Can Dogs Have Coffee?

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There's nothing like a strong pot of coffee to wake you up in the morning, and similarly, there's nothing quite like a good mix of doggo snuggles to get you up and about for your morning routine. However, it's imperative that these two things never mix. 

That is to say, have your coffee, but have your dog separately from your pot o' joe because coffee is dangerous and toxic for your doggo. The reason you love coffee is the reason that your dog can't have it - the caffeine. Dogs are dangerously susceptible to caffeine poisoning, in fact, it only takes about 150 mg per 2.2 pounds of body weight to kill your pup! That's not a ton of caffeine. 

That being said, it's important that you never share your coffee with your dog. For more signs of caffeine poisoning, tips at keeping your pooch away from your coffee, and more info about why coffee is dangerous for your dog, read on!

Introduction of Can Dogs Have Coffee?

Signs Your Dog Has Caffeine Poisoning

It's unfortunate that your dog is so susceptible to a substance that you love so much. But you don't have to stop drinking coffee. Simply implement a few simple-but-life-saving techniques to help keep your pup away from your coffee and you'll be good to go! 
Even in the sfest of households, accidents do happen, so it's important that you have a strong understanding of what caffeine poisoning looks like for your pup. Check for signs immediately following your suspicions. Depending on the amount of coffee your dog got their paws on, they could experience things like vomiting, tremors, restlessness, rapid heart rates, seizures, and even a dangerous collapse.

Body Language

Here are a few body cues your dog might be giving you if he or she has caffeine poisoning:
  • Growling
  • Weakness
  • Twitching whiskers
  • Drooling
  • Back hair on edge
  • Head bobbing
  • Tail tucking

Other Signs

Here are a few other signs your dog might be giving you if he or she has caffeine posioning:
  • Confusion and lack of coordination
  • Tremors and shakes
  • Elevated heart rate
  • Seizures
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting

Historic Causes of Caffeine Poisoning

History of Can Dogs Have Coffee?
When it comes to caffeine poisoning in pooches, it's important to keep in mind that most of the cause is accidental. Sometimes, people leave their coffee mugs out on the table, letting their dogs lick right out of the cup. Other times, people will leave the coffee pot on the counter thinking their dog won't get to it, but this often is an underestimation of the doggo's curiosity. 

Unfortunately, another reason dog's get sick from caffeine is because their owners ignorantly feed them parts of their coffee. Depending on the size of the dog, a few accidental laps of coffee probably won't make for a big deal, however, it's imperative you never share your coffee with your dog.

The Science of Coffee and Dogs

Science of Can Dogs Have Coffee?
Coffee simply isn't designed for doggos - but let's not leave it at that. Aside from the fact that coffee contains a dangerous amount of caffeine, it's also a diuretic and typically filled with all kinds of artificial sweeteners. 

For starters, a diuretic will dehydrate your dog significantly and likely mess with his or her gastrointestinal functions. More than that, though, the artificial sweeteners in coffee creamers, like xylitol, can cause a vast overdose in the amount of insulin your dog's pancreas releases, causing dangerous sugar levels and a risk of hypoglycemia. 

The most obvious issue here, though, is the caffeine. The issue here is with the theobromine in the caffeine, a chemical that your dog's body is not set up to digest properly.

Training Your Dog to Stay Away from Coffee

Training of Can Dogs Have Coffee?
Before we dive into this, please note we're not implying that you should get rid of your morning coffee routine altogether - that might be even more dangerous for the people who have to deal with you sans caffeine. That being said, you will have to train yourself to be a touch more careful when it comes to leaving your coffee places it doesn't belong. Because of this, much of the training is going to come down to you. 

For example, don't leave a mug of coffee somewhere your dog can get it - that means counters, tables tops, bedside tables - anywhere your pooch is prone to look. If you want the freedom to leave your coffee wherever you'd like, make sure your dog is outside while you do this. 

Additionally, it's imperative that you crate train your dog if you plan to have coffee in the house. This way, while you're gone and not keeping an eye on your pooch, your doggo can be safely locked away in his or her comfy, safe crate and won't be able to wander to get into your coffee pot or the bag of coffee beans you display on the counter. 

It's also a good idea to train your pup to stay out of the kitchen, or wherever you keep your coffee stored. A firm understanding of verbal commands like "no" and "leave it" are important, too.

Safety Tips for Keeping Coffee Around Dogs:

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    Never leave a mug or pot where your dog can get to it.
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    Keep your coffee beans up high where your dog cannot sniff them out and get to them.
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    Have a coffee plan in effect in case your dog does get his or her paws on your coffee.
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    Talk about preventative measures with your vet.
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    Crate train your dog for when you're not home.