There’s nothing more British than sipping on a mug of English breakfast tea. Gulping down the warm nectar and dunking a biscuit or two in to soak up all of its tea-tasting glory is one of life’s simple pleasures. As loving pawrents we love to enjoy all that life can offer with our fur friends, so it’s natural to wonder “can dogs drink tea?”. But before you pour an extra cup for your pooch, read on to get clued up on all of the controverse-tea surrounding dogs and tea and why it might not be such a great idea to let your dog drink this beverage at all.
Can Dog’s Drink Tea?
The issue surrounding the question “can dogs drink tea?”, comes down to certain compounds that are found in brewed tea. On the whole, it’s safest to leave the tea drinking to the hoomans due to the negative effects caffeine and tannins can have on your pooch.
The Issue With Caffeine
All tea contains caffeine in varying levels which can be toxic for dogs. This includes black tea (such as English breakfast and Earl Grey), oolong, white tea, and caffeinated green tea. Caffeine has the same effect on dogs that it does on us by exciting the nervous system and increasing heart rate. However, dogs can’t break down caffeine very well, so the effect of this compound on their bodies is much more exaggerated than on our own. In high doses, caffeine can cause seizures, heart failure, liver damage and death.
The average dose of caffeine that can be fatal for dogs is 140mg/kg of body weight. To put that into perspective, your average cup of English breakfast tea contains between 30-60mg of caffeine. So, although it’s unlikely that a standard cup of tea will kill your pooch, it still has its risks and is not recommended as a healthy drink for dogs. In addition, small dogs can experience caffeine toxicity when exposed to low levels of the chemical. As such it’s safest to simply avoid it all together particularly if you own a small breed of dog.
Symptoms of Caffeine Poisoning in Dogs
The symptoms of caffeine poisoning in dogs can present between 30-60minutes following ingestion and include:
- Excessive panting.
- High heart rate and blood pressure.
- Elevated temperature.
- Abnormal heart rhythms.
- Tremors and seizures.
If you think your dog has drunk concerning levels of caffeine and they’re showing any of these symptoms, call your vet or animal poison control immediately so that they can direct you on what to do.
What’s Wrong With Tannins?
Another reason why the answer to “can dogs drink tea?” is generally a No, is due to the tannins that are found in this drink. Tannins are a compound found in the leaves of some plants as well as in acorns, which can be poisonous to dogs. Small amounts of tannins cause stomach upsets in dogs, whilst larger concentrations of tannins can lead to liver and kidney damage.
Can Dogs Drink Tea With Milk?
In addition to the risks posed by the caffeine and tannins found in tea for your pooch, allowing your pup to sup on tea with milk also adds other potential health implications. Many dogs are lactose intolerant so feeding them dairy can cause stomach upsets and yucky diarrhoea. In addition, cow’s milk is high in fat which can add extra calories to your dog’s daily intake leading to obesity and can also increase the risk of them developing pancreatitis.
Can Dogs Drink Green Tea?
Although green tea contains lower levels of caffeine and tannins than black, it still contains these compounds so isn’t generally recommended to give to your dog. Sometimes green tea extract is found within some dog foods or treats due to its anti-oxidant properties. As long as these foods are FEDIAF and PFMA-approved they will contain dog-safe levels of these compounds and are totally fine for your pup to eat.
Can Dogs Drink Herbal Tea?
So, we know that the answer to “can dogs drink tea?” is usually a no, but what about herbal tea? Herbal tea can be a healthy option for your dog in small amounts. Herbal teas do not generally contain caffeine or tannins. Therefore a lick of peppermint or chamomile tea may be an okay option for your pooch in moderation. As always it's safest to ask your vet first before adding anything new that you’re unsure of to your dog’s diet. Whether they will like the taste of herbal tea is also another story!
What To Give Dogs Instead?
If you’re looking for a safe hydration option for your dog, although not very exciting, plain water is the one to go for. On hot days, ice cubes can also be a healthy and cooling treat for your pup too.
To enjoy the benefits of some herbs that are found in tea without the worry of toxicity, you can try a dog treat from a trusted FEDIAF and PFMA-approved brand. Like our Nibbles Dog Calming Treats with relaxing chamomile, or our Gnashers Dog Dental Sticks with dog-safe levels of mint oil for minty fresh breath.
Serve Scrumbles Dog Food Instead
If you don’t think it’s a good idea to risk it by giving your dog a mug of tea, keep it safe and feed them a delicious dog food that you know they’ll love!
If you’re on the prowl for a new food for your dog that is high in taste, value and nutrition, head on over to our collection of gut friendly dog food.
Here’s why we think you and your pup will love it:
- Nutritionally Dense: All of our recipes are made with high-quality natural ingredients and free from any nasty additives or fillers to keep your dog happy and thriving.
- Gut Healthy: Made with gut health in mind, all of our dry dog food, wet dog food, and dog treats include either tummy-loving probiotics or prebiotics to improve digestion and promote pretty poops.
- Lick of Approval: All of our recipes score 100% on palatability testing meaning they’re pawsitively delicious and bound to have even the fussiest of pups drooling.
- Variety: With a variety of flavours, textures and kibble sizes, there’s an option for every pup.
- Environmentally Conscious: we’re proud to be B-Corp and are committed to making a pawsitive impact on the environment. We use eco-friendly packaging and are on a mission to reduce our carbon footprint, which makes choosing Scrumbles a climate-positive choice.