Tea is full of antioxidants that benefit our health. Green tea is often even said to be the healthiest beverage in the world. Studies have proven that green tea helps to prevent cancer and lowers cholesterol. Because tea is so good for us humans, you might want to share this beverage with your dog, thinking that it would be good for her as well. But is that true? Can dogs even drink tea?
The short answer would be that dogs cannot drink caffeinated tea — green, black, white and yellow tea. However, some herbal teas like chamomile or roiboos are safe for our canine friends.
Can Dogs Drink Tea? Caffeinated Tea Is Dangerous for Dogs
It is not safe for dogs to drink caffeinated tea. There’s not as much caffeine in tea as there is in coffee, but tea can still contain up to 70 milligrams of caffeine per a cup.
This is a problem because caffeine is toxic to dogs. The consumption of a moderate amount of caffeine can cause caffeine poisoning in dogs, which is a serious condition that may even lead to death.
Tea Bags Too Can Be Dangerous for Your Dog
If you have a dog, then one of the things you have to make sure is that you never leave tea bags in a place where your dog could have access to them. A lot of times caffeine poisoning in dogs doesn’t happen because of a few sips of tea or coffee, but because a dog ate a used tea bag that she found on the coffee table or from an open trash can.
And tea bags can contain quite a lot of caffeine, enough to actually cause the death of a small dog. This is the reason why it’s important to have have a dog proof trash can and never leave used tea bags anywhere where your dog could get to them.
Are All Types of Tea Bad for Dogs?
Although, green tea usually contains less caffeine than black tea, both are still dangerous for dogs to drink. In fact, all teas from the Camellia sinensis plant contain caffeine. This includes black, green, white and yellow tea, but also different commercial variations like green tea with lemon, black tea with ginger and so on.
Most herbal teas do not contain caffeine, but some commercial herbal teas may have caffeine added to them. That’s why it’s important to always check whether a herbal tea contains caffeine or not before offering it your dog. If you are not sure whether a tea contains caffeine or not, then it’s best to take the safe route and not offer it to your dog.
What If My Dog Already Had Some Tea?
If your dog drank some caffeinated tea and you are afraid that she might get caffeine poisoning, then check if she shows any of the following signs: hyperactivity, restlessness, vomiting, elevated heart rate, elevated blood pressure, abnormal heart rhythms, tremors , elevated body temperature, seizures, and collapse. These are the signs of caffeine poisoning in dogs. If your dog shows any of the signs, then contact a veterinarian immediately.
A single cup of tea is not likely to contain enough caffeine for it to be lethal for your dog, but the caffeine poisoning can still damage your dog’s health, so it’s best to contact a veterinarian and follow his or her instructions.
Some Herbal Teas Can Be Beneficial for Dogs to Drink
As I already mentioned, most herbal teas do not contain caffeine, and that makes some them safe for dogs to drink. Popular herbal teas that your dog could enjoy too include chamomile, echinacea, ginger, peppermint and roiboos tea. In fact, it’s not only safe for dogs to have a sip these herbal teas, but beneficial too.
Herbal teas are often used in holistic dog care to boost dogs’ health, help with digestive problems and ease anxiety.
Things to look out for when making your dog herbal tea:
- If you want to offer your dog some chamomile, ginger or other herbal tea, then make sure that you let the tea cool for a while before offering it to your dog. Dogs use their tongues to drink liquids, so a hot beverage would most definitely burn your dog’s tongue. The pain might even put your dog off herbal tea for ever.
- Some commercial tea mixes may have “herbal” written on the package, but they might still contain ingredients, which contain caffeine. So, before making your dog a cup of tea, make sure that the tea you are about to make for your dog truly is caffeine free.
- It’s also important to note that herbal tea can pretty much be made out of any herb, but not all herbs are safe for dogs. So, another thing you need to check before letting your dog drink herbal tea is that all of the herbs the tea is made of are safe for dogs.
Conclusion on Can Dogs Drink Tea
The answer to the question “can dogs drink tea?” is no. All true teas contain caffeine, and as caffeine is toxic to dogs, so dogs cannot drink tea. Some herbal teas, though, can be okay, even beneficial, for dogs. However, there are risks involved in offering your dog herbal tea as well, so use caution and always make sure that the herbal tea you plan to share with your dog doesn’t contain anything harmful to dogs.
- “Caffeine Content of Tea.” Rate Tea. 30 Mar. 2014. Web. 10 Apr. 2016.
- “Caffeine Poisoning in Dogs and Cats – Symptoms and Treatment.” Pet Poison Helpline. 2011. Web. 10 Apr. 2016.