Pet & Caffeine Safety: Can Dogs Have Coffee?

As humans, we love to start our mornings off with a nice cup of coffee. You may be wondering, is it okay to give me pet some coffee to drink too?

The answer is NO! Pets do not need a cup of coffee to start their day. In fact, coffee is actually toxic to dogs and you should not give your pets anything with caffeine in it.

Dogs are energetic enough as it is, I repeat, you should not be giving your pets any coffee. If you try to give your dog or cat coffee you will be more harmful than good because the caffeine in the coffee is toxic to them and can make your pet sick.

While coffee has documented health benefits for humans, it can be deadly for your pet dog or cat depending on how much they consume at one time.

Why you should not give your pet cat or dog coffee

You should not give your dog or cat coffee because there is caffeine inside your coffee. This is because dogs and cats are much more sensitive to the effects of caffeine than people.

This is especially true if your dog or cat is on the smaller side.

They need much less caffeine to be affected by the chemical. There are many effects of caffeine that can cause issues in pets when ingested. Here are some symptoms to keep an eye out for.

  • Vomiting
  • Abnormal heart rhythm
  • Seizures
  • Tremors
  • Hyperactivity
  • Elevated heart rate

Caffeine also takes much longer to exit a pet’s system because it cannot easily detoxify its body. The effects of caffeine can last for up to six hours.

The most serious consequence of having coffee for pets is an erratic heartbeat, so if your pet has consumed coffee grounds or drank coffee you should feel their heartbeat right away.

“Cats and dogs should not ingest any caffeine”

Dr. Elisa Mazzaferro, adjunct associate clinical professor of emergency-critical care at Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine in Ithaca, New York.

It can take up to 30 minutes to 1 hour to see the effects of caffeine. This is because it may take a while for the caffeine to reach peak concentrations in your pet’s bloodstream. So if you see your pet doing fine after consuming some coffee you should still be concerned. You need to keep an eye on your pet for at least an hour afterwards to make sure they are safe.

Can a dog eat coffee beans or coffee grounds?

Most cups of coffee contain less than a lethal amount of caffeine even for the smallest of dogs. What you should look out for is if your pet gets into your coffee grounds.

Unused coffee grounds will have more caffeine than a cup of coffee or spent grounds. There is a much higher concentration of caffeine in the coffee grounds and there is a higher chance of a negative reaction happening if your pet gets into your coffee grounds.

Coffee is not good for your dog or cat, even in small doses. The same goes for coffee beans or coffee grounds. You should never give coffee beans or grounds to dogs as snacks because he may one day get into your coffee grounds and consume them thinking they are snacks.

According to Provet, caffeine is lethal to dogs at concentrations of 150 milligrams per kilogram. There is only about 100 mg of caffeine in an 8-ounce cup of coffee, however, there is 8mg of caffeine for each 1g of dry coffee. That means 20g-40g of dry coffee is enough to kill a small pet.

To put it into perspective 20g-40g of coffee is around the amount of coffee grounds / coffee beans needed to brew 1 cup of coffee.

Dog BreedAverage Male WeightLethal AmountAverage Female Weight Lethal Amount
American Staffordshire Terrier25kg – 30kg562.5g
22kg – 27kg
506.25g
Australian Shepherd25kg – 29kg543.75g
18kg – 25kg
468.75g
Australian Cattle Dog15kg – 28kg525g15kg – 22kg412.5g
Basset Hound23kg – 29kg543.75g
20kg – 27kg
506.25g
Beagle13kg – 16kg300g
11kg – 13kg
243.75g
Border Collie19kg – 24kg450g18kg – 22kg412.5g
Border Terrier5.9kg – 7.1kg133.125g
5.1kg – 6.4kg
120g
Boston Terrier6kg – 11kg206.25g
4.5kg – 9kg
168.75g
Boxer30kg – 32kg600g
25kg – 27kg
506.25g
Bulldog- British24kg – 25kg468.75g22kg – 23kg431.25g
Bulldog- French12kg – 15kg281.25g
10kg – 11kg
206.25g
Bull mastiff50kg – 59kg1106.25g
41kg – 50kg
937.5g
Bull Terrier23kg – 32kg600g
18kg – 23kg
431.25g
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel5kg – 9kg168.75g
5kg – 8kg
150g
Chihuahua1.5kg – 3kg56.25g
1.5kg – 3kg
56.25g
Cocker Spaniel13kg – 16kg300g12kg – 15kg 281.25g
Daschund-miniature4kg – 5kg93.75g
4kg – 5kg
93.75g
Daschund-standard7kg – 14kg262.5g7kg – 14kg 262.5g
Doberman Pinscher34kg – 41kg768.75g
29.5kg – 36kg
675g
English Springer Spaniel20kg – 25kg468.75
18kg – 23kg
431.25g
Fox Terrier (smooth)7.25kg – 8.25kg154.6875g
6.75kg – 7.75kg
145.3125g
German Shepherd34kg – 38.5kg721.875g
27kg – 32kg
600g
German Shorthaired Pointer25kg – 32kg600g
20kg – 27kg
506.25g
Golden Retriever
31.7kg – 36.3kg
680.625g
27.2kg – 31.7kg
594.375g
Great Dane54kg – 91kg1706.25g45kg – 59kg1106.25g
Jack Russel Terrier
6kg – 8kg
150g5kg – 7kg 131.25g
Kelpie
20.5kg – 25kg
468.75g
14kg – 21kg
393.75g
Labrador Retriever
29kg – 36kg
675g
25kg – 31kg
581.25g
Lhasa Apso
7kg
131.25g
6kg – 7kg
131.25g
Maltese Terrier
2kg – 4kg
75g2kg – 4kg 75g
Newfoundland
64kg – 69kg
1293.75
50kg – 54kg
1012.5g
Norfolk Terrier
5kg – 6kg
112.5g
5kg – 6kg
112.5g
Poodle- toy
3.5kg – 5.5kg
103.125g
3.5kg – 5.5kg
103.125g
Poodle- miniature
7kg – 8kg
150g
5.5kg – 7kg
131.25g
Poodle- standard
20kg – 32kg
600g20kg – 27kg506.25g
Pug
6kg – 9kg
168.75g6kg – 8kg150g
Rottweiler
45.5kg – 54.5kg
1021.875g36kg – 41kg 768.75g
Schnauzer- miniature
5kg – 8.2kg
153.75g
4.5kg – 6.8kg
127.5
Schnauzer- Standard
16kg – 23kg
431.25g14kg – 20kg375g
Shetland Sheepdog
8kg – 12.3kg
230.625g6.4kg – 10.3kg193.125g
Shih Tzu
4.5kg – 8.1kg
151.875g4kg – 7.2kg135g
Siberian Husky
20kg – 27kg
506.25g16kg – 23kg431.25g
Staffordshire Bull Terrier13kg – 17kg318.75g
11kg – 15.5kg
290.625g
West Highland Terrier
8kg – 9kg
168.75g
7kg – 8kg
150g
Whippet10kg – 13kg243.75g8kg – 11kg 206.25g
Yorkshire Terrier
3kg
56.25g
3kg
56.25g
Lethal dosage of coffee for male and female dogs

This table shows the average weight of each breed of dog for male and female and how much coffee it would need to be consumed to be lethal. This table accruately shows that it would be the smaller to medium sized dogs that would be in the most danger because they would only need to consume a small amount of coffee to get sick.

What to do if your pet has coffee

As with all cases of poisoning the best way to treat it is early intervention.

If your dog has signs of caffeine posioning should not panic just keep an eye on your pet and make sure they don’t develop any of the more serious symptoms of caffeine poisoning listed above.

You will need to keep an eye on your pet for one or two hours after they ingest the caffeine to monitor their heart rate and make sure they don’t have serious poisoning.

If they show signs of serious caffeine poisoning, especially signs of severly increased heart rate you will need to rush them to an emergency vetinarian. There are no home remedies for caffeine poisoning.

Call your veternarian or a Pet Poison Helpline. There is a 24/7 animal poison control center reachable at 1-800-213-6680 that you can call if your pet has consumed caffeine.

Here are somethings a vet will try to help your pet:

  • Make your pet vomit to prevent more caffeine from being digested and circulated throughout the bloodstream
  • Give your pet anti-seizure medication
  • Prescribe medication to reduce blood pressure

If it has been several hours since your pet has consumed caffeine you should be good, just keep an eye out for the rest of the day to make sure your pet does not develop any other complications.

Conclusion

Coffee is great for humans, but can be extremely toxic for pets. Make sure you do not let your pets around any of your fresh or used coffee grounds and, please do not give them any coffee!

Coffee is healthy for humans, and as much as you would want to share the benefits with your pet, it is not good for them.

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