← Back

Caffeine

Google+PinterestShare

Poisonous to: Cats, Dogs

Level of toxicity: Generally moderate to severe/life-threatening

Common signs to watch for:

  • Hyperactivity
  • Restlessness
  • Vomiting
  • Elevated heart rate
  • Hypertension (elevated blood pressure)
  • Abnormal heart rhythms
  • Tremors
  • Hyperthermia (elevated body temperature)
  • Seizures
  • Collapse
  • Death

Humans continue to drink and use more and more caffeine, making pets more frequently exposed to this dangerous chemical. There are several sources of caffeine in the house: in coffee, coffee grounds, tea, soda, energy drinks, weightlifter supplements, OTC pills (e.g., NoDoz), and diet pills. Theobromine, a cousin chemical to caffeine is also found chocolate. Dogs and cats appear to be more sensitive to the effects of caffeine than people. While 1-2 laps of coffee, tea or soda will not contain enough caffeine to cause poisoning in most pets, the ingestion of moderate amounts of coffee grounds, tea bags or 1-2 diet pills can easily cause death in small dogs or cats. When ingested, clinical signs of hyperactivity, restlessness, vomiting, an elevated heart rate, hypertension (elevated blood pressure), abnormal heart rhythms, tremors, hyperthermia (elevated body temperature), seizures, collapse and death may be seen.

Poison type: Foods

Alternate names: chocolate-covered espresso beans, milk chocolate, Baker's chocolate, white chocolate, cocoa mulch, caffeine, theobromine, methylxanthine, xanthine, Vivarin, tea, coffee, cacao mulch, cocoa powder, Halloween candy, weight loss supplements, theobromine, dietary supplements, coffee beans, energy drinks, green tea, guarana, NoDoz, No-Doz