Green tea is a powerhouse when it comes to human superfoods, but what about dogs? If you’d like to share this amazing drink with your doggo, here are some tips to prepare it safely:
What is Green Tea?
For those unfamiliar with the beverage, green tea is an herb derived from tea leaves picked earlier in the plant’s life cycle. Green tea leaves come from higher parts of the plant, while black tea leaves come from lower parts of the bush that have been allowed to oxidize.
Once dried and oxidized, tea leaves are most often steeped in water and served as a beverage.
What is the Difference Between Green Tea and Black Tea?
Although they come from the same plant, green and black tea are two entirely different substances. To start, black tea goes through a longer oxidization process, which gives it a more bitter flavor and higher levels of caffeine. Green tea, on the other hand, holds more of the tea plant’s natural antioxidants, which are often lost during the oxidization process. It also has a more mellow flavor.
Is Green Tea Good for Dogs?
Unlike black tea, green tea is safe for dogs in small amounts. While all tea leaves contain small amounts of caffeine, green tea has far less than black tea and also has plenty of antioxidants too! Green tea is safe for dogs to drink as a beverage in moderation. Before giving your dog green tea, always seek veterinary consultation.
Is Green Tea Extract Safe for Dogs?
Green tea extract is a common ingredient in many supplements, including ones for dogs. For example, Front of the Pack’s “The One” supplement contains green tea extract, an excellent source of vitamins and minerals for dogs needing a nutritional boost.
Is Green Tea Essential Oil Safe for Dogs?
There isn’t, however, much research on green tea essential oil. However, many essential oils harm animals, so I’d avoid using green tea essential oil for now.
Benefits of Green Tea For Dogs
So, what’s so great about green tea? The plant itself is filled with antioxidants derived from Catechin. When ingested, these antioxidants can:
- Reduce mild inflammation throughout the body
- Boost the immune system
- Manage joint pain
Reduce red, itchy skin (Chamomile works great for this too!)
In addition to antioxidant benefits, green tea can also improve your dog’s dental health, digestive health, and overall coat health.
Risks of Giving Dogs Green Tea
I mentioned earlier how green tea is only suitable for dogs in small amounts. Like black tea, green tea also has trace amounts of caffeine, and our dogs are much more sensitive to the substance than we are. If your dog has too much green tea, they might experience bouts of insomnia and anxiety and potentially a caffeine overdose.
How to Serve Green Tea to Dogs
So, the key here is to give your dog just a little green tea to ensure they get those sweet, sweet antioxidants but not the caffeine that comes with the leaves. To do this, there are some things you can do to control how you serve your tea:
Best Brands of Green Tea for Dogs
For starters, choosing an organic and fully compostable tea brand is essential. Look for tea brands that use paper tea bags, or go with a loose-leaf tea if possible. That way, you won’t have to worry about microplastics in your doggy’s drink.
Best Recipes for Serving Green Tea for Dogs
Doctor Julie Schell from the Bow Bottom Veterinary Hospital has a great, simple recipe for a dog-friendly green tea. Unlike the other recipes we’ve shared, this one’s a bit easier, and you only need two ingredients: green tea and water.
First, place your tea bag in a liter of cold water. If possible, use a glass container to avoid plastic contamination. Then, let it steep for about fifteen minutes. Schell also says you can “use the tea bag after it has been used to make tea for yourself. It will still have enough strength to then brew 1 liter in cold water for your pets.”
To serve, mix 1/8th of a cup into your puppy’s food or pour a little into a bowl for them to drink.
Tips for Serving Green Tea to Dogs
You'll have to take it slow to introduce new foods of any kind into your doggo’s diet. Start by introducing green tea to your puppy in small amounts, then work up to your veterinarian’s recommended dose. Remember to reward them after drinking some, and make sure you monitor their bathroom habits afterward. If you see your dog struggling to use the bathroom or having diarrhea, call your veterinarian immediately for extra help!
Frequently Asked Questions
Still have questions? We’ve got answers! Check out our FAQ:
Can dogs drink green tea?
Yes, dogs can drink green tea in moderation.
Is green tea good for dogs?
Green tea contains antioxidants and other nutrients that can benefit dogs' health when given in moderation and doctor’s consent.
Is green tea bad for dogs?
Too much green tea can give your dog caffeine poisoning, so always check with a veterinarian before giving green tea to your dog.
How much green tea can I give my dog?
Giving dogs no more than 1-2 ounces of green tea per day is recommended, and only after consulting with a veterinarian.
What are the benefits of giving green tea to dogs?
Green tea may have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, aid digestion, and promote dental health in dogs.
Are there any risks associated with giving green tea to dogs?
Giving too much green tea to dogs can cause caffeine toxicity, which can be harmful or even fatal, and it can also interfere with the absorption of certain medications.
Can green tea be used to treat certain health conditions in dogs?
While green tea may have some health benefits for dogs, it should not be used as a replacement for medical treatment prescribed by a veterinarian.
Can all dogs drink green tea?
It is best to consult with a veterinarian before giving green tea to dogs, especially if they have underlying health conditions or are taking medication.
Are there any alternative ways to provide the benefits of green tea to dogs?
Some alternative ways to provide the benefits of green tea to dogs include using green tea extract supplements or providing green tea-flavored treats formulated for dogs.
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Rocky Kanaka is an entrepreneur, pet rescue advocate and dog dad to a rescue boxer named Flip, a blind Cane Corso called Kobe, and a terrier mix named Zoey. He's also a pet chef and owner of The Dog Bakery, which specializes in dog birthday cakes
and fresh baked dog treats. His three dogs can't get enough of the dog cakes and treats!
Lorna Paxton Ladd is a passionate dog lover and enthusiast of The Dog Bakery. She loves spoiling her 3 rescue dogs with dog cakes
and jerky. A 15 year veteran in the pet industry, her aim is to educate pet parents on the best recipes, products, tips and tricks to optimize the human/canine bond. Her favorite product at The Dog Bakery are the customizable dog birthday cakes.