Do you know what to do if your dog drank coffee? Coffee contains caffeine, which is a chemical stimulant found in tea, soda, energy drinks, coffee grounds, and diet pills. A closely related chemical compound known as theobromine is found readily in chocolate and cacao products and is also famous for its stimulating properties. Caffeine and theobromine can be very toxic and potentially fatal to pets.
How Toxic is Caffeine to Dogs?
Depending on your pet’s size, breed, and age, small quantities of tea, coffee, soda, may not contain caffeine capable of causing toxic poisoning. Still, mild poisoning can result in slight restlessness and minimally elevated heart rates. Energy drinks contain large amounts of caffeine and even small exposures may be a concern for poisoning.
But say, for instance, your dog drank a large amount of coffee or lapped up an energy drink— there could be dire consequences. Dogs are more sensitive to the effects of caffeine; your pet won’t feel the light energetic buzz humans get from these products. Instead, in about thirty minutes to an hour, your dog becomes hyperactive and restless and may start to experience symptoms that include:
- Increased heart rate
- Increased body temperature
- Increased blood pressure
- Abnormal heart rhythms
If you don’t quickly recognize the clinical signs and treat your pet immediately, it can lead to the collapse of major organs like the heart, liver, lungs, kidneys, and central nervous system.
Caffeine Poisoning Treatment
To effectively treat caffeine poisoning, it is crucial that you respond quickly to the situation. Take your dog to the vet and they will administer the correct course of treatment. Your dog may receive heart medication to normalise their heart rate and reduce blood pressure. IV fluids can help with dehydration. Call your vet and Pet Poison Helpline®, at (855) 764-7661, with any questions or concerns.