Here’s what to do if your pet consumes coffee

By Kristen Underwood — / Death Wish Coffee Blog

Can my pet drink coffee? 

I’m about to step out on the ledge here and start this off with a hell no. I get it. We share our food, we share our bed, we share goodbye kisses and more… So why not let them in on a few sips of our morning cup of joe? While America is running on coffee, the same cup could run your pet into an early grave — and caffeine is the culprit.

Here’s why you shouldn’t give your pet coffee:

Caffeine has an impact on the nervous system and heart in pets, just as it does in humans. But cats and dogs have a much lower tolerance for caffeine than people and symptoms may arise when even a minimal amount is consumed.

Common signs of caffeine poisoning include:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Elevated heart rate
  • Tremors
  • Panting
  • Extreme thirst
  • Restlessness

Depending on the concentration, caffeine consumption may lead to difficulty breathing and seizures.

Treatment for your coffee-consuming pet:

Signs of caffeine poisoning appear one to two hours after ingesting caffeine. Make sure to keep a close eye on them for any of the above symptoms. As long as they don’t develop any serious symptoms, they should be just fine.

If your pet consumes a lot of caffeine and serious signs of poisoning develop, you may need to rush them to the vet. While there is no direct antidote for caffeine poisoning, there are a few things a vet may try: 

  • Inducing vomiting to prevent more caffeine from entering the blood vessels
  • Prescribing anti-seizure pills
  • Treating with medication to reduce blood pressure

Your pet may need to be sedated and kept under supervision until all symptoms have disappeared.


Something to keep in mind:

Remember that caffeine is present in a variety of sources, not just coffee. Tea and tea bags can be dangerous, too, as well as sodas, diet pills, and migraine medications. Save that morning pick-me-up for yourself and give your pet a little belly rub, instead. 

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