What is the danger of letting my dog drink coffee?
Coffee contains caffeine. Just one cup of coffee can raise your dog’s heart rate enough to give her a heart attack or trigger a seizure. Since your dog might like to take a drink, especially now with all of the flavored coffees, be sure not to leave any partially consumed cups sitting around, keep coffee grounds out of reach and lock up those coffee beans!
Caffeine is a drug, and, like any drug, caffeine can stimulate brain function. So, after a few shots of espresso or a pot of coffee you may feel like your mind and pulse rate is speeding, but your dog will need far less to feel that affect—or the one on her nervous system and heart. It can also cause vomiting, a racing heart, and sometimes death.
There are even more concerns. If the coffee is flavored with a toxic item, such as chocolate or alcohol, the poisoning could be fatal. If the dog gets into the coffee beans, she could choke. Coffee grounds could be in the garbage, mixed in with spoiled food that harbors bacteria, and sharp or other harmful objects.
If your dog has consumed coffee, she might experience mild to severe hyperactivity, restlessness, vomiting, tachycardia (elevated heart rate), hypertension (elevated blood pressure), abnormal heart rhythms, tremors, hyperthermia (elevated body temperature) seizures, and collapse.
Contact your veterinarian or animal poison control center immediately if you see or suspect your dog has gotten into caffeinated items. Treatment might include the inducement of vomiting, IV fluids to help with excretion, sedatives to calm the pet, specific heart medications to reduce the heart rate and blood pressure, anti-convulsants for seizures and antacids for stomach discomfort and diarrhea. Since caffeine can be reabsorbed across the bladder wall, a urinary catheter or frequent walks are needed to keep the bladder empty.
While prognosis can be good, it really does depend upon the severity of the situation.