The danger of coffee toxicity depends on the amount of grounds eaten versus the weight of your dog, says Dr. Natalie Isaza DVM, owner of Access Veterinary Services in Florida.
Knowing this information saves valuable time.
Regardless of your dog’s size, a dog eating coffee grounds is an emergency, whether your dog rummaged through the garbage or swiped chocolate-coated coffee beans off the counter.
“The first thing to do is to call your veterinarian, or if after hours, call the pet poison control hotline,” Dr. Isaza says.
Calling poison control after your dog ate coffee grounds
The veterinarian or poison control will want to know information about the incident and your dog to figure out the toxicity level. Quickly jot down this information before calling:
- An estimate of the amount eaten.
- An estimate of your dog’s weight.
- The approximate time when the coffee was eaten. Transit time through the gut is important.
- Signs of toxicity (restlessness, hyperactivity, vomiting and agitation). These can occur within 30 minutes, sometimes progressing to tremors and seizures.
24/7 animal poison control options
Is caffeine bad for dogs?
Caffeine is not dog-friendly. “An average cup of caffeinated coffee contains 95-160 mg of caffeine, and the toxic dose for dogs is around 25 mg per pound of body weight. Coffee grounds may contain more caffeine, simply because of the concentrated nature of the grounds,” Dr. Isaza says.
Dogs are more likely to consume something tasty, but some will eat or chew on anything. Keep all K-Cups, coffee-laced food, including used or fresh grounds, beyond your fur pal’s reach, says Dr. Isaza. Don’t forget about coffee grounds placed outside as mulch around plants; grounds can be ingested while foraging for other things.
When your dog consumes any amount of coffee in any form, immediately contacting your vet or poison control with the right information is Plan A.