Caffeine

caffeine

Pictured: Coffee Beans

Poisonous to: Cats, Dogs

Level of toxicity: Potentially mild to severe/life-threatening

Common signs to watch for:

  • Hyperactivity
  • Restlessness
  • Vomiting
  • Elevated heart rate
  • Elevated blood pressure (hypertension)
  • Elevated body temperature (hyperthermia)
  • Abnormal heart rhythm
  • Tremors
  • Seizures
  • Collapse
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Many common products contain caffeine including coffee, tea, soda, energy drinks, and some supplements (e.g. pre-workout and weight-loss supplements). Both caffeine and theobromine, a chemical related to caffeine, are also found in chocolate. Dogs and cats appear to be more sensitive to the effects of caffeine than people. One or two licks of coffee, tea or soda is unlikely to cause poisoning in most pets. However, ingestion of unused coffee grounds or beans, tea bags, or supplements could cause serious toxicity in dogs or cats.  Depending on the amount ingested, signs of hyperactivity, restlessness, vomiting, elevated heart rate, high blood pressure, abnormal heart rhythms, tremors, and elevated body temperature may be seen. In severe cases, seizures, collapse and death are possible.

Poison type: foods

Alternate names: methylxanthine, xanthine, tea, coffee, coffee beans, weight loss supplements, dietary supplements, energy drinks, guarana