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Can Dogs Taste Tea?
Sitting down with a warm, steaming, and fragrant cup of tea is both delicious and comforting - not to mention the multitude of health benefits that comes with drinking most kinds of tea as well. It can be tempting to share or make your dog a cup of warm tea in the winter months, especially when you come home after a snowy and cold walk.
But is it okay to share some tea with your pooch? In short, your dog can enjoy small amounts of tea, but only teas that have no caffeine and in small quantities. Let's find out a little bit more about the benefits of tea, what kinds you can share with your dog, and what risks it comes with as well.
Signs of a Dog Liking Tea
Tea, especially varieties like green and black tea, have an amazing amount of health benefits that are great for humans and can be good for your dog as well, but only if you make sure the tea is decaffeinated and don't let them have too much or indulge too often. Caffeine is toxic to dogs and can cause them serious harm if they have too much. Your dog could wind up being hospitalized, which could be emotional and costly.
If you want to share some warm tea with your dog occasionally, you can generally do so without any severe consequences. If your dog has a particularly sensitive tummy, it may upset their stomach a little, but you likely won't encounter any serious or long-term issues.
You know your dog best and will be able to tell if they enjoy the tea you decide to share with them. If you would like to tell if your dog does enjoy a safe variety of tea you give them, you can look out for some of the following signs. Remember that dogs reactions vary from breed and personality, so these signs can be a little different from pup to pup.
Your dog will communicate their like for tea through positive body language signs. To tell if your dog does enjoy this warm drink, watch if they lick or eat the tea without any reservation, if they wag their tail in excitement, if they look alert and raise their ears in anticipation for more tea, or even bark at your for another cup of yummy tea!
History of Tea and Dogs
According to Chinese legends, the first time tea made its appearance was 2737 B.C.E when Emperor Shen Nong, a scientist, accidentally discovered it. Can you say "happy accident"? The legend goes that while he was boiling a pot of water, a leaf from a hovering tree fell into the pot.
He proceeded to drink the tea infused water and fell in love with the flavor. From there, he began to research more about the leaf and tree and discovered its wonderful and powerful medicinal properties.
There are also conflicting tales that tea was actually discovered in India. Tea began popularized in the Far East and then made its way to Japan as well. It took all the way to the 17th century for tea to makes its way to The West and to Britain, where it became a staple in the British diet.
People did not just drink tea for the wonderful flavors and aromas, but also for its powerful health benefits. It was believed to give the body energy, cleanse the spleen, and even cure illnesses. Today, tea is still used for a wide variety of health benefits such as preventing certain cancers, recusing the risk of heart disease, protecting your bones, boosting your immune system, and much more.
Science Behind Dogs and Tea
Most teas contain caffeine, which is a toxic substance for your furry friend. If your dog does ingest caffeine, it can interact with certain functions in their body and can make them very sick, and if enough is ingested caffeine is fatal.
Caffeine is a stimulant, so if your dog has caffeine, they can experience hyperactivity and it can up their heart rate. They can also become jittery and restless and have a difficult time getting comfortable. Caffeine can also raise your dog's blood pressure.
With that being said, you must stick to naturally caffeine-free tea, which generally consists of herbal teas. Chamomile tea can help your dog with a variety of ailments like dry and itchy skin and various kinds of inflammation since 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.
Training Dogs to Like Tea
Of course, you cannot train your dog to like something, especially if it is something with a stronger and more bitter taste than they are probably used to. Furthermore, there are other, more dog-friendly foods that have some of the same health benefits as tea does, so stick with those foods over trying to force tea into their diet. If your dog doesn't like something, it is likely for a reason. They may get an upset stomach, loose stools, nausea, or diarrhea if they eat something that does not sit well.
If your dog does enjoy some tea from time to time, there are a few good ways you can incorporate this warm beverage into their diet a bit more efficiently. Remember to never give your dog steaming hot tea like we would drink it. Dogs are not used to hot liquids and they can severely burn their mouth if you give them a hot cup of tea.
You can brew some naturally caffeine free tea, like herbal tea or decaf black tea, let it cool down a bit and mix it into their kibble/food. This can help them enjoy the tea more and give them some substance as well. You can also brew some tea and use it in treats where a recipe calls for some type of liquid like water, broth, etc. This is a great way to add a ton of antioxidants to their treats to give them an even bigger nutritional boost. You can also take some completely cooled brewed tea and fill ice cube molds with the cooled tea. Freeze the tea cubes until solid and your dog can enjoy one of these superfood tea cubes in the summertime for a healthy and cool treat!
By a Samoyed lover Kayla Costanzo
Published: 03/18/2018, edited: 04/06/2020
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