Animal Experts Answer: Are Coffee Beans Bad for Dogs?

If you’ve been wondering if coffee beans are bad for dogs, you’re not alone.

Coffee grounds are one of the most common staples of the American diet, and millions of dog and cat owners use them to create their favorite beverage every day.

According to research from the National Coffee Association, 70% of Americans consume coffee every week at an average rate of three to four cups per day.

Dropping a few coffee beans on the kitchen floor while brewing is a common occurrence in many homes, and having a family dog eat them out of curiosity is almost an everyday thing for people who don’t watch their pets very closely.

At, our experts can’t blame them for being curious about what an aromatic bean may taste like in their mouths.

So, in this post, our coffee professionals are going to outline the effects of caffeine on your dog’s heart rate, blood pressure, and digestive system. We’re also going to tell you the best steps to take to prevent poisoning when you discover your dog sticking its snout into your coffee reserves.

Are Coffee Beans Bad for Dogs?

Coffee is the most popular stimulant in the world. People consume it to relieve stress, fight fatigue, and increase their metabolic rates, pushing their tummies to digest more nutrients in a shorter time so they can work, train, and play harder. Coffee contains caffeine, which can numb the neurotransmitters in your brain that tell your body it’s time to rest.

People can consume large amounts of coffee every day with no long-term consequences apart from coffee-stained teeth, but even a tiny smidgen of caffeine is toxic for dogs. Dogs are more sensitive than people to its stimulant effects. Theobromine, a complex chemical you can find in chocolate, is also present in coffee.

Many chemicals in energy drinks, weight loss supplements, and health drinks are harmful to animals, so keep your 5-hour ENERGY and Monster cans away from their pens. Methylxanthines are present in many chocolate drinks and coffee, and they are responsible for the euphoria you experience when the caffeine hit kicks in. According to Scientific American, a few licks of any substance with methylxanthines can cause your dog’s heart rate to shoot up and beat at twice the average pace.

A tiny amount of methylxanthines is equivalent to a gallon of espresso in your dog’s digestive system. Your pet may survive the trauma of eating them after a night of hospitalization, but it may die from high fevers, breathing difficulties, and abnormal heart rhythms that could ensue. 

How Do I Know If My Dog Is Under the Effects of Caffeine?

For most people, dogs are lifelong companions that can hang around the house without requiring continuous supervision. If you don’t know if your dog has gotten a lick of a spilled energy drink or gnawed on a few coffee beans, look for these signs of toxicity:

·         Hyperthermia or an abnormally high body temperature

·         Random puking

·         Agitation

·         Hyperactivity, like chewing on furniture and running around the house more than usual

·         Higher-than-normal blood pressure or hypertension

·         Expressions of restlessness

·         Muscle spasms and tremors

The late-stage effects of caffeine on dogs include seizures, heart attacks, and collapses.

What Do I Do If My Dog Ingests Coffee?

The effects of caffeine toxicity on dogs can last for several days. Call your vet or the Pet Poison Hotline immediately by dialing 855-213-6680 if you suspect caffeine poisoning. A vet will likely treat your dog with activated charcoal in the ER to relieve intoxication.

So, are coffee beans bad for dogs? The answer is a resounding yes. For more information about pets, coffee, and everything in between, subscribe to Coffee List today.