How bad is tea for dogs? You may have considered this if your dog tried to sneak a sip when you brewed yourself an afternoon cup. If humans can drink tea, is it safe for dogs to have some?
The short answer is no, dogs can’t safely drink tea. A lot of teas contain caffeine, which is something all dogs should avoid. Consuming too much caffeine can lead to serious health problems for a dog. Even teas that don’t contain caffeine may also include ingredients that could prove to be toxic to your dog, including various fruits and artificial sweeteners.
Here’s what you need to know about tea and dogs.
Why Is Tea Bad For Dogs?
Many teas contain the stimulant caffeine. Humans might benefit from the kick or boost that caffeine can deliver, but dogs are too sensitive to the stimulant’s effects.
If a dog consumes too much caffeine, their heart rate might spike as they become agitated and restless.
Some of the other symptoms a dog can have after consuming caffeine include:
- Higher body temperature
- Irregular heart rhythms
- Higher blood pressure
In very severe cases, too much caffeine can cause a dog to enter a coma or even pass away.
Even tea that doesn’t contain caffeine often includes artificial sweeteners or flavors that are toxic to dogs.
What Should I Do If My Dog Drinks Tea?
First, if your dog has sneaked in a tiny sip of your tea, there’s a good chance they’ll be okay. This is especially so if your dog is larger in size In these cases, remove the drink from your dog and monitor them closely for symptoms.
As a rough guide, it’s estimated that consuming nine milligrams of caffeine per pound of a dog’s weight is the level at which they might experience negative symptoms.
If you find out that your dog has consumed a significant amount or is displaying any of the symptoms listed above, you’ll want to call up an emergency veterinarian or a pet poison hotline.
Depending on the specific symptoms your dog is displaying and the estimated amount of tea they have consumed, your vet might use activated charcoal to absorb any toxins, induce vomiting, or use an intravenous drip.
Has your dog ever sneaked in a sip of your tea? Did they have any bad symptoms afterward? Let us know in the comments below!