Rich in antioxidants and available in a variety of flavors, studies suggest drinking tea may provide several health benefits ranging from disease prevention to increased mental alertness. Some dog owners may even consider sharing this tasty beverage with their four legged friends. However, despite tea’s positive benefits for humans, giving tea to a dog can cause dangerous health conditions.
The risk in giving a dog tea stems from the naturally occurring caffeine. Unlike humans, a dog’s body cannot properly process caffeine. Caffeine can overstimulate a dog’s central nervous system causing vomiting, restlessness, seizures, diarrhea and heart palpitations. High doses of caffeine can be fatal to dogs. The ASPCA even cautions against giving dogs decaffeinated tea, as it could contain dangerous trace amounts of caffeine. Dogs showing signs of caffeine poisoning should be seen by a vet immediately.
Jen Gehring is a political consultant and college law professor. She holds a J.D. from American University and a Bachelor of Arts in history from the University of Cincinnati. She began working as a professional writer in 2010.