Tea is a staple in many households. Whether it is hot or iced, tea has a place as a beverage all year round. Plus, there are so many different kinds of tea and flavors, there is always something new to try. We have learned that tea, especially black tea, has a ton of health benefits like cancer-fighting properties and loads of antioxidants.
Since tea is so healthy for humans, you may have wondered if you can share tea with your dog so they can reap some of the benefits. Dogs can drink some specific kinds of tea in very small quantities as long as they do not contain caffeine. Black tea does contain natural levels of caffeine. Even black teas that say they are caffeine free still contain low levels of caffeine, which is something you must be aware of.
Signs of a Dog Liking Tea
Tea has so many different health benefits that are great for humans and might be good for your dog as well, but only if you make sure the tea is decaffeinated and you do not give tea to them on a consistent basis. Even though tea like green and black is very healthy, it is not the best choice for your dog because it contains natural levels of caffeine. Caffeine is very toxic to dogs and can cause a lot of harm and health issues if they have too much.
If you find your dog is interested when you are drinking tea and you want to give them a few licks of tea off your finger, say if you are having a decaf black tea, you can generally do so without any severe consequences. However, if your dog has stomach issues and has a hard time digesting certain things, you may want to avoid giving them tea, even with some of the lowest amounts of caffeine possible.
If you want to know if your dog does enjoy a safe variety of tea, you can look out for some of the following signs. All dogs react differently to certain food and beverages, so these signs may vary from dog to dog. If your dog takes a lick of tea without any reservation, if they wag their tail in excitement, if they look alert and raise their ears, lick their lips, drool, pace around, stare intently, or even jump up and paw at you, they most likely enjoy the tea.
History of Tea and Dogs
According to Chinese legends, tea was first created in 2737 B.C.E when Emperor Shen Nong, a scientist, brewed the first cup of tea completely by accident. The legend claims that the scientist was boiling a pot of water outside and a tree that was overhead dropped some leaves that fell into the pot.
When Nong took a sip of the infused water, he fell in love with the flavor and tea was then born. After this happy accident, he researched more about the leaf and tree and discovered it had powerful medicinal properties that when brewed into a tea could cure a wide variety of illnesses and ailments.
On the other hand, we also see tales that tea was discovered in India and not China. Tea saw popularity in the Far East and then made its way to Japan as well. It took until the 17th century for tea to makes its way to The West and to Britain. Today, we know that tea is a huge part of the British culture and is still extremely popular.
Although people drank tea because it was delicious, they also drank tea for its powerful health benefits. Tea gave people energy, cleansed the spleen, and even had the ability to cure a wide range of illnesses and diseases. We still drink tea to this very day for its amazing and powerful health benefits and ability to cure cancers and the flu.
Science Behind Dogs and Tea
Most common teas contain caffeine, which is toxic and very unsafe for your dog to consume. If your dog does have too much caffeine, it can cause their internal systems to function improperly and if enough is ingested, caffeine is fatal.
Caffeine is considered a stimulant, so when your dog consumes caffeine they can experience hyperactivity and an increase in heart rate. They may bet jittery, restless, and have a difficult time getting comfortable. Caffeine can also raise your dog's blood pressure if they are having too much at one time.
Since there are so many issues with caffeine, it is best to give your dog a few licks of naturally caffeine-free tea. Caffeine-free teas are herbal teas. Chamomile tea is a good option because it is good for dry and itchy skin and most kinds of inflammation. Chamomile tea is a natural anti-inflammatory. Pure ginger tea can help with stomach upset, nausea, diarrhea, and can help keep their digestive tract functionally properly.
Giving Your Dog Black Tea
Generally, you should avoid giving your dog any kind of black tea. Even labels that say their black tea is caffeine-free still have small traces of caffeine, so it is best to stick with herbals teas that do not have any level of harmful caffeine. You and your dog are better safe than sorry.
Just because you should not give your dog black tea, does not mean they cannot be treated to some licks of your tea from time to time! Your dog probably won't want to lap of a full cup of herbal tea, so you can stick your finger into the cooled tea when you are finished and let them lick the tea off your finger. This limits that amount they are getting just in case their tummy does not settle well with tea.
You can also mix some ginger tea into their food if your dog is suffering from any stomach bugs. They are more likely to consume the tea with other food the enjoy and probably won't even know it is there. Ginger tea will help settle their stomach and remedy any nausea they are having.
If you find your dog has trouble calming down or going to sleep at night, you can try a little bit of chamomile tea as well. Chamomile is great for stress and anxiety as it calms people and animals down. Give them some when they are stressed or anxious or at night when they don't want to settle down.
By a Samoyed lover Kayla Costanzo
Published: 05/18/2018, edited: 04/06/2020