Coffee: How Good or Bad Is It for Your Dog?
There are a variety of food items and drinks that are considered as harmful for dogs and coffee is one beverage that probably tops the list.
Apart from coffee, a lot of everyday food products contain caffeine, such as tea, chocolate, soda and energy drinks, which are just as dangerous for your canines. Dogs tend to be more sensitive towards the effects of caffeine than humans. In most cases, a few licks of coffee cannot cause any kind of toxicity in dogs. If your dog consumes an inadequate amount of coffee, you might notice the following signs and symptoms:
- Sudden hyperactivity or restlessness
- Elevated blood pressure
- Change in body temperature
- Rapid heartbeat
- Difficulty in breathing
In case the dog shows any of the signs and symptoms mentioned above, then chances are that your dog might have gotten into your coffee and you need to immediately take him to the vet.
How much coffee is injurious to the health of your dog?
According to recent studies, it has been revealed that caffeine is harmful when consumed around 150 mg per 2.2 pounds of body weight. A regular cup of coffee contains around 100 mg of caffeine.
Clear symptoms of coffee consumption in your canine
Usually, the early symptoms of coffee poisoning appear within 1-2 hours of consumption of caffeine. The signs and symptoms may vary depending on the size, weight, resistance and overall health of your dog. In case your dog consumes high levels of ground coffee, seizures may also be observed. In many rare cases, it is also possible for dogs to faint if they have consumed high levels of caffeine.
Response of pet-owners in case of a medical emergency
There are no special medications or treatments for caffeine poisoning in dogs, therefore, the best way to cure it is through induced vomiting. Go for this option only if you are 100% sure that your dog has drunk a lot of coffee and has not just licked it a few times from your coffee mug.
Use of medication for your pet in case of a crisis
In case of an emergency, your vet may give your dog an anti-seizure medicine to bring down the blood pressure. Your dog might also be given sedation drugs and be admitted in the hospital to make sure that the symptoms have completely disappeared.
Other edible items as a source of caffeine
As mentioned earlier, caffeine is present in a lot of foods, and not just in tea and coffee. In case your pet swallowed a tea bag or licked a diet soda, the risks might be just as much as if he licked your freshly brewed morning coffee. In case you are not sure whether or not your pet can have a small sip of any other beverage that you may be drinking other than coffee, then it is better to remain on the safe side and make sure to not let your pet have even a small sip of it. Dogs, however, require clean drinking water to remain hydrated.