Can I Give My Dog Green Tea?

Can I Give My Dog Green Tea?The health benefits of green tea are well known but that doesn’t mean dogs should be drinking it. You can, however, find lots of information online about why it’s good for pets. But is there a downside and could this beverage possibly be harmful?

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One reason against allowing your dog to lap up a serving of green tea is the caffeine factor. That’s why you won’t hear about vets recommending it. This is despite the fact that this tea can eliminate free radicals and help prevent diseases, including cancer.

This interesting topic is controversial but the truth is that green tea can, in fact, be dangerous for dogs. We’ll explain why and weigh both the pros and cons here.

Can I Give My Dog Green Tea? Answer: Small amounts & only occasionally

Be conservative, especially when your dog has an empty stomach, and careful with caffeinated beverages.

Under normal circumstances, dogs don’t need to drink green tea in order to maintain a strong immune system and good health. If you do sometimes give your dog a bit of herbal green tea, provide it in decaffeinated form. If you are trying to improve your dog’s overall health then consider a highly regarded all-natural canine-formulated health supplement instead. Otherwise, a suspected medical problem should be properly diagnosed by a veterinarian. Green tea is very likely not the solution!

Tempting Health Benefits

Green tea, the dried leaves of Camelia sinensis, does contain powerful antioxidants. People point out it’s ability to prevent certain cancers. There are actually many other potential benefits such as the prevention of coronary heart disease, high blood pressure, high blood sugar, diabetes as well as antiviral, anti-fungal and antibacterial properties. It’s also known to help with weight loss and strengthen the immune system.

One unproven claim, which very much applies to dogs, is that this herbal drink helps to reduce urine and feces odors. Add that to all the potential positives and it’s no wonder owners are asking about green teas for their dogs.

An Alarming Study

Know that even the ASPCA is cautious regarding green tea for dogs. It may be because of a study carried out on 32 Beagles which ended prematurely due to 16 unexpected deaths. To be fair, these poor dogs were actually given Green Tea polyphenolic catechins (PPE) which is a very concentrated extract. They were given very high doses, on empty stomachs, causing most of them to die within the first 13 weeks.

Don’t panic! The nature of this study probably isn’t very relevant to how you’d be giving some green tea to your dog. We just want you to be aware of all aspects.

Caffeine for Canines

Quite simply, dogs shouldn’t be given caffeine. That’s why it’s probably best to avoid serving just any green tea to your pup. Don’t complicate your dog’s life! They certainly don’t need extra stimulants like caffeine. Quite the contrary, it can be very dangerous for them.

Some Better Alternatives

If you’re determined to keep your dog as healthy as you can, consider specially formulated treats that contain extra nutrients and minerals. This strategy has a better chance of giving them a shinier coat and improved health compared to green tea. As an added bonus, these products are usually great for the teeth.

Don’t get into the habit of supplementing your dog’s diet too much. Under normal circumstances they really just need a good amount of exercise, some fresh air and a quality dog food with fresh water. Often times the best investment is a more premium, higher-end dog food.

Conclusion on Green Tea

Green tea can be given to your dog on occasion but it isn’t a very practical. Understand that most green tea products contain caffeine, so it shouldn’t be consumed by canines on a regular basis. The potential for toxicity is higher for dogs compared to us humans. There are better ways to fortify your pet dog’s health and immune system. Using green tea to treat medical conditions is unlikely to help. Instead, set up a veterinary consultation for your dog’s sake.

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Dr. Stephanie Flansburg Cruz, a practicing vet, has reviewed and endorsed this article. She has 3 dogs of her own and cares very much about the welfare of all animals.


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15 thoughts on “Can I Give My Dog Green Tea?

  1. Ronald

    I drink green tea and/or Rooibos (red) tea daily. I don’t throw away the bags. Instead, I let them dry on the counter and the next day I mix it with my dogs wet/dry food mix. It has only helped my dog and it is noticeable. I started when my Dachshund had bathroom problems as he got older. After a couple of weeks with green tea, it went away after months of problems. Green tea and also red tea has nothing but helped all my dogs.

  2. Rebeli

    I found the best Green Tea called Japanska. It contains 3200mg of caffeine per 100 grams. Do you think it’s okay or too strong for a little 7 kilogram dog?

    1. Margo

      I think that a small amount of green tea can comfort and lift an old dog, just as it does people. Too much caffeine is bad, but moderation in all things. I give my dogs green tea as they age, and they seem to benefit. I think we go too far in saying caffeine is dangerous to dogs.

  3. Lou

    Our last naturally raised Chihuahua lived to be 22 years old and was never ill a day in her life. She also never had a vaccine, pet food, chemicals and the rest of the toxic junk regular vets dish out. She ate raw meaty bones, lived in a pack of small dogs, and had only natural products both internally and externally. She only saw her homeopathic vet once a year for a wellness exam which cost us less than $200 a year. Compare this to conventionally reared dogs; it’s not what you want for you animals. Herbal teas are good and safe for dogs, just be sure to get the dosing amount correct. God has given us all we need to not only live but to thrive. We need to learn all about this and apply it to our lives to have the very best life and health. Health never comes from vaccines, drugs, chemicals and toxins.

  4. Lorraine

    My dog gets some bad gas from time to time. What can I give her? Are there any teas that would help her or over-the-counter medicines?

  5. Tom

    What about a decaffeinated green tea? I was interested more in the plaque blocking benefits of green tea, than the overall antioxidant properties. It seems like it would be a good addition for tooth and gum health.

  6. Edward

    The polyphenol compound found in green tea, epigallocetechin-galleate (“EGCG”), is a potent chemo-preventative agent. Its mechanism respecting tumor growth has been well-studied by scientists. Epidemiological studies confirm its efficacy, at least in combination with other aspects of Asian and especially Japanese diet.

    High quality green teas are very low in caffeine to start with; but if you can get it in effective forms without caffeine, it makes sense to add it to a dog’s diet (you’ll have to figure out dosage based on body weight) before they get cancer. Dogs get cancer, and die prematurely of it.

    Other anti-carcinogenic foods that can safely become part of a dog’s diet include Brussels sprouts, broccoli, apples, canned tomatoes, carrots, and cranberry, cherry, pomegranate and blueberry juices (best source: Trader Joe’s) and above all, Curcumin/Piperine extract (Costco).

    Whole foods are generally more reliable (most supplements are garbage) so you need to find a proper source of any extracts to maximize the chance that they actually contain enough of the active molecule that you’re seeking.

  7. Rutabaga T. Cornpone

    My 12-year old mixed-breed dog had cancer and an undetermined endocrine system disorder, very possibly caused by the cancer. In September of 2012, she was unable to sit, stand, or feed herself, had lost all of her fur, was covered with sores, and was occasionally experiencing seizures. Of course, we presumed that she was in her last hours and the vets consulted, all, suggested putting her down.

    I began feeding her by hand, and using a syringe to keep her hydrated, bathing her skin in a carefully-researched blend essential oils and using coal tar shampoo. I began making her food, which include two green tea extract capsules with each meal, carrots, sweet potatoes, flaxseed, blueberries, organic peanut butter, small amounts of kale and spinach, with a variety of other foods and supplements rotated in from time to time. Her food was blended until it was drinkable.

    She had a couple of minor setbacks, but she steadily improved, never missing a meal that included green tea extract. I do know that not all green tea extracts are the same. Mine contained minimal amounts of caffeine. If higher, I would not have used it.

    This dog is now cancer-free and looks and acts like a puppy. Perhaps she was the exception and just responded to the love and attention, but the green tea extract certainly produced no ill effects in 9 months of this diet.

    1. Carrie

      If you have a dog with cancer, I strongly recommend you look into green tea or essiac tea to shrink the tumors. There are also many other supplements that have been found to be a benefit for dogs with cancer.

      Thanks for sharing your story Rutabaga. My Lab was diagnosed with T-Cell Lymphoma 2 weeks ago. Your story is uplifting.

    2. Jane

      Can you give the name of the products used such as green tea capsules etc. and the ingredients or measurements in the oil bath blend? Also, what kind of coal tar shampoo? Did you use human T/Gel shampoo? How many meals a day did you give your dog? Did you blend all the veggies etc. then added water to the mix to make it drinkable? Finally, did you continue any of the methods once the cancer left? Please send me more info as I am trying to get my Lab mix in good health.

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