During the cold months of the winter, there is nothing better than cuddling up in a warm blanket with a cup of tea. Besides the many health benefits of herbal tea, it also helps to get us through the flu season.
A week ago, my dog Amalia got pretty sick and I thought about every way to help her feel better. Maybe a cup of herbal tea would boost the immune system and fight against inflammation. But can dogs even drink tea or is it harmful to them?
Is It Safe for Dogs to Drink Tea?
In general, it is safe for dogs to drink a cup of tea once in a while and it won’t cause them any long term health issues. When sharing tea with your dog, make sure that there is 0 caffeine in it.
Test the temperature before you give the tea to your dog and let it cool down until it’s lukewarm. If you can comfortably drink it then it should be safe for your dog.
Can Dogs Drink Green Tea?
Green tea is made from Camellia sinensis leaves and originates from East Asia. It’s known to improve one’s health significantly if consumed regularly. The containing antioxidants decrease the risk of certain types of cancer, including breast and colon cancer.
Furthermore, it is able to kill bacteria which lowers the risk of infection and other diseases. These health benefits can also help improve your dog’s overall health. Dogs can definitely drink green tea but only if it’s decaffeinated.
Never leave any tea bags hanging in the cup because your dog might choke on them. If you enjoy a cup of caffeinated green tea then place the teabag out of your dog’s reach.
The Effects of Caffeine in Dogs
Caffeine is something many people crave and need to kick start the day. Pets are significantly more sensitive to caffeine and it’s very dangerous for them to consume it in moderate amounts.
First signs of caffeine poisoning can appear within 1-2 hours of consumption and the symptoms include:
- high blood pressure
- high body temperature
In severe cases, your dog might experience seizures or even collapse leading to poor prognosis. An extremely rapid and irregular heartbeat may result in the death of your pet. If your dog is showing any of the symptoms mentioned above, take him to the emergency vet immediately.
14 milligrams of caffeine per pound of body weight can already lead to poisoning signs. “A single caffeine tablet contains enough of the medication to be very dangerous to an eight-pound dog or cat”, says Dr. Elisa Mazzaferro.
Keep all your teabags, coffee beans and medications locked away at all times. Never feed your dog any diet pills or table scrabs which could be full of toxic substances.
Can Dogs Drink Chamomile Tea?
Just like green tea, chamomile is incredibly healthy and your dog can enjoy a few sips too. The calming effects can help with anxiety and it can also be given for an upset stomach.
You can either use a regular tea bag or brew a teaspoon of chamomile flowers in 1 cup of boiling water for about 15 minutes. Let it cool down completely before feeding it to your dog in either a water bowl or directly into his mouth.
After the brewing, you can add another cup of water if the taste is too strong. You can use any leftover chamomile tea as a fur spray to kill bacteria and cool itchy skin.
Can Dogs Drink Peppermint Tea?
Peppermint tea is such a popular choice and is totally safe to drink for your dog. This herbal tea is packed with health benefits including:
- more energy
- better sleep
- weight loss
- relieves migraines and headaches
- fights against bacteria
- fewer allergies
- better concentration and focus
An occasional cup of peppermint tea won’t do your dog any harm. For example, you could add a small teacup to your dog’s meal once in a while.
Tea for an Upset Stomach
Herbal tea can have a soothing effect on an upset stomach. Especially Chamomile tea functions as a sedative for the stomach to regulate gas or vomiting and it helps in preventing diarrhea.
If your dog is easily excitable and has to fight with a nervous belly a lot then feeding him chamomile before or during an exciting event will calm his gurgling tummy. You can start with 1 ml per 30 lbs of your dog’s body weight which should be consumed every two hours until the digestive upset subsides.
Can Dogs Drink Tea With Milk
Milk contains lots of fat and natural sugar. Feeding your dog too much milk may lead to vomiting, diarrhea, obesity, and pancreatitis. But also small amounts of milk can cause gas and abdominal pain if your dog is lactose intolerant.
Dairy products are a leading source of food intolerance and many dogs can’t properly digest them. A tiny amount of milk in your tea might not harm your dog but if you want to play it safe then only feed him the pure tea.
I always check that any yogurt or cheese is free of lactose so I can safely feed it to my dog while still getting the health benefits. If your dog has accidentally drunk a large amount of milk then monitor his abdominal distress and stool. First signs should occur after 12 hours of consumption.
Dogs can definitely enjoy a cup of herbal tea once in a while during the winter or times of illness. Before you give your dog anything new, test the tea in small dosages to prevent any allergic reactions. Adding a little bit of milk won’t do any harm if your dog is not lactose intolerant but it’s also unnecessary.
herbal teas like chamomile tea can be used on an upset stomach to regulate digestive activities. Keep in mind that although tea is safe to drink for dogs, water should always be the primary fluid source and is completely sufficient. Consult your veterinarian first if you want to incorporate tea regularly into your dog’s diet.