For many of us, being able to get through a busy day begins with a cup of coffee in the morning. Let’s say you’ve just made your usual cup of coffee in the morning and set it down for one moment and suddenly you see your dog taking a drink from it. Should you be concerned for their health? The answer is yes, as the caffeine found in coffee could be toxic for your dog. Here’s what you need to know about the effects of caffeine on dogs.


Can Dogs Drink Coffee?

Caffeine poisoning can be the result of a dog drinking coffee. Dogs are much more sensitive to caffeine than humans are. A small lick from your mug is unlikely to cause harm, but excessive doses of caffeine can lead to dangerous symptoms and even death. A dog’s nervous system, cardiovascular, and gastrointestinal systems can be affected from ingesting caffeine. Even mild restlessness and agitation can occur with smaller amounts of caffeine. Symptoms become much more severe when larger amounts are consumed.


Common Signs of Caffeine Poisoning in Dogs

Symptoms of caffeine poisoning are often observed in dogs within 1-2 hours of consuming caffeine. Dogs can suffer from caffeine poisoning in many ways. The most common sign is restlessness and hyperactivity.

Other symptoms:

  • Vomiting
  • Agitation
  • Seizures
  • Elevated heart rate
  • High blood pressure
  • Hyperthermia
  • Tremors


Caffeine Poisoning Treatment

The first thing to do if your dog drank coffee is contact your veterinarian or Pet Poison Helpline® at (855) 764-7661. The amount of coffee ingested will determine the risk and severity of their caffeine poisoning. If your dog has eaten coffee grounds or beans, it could lead to severe poisoning due to the high concentration of caffeine, so the quicker you get help the better.

Do not attempt to induce vomiting on your own, as it can result in additional medical complications. It will take a day or two for the caffeine to leave your dog’s system. Carefully monitor your pet to watch for any further symptoms. Your vet will prescribe future medical care.


How to Prevent Your Dog from Caffeine Poisoning in the Future

  • Do not tease a dog with coffee or offer them coffee as a treat. This could put them in harm’s way or even kill them.
  • Keep caffeinated products such as coffee, coffee grounds, coffee beans, tea bags, etc. out of reach. If a dog cannot get to it, it greatly reduces the risk of caffeine poisoning.
  • Inform people around you to keep coffee away from your dog.
  • Lastly, after throwing coffee grounds away or pouring yourself some coffee from the pot, make sure your dog cannot get to it.