Tea is warm and comforting, so it’s something that many people choose to drink during the colder months, from October to February or March. But can dogs drink tea?
We’re answering this question and more in today’s article. We’ll also be looking at the symptoms of caffeine toxicity in our canine friends, how you can safely give tea to your pooch, and what types of tea are the best for our pets.
So, can dogs drink tea?
The answer to this question is a little complicated. First of all, the safe amount of tea that a dog can have largely depends on their weight and the type of drink you give them.
Small quantities of classic tea, like green, black, or white, are safe, and they do have their benefits. However, they always raise the risk of caffeine toxicity, especially black tea, which contains the highest amount of this ingredient.
The best drink for dogs is and will always be water. Dogs aren’t supposed to have ‘human’ drinks like juice, soda, beer, or even sparkling water, since all of these can cause health complications.
If your dog is also at a risk of developing heart conditions as a result of them being obese or in their senior years, you should never give them tea.
What about tea with milk? In the United Kingdom and other countries, tea is often served with milk, and it makes for a delicious and heartwarming drink. But some dogs can be lactose intolerant, so they can develop digestive distress, so it’s best avoided.
Can tea be toxic to dogs?
If the tea you’re thinking of giving your canine friend is caffeinated, it’s better to avoid it altogether, and that’s because dogs can develop caffeine poisoning.
If you’ve ever had too much coffee before, you probably know that some of the symptoms you yourself have experienced were mostly related to your cardiac rhythm. This means that your dog can show the same signs, such as arrhythmia, a higher heart rate than normal, high blood pressure, and overall restlessness.
Other signs you can see in a dog that drank caffeinated tea are the following:
- Muscle tremors
- High blood temperature
- Digestive upset like vomiting
However, what we would like to note here is that since tea generally contains a lot less caffeine compared to coffee, it would take a lot of it to produce these symptoms in any dog, especially a large breed one.
In any case, if you want to avoid any mishaps whatsoever, we suggest that you avoid giving your dog green, white, or black tea, as these three are the blends that contain the most caffeine of all.
Classic tea alternatives
If you do want your dog to enjoy the pleasure that you get from drinking tea, there are several safe options that you can choose instead of those that we’ve already mentioned.
Herbal teas make the best alternatives, and they can be made from a variety of plants. As you might know by now, lots of the medications we have today were inspired by the effects that some plants can have on the human body.
For example, chamomile is not only soothing, but it also has antibacterial properties. It’s also harmless, so if your dog drinks one or even two cups of it, it will not cause any negative clinical signs at all.
Chamomile also has beneficial effects on dogs that somewhat struggle with sleeping through the night.
Want to make sure that your pet’s immune system functions properly? Then feel free to offer them a drink of echinacea tea every now and then. While it might not be miraculous per se, echinacea has been found to boost the immune system of humans, and since it’s completely harmless for dogs, you might as well give Fido a drink on occasion.
If your pooch tends to be nervous, whether on specific occasions, such as when a vet appointment is due or in general, you probably want to somehow deal with their anxiety. There’s a tea for that, too, and it’s made of passionflower.
Just make sure that the only ingredients in these tea varieties are plants that you can research and find to be completely safe for pets. Also, organic teas are usually better since they come from crops that haven’t been sprayed with pesticides or weed killers.
Can tea be good for dogs?
Depending on the type of tea you give Fido, it could contain a number of antioxidants that not only prevent cell aging and degeneration but they also keep your dog healthy and in good shape for as long as possible and might even prevent some forms of cancer (intestinal, stomach, and liver neoplasms).
As for the herbal teas that we’ve mentioned, every plant has different effects. There are even some that can alleviate symptoms related to cardiac health issues, such as some hawthorn species, which have been found to treat cardiac insufficiency or blood pressure variations.
To sum up, some types of tea are perfectly healthy for dogs, but white, green, and black varieties are generally best avoided.