While the American beverage of choice may be coffee, tea is still widely enjoyed by different populations worldwide. Second only to water, it is the most consumed drink in the world. One of the reasons why it is so popular is that it is a stimulating beverage. For this reason, many people choose it as an alternative to coffee. 

Another reason why tea is enjoyed so much is the wide variety available to consume. You may enjoy some types of tea to start your day, while others can be drunk as a sleep aid before bed. As useful as tea is for humans, it is not so for their furry friends. While some types of tea can be relaxing, most contain caffeine, a substance that is toxic to dogs. 

Why is Tea Unsafe for Dogs? 

Typically, tea contains caffeine, a stimulant that affects the central nervous system. This can give a healthy energy boost in humans, but the case is quite different for dogs. Within one to two hours of ingestion, your dog may start experiencing restlessness, tachycardia, and hypertension. If not promptly attended to, a combination of these symptoms may lead to severe symptoms and potentially, death Decaffeinated tea is not toxic to dogs but giving your dog fresh water is always the best option and safest way to keep your pup hydrated. 

Symptoms of Tea Poisoning in Dogs 

The symptoms of tea poisoning are similar to those of coffee poisoning because both beverages contain caffeine as their active ingredient, however, the amount of caffeine in tea is usually less than that of caffeinated coffees. These symptoms include: 

  • Vomiting 
  • Elevated blood pressure 
  • Hyperactivity 
  • Increased heart rate 
  • Hyperthermia 
  • Tremors 
  • Seizures 
  • Abnormal heart rhythm 

Who to Contact if Your Dog Drank Tea? 

If your dog has consumed tea and you notice signs of caffeine poisoning, call the Pet Poison Helpline® at (855) 764-7661 and get in touch with your veterinarian immediately for medical assistance. Depending on the quantity and type of tea ingested, treatment may include the following: 

  • Intravenous fluids 
  • Induced vomiting 
  • Activated charcoal 
  • Anticonvulsants 
  • Heart medication