What to Do if Your Dog Accidentally Drank Coffee
While we try to prevent our dogs from drinking or eating items that are bad for them, sometimes they still find a way to get into that food or drink. Coffee can be fatal to dogs due to how small they are and their significantly lower body weight compared to humans. Here is what you can do if your dog accidentally drank coffee and what you should be looking out for during this time.
Common Signs of Caffeine Poisoning for Dogs
It’s important to note that it only takes between 30 to 60 minutes for clinical signs of caffeine toxicity to develop in a dog. There are many signs of caffeine poisoning in dogs that you should be aware of, with the biggest sign being restlessness. Just like with people, coffee will make a dog very restless and hyperactive.
Panting, vomiting, and agitation are all signs of possible caffeine poisoning. There are even more serious symptoms as the toxicity continues to build up, which includes both seizures and tremors. These symptoms can last anywhere between 6 hours to 12 hours.
How Much Caffeine is Dangerous for Dogs?
Coffee itself contains a range of 95 to 165 milligrams of caffeine for a standard 8-ounce cup. If we are talking about other products, such as caffeine pills, they can contain around 200 milligrams of caffeine.
It only takes 14 milligrams of caffeine for each pound of body weight to be considered dangerous for dogs. Cardiotoxicity occurs when 23 to 27 milligrams per pound of body weight has been ingested and this is the most dangerous to dogs.
An adult Yorkshire Terrier weighs between 12 to 15 pounds, so based on the general rule of thumb, it would only take 168 milligrams of caffeine to cause them to suffer from caffeine poisoning. An adult breed Chihuahua typically is 6 pounds, so given that information it would take as little as 84 milligrams of caffeine may cause them to suffer from caffeine poisoning.
A female adult German Shepherd can weigh between 49 and 71 pounds. It would take between 686 milligrams of caffeine to 994 milligrams of caffeine to cause them to suffer from caffeine poisoning.
How to Treat a Dog that Drank Coffee
If your dog drank coffee, the first thing you want to do is call your veterinarian and see how quickly you can get them into be seen. In order to help reduce the caffeine exposure, your veterinarian will likely want to induce vomiting. You never want to try to induce vomiting on your own because serious medical complications such as aspiration pneumonia can occur if it’s done wrong.
Your veterinarian also might give intravenous fluid to help get rid of the caffeine and medications might also be given. The medications will help control any seizures that might happen and will also slow down heart rhythms. It will take a good day or two in order to get rid of all of the caffeine from your dog’s system.
Other Food Items that Contain Caffeine
There are many food items that contain caffeine including chocolate, soda, tea, coffee beans, coffee grounds, and diet pills. Some pain relieving medications such as Excedrin or Midol contain a certain amount of caffeine. It’s important if your dog consumed a pain reliever to tell the veterinarian about that since most pain relievers also contain acetaminophen. Acetaminophen is also highly-toxic and can be fatal to dogs if ingested. Anything containing chocolate is a huge danger to dogs, so it’s important you put all of your tasty items out of the reach of your dog at all times.