Tea, with its rich and diverse cultural heritage spanning centuries, has captivated the taste buds and inspired rituals around the world. But beyond its delightful taste, tea has also been hailed for its numerous health benefits, from boosting our immune system to soothing our minds. As tea is a beloved beverage enjoyed by many, dog owners might find themselves wondering whether it is safe for their furry friends to share in this delightful experience. While tea can indeed offer certain health benefits for humans, it is important for dog owners to approach this matter with caution when it comes to their pup. There are potential dangers associated with dogs consuming tea, such as the presence of caffeine and other harmful substances. Below we will explore the risks and benefits of tea for dogs and provide guidelines to ensure the safety and well-being of our canine companions.
Tea can contain caffeine, which is a stimulant that affects the central nervous system. While this can provide a healthy energy boost for humans it has a different effect on dogs. If a dog consumes tea, they may experience restlessness, increased heart rate, and high blood pressure within one to two hours. If these symptoms are not promptly addressed, they could escalate to more severe issues and potentially result in death. While decaffeinated tea is not toxic to dogs, it is always safest to provide your dog with fresh water to keep them hydrated.
Clinical Signs of Tea Toxicity
The symptoms of tea poisoning are comparable to those of coffee poisoning due to the presence of caffeine in both beverages. Tea typically contains a lower amount of caffeine than coffee but can still be just as harmful. Common symptoms of tea poisoning include:
- Elevated blood pressure
- Increased heart rate
- Abnormal heart rhythm
Contact your veterinarian and Pet Poison Helpline at (855) 764-7661 if your dog consumed tea and you notice signs of poisoning. Treatment will depend on the type of tea and amount consumed. At the veterinary clinic, your veterinarian may induce vomiting and administer activated charcoal. Anticonvulsants and/or heart medication may be given to address seizures and heart issues. IV fluids will be provided for symptomatic care. When it comes to caring for your dog, water should be their only source of hydration. Other liquids such as tea, soda, and coffee should be avoided at all costs as they can only put your furry friend in harm’s way.