My Dog Ate Tea Bag: What Should I Do Now? (3 Tips)

It’s not a hidden fact that dogs are curious creatures. Thus, as pet owners, it won’t be surprising to see our dogs eating the things they shouldn’t. They would even go to the extent of eating even what is toxic for them, as long as they can reach it. Among these things are tea bags. 

So you may ask: my dog ate tea bag: what should I do now? The first thing you need to do is contact a vet right away. Unlike other things, a tea bag contains caffeine, which can be lethal for dogs. If your dog is a small one and swallows a tea bag, take it to the vet right away. Also, observe your pet for caffeine poisoning symptoms after eating the item.

Dogs are curious animals that would eat anything they can reach. While it’s alright from time to time, some items just pose a threat to their lives.

For instance, tea bags contain tea extracts, which are high in caffeine. As a pet owner, you probably already know that caffeine can be lethal for dogs, even in small amounts. Moreover, the tea bag itself can cause an intestinal blockage.

In this article, I included some tips and what you need to do if it happens. This way, you can be ready if your pet starts eating such a thing.

Without further ado, let’s get into it!

What happens if a dog eats a tea bag?

A tea bag isn’t something you need to take lightly, mostly if your dog ate it. The thing about a tea bag is that it contains caffeine, which can be lethal for your pet.

Dogs are more sensitive to caffeine than people. Thus, it goes to the extent that even a small amount of caffeine can put your pet’s life at risk.

Caffeine poisoning can cause the same symptoms as chocolate poisoning. Thus, if your pet eats a tea bag, observe your pet for the following signs:

  • Restlessness
  • High blood pressure
  • Hyperactivity (mild to severe)
  • Vomiting
  • Increased heart rate
  • Hyperthermia
  • Seizures
  • Collapse

If left unchecked, it can cause your pet’s death. For this reason, it would be best to contact your vet right away as soon as your pet eats a tea bag.

Another thing that can happen is that the tea bag would cause a blockage in its gut. Rather than safely passing all the way, it can block the intestines, which would need an immediate operation.

For this reason, take your pet to the vet to ensure it receives proper diagnosis and treatment.

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Can tea bags kill dogs?

The short answer is yes. Teabags can kill dogs, but it will vary depending on the circumstances.

If a small dog eats a whole tea bag, it can be quite lethal. With a slim body, it won’t take that much caffeine and would exhibit severe symptoms soon.

If it’s a large-sized dog, it would likely solve the problem of inducing it to vomit. Still, it would be best to take it to the vet and let the expert do it.

The thing about tea bags is that they contain caffeine, which can kill a dog even in small amounts.

Another issue would be the bag causing a blockage in the gut. If left unchecked, it can lead to severe symptoms that can also cause death.

In general, a tea bag poses a significant threat to any dog if ingested. Thus, it would always be best to contact a vet even if your pet shows no symptoms at all.

How to recognize that your dog ate a tea bag?

Our pet dogs can be quite the sneaky type. Thus, chances are you won’t catch your pet in action.

Still, caffeine in tea bags can cause severe symptoms. In just a few hours, your pet will likely show signs of poisoning.

The caffeine in tea can cause your dog to develop the following symptoms:

  • Hyperactivity (mild to severe)
  • Vomiting
  • Elevated heart rate
  • Restlessness
  • High blood pressure
  • Hyperthermia
  • Seizures
  • Collapse

Even if your pet doesn’t show any symptoms, contact your vet right away. This way, you can be confident your pet receives proper diagnosis and treatment.

What should I do if my dog ate a tea bag?

If your dog ate a tea bag, it needs immediate response to avoid putting your pet’s life at risk. For this reason, you can’t take the situation lightly.

Here are four simple tips you can do if your dog ate such an item.

Prevent your pet from eating more tea bags.

The last thing you’ll want is for your pet to eat more of this product. Thus, you should remove any remnants from the area.

Dogs usually find such things in trash bins and dining areas. More likely, they may find it in the cups you leave in the sink.

Wherever the product came from, ensure the area is secure and no more remnants.

Understand what happened.

Understanding what happened is crucial in this kind of situation. Since tea bags can be lethal, it would be best to gather all the information you can get. This way, you can give it to the vet for a more accurate and quicker diagnosis.

Tea bags can be lethal, even in small amounts. Thus, it can turn into quite a danger if ingested in large quantities.

Here are a few questions that you need to answer and understand from the scene.

  • How much tea bag did your pet eat? (Did it swallow the product whole?)
  • How long has it been since it happened? (the sooner you knew, the better)
  • Did your dog consume other items aside from the product? (perhaps your pet eats other products that can be way more toxic)

Getting such information would make you understand how worse the incident is. Moreover, it will help you report what happened if you visit the vet and ask about what happened.

tea bags

Take your pet to your vet.

An immediate call to your vet upon learning about the situation would give you an expert’s advice on what to do.

As long as you give every piece of information you can gather, it will help diagnose your pet’s condition.

Moreover, your vet will give you some directions on what to do and what to observe with your dog.

Your vet will more likely ask you to take it to the clinic right away or call the pet poison helpline to get immediate assistance.

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Are tea bags digestible for dogs?

Teabags are not digestible for dogs. More likely, the bag itself would pass through the gut. However, the main issue here is the contents of the pack.

While the bag itself may pass through the gut, its contents have some caffeine that can put your pet’s life at risk.

For this reason, it would be best to contact a vet right away, even if your pet shows no problems at all.

This way, you can ensure your pet receives proper treatment and keep it safe from any possible danger.

Different types of tea bags

Below is a rundown of different types of tea bags your house may have. The type of tea may cause a big or small change in its effects on your dog.

Let’s see what each type would cause to our pets.

Lipton tea bag

The thing about Lipton tea is that it doesn’t come from tea leaves. Thus, it doesn’t have the caffeine content like that of other tea.

Still, it doesn’t mean there’s no caffeine at all. According to Caffeine Informer, Lipton Tea contains 55mg of caffeine.

If your dog ate a Lipton tea bag, it might still cause severe symptoms. Nevertheless,  it doesn’t cause more grave issues than other products with caffeine.

Herbal tea bag

Herbal Teas don’t have caffeine at all. Thus, you don’t need to worry about caffeine toxicity for your pet if your tea bags consist of herbal tea.

The reason why it doesn’t have caffeine is that it isn’t from tea leaves. Instead, it comes from dried flowers, leaves, seeds, and roots that are usually caffeine-free.

Still, the bag may cause intestinal blockage, so be mindful of that.

Decaf tea bag

Decaffeinated tea has its caffeine content broken down. Thus, it should have less caffeine content than regular tea.

For this reason, caffeine toxicity isn’t likely to happen, especially if your pet ingested only a small amount or a single bag.

Chamomile tea bag

Chamomile tea is one of the herbal teas around, and it’s made from flowers. Thus, it should contain no traces of caffeine.

Still, it would be best to worry about your pet, as the bag itself can even cause issues.

Peppermint tea bag

Like chamomile tea, peppermint tea is also a herbal tea containing no caffeine. Thus, if your pet swallowed a peppermint tea bag, it should pass through its gut without any issues.

Still, it would be best to keep an eye on your pet if it shows signs of problems with the tea bag ingestion.

Green tea bag

Green Tea has a slightly higher amount of caffeine than other tea, but it has lesser than black tea.

Of course, if you compare it to other caffeine-rich products such as coffee, it would have comparatively low content.

Whatever teabag your pet ate, be sure to take it to the vet so that it receives proper diagnosis and treatment.

Why do dogs eat tea bags?

Dogs eat tea bags just like they eat other items they shouldn’t. The thing about our pets is that they are curious animals to the extent that what they can reach may seem like food.

The usual reason why dogs would eat tea bags is that they see us drinking cups with these items in them.

Thus, if you drink your tea in front of your dog, it may see the tea bag as something edible.

Since tea bags can be a bit fragrant, it may lure your pet to swallow them after a few sniffs.

While the tea bag itself can pass through their gut safely without issues, the caffeine content can cause some worry.

Caffeine contains theobromine, the same component found in chocolates, and dogs don’t do well with such a chemical.

For this reason, it would be best to avoid such incidents at all costs.

How to prevent dogs from eating tea bags?

A dog eating tea bag incident isn’t new. Still, it should be a lesson to prevent it from happening again.

Here are some of the things you can do to prevent your pet from eating teabags again.

Place the product somewhere unreachable.

The first thing you need is to secure the place where you store your teabags. It would be ideal for putting it somewhere your dog can’t see and reach.

Another thing you can do is not to show your dog whenever you’re drinking this product.

This way, you can be sure your pet won’t get its hands on such a product again. If your dog has access to your dining area, put your tea bags and other similar products in a place it can’t reach.

Drink a tea that has no caffeine.

The best way to avoid caffeine poisoning is to stop storing tea bags with caffeine.

Instead of drinking black or green tea, you can opt for herbal teas such as chamomile and peppermint tea.

Divert your dog’s attention.

Another thing you can do is to divert your dog’s attention away from the product. You can do this by giving your pet an interactive toy.

Moreover, allow your pet to play in areas without tea bags and other similar items. This way, you’ll avoid having your pet running around and eating this product again.

Introduce such toys with your guidance, and leave them with your pet only as long as you think it’s alright. It may take a few days or weeks, depending on your dog’s output.

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Teabags can cause many problems for your pet. Aside from getting caffeine poisoning, they may cause an intestinal blockage as well.

Of course, the caffeine in tea is quite lower than other caffeine products such as coffee. Still, it can cause problems with your pet if ingested.

As always, the best way to solve this issue is to prevent it from happening at all. Place all your tea bags somewhere your pet can’t reach and don’t leave one unattended.


Image credits – Canva

[1] Caffeine Informer on Lipton Tea’s caffeine content

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