The list of food and drinks that are dangerous for your little pup goes a long way. From chocolate to avocados, you need to be extra careful about what your pup might get his paws on. How many times has he had a cup of Joe with you in the morning? Is it something that happens on a regular basis or is it simply his lucky day sometimes? Vets recommend you keep your dog as far away from coffee as possible because the outcome does not look very good. What should you do if he has already ingested too much caffeine? Read on…
The Root of the Behavior
As tempting as it may be to share that morning cup of coffee with your furry best friend, don’t do it. Caffeine, especially in large amounts can be extremely dangerous to dogs, so much so that it could potentially lead to death. How much is too much depends on many factors, for example, the size of your dog and the exact amount of coffee he has ingested. Coffee grounds in particular can cause more harm since they contain a much higher amount of caffeine. If you want to determine the likelihood of your pup needing emergency attention, take into account the following rule: caffeine is lethal at a dose of 150 mg per 2.2 pounds of body weight. However, considering the fact that there’s only about 100 mg of caffeine in an 8-ounce cup of coffee, it’s unlikely that your dog will drink enough to cause a life-threatening situation. Better safe than sorry right?
So what makes coffee such a dangerous substance for your furry friend? Well, a dog is much more sensitive to caffeine than a human being. You depend on your daily cup of coffee to get you going in the morning, however, this type of caffeinated beverage is inappropriate for your dog. Caffeine falls in the category of methylxanthines, also found in chocolate, another toxic substance for dogs. If your dog ingests this toxin in high doses, it could cause a number of health issues such as hyperactivity, vomiting, irregular heart rate, poisoning, diarrhea, tremors, seizures, body collapses, lack of coordination, and in severe cases even death. The symptoms of coffee poisoning appear one to two hours after ingesting caffeine, but you shouldn’t worry too much if he only managed to get a sip. Be on the lookout for foods and beverages that contain some levels of caffeine like tea, chocolate, energy drinks, and sodas as well.
Encouraging the Behavior
Normally, if you notice any signs of caffeine poisoning you should contact your veterinarian for help. In an emergency, you may have to visit the animal hospital, where your dog will be given charcoal to absorb toxins from the intestines. The good news is… you don’t have to let it get that far. As much as you enjoy “sharing” a cup of coffee with your pup each morning, it’s best not to get him used to the taste. What many dog owners don’t realize is that canines metabolize coffee way more quickly than humans do so as a result, the effects will be much more significant.
Another thing to bear in mind is that there is no direct antidote for caffeine poisoning so the best you, or your vet, can do is induce vomiting in order to prevent more caffeine from entering the blood vessels. Your vet will likely request more information about your dog’s weight and how much coffee they’ve consumed. He could prescribe anti-seizure pills or medication to reduce blood pressure in case the amount your pup ingested is higher than normal. The best you can do is refrain yourself from giving him any more coffee and make sure you keep it out of his reach at the same time.
Other Solutions and Considerations
If nothing makes you give up your bonding ritual in the morning, you’re still in luck… there is an exception to the rule. Some vets reveal that a dog can drink decaf without any side effects. Since one cup of percolated coffee contains up to 100 mg of caffeine, it’s considered to be safe for your pup. However, make sure you don’t give him decaf with cream because it could cause gastrointestinal issues. Look on the bright side: you can always give your dog coffee, as long as he’s not ingesting it. When used as a primary ingredient in shampoos and shower gels, coffee can neutralize odors as well as exfoliate dry and itchy skin.
When it comes to giving your dog coffee, it’s best to just say no. Safeguard your pet by keeping him away from caffeinated beverages and take him to the vet if you notice any signs of poisoning. Even small doses of coffee can alter your dog’s health condition and expose him to unnecessary risks. So, be selfish, enjoy your coffee from the first sip to the last drop… dog-free.