Caffeine, a methylxanthine, can cause toxicosis when ingested by pets. Dogs are the most frequently intoxicated species due to their indiscriminate eating habits. Any age or breed of dog can be affected. A similar clinical course can also occur in cats if ingestion occurs.

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It is important to note that caffeine is often found in products containing chocolate (another common pet toxin).

Signs and symptoms of toxicity: vomiting, diarrhea, panting, excessive thirst and urination, abnormal heart rhythm, tremors, seizures. These signs usually occur within 1-2 hours of ingestion.

Toxic Consumption:
In dogs, 140 mg/kg (63 mg/lb) can be toxic. For cats that value ranges from 80-150 mg/kg (36 – 68 mg/lb).

 

Dogs: Caffeine Toxic Consumption
X-Small
Yorkie, Chihuahua
Small
Pug, Boston Terrier, Poodle
Medium
Beagle, Scottish Terrier
Large
Boxer, Cocker Spaniel
X-Large
Retriever, German Shepherd
XX-Large
Great Dane, St. Bernard
1 – 10 lbs.
(0.45 – 4.6 kg)
11 – 25 lbs.
(5 – 11.4 kg)
26 – 40 lbs.
(11.8 – 18.2 kg)
41 – 70 lbs.
(18.6 – 31.8 kg)
71 – 90 lbs.
(32.3 – 40.9 kg)
91 – 110 lbs.
(41.4 – 50 kg)
dog1 dog2 dog3 dog4 dog7 dog6
Vivarin Tablets > 0.3 tablets > 3 tablets > 8 tablets > 13 tablets > 22 tablets > 28 tablets
Tea > 3 oz > 38.5 oz > 91.5 oz > 144.5 oz > 251 oz > 321 oz
Coffee Beans > 0.1 oz > 1 oz > 2.5 oz > 4.5 oz > 7.5 oz > 10 oz
Regular Coffee > 3 oz > 38.5 oz > 91.5 oz > 144.5 oz > 251 oz > 321 oz
Decaffeinated Coffee > 78.5 oz > 874 oz > 2064 oz > 3254 oz > 5652 oz > 7244 oz
Cola Beverages > 8 oz > 93 oz > 220 oz > 347 oz > 602.5 oz > 772.5 oz

 

Cats: Caffeine Toxic Consumption
Most Cats

Large Cats
1 – 10 lbs.
(0.45 – 4.6 kg)
11 – 25 lbs.
(5 – 11.4 kg)
cat1 fat cat
Vivarin Tablets > 0.15 tablets > 1.5 tablets
Tea > 1.5 oz > 22 oz
Coffee Beans > 0.05 oz > 0.5 oz
Regular Coffee > 1.5 oz > 38.5 oz
Decaffeinated Coffee > 45 oz > 500 oz
Cola Beverages > 4.5 oz > 53 oz

References:
– Osweiler, G, et al. (2011). Blackwell’s five-minute veterinary consult clinical companion. Small Animal Toxicology. [Kindle version]. Retrieved from Amazon.com