My Dog Ate a Tea Bag – What to Do Next
The ingestion of tea bags can make dogs sick primarily due to the effects of caffeine poisoning. How dangerous it is to dogs will depend on a number of factors such as the amount of tea bags the dog swallowed and whether the tea bag ingested is used or fresh.
What happens when a dog eats a tea bag?
The severity of the side effects may vary. For example, a large dog that ate a single tea bag may be fine or may only end up being affected by mild gastrointestinal symptoms. Small dogs or puppies that eat a fresh tea bag may suffer from more serious consequences.
As a general rule of thumb, 140 mg of caffeine per kg of body weight is considered toxic for dogs. A single bag of black tea may contain up to 50 mg of caffeine. For a small dog that weighs about 4 kg, this means it would take at least ten to eleven tea bags to reach toxic levels.
Even if the dog chews and eats a single tea bag, it’s still possible for them to exhibit symptoms like stomach upsets, diarrhea, and vomiting. Dogs that eat more tea bags may also show symptoms like a lack of appetite. You should call the vet or pet poison hotline for advice if your dog isn’t acting normal.
Caffeine poisoning can have severe consequences. Dogs that suffer from this may have trouble breathing and may also act agitated. It’s important to take your dog to the vet straight away if he went through a whole box or whole pack of tea bags.
There’s also the possibility of blockage. The tea bag might get stuck somewhere along the dog’s digestive tract. Bowel obstruction can lead to something worse if it isn’t treated quickly.
What to do if your dog a tea bag
We recommend calling the vet. Be prepared to share answers to questions such as the type and brand of tea bag the dog ate and the amount you think he went through. Depending on the situation, some vets may ask you to stay at home and monitor your dog. Others may ask you to come in for treatment. Inducing vomiting, for example, might be helpful if it hasn’t been long since the dog ate the tea bags.