Is Coffee Bad For Dogs?

You can’t imagine starting your day without that aromatic shot of espresso or your favorite latte?

Keep in mind that while coffee may be delicious and an essential part of your daily routine, it can be dangerous and, unfortunately, even fatal for dogs.

So, if you are asking yourself, is coffee bad for dogs? Then the short answer is yes!

Even though a few licks of a caffeinated drink will rarely cause poisoning in pups, ingesting larger qualities of coffee, including coffee beans or grounds and tea bags, can cause toxicity in canines.

If you suspect that your dog has eaten a lot of coffee beans, grounds or has lapped up a caffeine beverage, you should monitor it closely for poisoning symptoms. If you see signs, you should call your vet or the Pet Poison Helpline immediately.

Read on to find out more about the symptoms, treatment, and prevention of caffeine poisoning in dogs.

Why would your pup drink coffee in the first place?

Dogs, especially when they are younger puppies, are naturally curious about everything they can eat, drink or chew.

This is why it comes as no surprise that many pups will not hesitate to take a lick or two or even drink your entire cup of cappuccino or other coffee drink.

Unfortunately, lately, the Pet Poison Control Hotline has reported that there has been a huge surge of pet owners calling for medical advice or help regarding their dogs consuming brewed coffee drinks.

Related: Coffee Wood For Dog Chews

How should you act if your dog has consumed coffee?


Dogs are smaller and lighter than us humans, and especially smaller dogs are much more sensitive to caffeine than we are. Plus, they cannot metabolize the caffeine-like humans do.

So, taking a few laps of coffee may not affect larger pups as it could the smaller-sized ones.

If you have small to medium-sized dogs, such as a Yorkshire terrier, Shih Tzu, or similar and it has ingested coffee, you should keep a close eye on them for adverse reactions.

Larger dogs are less likely to be affected after consuming just a little coffee. But they too may display signs of toxicity after eating coffee grounds.

The greater the quantity and the concentration of caffeine consumed, the bigger the risk of severe caffeine poisoning in dogs.

If you see or suspect that your dog has drunk a lot of coffee or has eaten a highly concentrated caffeine product, we recommend that you call your vet or the Pet Poison Control Helpline ASAP. You will get advice regarding the first aid actions depending on your dog’s size, weight, age and the amount of coffee it has presumably consumed.

The quicker you act – the bigger the pup’s chances of getting well after consuming caffeine.

What are the symptoms of caffeine poisoning in dogs?

The symptoms of caffeine toxicity can appear as soon as 30-60 minutes following the consumption. They can continue for more than 10 hours to several days, depending on the severity of the poisoning.

Here are the most common symptoms to watch for:

  • Restlessness and agitation
  • Panting
  • Vomiting
  • An elevated heart rate and high blood pressure
  • Elevated body temperature
  • Abnormal heart rhythm
  • Tremors, collapsing, seizures, and death in severe cases

How do vets treat caffeine poisoning?

Your veterinarian will either ask you to bring your dog in for an examination or will give you instructions to keep monitoring the pup for signs of caffeine poisoning.

Your vet may also try to induce vomiting if it has been only an hour or so since the dog ingested the caffeine. But do not try to induce vomiting by yourself without professional help or approval from your vet!

In some cases, the dog will be given activated charcoal, which can absorb the toxins from the digestive system before they enter the bloodstream.

Your vet may also give the dog fluids to flush the caffeine from its system or medications to treat symptoms such as tremors, increased heart rate, blood pressure, seizures, and more.

Preventing your pup from drinking coffee

The best way to keep your pup safe is to keep any coffee and caffeine-based products away from the reach of dogs. Also, never offer your dog any coffee as a treat.

Coffee and chocolate may be delicious for us, but they can be highly toxic for canines!

So, it is recommended that you store all of the caffeine-based products in your home away and out of reach from your dog. These products include ready-made coffee, coffee beans, coffee grounds, tea bags, and more. Make sure that you clean up immediately if you happen to spill coffee on the floor.

When throwing out the coffee grounds, ensure that the garbage is well sealed to prevent your pup from stealing the trash and gulping up the coffee.

Teach your kids and remind your guests to keep any caffeinated beverages or products away from your pet.

Make sure to train your dog to respond to the command “leave it” so that it lets go of the things that it is not supposed to be eating.

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