Any dog lover knows that our four-legged companions can be our best friends and confidants. As such, we want to treat them the same as our human friends. While we may offer our canines human food out of love, certain foods and drinks can actually be harmful to our pets.
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Can Dogs Drink Tea?
Although one or two laps of tea are not likely to harm your dog, the healthiest option for Fido is plenty of cool, fresh water. You should never allow your pet to drink regular caffeinated tea.
It is also important to remember that even teas marked as decaffeinated still contain low levels of caffeine. Even though the levels of caffeine in decaffeinated tea are low enough that they should not cause harm in small doses, it is still better to err on the side of caution and avoid giving your dog these teas.
Read more: Can Dogs Drink Coffee?
Caffeine Poisoning and Dogs:
While most of us cannot function without our daily dose of caffeine, tea and other caffeinated foods and beverages can be toxic and potentially life-threatening to dogs. If your dog decides to help himself to your tea or digs the used bags out of the trash, you should be on the lookout for signs of caffeine toxicity, including
• seizures, and
In addition to these obvious signs, even moderate caffeine consumption in dogs can cause abnormal heart rhythms, high blood pressure, and even an elevated temperature.
Herbal Teas for Dogs:
The only truly caffeine-free teas are those made from herbs and flowering plants. Herbal teas have gained widespread popularity in recent years for their numerous health benefits ranging from aiding digestion to alleviating arthritis pain. Since most dog lovers are willing to go to great lengths to ensure that their pets are happy and healthy, several companies have started marketing herbal tea blends specifically for dogs.
If you prefer to prepare your own herbal teas, the following herbs can be used to treat some of the most common ailments in dogs.
Goldenseal has antibiotic properties that can help treat bowel and stomach ailments as well as eye infections.
Tea made from chamomile and California poppy can be used to calm an anxious pooch, reduce asthma symptoms, and even help control parasites.
An extract of milk thistle can protect your dog’s liver from damage and may even help restore liver function.
Herbal Tea Recipe for Dogs:
To start, add a teaspoon of dried herbs to a cup of water. If using fresh herbs, you can up the amount to a couple of tablespoons. The tea should be steeped in a non-reactive pot using distilled or filtered water. The unused tea can be stored in a glass jar in your refrigerator for up to a week. To use the tea, simply add it to your dog’s food or water.
• For dogs up to 10 pounds, use no more than 1/4 cup of tea up to three times a day.
• For dogs weighing 11 to 20 pounds, use 1/4 cup of tea up to three times daily.
• For dogs between 21 and 50 pounds, you can use up to 1/2 cup of tea one to three times a day.
• Use 1/2 to 1 cup of tea for dogs over 50 pounds.
A Word of Caution:
It is important to remember that certain herbs may interfere with medications that your dog may be taking or have unwanted side effects if given in large doses. Before giving your dog herbal teas or any other natural remedy, you should consult your vet to ensure that it is safe for your dog.
While the dosages listed above are a basic guideline, you should verify the correct dosage amount with your vet.