Can Dogs Drink Tea?

If you live in an area that experiences cold winters, you’ll know that there is nothing better than sitting down with a piping hot cup of tea at the end of the day. If you’re a dog owner who lives in an area that experiences cold winters, you’ll know there is nothing more difficult than to ignore your dog’s puppy dog look directed at your hot cup of tea.

Naturally, it is very tempting to give in to that look and offer your canine the last few sips of your tea. After all, they would also love to warm up after a bit of a cuppa on a winter day. But the dilemma that any responsible pet owner would face is answering the simple question: can dogs drink tea? And it is a pretty responsible question to ask. 

Many of our everyday foods and drinks aren’t necessarily safe to offer our pets. Sometimes indulging your pet to a small bite or sip can prove to be fatal for them. So, it is always prudent to find out what is safe and what isn’t because you’d rather be safe than sorry.

Which brings us to the question: can we offer our dog tea? Are there any components in tea such as caffeine or tea leaves that can be harmful to our beloved furballs?

The simple answer to that question is yes, you can offer your dog tea. However, nothing is ever simple now, is it? There are certain kinds of tea that you can offer your dog and there are certain factors to avoid when offering your dog tea.

Is caffeine safe for dogs?

Under all and any circumstances, caffeine should be kept out of your dog’s system. Caffeine is toxic to dogs and even moderate amounts of it can kill large dogs. What would seem to be harmless levels of caffeine to us will cause disarray to your dogs’ system and what would be caffeine jitters for us will be much more serious for them.

The first signs of possible caffeine poisoning can show up with the first one to two hours of consumption and will show the following symptoms:

  • Restlessness
  • High blood pressure
  • Hyperactivity
  • Pacing
  • Panting
  • High body temperature
  • Vomiting

In more severe situations, your dog might end up getting seizures and can collapse. If your dog suffers from an irregular and fast heartbeat that can prove to be fatal and end up in death. Thus, if any symptoms of caffeine poisoning begin to show, you should seek immediate medical help.

You might be thinking that you only offer your dog a small sip and that sip can’t possibly contain enough caffeine to kill your dog. However, 14mg caffeine per pound of body weight is enough to cause poisoning in your dog.

What teas can my dog drink?

Believe it or not, tea can actually be beneficial for your dog’s health! It all comes down to what kind of tea you’re offering your dog though.

Tea such as peppermint, rooibos, and echinacea are all great options that will improve your dog’s digestion. Other than these options you can offer your dog decaffeinated green and black tea. These kinds of tea are rich in antioxidants which will keep your canine healthy.

More specifically, herbal tea is the best kind of tea you can offer your dog.

Is green tea safe for dogs?

Green tea is a perfectly safe tea option to offer your dog as long as it is decaffeinated. Green tea is known to be a good healthy drink containing antioxidants which especially reduce the risk of different kinds of cancer.

It also kills bacteria which in turn reduces the chances of infection as well as other diseases.

Make sure that when you offer your dog green tea, the tea bag is not left inside the cup since that is a choking hazard. And make sure to double check in to make sure the green tea is decaffeinated.

Is chamomile tea safe for dogs?

Somewhat similar to green tea, chamomile is a great option health-wise to offer to your dog. Known for its calming powers, chamomile tea can help ease anxiety and is also good for upset tummies.

You can use chamomile tea either from a tea bag or you can boil a teaspoon of chamomile flowers for fifteen minutes. Allow the tea to cool down before offering it to your dog either in their bowls or directly in their mouths.

Leftover tea can be used as a spray on your dogs’ fur to cool down itchy skin and to kill bacteria on your dog’s fur.

Is peppermint tea safe for dogs?

A herbal tea, peppermint tea is a popular choice when it comes to giving your dog a tea drink. The reason being that it is brimming with health benefits which include:

  • Good sleep
  • More energy
  • Weight loss 
  • Fights bacteria
  • Helps fight off allergies.
  • Better focus

A cup of peppermint tea on occasion will do your dog better than harm and can be included in their diet as a treat.

What about Tea with Milk?

Dogs, somewhat similar to cats, are almost lactose intolerant. Milk contains plenty of natural sugar and fat and too much milk for your dog can lead to an upset stomach with vomiting and diarrhea and in the long run pancreatitis and obesity.

Lactose intolerant dogs will suffer from abdominal pain and gas and overall digestive issues for your dog and thus should be avoided. A small amount is unlikely to harm your dog, but it is best to avoid milk.

Conclusion

Surprisingly enough, it has turned out that tea is safe to offer to your dog if the proper precautions are followed. However, remember that while tea has its health benefits, it is not a staple part of your dogs’ diet and should not be given to them every day. Tea is more of a once in a while treat to offer to your dog.

Also, remember to test the temperature of the tea before offering it to your dog to avoid any burning mishaps.

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