In this article you will find:
- Can Dogs Drink Tea?
- Is Tea Good for Dogs?
- What’s Good About Tea for Dogs?
- When Is Tea Bad for Dogs?
- Is Caffeine Toxic to Dogs?
- What Should You Do If Your Dog Drinks Tea?
- How to Give Your Dog Tea Safely?
- Frequently Asked Questions About Teas and Dogs
Drinking a cup of warm tea after a cold winter walk sounds like a comforting treat, not just for us humans, but also for our canine companion. But, can dogs drink tea?
Whether you are a dog owner who wants to keep your beloved furry friend healthy or just want to show your love, we’re going to provide you with facts about teas and dogs.
Can Dogs Drink Tea?
The short answer would be yes, but in moderation and as long as it is caffeine free. So, pet owners who are used to giving their dogs tea as an occasional treat have nothing to worry about.
However, there is always the risk in allowing your pup to drink teas that contain caffeine, as well as other caffeinated beverages.
Nonetheless, a small dog, for example, would still have to drink around five cups of caffeinated tea per day to reach a toxic level. But to be on the safe side, just give your dog decaffeinated tea or some herbal teas, such as peppermint tea or chamomile tea.
Is Tea Good for Dogs?
Many dog owners noticed a marked improvement in the health and wellbeing of their pets after long days of drinking tea. Most tea varieties are filled with several nutrients including vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
In our opinion tea is safer for pets. It could offer several health benefits, such as to dogs suffering from diabetes, gastrointestinal upset, and other health issues.
It can be used to improve digestion and immunity in dogs and lower the risk of developing chronic conditions like heart disease, and breathing problems.
What’s Good About Tea for Dogs?
Tea has catechins that protect plants against pollutants and repair damage that occurs during its fermentation. These catechins act similarly as an antioxidant in humans and animals when consumed.
And in turn, antioxidants help slow down damage from free radicals on our cells. As we know, free radicals form during oxidative stress in the cells, such as in sunlight exposure or environmental pollutants like firewood fumes, cigarettes, and smog.
Hence, antioxidants play a role in the inhibition of inflammation that would be helpful to dogs suffering from hepatitis, chronic arthritis, and allergic dermatitis. Tea also contains an amino acid called L-theanine, which is known for improving focus and improving calmness.
When Is Tea Bad for Dogs?
Teas made from the Camellia Sinensis plant contain a greater amount of caffeine. These include black tea, green tea, oolong tea, and white tea. Black tea is such an everyday tea we all know and love. Green tea is dried immediately after harvest to reduce oxidation.
It also has the same kind of antioxidant property as black tea. Oolong tea and white tea are the points between green tea and black tea. They are partially oxidized, hence have a caffeine level between them. They also offer very different flavors and health benefits in humans and animals.
Drinking tea becomes bad for your dog if it already exposes his body to too much caffeine. When dogs consume excessive amounts of caffeine, their heart rate increases, and they become restless. Another side effect of consuming caffeine for your dog includes chest pain, and in very severe cases a dog can enter a coma or even die as a result of absorbing too much caffeine.
Additionally, even tea that does not contain caffeine often includes artificial sweeteners, such as xylitol, or flavors that are toxic to dogs. So, you should always read the label to safeguard your dog from accidental ingestion of dangerous compounds.
When serving tea to your dog, you should also avoid adding milk or sugars. Most dogs are lactose intolerant, so drinking milk can usually upset their stomach. Also, frequent consumption of sugary food and drinks can lead to obesity, and canine diabetes.
Is Caffeine Toxic to Dogs?
Caffeine is a substance found in the tea plant that can stimulate the central nervous system. And with this special feature, it has been suggested that caffeine protects plants against insects by overstimulating them.
And as to whether dogs can benefit from this boost remains a debatable topic considering the other serious complications that can arise from caffeine toxicity.
Additionally, tannins are found to inhibit the absorption of iron in humans, which then leads to iron deficiency. In dogs, consuming large amounts of tannins will lead to liver toxicity and gastrointestinal problems such as diarrhea and vomiting.
Hence, if you intend to give tea to your dog, do so in small quantities or as a special treat. Also, while decaffeinated tea is abundant in the market, always remember that these teas may also contain trace amounts of caffeine.
A six-ounce cup of black tea with a serving of 5 minutes contains up to 25mg of caffeine. Dogs develop symptoms of caffeine toxicity when they consume 8-10 mg per kilogram of weight. For average dogs, like a Cocker Spaniel, he should consume 20 cups or more to reach toxicity from caffeine. Below are several indicators that can indicate caffeine poisoning or toxicity in dogs:
- Increased blood pressure
- Seizures or loss of consciousness
If you notice any of these symptoms, or if you suspect that your dog consumed large quantities of caffeinated teas, you should take your dog to the vet immediately.
What Should You Do If Your Dog Drinks Tea?
Pet owners are pretty much aware of the dangers of caffeine for their furry companions. So, it’s very unlikely for dogs to consume large quantities of caffeinated food or drinks.
This usually happens with dogs that are lurking for foods or certain products that they end up consuming uncontrollably. Hence, you should always store potentially toxic foods and drinks out of your dog’s reach.
Accidental ingestion of caffeine is more dangerous in smaller dogs and puppies. But again, if your dog only consumed a caffeine-free herbal tea, he should just be okay.
Nonetheless, you can still observe him because there might also be a chance that he will exhibit allergic reactions or other unusual behaviors.
Moreover, dogs also respond in a very different way to herbs than humans. Some herbs like teak or echinacea can be dangerous to your dog when he is also taking certain medications.
Always consult your veterinary physician before giving tea to your dog. Follow directions on the tea package on the packet as well as follow the instructions on the tea water in your tea cupboard.
How to Give Your Dog Tea Safely?
While dogs only need to drink water to stay hydrated, giving them decaffeinated tea sometimes can also be good for their health. You can also serve it warm during winter, or serve it with ice cubes as a refreshing treat during a hot day.
Different teas can act as a substitute for the usual black teas or green teas, such as chamomile tea, rooibos tea, peppermint tea, and ginger tea.
Herbal teas aren’t technically “teas,” because they are not from the Camellia Sinensis plant. However, they are still rich in antioxidants, as well as other specific advantages.
Chamomile tea is known for its natural sedative and muscle relaxation. Peppermint is widely used both as an essential oil in aromatherapy and for garnishing breath mint and candy canes.
Ginger tea is known for centuries for relieving nausea and vomiting. It is a natural way of improving blood glucose and blood cholesterol.
And the best way to serve tea to your pup is by preparing it as you would for yourself – skip the milk and sugar. It’s also best to serve it at room temperature, though, in some instances, your pup would appreciate it warm or with cold water.
Frequently Asked Questions About Teas and Dogs
Can dogs drink iced teas?
It is vital that dogs regularly drink water, especially on hot days. And ideally, it should be fresh plain water. Sips of iced tea don't hurt them, but sweetened iced teas can present several problems if they are sweetened too much like peach or lemon. Some teas also contain artificial sweeteners that are toxic to dogs. So, you should be extra careful.
What about black teas?
Black tea is prepared from leaves of the tea plant, which are allowed to wilt and oxidize. The oxidation process mutates green to black. It increases the amount of tannins in leaves that give black tea its bitter taste.
A lot of studies try to measure some of the health effects that black tea has on humans, but they have certainly not been replicated by our dogs. Also, many dog owners have concerns in regards to a specific risk for dogs caused by drinking tea, and caffeine intake is also a problem.
Can dogs eat tea leaves?
Olive leaf possesses antimicrobial antiviral and antifungal qualities. The same regulations can be applied to dogs drinking coffee after meals.
As long as you are paying attention to the caffeine contained in some leaves, small quantities should be fine. What you do not want to do is let your dog finish every single bite, which can be a recipe for catastrophe. And do cats enjoy drinking tea from leaves? Well, not really.
Can dogs drink sweet tea?
Tea made without sugar is safe and healthy for dogs. Dogs aren't attuned to refined sugars. They can sometimes cause tooth decay & pancreatic cancer.
Again, pay special attention to xylitol, which is a sugar substitute that is hazardous to dogs. It can also be found in milk substitutes like almond milk.