Can dogs drink coffee? Never give dogs coffee, even in limited quantities. This beverage carries a dangerous compound that canines cannot metabolize properly.
As a result, poisoning may arise, which can badly affect several of their body organs, including the heart and the nervous system.
The Biggest Danger of Coffee to Dogs
Why is coffee bad for dogs? The primary reason why coffee is bad for your dog’s health is caffeine. It is a stimulant belonging to the alkaloid group called methylxanthines.
These compounds inhibit the functioning of adenosine receptors, which regulate the feeling of lethargy.
Canines are more sensitive to caffeine than humans. Their liver is not well-equipped to properly break down the compound. If drinking a cup of joe simply suppresses our fatigue, it causes caffeine poisoning in canines.
The stimulating properties of coffee induce restlessness in dogs and meddle with various canine organ functions, including the stomach, the nervous system, and the heart.
Fatal Caffeine Dosage in Dogs
How much coffee is toxic for dogs? According to research, the lethal dose of caffeine to dogs is around 140 milligrams per kilogram of body weight.
For context, it would take around 2,100 milligrams of the chemical to induce severe poisoning in a 15-kilogram dog.
Dog owners should take note that different forms of coffee carry different amounts of caffeine. Here is a quick rundown of the caffeine content of various coffee types according to their standard serving:
- 16 fluid ounces of cold brew coffee = up to 200 milligrams of caffeine
- 16 fluid ounces of iced coffee = up to 165 milligrams of caffeine
- 8 fluid ounces of brewed coffee = 70–140 milligrams of caffeine
- 8 fluid ounces of instant coffee = 30–90 milligrams of caffeine
- 8 fluid ounces of decaffeinated coffee = 2–7 milligrams of caffeine
- 8 fluid ounces of French press coffee = 80–135 milligrams of caffeine
- 2 fluid ounces of espresso coffee = up to 50 milligrams of caffeine
- 1 fluid ounce of espresso coffee = 41–64 milligrams of caffeine
With this in mind, let us answer the frequently-asked questions about dogs and coffee:
Can dogs drink decaf coffee?
No, do not let dogs drink decaf coffee. As you can see on the list above, this drink contains trace amounts of caffeine. It can harm dogs if ingested in inordinate quantities.
Can dogs drink iced coffee?
No, iced coffee should not be shared with dogs. It is usually served in bigger portions, which makes it easy for dog owners to overindulge their pets. This increases the risk of caffeine toxicity.
Can dogs drink black coffee?
No, as regular brewed black coffee has high levels of caffeine. It would take less amount of the drink to induce caffeine poisoning in canines.
The type of coffee beans used also affects the caffeine content of the drink. For instance, a single arabica contains about 1.9 milligrams of caffeine. Per 100 grams, this bean offers an estimated 1.2–1.5 milligrams of caffeine.
On the other hand, robusta has twice the amount of caffeine. A single coffee bean carries around 2.9 milligrams. A serving of 100 grams contains approximately 2.2–2.7 grams of caffeine.
Other Coffee Health Hazards on Dogs
Aside from caffeine, coffee comes with other qualities that are damaging and even life-threatening to your furry pal, such as:
1. Added Sugar
Some brands of coffee contain sugar to mellow out the bitterness of the drink. Too much sugar is unhealthy for dogs. Excessive consumption has been attributed to many health issues, including tooth decay, obesity, and diabetes.
Dog owners often ask: “Can dogs drink coffee with milk?” and “Can dogs drink coffee creamer?” The answer to both questions is no. Dairy products like milk and creamers are unsuitable for dogs.
Canines cannot digest lactose as they grow older. As a result, they may experience stomach upset after ingesting dairy.
3. Toxic Ingredients
Coffee is already dangerous to dogs by itself because of the caffeine. However, some products are more life-threatening than others because they contain toxic ingredients to canines, such as macadamia nut, chocolate, and xylitol.
Most Common Symptoms of Caffeine Poisoning in Dogs
“What happens if my dogs drink coffee?” is often asked by concerned dog owners. Early symptoms of caffeine toxicity in canines are restlessness and hyperactivity. Then they are followed by:
- Increased vocalization
- Fast heart rate
- High blood pressure
In severe cases, breathing difficulties and seizures may arise. The common signs of caffeine poisoning in dogs appear within 30 minutes to 2 hours after ingestion. They can last for 12 or more hours.
Can coffee kill dogs? The possibility of life-threatening side effects in dogs after drinking coffee will depend on certain factors.
Consuming caffeine in small amounts will not kill dogs. The consequences would be grimmer if your furry friend ingested a whole cup of coffee.
A dog’s size is another variable to consider. Smaller dogs are more susceptible to toxic risks than larger ones. Their small bodies make it easier for poisonous compounds to travel quickly in their bloodstream.
Aside from that, the caffeine source plays a significant role too. Coffee grounds or coffee beans have more potency than brewed coffee because they are undiluted. The danger increases exponentially if they are chocolate-covered.
The health status of your dog also matters. Healthy canines are less likely to experience health complications brought on by caffeine poisoning than senior dogs or dogs with pre-existing health issues.
What to Do If Your Dog Drank Coffee
Monitor your dog closely for signs of caffeine poisoning. The occurrence of severe symptoms requires an immediate trip to the vet. For milder clinical signs, consult the vet or call the Pet Poison helpline for advice.
Depending on your dog’s situation, they may recommend inducing vomiting. This method helps eliminate the toxins before they become absorbed into the body.
Never do it without the vet’s instructions, though, as the wrong procedure can cause asphyxiation.
Do not forget to take note of the type of coffee your pooch has ingested. Check how much was consumed and know whether or not it contains other toxic ingredients for dogs.
Moreover, avoid throwing away coffee packaging, as it contains plenty of vital information about the product, which the vet may find useful.
Treatment of Coffee Poisoning in Dogs
Treatment for dogs experiencing caffeine toxicity mainly involves decontamination and supportive care. The process goes like this:
1. Removal of Toxins
The vet will likely induce vomiting if the poisoning is caught early. This process will eliminate the remaining toxins from the system and minimize their harmful impact on your dog’s body.
Also, multiple doses of activated charcoal might be administered to absorb any remaining poisonous compounds.
2. Preventing Dehydration
Incessant vomiting and diarrhea caused by excessive caffeine consumption can lead your dog to become dehydrated. Coffee also acts as a diuretic, which increases urination.
To stabilize his body’s water levels, the vet will provide IV fluids. This will help in flushing out caffeine while supporting kidney function.
3. Reducing Other Caffeine Toxicity Symptoms
Medications will be prescribed to reduce the clinical signs of poisoning. Dogs with elevated heart rates and blood pressure will be given heart medications.
Those suffering from stomach upset and diarrhea will be provided with antacids. Seizures can be alleviated through the intake of anticonvulsants.
Mild cases of caffeine poisoning in dogs often require 1–2 days of hospitalization. For severe cases, dogs will need to spend more days in the hospital until their health stabilizes.