What Can Happen If Your Dog Drinks Coffee?

by Naomi Millburn
    Never leave your pet unattended near coffee.

    Never leave your pet unattended near coffee.

    Creatas Images/Creatas/Getty Images

    If your sweet dog eyes you eating or drinking anything, it might pique his interest, but that in no way means that he should have any part in it. Coffee might seem imperative in getting your day off to a good start, but it's a definite and strict no-no for all dogs, no matter what. Do not take the matter lightly.

    "No" to Coffee for Dogs

    Coffee, like chocolate, consists of methylxanthines. These compounds are derived out of cacao seeds, which are a primary component in making coffee. Methylxanthines are not only hazardous for dogs, but also for other pets, such as cats.

    Symptoms of Coffee Toxicity

    Coffee is toxic to dogs, especially in big amounts, although it is not safe for them to consume even the slightest taste of it. Coffee consumption can trigger a wide array of extremely serious consequences in canines. Some symptoms to look out for include antsy behavior, bursts of energy, raised body temperature, quivering, throwing up, panting, diarrhea, seizures, frequent urination, immoderate thirst and rapid heart rate. These indications often show up shortly after consumption of caffeine. If you have any reason at all to think that your dog might have had any coffee, or if you notice even the slightest hint of these symptoms or anything else out of the ordinary, get emergency veterinary help immediately.

    Fatal to Pets

    Along with the range of complications that coffee drinking can bring upon in dogs, it also can sometimes lead to fatal consequences, particularly in smaller animals, but definitely not exclusively to them. Coffee -- and its methylxanthines -- can affect your pet's heart rate, speeding it up, causing cardiotoxicity, and ultimately death in some cases. Apart from the heart, coffee also can affect dogs' gastrointestinal tracts and central nervous systems. Because of all of these severe possibilities, the quicker you get veterinary assistance for your pooch, the better.

    Coffee in All Forms

    Drinking coffee straight out of the mug isn't the only threat to the canine world. The beans and grounds are also problematic for doggies. Espresso beans that are dipped in chocolate are also an extremely inappropriate treat, as both coffee and chocolate are risky to dogs. When it comes to chocolate, remember that the deeper in color the chocolate, the more harmful it is. As with coffee, however, chocolate isn't safe for dogs in any form, whether milk or dark chocolate. Never allow your dog to eat or drink anything if you are unsure of its safety. Also, never allow your dog -- or any other pets -- access to coffee or chocolate products.

    Photo Credits

    • Creatas Images/Creatas/Getty Images

    About the Author

    Naomi Millburn has been a freelance writer since 2011. Her areas of writing expertise include arts and crafts, literature, linguistics, traveling, fashion and European and East Asian cultures. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in American literature from Aoyama Gakuin University in Tokyo.

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