pet, affect the degree of toxicity. A large, young, healthy dog is more likely to recover than a small, elderly dog with kidney problems. Caffeine, however, can harm key organs such as the liver, heart, kidneys, lungs, and central nervous system, regardless of age or size.

How much caffeine is too much?

The amount of a product that must be consumed before toxicity is expected varies due to different quantities of caffeine. For example, a 15-pound Sheltie would need about three teaspoons of instant coffee grounds to create mild symptoms and ten teaspoons to develop severe symptoms. Because light roast contains more caffeine than dark roast, a lesser amount of espresso would be required for symptoms to appear.

First aid

If your dog ate some coffee grounds while you weren’t looking, you’ll need to take a few measures. One of these is obviously contacting your veterinarian, but your physician may require further information before you do so. If you find yourself in this unpleasant situation, follow the procedures below.

Step 1: Secure your pup and remove the substance

Ensure that any coffee grounds have been removed from the area. You should also keep your dog safe, perhaps in a bedroom or the laundry room. Somewhere where they won’t have easy access to things they shouldn’t eat.

Step 2: Inspect your dog

Examine your dog to make sure he or she isn’t in any trouble. Are there any symptoms of illness? Do they appear to be trembling or collapsing? Do you have any nausea or diarrhea? All of these issues necessitate immediate veterinarian assistance.

Step 3: Locate the proof

Do you know if the food they ate was caffeinated or if it was de-caffeinated? Is there anything else they could have eaten that would have made them sick? They may have eaten other foods as well as leftover coffee if they invaded the garbage bin.

Step 4: Seek advice from your veterinarian.

Please contact your local veterinarian and inform them of the situation. It would be helpful if you could tell them your dog’s approximate size or weight. You’ll also want to know how much they’ve eaten.

Step 5: Pay attention to your veterinarian’s advice

Your dog may need to be inspected depending on the amount taken. If your veterinarian requests to see and evaluate your dog, bring him to the clinic as soon as possible, even if he appears to be in good health. Symptoms can develop over time, so get him checked out as soon as possible.

Step 6: Prevent future accidents

Consider how you can avoid accidents in the future by disposing of the grounds more properly or utilizing safe garbage cans. While this may seem like common sense, you’d be shocked how many dog owners are repeat offenders.

Then, what’s next?

brown short coated dog on gray couch

Some of the side effects to be aware of are listed below:

If your dog eats enough coffee grounds, he or she may experience some of the following negative effects, which usually appear within an hour or two after consumption:

  • Excessive excitability (being more active and alert than normal)
  • Diarrhea and/or vomiting
  • Tachycardia or a fast heart rate
  • Arrhythmia or an abnormal heart rhyth,
  • Tremors
  • Seizures
  • Collapse
  • Death

The high levels of caffeine found in coffee grounds create these effects. If a dog consumes any caffeine-containing product, the same indicators of toxicity will appear. Whole coffee beans, instant coffee, loose tea or tea bags, energy drinks, caffeinated soda, and some diet pills are examples of these.

Veterinary response post-caffeine intoxication

When you take your dog to the veterinarian, the first thing they normally do is try to make him vomit up the coffee grounds. This is only allowed if the time since consumption is shorter than 2 hours. If you’re not sure whether your dog ate coffee grounds or something else, your veterinarian will conduct blood tests and other tests to determine the problem.

When vomiting isn’t an option, gastrointestinal decontamination, which involves flushing the contents of the stomach and intestines, is another option for cleaning the stomach of coffee grounds. Your dog will be given activated carbon to absorb the leftover toxins in the intestines after the majority of the contents have been eliminated from the stomach.

Even after most of the caffeine has been eliminated from the body, some dogs may still show signs of hyperactivity and irregular heart rate. In that scenario, the veterinarian may prescribe additional drugs, such as beta-blockers. Your dog may also be given IV fluids for 12-24 hours, depending on the situation. Your dog is usually hospitalized and watched throughout the treatment.

Caffeine intoxication can cost anything from $250 to $3000 in medical bills. It is certainly less expensive to just ensure that your dog does not get access to your food.

Medications

Although there is no immediate or direct remedy for pet caffeine toxicity, your veterinarian may induce vomiting and deliver numerous doses of activated charcoal to cleanse your pet. To aid elimination, aggressive IV fluids may be administered. Sedatives may be given to the animal to help him relax. Furthermore, certain heart drugs can be used to lower blood pressure and heart rate. Anticonvulsants, as well as antacids for stomach discomfort and diarrhea, are helpful if the dog is having convulsions or seizures.

Non-stop hydration

It’s possible that caffeine will be reabsorbed through the bladder wall. The veterinarian may recommend a urinary catheter or frequent walks to assist your dog keep his bladder empty. It may be necessary to maintain constant hydration for a few days in order to entirely remove the caffeine from the pet’s system.

Will my dog be fine?

Unlike when dogs consume macadamia nuts or other poisonous foods, small incidences of caffeine poisoning are well tolerated, and most dogs experience no long-term damage. Small amounts of food will normally only cause modest adverse effects such as excitement and restlessness in dogs.

However, dogs who have consumed more and are displaying more severe symptoms such as seizures and cardiac rhythms have a significantly worse prognosis. These pets may die if they are not treated quickly. The severity with which a dog is impacted is determined not only by the amount of food consumed, but also by their size.

Larger dogs are capable of handling more than smaller dogs. Dogs with underlying health problems are also more likely to become unwell. To offer your puppy the best chance at a successful outcome, you should contact your veterinarian right away and seek advice.

If your dog consumes decaffeinated coffee grounds, the chances of their falling ill are extremely slim. They may exhibit moderate gastrointestinal symptoms such as vomiting or diarrhea, but because there is no caffeine present, they should not require treatment.

Should I make my dog vomit after I find them consuming coffee grounds?

Unless a veterinarian recommends it, you should never induce vomiting at home. Aspiration pneumonia is a risk associated with inducing vomiting. Furthermore, online dog vomit recipes are frequently harmful, and may even cause more harm than the coffee.

If your veterinarian believes your dog needs to vomit, he or she will let you know. Unless there are extraordinary circumstances, your veterinarian will advise you to bring your dog to the clinic if he or she has to vomit, as their medications are safer and they can better manage your dog’s risk of adverse effects.

Conclusion

All caffeine-containing goods, such as coffee beans, grounds, powder, and chocolate products, should be kept out of the reach of your dog. Caffeine can cause serious clinical toxicity in your pet in as little as half an hour to 60 minutes after ingestion. You should seek immediate care from a pet veterinarian if your dog eats coffee beans by mistake. All the health for our furbabies!

nv-author-image

Self-proclaimed coffee drinker. I would, on a typical day, start my day by grinding my coffee with a manual grinder and use a French Press as a starter (2 cups), then a pour-over in the afternoon (4 cups). I had my fair share as a barista but I prefer to drink it, not serve it.