Can Dogs Have Coffee? Dog and Coffee Facts: Here's What to Know!

Have you ever wondered if your dog can have coffee? Here are the answers to your most frequently asked dog and coffee questions!

Many coffee connoisseurs can't imagine starting the day without their morning cup of caffeinated goodness. We get it, hot coffee can really help humans start the day off right! Maybe, that's why sharing this bitter beverage with our canine companions sometimes gets tempting. After all, we love it, so why shouldn’t they? This leaves many wondering if dogs can have coffee. 

So can dogs have coffee? The Answer is No.

It's important to know that coffee can be harmful to dogs. One or two accidental licks of coffee typically will not be enough to cause toxicity or poisoning effects in pets. However, dogs that ingest large amounts of unused caffeinated coffee grounds, coffee beans, or even tea bags, could wind up in serious medical trouble. 

So, if your dog has consumed a significant amount (more than 2 tbsp) of unbrewed coffee grounds or fresh coffee beans, carefully monitor them for signs of toxicity and consider calling the vet. Your veterinarian will be able to assess the seriousness of the dog and coffee consumption situation and give you advice on how best to proceed. 

With this in mind, let’s discuss everything to know about why dogs seem to like the taste of coffee, why is coffee bad for dogs, whether coffee is ever safe for them to consume, and what to do if your dog has eaten coffee accidentally. 

Can dogs drink coffee? If not, why? 

Dogs cannot drink coffee because it contains the compound caffeine. According to the AKC, caffeine can raise the blood pressure of our canine companions and may also cause dangerous cardiac arrhythmias. Pets who consume caffeine may also lose muscle control, have seizures, or experience tremors. Caffeine can also affect the gastrointestinal tract of dogs, leading to diarrhea and vomiting. 

What to do if your dog eats coffee grounds?

So what to do if your dog gets into your coffee stash, and why does coffee affect dogs? It all comes down to the fact that coffee often contains a significant amount of caffeine. Caffeine toxicity is serious in dogs. Signs or symptoms of caffeine toxicity may begin within 30 to 60 minutes of the initial consumption of coffee grounds, coffee beans, or tea. 

These symptoms may last anywhere from a few hours to several days, depending on the size of your dog, and how much coffee your dog consumed. As such, you should call the vet and monitor your dog for the following symptoms: 

  • Restlessness 
  • Agitation 
  • Panting 
  • Abnormal heart rhythms 
  • Elevated body temperature 
  • Vomiting 
  • Diarrhea 

Remember that vomiting and diarrhea can also lead to dehydration in dogs, worsening the effects of caffeine consumption. So, make sure your dog stays well hydrated and in the meantime, call your veterinarian if your dog consumes a large amount of unused coffee grounds or other sources of caffeine. 

How is caffeine poisoning from coffee for dogs treated?

Veterinarians often recommend that you monitor your furry companion for symptoms of caffeine poisoning and call back if any significant changes to their condition occur. Your vet may also suggest that you bring your dog in for an examination. Some veterinarians will also try to induce vomiting if the coffee was consumed recently. This is a way to help ensure that the dog's body does not continue to absorb more caffeine. 

Sometimes, your vet will also give your dog activated charcoal to help rid the body of toxins before they can be absorbed into the bloodstream. Fluids and an IV flush may also be given to help control tremors, seizures, and other toxic caffeine effects in dogs. 

What does coffee do to dogs?

Coffee is not safe for dogs to consume because it contains caffeine. As such, you should avoid allowing your dog to drink coffee and also, do not let them eat unused coffee grounds or coffee beans. Coffee can cause an elevated heart rate in dogs, leading to Tremors and seizures. Coffee can also cause vomiting and diarrhea. 

Can a dog drink coffee with milk?

Many dogs like the taste of milk. As such, if you have coffee that contains milk sitting around, there's a chance that your dog may try to drink it. While it is unlikely that this will lead to anything particularly harmful, it should still be avoided since caffeine isn't safe for dogs. If your dog does drink some of your coffee, keep an eye on them and watch for any unusual signs or symptoms of trouble. Most likely, your dog will be fine. However, it is important to prevent your dog from getting into any human beverages, including coffee with milk. 

Can dogs eat coffee?

No, dogs should not be fed coffee. This can lead to an array of issues including caffeine toxicity. However, if your dog tipped over the trash can and got into some used coffee grounds, chances are, they will make a full recovery. Still, keep an eye out for signs of trouble including tremors, agitation, diarrhea, vomiting, lethargy, blockages, etc. If you are concerned, you can always call your vet for reassurance or advice.  

How much coffee is bad for dogs?

According to the American College of Veterinary Pharmacists, 140 mg of caffeine is enough to cause caffeine toxicity in dogs. The average brewed cup of coffee (8 fl oz) contains approximately 95 mg of caffeine, which equates to roughly one tablespoon of grounds per cup. So, about a tablespoon of unused coffee grounds is enough to merit concern, and anything over that can cause toxicity (depending on the size, health, and weight of the dog).

Will one coffee bean hurt my dog? 

One coffee bean only contains about 6 mg of caffeine. However, the exact measurement of caffeine per coffee bean depends on many factors. Still, if your dog only eats a single coffee bean, you don't need to be overly concerned. Chances are, everything will be fine. In the future, be sure to store your coffee up high in a safe place where your dog cannot get into it by accident. 

Will dogs eat coffee grounds?

It really depends on the dog. Some dogs eat or chew on anything just in case it’s food. Labs, Beagles, Golden retrievers, and Bully breeds are notorious for eating pretty much anything that the suspect could be even a little bit edible. As such, it's important to store foods or drinks that contain caffeine or other harmful substances, including tea, coffee grounds, and coffee beans, well out of the reach of your pooch. 

How much coffee can a dog drink safely? 

If your dog shoves his muzzle in your coffee cup and has a couple of licks of your daily brew, there's generally no need to be concerned. Just don't make a habit of letting your dog drink coffee, as caffeine is not safe for most pets, including canines, to consume in large quantities. 

Can dogs have decaf coffee? 

Technically, decaf coffee is safe for dogs. Although, it could potentially cause digestive upset. So, use common sense and discretion if considering giving a dog decaffeinated coffee. Think about consulting your vet first if you have concerns. 

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