Coffee is the preferred beverage for billions of people worldwide for several reasons. While most people drink coffee for its most active compound, caffeine, and its energizing qualities, a good number of individuals pick coffee as their go to beverage for its taste and sensory properties. Coffee has some great benefits for humans, but it is not advised for dog consumption. If your dog accidentally drank coffee, there could be some serious consequences. In large doses, coffee consumption can be fatal for dogs. Learn more about the dangerous combination of coffee and dogs by reading below. 

Why is Coffee Harmful to Dogs?

Coffee of all kinds contains caffeine, though some contain more than others. When a dog consumes coffee, it stimulates the central nervous system much differently than a human’s. Side effects occur within minutes such as becoming jittery and restless as heart rate and blood pressure rapidly increase. The gastrointestinal tract is also affected by caffeine as they vomit and pass watery stool. Coffee can cause serious damage to the heart and neurologic system. If the dog does not receive medical care in a timely manner, it can be fatal.

Symptoms of Coffee Toxicity 

Within 1-2 hours of exposure, poisoning symptoms can occur. These symptoms include: 

  • Hyperactivity 
  • Vomiting 
  • Restlessness 
  • Elevated heart rate 
  • Elevated blood pressure 
  • Abnormal heart rhythms 
  • Tremors 
  • Elevated body temperature
  • Seizures 
  • Collapse 

Treating Coffee Poisoning 

If your dog accidentally drinks coffee and shows symptoms of caffeine toxicity, you should seek veterinary care as soon as possible. Call Pet Poison Helpline® at (855) 764-7661 and your veterinarian for prompt medical help. Take your dog to the vet clinic so they can administer the correct course of treatment. Your vet may Induce vomiting and give doses of activated charcoal to decontaminate the system. Specific heart medications may be administered to normalize your dog’s heart rate and reduce their blood pressure. IV fluids can help with dehydration. Anticonvulsants will help with seizures and antacids will ease stomach discomfort and diarrhea. Caffeine can be reabsorbed across the bladder wall, so a urinary catheter or frequent walks are needed to keep the bladder empty.

To prevent accidental caffeine ingestion, you must keep all caffeine-containing products out of reach of your pup and be aware of the potential for caffeine in other products. By taking these precautions, you can help ensure the health and safety of your furry friend. Contact Pet Poison Helpline® if you have any further questions or concerns.