Yes. Coffee is bad for dogs (and cats!)
Whilst it is not necessarily the coffee that is the threat, it is the caffeine found in coffee that can extremely dangerous to dogs, and cats alike.
Dogs and cats are far more sensitive to caffeine than humans and even a small amount could lead to death in the worst cases.
A small amount of coffee (ie, 1-2 accidental laps) will not contain enough caffeine to poison your pet, if they eat a moderate amount of coffee beans, or coffee grounds, tea bags or even a couple of diet pills, this could lead to death in small dogs.
Here are the warning signs that your pet has ingested a dangerous amount of coffee:
- Rapid breathing
- Muscle tension
- Vomiting (may include blood)
- Hurried heart rate
- Collapsed body
Remember that caffeine is found in other drinks, foods and medicines besides coffee, if you keep pets in your home, be sure that your coffee cupboard is out of reach, along with tea, chocolate, soft drinks, energy drinks, medicines and weight loss or weight gain powders or pills.
Chocolate is even more dangerous that coffee, as not only does it include caffeine but also an alkaloid ingredient called theobromine, which is also present in tea, coca cola, all products containing cocoa. This ingredient is also toxic to dogs.
In some cases you pet may accidentally consume some form of caffeine and show not symptoms, but please take every care to prevent your dogs and cats from accidentally consuming caffeine in any form.
If your pet has consumed caffeine by mistake there is a useful calculator on this vets site to help you work out it the amount could be dangerous or even lethal.
If in doubt, contact your vet in an emergency.