Can I Let My Dog Taste My Coffee?

Will one sip really hurt them?

dogs and coffee

While the perfect cup of coffee in the morning might get you through the day, it’s NOT a ritual you should be sharing with your pup.

“Coffee contains caffeine, caffeine contains substances called methylxanthines, which are [also] found in cacao seeds [the source of chocolate], the fruit of the plant,” Dr. Stephanie Austin, a veterinarian at Bond Vet in New York City, told The Dodo.

According to Dr. Austin, those methylxanthines can cause serious health issues for your pup, which is why dogs should stay away from all caffeinated items (including chocolate).

While you might think that a lap or two of coffee is totally fine for your particular dog, if a dog ingests tea bags, coffee grounds or things like diet pills, this can easily lead to caffeine poisoning or even death, especially for smaller dogs, so vets advise staying totally away from it.

Symptoms of caffeine toxicity

“When coffee is ingested by pets, the methylxanthines can cause gastrointestinal upset including vomiting and diarrhea,” Dr. Austin said.

Other symptoms include:

- Panting
- Excessive thirst and urination
- Hyperactivity
- Abnormal heart rhythm
- Tremors
- Seizures
- Death

“It is VERY important that you do not give your pet coffee or chocolate for these reasons and if your pet has ingested either of these substances, you should contact your veterinarian immediately,” Dr. Austin said.

Common sources of caffeine

Caffeine can be hiding in lots of foods besides your morning espresso, including:

- Coffee ice creams
- Chocolate
- Energy drinks
- Candy bars
- Soda
- Tea
- Diet pills
- Energy pills or boosters

While your dog’s body weight and the amount of caffeine ingested play a part in the severity of your dog's reaction, it’s always better to be safe and seek professional advice if your dog has eaten anything that may contain caffeine.

While there’s a good chance your pup will be perfectly fine after some mild symptoms, it’s best to double-check with a vet, as you can’t always tell how much your sneaky pup ate or how they’ll react.

Remember to always keep any caffeinated substances out of your dog's reach so you don't have to worry they'll try a taste!