Can Dogs Eat Tea Bags?

Dogs like to taste or eat random things but does that mean can dogs eat tea bags? The fact is that dogs should be constantly monitored especially when they are young as they love doing silly things. Therefore, do not be surprised if it makes its way to your teacup.

However, it should be kept in mind that tea bags are dangerous for dogs. If swallowed whole, tea bags could cause stomach or intestine blockages. This could easily turn into a life-threatening situation. And since tea bags are made for human consumption, they could cause stomach upset along with several other health concerns.

With that said, let’s discuss why tea bags could cause serious harm and what should you do if your dog happens to swallow one.

Are tea bags bad for dogs?

Yes, tea bags can be potentially harmful to dogs. In some cases, the contents of the teabag might be toxic, leading to diarrhea or the stomach being upset but swallowing the bag might lead to extreme digestive issues as well. Teas mostly contain toxins like caffeine and stimulants like theobromine and theophylline. Meanwhile, herbal teas are relatively safe as they are caffeine-free.

Furthermore, if the tea bag was swallowed when it was hot, it may burn the throat, mouth, or stomach. This could be a very painful experience and could also lead to infections. On top of that, the dog might also experience its stomach or intestines being blocked. This again could be troublesome and might need surgery to remove.

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How much tea is toxic to dogs?

Even though dogs are more sensitive to caffeine than humans but it would require consuming tea or eating tea bags in a large quantity before they are in danger of being poisoned. Experts are of the view that dogs should eat around 140mg of caffeine if they were to show any symptoms.

However, it also depends on the age and breed of the dog. Some dogs might show symptoms earlier than others, while others take time and in some cases, there are no symptoms at all. This is why it is important to monitor your dog closely if it has eaten several tea bags at once so that you can immediately provide medication.

What should I do if my dog eats a teabag?

If your dog happens to eat a teabag, the first thing you should make sure of is that you do not panic. Open the mouth of your dog and check if it has swallowed the teabag. It might be that your dog is holding onto it in its cheeks. If that is the case, you should remove it gently.

Next, if the tea bag ate was hot, you will need to provide some cool water to your dog. Once you have removed the teabag or the dog has swallowed it, you should check its mouth for burns. Offering something cool to drink will make them feel comfortable and reduce the intensity of the burns.

Then, you need to check the ingredients/contents of the teabags by going through the ingredient list mentioned on the box. Share the information with your vet so that he/she knows exactly what to do to help your dog.

Keep in mind that swallowing a teabag can be potentially dangerous. Even if you do not notice any symptoms, you should still consult your vet. Based on the contents of the teabags, it might be that your dog needs immediate surgery to remove the teabags.

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What are the symptoms upon eating a teabag?

As mentioned earlier, some dogs will show some symptoms and others won’t after eating teabags. However, for small dogs, the chances of serious illness or death are comparatively more if left untreated. Some of the most common symptoms are diarrhea, vomiting, increased urination, thirst, etc.

In addition to that, your dog might experience muscle tremors, shaking, or trembling as well. You may notice your dog not being able to walk properly or struggling to stand up. And in the worst-case scenarios, dogs can suffer seizures that result in losing consciousness. This may last a few seconds or longer.

If your dog is having a seizure, you should not stand close to it as it can bite you. Dogs do not have control over themselves while they are suffering from a seizure. Therefore, you need to turn the lights off and stand at a distance to help them calm down. Consult your vet immediately as even the milder signs can turn into more serious ones.

How to treat caffeine poisoning in dogs?

Caffeine poisoning can result in a life-threatening situation and your dog might urgently need a veterinarian. If your dog has consumed caffeine in large amounts, the vet will need to provide an injection to induce your dog to vomit. However, keep in mind that vomiting might only remove half or the majority of the teabags but not all. Therefore, unless the teabag happens to be intact, you might not be able to take it out all the way.

FAQs related to dogs and tea bags!

Can dogs have herbal tea?

Although most herbal teas are safe to consume for dogs but some might contain ingredients that might be harmful. Teas like peppermint and rooibos are caffeine-free but you should go through the contents list just to be on the safe side.

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What teas can dogs have?

Dogs can have teas like peppermint and chamomile that are easy on the digestive system. Plus, you can also offer black or green tea as long as it is free of caffeine. However, make sure the tea is offered in moderation and on an occasional basis.

Can dogs drink tea with milk and sugar?

Dogs can occasionally enjoy tea without sugar, milk, or sweeteners. Since caffeine is highly toxic to dogs, you should make sure it is decaffeinated. If ignored, your dog might suffer from serious health concerns down the road.

Conclusion

If your dog has ingested a teabag, you should watch out for any symptoms closely. Based on the reactions of the dog as well as its size, age, and breed, you will need to contact your vet as soon as possible. This will help your dog make full recovery with fewer chances of seizures, blockages or tremors, etc.

Photo of author

Immad Amir

Immad has a black Labrador who is his first child. With no prior experience of how to take care of his pooch, Immad started researching about what dogs love to eat. This blog is a journal of all the research Immad has done regarding a pet's diet.
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