Never give your dog coffee if you really love him!
Why is coffee bad for your dog?
To get straight to the point: a small amount of coffee, e.g. B. a sip of the coffee you spilled on the floor will not kill your pet. The chances are even good that nothing will happen to him and he can continue his life peacefully and happily.
However, in large quantities, coffee can be dangerous to your dog’s health. That’s because the main ingredient in coffee is caffeine, a substance that acts as a central nervous system stimulant, meaning it wakes up the body.
Dogs are much more sensitive to caffeine than humans. Depending on the size and weight of the animal, a normal amount of coffee can lead to health problems in the animal.
That doesn’t mean your pet is in serious danger if they’ve had just a little of the drink, but it’s difficult to know if they’ve had too much of it.
And unfortunately, we don’t know that until the animal shows signs that can range from restlessness to seizures and death.
Your dog’s size and health are very important
Large, young dogs are less affected by the effects of caffeine than old and small dogs. Therefore, the same amount of caffeine can produce different effects in two different dogs.
Likewise, in dogs with heart or liver problems, ingesting large amounts of caffeine has more serious effects as the risk of developing complications is much higher.
Signs of caffeine poisoning in dogs
As previously mentioned, symptoms depend on the size and health of the animal, as well as the amount of caffeine ingested. Generally, the signs of caffeine intoxication appear 30 to 60 minutes after ingestion and can last up to 12 hours.
So, here are the most common symptoms our pets may experience after consuming a large amount of caffeine:
- Tremor (shaking)
- Elevated body temperature
- Death (only in extremely severe cases)
Sweeteners in coffee dangerous for pets?
Some sweeteners like Splenda contain a chemical called xylitol, which can be dangerous for our pets as it can trigger severe hypoglycemia.
This means that the level of glucose in the blood drops rapidly and sharply, which can cause the animal to faint or become weak. In addition, liver damage may occur depending on the amount ingested by the pet.
So, if you notice your pet behaving strangely, get to the vet immediately, and if you think your dog has ingested the sweetened coffee, don’t hesitate to let your doctor know.
What about regular sugar and milk?
Although neither sugar nor milk are toxic to dogs (in small doses), their consumption should be avoided. Keep in mind that they are often the cause of upset stomachs and diarrhea in our pets.
Avoid caffeinated pet products
First of all, you should remember that not only black coffee contains caffeine, but also tea, some soft drinks and especially energy drinks.
Likewise, candies made with coffee are dangerous for your pet, mainly because they are more attractive to them. So, keep all of these products out of your dog’s reach.
What to do if your dog swallowed coffee?
If you suspect your pet has swallowed a coffee product, you can follow these 4 steps.
Assess your dog’s condition?
- The first thing you should do is watch your pet closely to see if they’re acting normally or if they’re doing anything strange.
- Pay special attention to whether the dog is crying or whimpering. Also watch out for vomiting or diarrhea.
- If for any reason you find your pet unresponsive to your calls, lying on the floor, shaking or convulsing, take them to the vet immediately.
- On the other hand, if it behaves naturally, you should continue to monitor its behavior.
- Also make sure the dog has no access to coffee, wipe up any spilled coffee on the floor, and put away any treats or other products he might try again.
Try to find out how much coffee your dog has drunk
How much did the dog eat, was it liquid coffee, was it another caffeinated beverage, was it candy, how old is your pet, what are their underlying medical conditions?
Believe us, all these facts are important. Because if you are aware of this information and tell your veterinarian in a timely manner, he or she can determine how much coffee your pet has consumed and what treatment is needed.
Talk to a veterinarian
Even if you think your pet is fine, you should consult a professional. You can also describe what happened to your pet over the phone. If they think your dog is in danger, they can always take them to the emergency room.
Monitor your pet
It is best to monitor your pet for at least 24 hours after speaking to your vet, whether or not you have taken your dog to the emergency room.
Continue to watch for signs of caffeine intoxication to alert your vet quickly. We hope that’s not the case, and that all in all it’s nothing more than a scare for you and a lesson in keeping coffee out of your pet’s reach.
Warning: never try to make your dog vomit, nor give him any means, whether homemade or pharmacological, but take your animal to the vet immediately.
Remember, if you don’t know what to do, the cure can be worse than the disease.