Can our canine companions drink green tea too? Only if dogs could talk and tell us all, and of course there are Animal behaviorists who will have varying opinions. But scientifically speaking, can dogs drink green tea?
Tea has been known for its several health benefits, for centuries across communities around the globe and have been considered to be a health beverage for humans. But lately, many dog parents have been scouring the internet in order to know if they can give this wonder drink to their furry babies as well, especially when they have an upset stomach or just to comfort them in cold weather.
The answer is no for green teas, and yes for any non-caffeinated teas!
Dogs should not be given any caffeinated teas at all, and green tea contains significant amounts of caffeine. But Herbal teas, which contain no tea leaves whatsoever, are considered safe for your pet’s consumption in moderation.
As a matter of fact, some types of antioxidants found in herbal teas, can act as gentle astringents, and can be used as an alternative medicine to treat inflammation, reduce skin irritations, relax muscles, and even reduce the risk of certain types of cancer in dogs. Some studies have shown that no-caffeine herbal teas are beneficial for reducing anxiety and treating insomnia in hyperactive dogs. Some dog owners also believe that giving green tea to their dogs in moderation promotes fresher breath and removes odor from their stool. But remember that tea can affect their health both in good and bad ways. Here is everything you must know about what tea is safe for for dogs.
Why is Caffeine Harmful for Your Dog?
Any amount of caffeine is poisonous for your dog. This is the reason why chocolates, coffee-flavored ice creams, liqueurs, hard black teas, and sodas are harmful for your pets.
The fact is dogs and even cats are more sensitive to caffeine than humans. Caffeine raises blood pressure and can cause cardiac arrhythmia, which can be dangerous. The level of toxicity is determined by the amount of caffeine ingested as well as the size and health status of the pet. Caffeine can damage major organs like the liver, heart, kidneys, lungs, and central nervous system. So, there is something called too much caffeine for them and is usually 2-3 cups of it. So we need to be careful about what sort of teas can be given to a dog
Types of Teas that are Safe for Dogs
Here are some of the types of teas that are considered safe in small quantities for your dogs.
Firstly, this is caffeine-free herbal tea ( contains no tea leaves) and can be beneficial for digestion and anxiety in dogs. So, to answer your question, Chamomile tea will cause no harm to your dog. You can include it in your dog’s balanced meal. After all, it is one of the safest supplements if you are looking to treat your dogs of any digestive ailments.
Peppermint Tea is safe for both humans and dogs. Just like chamomile, it doesn’t contain caffeine and aids digestion and freshens their breath. So, if your dog suffers from any stomach-related issue, this is a healthy alternative herbal medicine. With its cooling effect, it helps relieve pain and also reduces vomiting. But make sure, you start the dosage in small, moderate amounts. For any large doses, it is always advisable to consult a vet.
Another safe tea for dogs is ginger tea. You can either go for Ginger herbal tea. It is a great alternative herbal solution to treat skin diseases.
What Should I do if My Dog Eats a Tea Bag?
Be it caffeinated or decaffeinated, never ever give them the actual tea bags as there are possibilities that they might choke on them. There is another possibility where the swallowed tea bags can obstruct your dog’s intestinal tract and can be life threatening. And, especially if you drink caffeinated tea, make sure you leave your used/unused tea bags in a place where your dog cannot reach them. So, if your dog ate your green tea bag, immediately seek medical attention immediately, especially for smaller pups. With a large dog, depending on its health, you can still induce vomiting and provide immediate relief but that is not the case with the small ones. But we would still recommend taking them to a vet.
What If My Dog Accidentally Drinks Caffeinated Tea?
In cases where you suspect if your dog has ingested caffeinated tea, watch them closely for signs of caffeine poisoning and take to a vet. These are the symptoms listed below :-
Hyperactivity and restlessness
Increased or abnormal heart rate
Elevated blood pressure
Increased body temperatures
How to Prepare Herbal Tea for Dogs?
The best way to serve herbal tea is to make a small quantity, without milk and sweeteners, and not brew it more than 2 minutes. If you are looking to incorporate some flavors, add a small pinch of cinnamon. Serve the tea at room temperature, not boiling hot cup. Add some cold water before serving to dilute it.
Long story short, it is perfectly safe for your dog to drink caffeine-free teas like peppermint and chamomile tea.
Just keep in mind to never add milk or sugar to the teas. And, never allow your dog to drink caffeinated tea, which means most black, green, white, and Oolong teas are out of the question. You should even avoid decaffeinated versions of these tea because there is a slight possibility that they may contain traces of caffeine.
So, occasionally giving your dog a cup of herbal tea will not do any harm. To begin with, you can safely mix a small cup of caffeine-free herbal tea in your dog’s daily meal on a weekly basis. We strongly advise consulting the vet to see if any beverage apart from water is safe with your dog's specific health history.
Until next time,
Contributing Wellness Author for Vahdam India
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