We all want to be as safe with our pets as possible, and we’ve all spilt liquids or food on the floor when we’re in a rush. So, here’s the question: Is it safe for cats or dogs to lap up some of your spilt coffee?
Short answer: No, it’s not, but if it’s consumed in a very small amount you’re probably safe. Let me break it down for you:
What’s unsafe about coffee?
Well, it’s pretty simple. Caffeine is toxic to your little ones. Your little ones will experience the same effects from caffeine as you but on a much larger scale. Since their bodies are smaller, the effects will also be much more severe.
Can it be life-threatening?
Yes. It absolutely can be life-threatening! In serious cases, caffeine can actually kill your little one.
What are some of the symptoms and how quickly do they appear?
Symptoms usually start showing within the hour, although may takes as long as two hours, of your animal being in contact with caffeine. Symptoms include:
Hyper Ventilation or Rapid Breathing
Hypertension (An increase in blood pressure)
Abnormal heart rhythms and/or heart palpitations
Tachycardia (an evaluated heart rate)
Other Physical Symptoms
Hyperthermia (fever or elevated body temperature)
Anything else harmful about coffee?
Well, it highly depends on what you’ve added to it. While your little one may not have been affected by the caffeine itself, they may actually get affected by the added sugar, the milk, and the creamer.
I drink caffeine-free coffee, am I in the clear?
Unfortunately not, even caffeine-free products can have traces of caffeine.
What do I do if I think my cat has ingested too much caffeine?
Straight and simple… Call the vet! They will put your little one on an IV to flush the caffeine out of their system and may even use liquid charcoal to decontaminate. Other forms of treatment may include heart medications for the accelerated heart rate and blood pressure, antacids (ex. Pepcid) for upset stomachs and diarrhoea, and anticonvulsants for seizures. It is very important that the bladder gets flushed thoroughly with a catheter because the caffeine may be reabsorbed across the bladder wall.
Can I do anything from home?
I would highly suggest against it when it comes to caffeine. Some folks have been known to facilitate Pepcid to their animals, but Pepcid alone will not cure this situation and you need to make sure everything is done to help save your little one.
Thanks for the information, but I don’t drink coffee. Are there other foods or drinks have caffeine in them that I should be aware of?
Good question! Some include some teas, chocolate (which can also contain theobromine, which is very similar to caffeine), certain candies, energy drinks, soda, some pain medication and weight loss supplements.