There's a long list of foods and drinks that are dangerous to dogs and coffee ranks pretty high on that list. If your dog gets into your coffee, you should rush him to the vet, especially if he drank a full cup.

Threat to pets:

Pets are more sensitive to the effects of caffeine than people are. While 1-2 laps of coffee, tea or soda will not contain enough caffeine to cause poisoning in most pets, the ingestion of moderate amounts of coffee grounds, tea bags or 1-2 diet pills can easily cause death in small dogs.

Signs of caffeine poisoning: Within 1-2 hours of exposure:

  •  Mild to severe hyperactivity, 
  • Restlessness, 
  • Vomiting, 
  • Tachycardia (elevated heart rate), 
  • Hypertension (elevated blood pressure).


  • Induce vomiting and give multiple doses activated charcoal to decontaminate. 
  • Aggressive IV fluids to help with excretion, 
  • Sedatives to calm the pet, 
  • Specific heart medications to reduce heart rate and blood pressure, 
  • Anticonvulsants for seizures, 
  • Antacids (such as Pepcid) for stomach discomfort and diarrhea. 

Caffeine may be reabsorbed across the bladder wall so a urinary catheter or frequent walks are needed to keep the bladder empty.

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