Many people feed their dog’s caffeinated foods and beverages, assuming that it will entice their taste buds and make them feel good. While the intention might be wise, it’s not something that any vet will recommend giving to your dog.
So what to do when you fed your dog coffee grounds, and now you hopelessly watch it shaking and panting? Or perhaps it consumed some amount of the beans spilled on the floor.
There is some work to do for you on an immediate basis. Learn what you should if your dog ate coffee grounds.
Dog Ate Coffee Grounds – Are Coffee Grounds Bad for Dogs?
In a word, “Yes.” Coffee grounds are dangerous and, in some cases, toxic for dogs.
The effects of coffee are because of the compound called caffeine. It is chemically a stimulant that interacts with the central nervous system. And that’s how you feel energized.
But a dog’s metabolism is much different than humans. They are much more sensitive to the effects of coffee. As you must have noticed, dogs are naturally very active throughout their day.
An overdose of caffeine will intensify their central nervous system. And that’s why dogs ey act anxious and impatient after consuming coffee.
Caffeine is not just limited to coffee. You’re going to find coffee in other food products, like tea, candy bars, sodas, sports drinks, etc. But especially in coffee grounds, they’re present in higher concentration.
How Much Coffee is Bad for Dogs?
Knowing that coffee is bad for dogs, it’s worth asking what amount of coffee is harmful to your canine pet.
The amount will depend on the age of your dog. If it’s an elderly dog and has completed almost 60-70% of its lifespan or more, it will be more vulnerable and sensitive to coffee. Even smaller dosages can make them anxious.
The symptoms will be less severe for the same dosage for younger dogs, but they will be affected nevertheless.
A medium-sized dog will develop complications if exposed to one or two tablespoons of coffee. A smaller dog may even die if it takes the same amount.
As a general rule, any amount above 1 tbsp is unsafe for dogs. For more precise calculation, 14mg of caffeine per pound of body weight should be considered dangerous.
Symptoms of Caffeine Poisoning in Dogs
How do you know your dog had an overdose of coffee? They’re notorious for sniffing and licking anything that they deem edible. So they may have consumed the coffee beans in your absence.
After a few hours of ingestion, you’ll notice a change in your dog’s behavior.
Just how much behavior change will depend on the dosage. A couple of tbsp of coffee beverages is unlikely to cause any complications.
But in-ground form, the complications will be fatal. They are much more concentrated than beverages and tea leaves.
After one or two hours, you may see any or all of the following symptoms:
- Restlessness and anxious behavior
- Increased body temperature
- Increased blood pressure
- Increased heart rate
- Shaking and panting
- Uncontrolled whining
The symptoms will also vary depending on if the effects are neurological or metabolic.
How to Treat Caffeine Poisoning in Dogs?
If you suspect your dog is suffering from caffeine poisoning, you should be quick on your fee and take some necessary measures.
The first is to stay calm and not freak out. As a pet parent, it will be hard emotionally to see your dog whine and shake. But it’s essential to control your emotions and take the necessary actions.
Once you see your dog a bit irritated and nervous, you should rush him to your vet. They are professionals and are in a better position to diagnose the dog. It’s also vital that you do not feed him anything else apart from water.
If it’s not possible to visit a vet, you should consult with one over the phone.
The vet will ask you specific questions to determine the context. You should communicate the amount ingested — if you have that information — and the symptoms.
Before your vet goes ahead with the treatment, he needs to make sure that caffeine poisoning is the real reason behind the symptoms and not anything else. Improper diagnosis will be even fatal than caffeine poisoning.
After diagnosing your dog, the vet will recommend a few options to try.
Gastrointestinal decontamination refers to the process of flushing out the stomach content, thus decontaminating it from any impurities.
This contamination is achieved with the use of a gastric lavage that’s inserted through the mouth opening. The procedure is performed by an expert and is successful in most cases.
After consuming coffee, your dog will vomit on its own. But you can induce the process as well.
You can try to induce vomiting in your dog so that the coffee comes out along with the vomit.
The vet will prepare a solution of hydrogen peroxide, which you need to feed to your dog. This method is also very effective in treating caffeine poisoning in dogs.
Treatment with Activated Charcoal
If your dog vomits on its own, or you induce the process, you should feed him few pieces of activated charcoal. This method will prevent the absorption of the coffee into the stomach that may have got left behind.
The charcoal will naturally come out in the feces.
Medications for Central Nervous System
The central nervous system may show signs of distress, mainly through seizures. It confirms that the dog had a coffee overdose.
In such cases, the use of drugs become necessary. After a discussion with your vet, you can administer certain medications. It includes medicines like tranquilizers, phenobarbital, diazepam, among others.
The vet may also recommend anesthetic drugs like Isoflurane.
As you can see, there are many ways to treat caffeine poisoning in dogs. It just depends on the dosage and how much has passed since your dog ages the coffee grounds.
After the treatment, the dog should recover in a couple of days and return to its regular active days. The vet may recommend a few rounds of visitations to ensure everything is fine.
To Sum up
As an owner, you should take every necessary step to keep the coffee grounds out of your dog’s reach. If you have puppies, elder dogs, or smaller breeds, you’re required to be extra cautious.
But despite your efforts, it may get exposed to the coffee and develop caffeine poisoning. In such cases, now you know how to act.