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Although we do our best to give our pets only the best foods and we do all we can to prevent them from ever ingesting something that could hurt them, their curiosity will have them eating or drinking something less than healthy from time to time. Considering that dogs are usually smaller and weigh less than humans, coffee will be a lot harsher on their bodies, sometimes becoming even life-threatening. Below you will find some tips on what should be done when your dog has accidentally ingested coffee and the most common signs you should look out for until the pet can be considered safe.
Common Symptoms of Caffeine Poisoning in Dogs
You should remember that most clinical symptoms related to caffeine toxicity in your dog will be visible within the first 30 to 60 minutes of ingestion. Although restlessness is one of the most obvious signs of caffeine poisoning for your dog, there are a lot of other symptoms you should be looking for. Coffee will usually make your dog hyperactive and restless, something that happens to people as well.
Agitation, vomiting, and panting are also signs that your dog might have ingested caffeine. Of course, there are other symptoms that are even more severe as toxicity starts to get worse, like tremors or seizures. These symptoms will usually last up to 12 hours. hours.
How Much Caffeine is Considered Dangerous for Dogs?
A standard 8-ounce cup of coffee will usually contain anywhere between 100 and 170 milligrams of caffeine. Other products, on the other hand, can contain a lot more. For example, caffeine pills will easily contain 200 milligrams of caffeine each.
Caffeine will become dangerous for dogs in quantities that exceed 14 grams of brute caffeine per pound of the pet’s body weight. Things become a lot more serious if your dog ingests between 23 and 27 milligrams per pound of body weight because this is when cardiotoxicity sets in.
For example, if you were to take an adult Poodle with a weight of only 12 to 16 pounds, 168 milligrams of caffeine is all that is needed for caffeine poisoning to become an issue, based on the general rules outlined above. For smaller dogs of about 6 pounds in weight, on the other hand, just 85 milligrams of caffeine will be enough to cause caffeine poisoning, based on the same math.
If we were to talk about adult German Shepherds or other larger breeds for that matter, these dogs can weigh 50 to 70 pounds or even more. This makes them susceptible to caffeine poisoning when they ingest 700 to 1,000 milligrams of caffeine.
How to Help a Dog that Drank Coffee
If you suspect your dog has ingested a considerable amount of coffee, then you should contact your vet as soon as possible and schedule a consultation. Your veterinarian will more than likely consider inducing vomiting to reduce caffeine exposure and the development of severe side effects. Keep in mind that inducing vomiting at home is a big no-no because it can easily progress into other serious issues like aspiration pneumonia if something were to go wrong.
Medications or intravenous fluids might also be prescribed by your veterinarian as a way of removing caffeine from your dog’s body. Medications will have a role in slowing down the heart rhythm, while also keeping seizures under control. The dog’s body will need around two days to get rid of the caffeine, even with proper medication.
Other Food Items that Contain Caffeine
Diet pills, coffee grounds, coffee beans, tea, soda, and chocolate are just some of the many foods that are known to contain caffeine. Midol, Excedrin, and some other medications also have some amount of caffeine in their composition. Most pain relievers also have acetaminophen among their composition, so it’s also important to tell your vet if you gave your dog any pain relieving medication. Acetaminophen is one of those substances that are not only very toxic but can also become fatal to dogs when 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.