My Dog Has Eaten Coffee Grounds

correct answerThe Short Answer is:

The caffeine content of coffee grounds is high. Caffeine is very toxic to dogs even though we humans enjoy a cup or two. Caffeine (methylxanthine) is a stimulant that dogs cannot digest in the same way humans can. Your pup’s body is extremely sensitive to caffeine which can harm them greatly.

In this research you will know the answer to the query “My Dog Has Eaten Coffee Grounds“.

As you watch TV in the living room like every evening your dog comes over to give you a kiss.

Around her mouth are little black particles at that point. This causes you to wonder “What do they mean?”

From your back door you see a trail of black particles coming from your garbage bag. It wasnot long until you realized it was coffee grounds! You got up to take a closer look.

You begin to worry about whether its harmful to your dog and wonder how much she could have eaten. 

Whether you have been in this situation know someone who has or maybe you are just curious. Read the following research to learn more. Here are several questions about coffee grounds and dogs.

Why are coffee grounds dangerous?

The caffeine content of coffee grounds is high. Caffeine is very toxic to dogs even though we humans enjoy a cup or two. Caffeine (methylxanthine) is a stimulant that dogs cannot digest in the same way humans can. Your pups body is extremely sensitive to caffeine which can harm them greatly.

We become jittery and our hearts race when we consume too much caffeine. However dogs suffer from these symptoms to a much greater degree than humans. 

Also do not forget about other caffeine-containing items such as chocolate and soda. You should also keep your pup away from these items. In light of the dangers of coffee grounds lets examine used grounds and fresh grounds closer.

Are fresh grounds more dangerous than used grounds?

Lets take a closer look at the caffeine content of fresh and used grounds since caffeine is toxic to dogs.

Research conducted by a department of nutrition found that used coffee grounds still contained high levels of caffeine. Despite the higher caffeine content the flavor quality of used grounds was reduced.

 An additional study carried out by a coffee brewing company revealed that the caffeine content of coffee could decrease with different brews. Depending on how and for how long the grounds were brewed the caffeine content in the grounds may become weak since caffeine is water-soluble. Lets look at how much caffeine each type of roast contains now that we know this.

Are dark roast grounds more dangerous than light roast grounds?

Coffee beans that have been over-roasted to almost a burnt state are referred to as dark roast coffee. During this process the beans lose their flavor as well as their caffeine content so even though it is less toxic for your dog it is still harmful. The caffeine content of lightly roasted coffee is higher than that of dark roasted coffee. Yes you guessed it its because the light roast does not get roasted as much as the dark roast. This means that it has more caffeine and flavor.

As you can see the roasting process is what lowers the caffeine content of the coffee. Dark roasts contain less caffeine than light roasts but both are still dangerous for your dog. Now that you have looked at the different roasts I’m sure you’re wondering “What about decaffeinated grounds?”. Next lets discuss that.

Our decaf coffee grounds safe to eat?

Yes decaffeinated coffee grounds are safer to feed your dog because they contain no caffeine. However it is not recommended. An upset stomach can cause your dog to experience mild symptoms of diarrhea and vomiting but they should not last long. Monitor your dog closely for any signs of illness. Whenever symptoms appear and do not disappear call your vet.

While the beans are still green before they are roasted the caffeine is extracted using water and activated carbon? Lets examine how much caffeine can kill a dog now that we know more about decaffeinated coffee grounds. 

How much caffeine will kill a dog?

 One pound of caffeine will kill a pup with 70 mg of caffeine. Approximately 12 teaspoons of used coffee grounds contain 4 to 8 mg of caffeine per gram. Big dogs would have a hard time being killed by coffee grounds because they would need a lot of them. Coffee grounds on the other hand would take much less to kill a small dog. 

Small dogs such as Yorkies and Chihuahuas would only need six teaspoons of coffee grounds to become ill. For a medium-sized dog such as a beagle or Scottish terrier 15 teaspoons of coffee grounds would be harmful. The amount of coffee grounds needed to harm a large dog such as a German Shepherd is only 45 teaspoons. Even for a dog as large as a Great Dane or St Bernard it would take 20 tablespoons of coffee grounds to cause harm.

Did you know that an average Cafetiere pot of coffee has about 21 teaspoons of caffeine in it while a Moka pot has approximately the same amount?

It is possible to calculate the caffeine content of a drink per the weight of a person or animal using an online caffeine calculator. A caffeine consumption chart for dogs is also available online which can be very useful if your dog has consumed coffee grounds.

Your dog would have a hard time telling how much he or she has consumed once they have eaten the grounds. Be aware of the signs and symptoms of caffeine poisoning. Thats what we’ll discuss next.

What are the symptoms of caffeine poisoning? 

If you suspect your pup has eaten coffee grounds but are not sure how much here are some symptoms to watch out for. Vomiting diarrhea excessive drinking and urination heart arrhythmia tremors seizures. About 30 minutes to one hour after consumption these symptoms will begin to appear.

You can also observe your pups body language if he or she ate coffee grounds including growling weakness tail tucking head bobbing and anything else that seems strange to you.

 You should contact your veterinarian right away if your dog ate coffee grounds. Veterinarians are well trained to deal with these kinds of situations so they know what to do. Lets check out the next topic Do coffee beans cause more harm than coffee grounds?

Our coffee beans more dangerous than coffee grounds?

Ground coffee is coffee that has been ground in a grinder into chips so that they can be brewed. Therefore they are similar but in different forms. The caffeine content in used coffee grounds has been weakened by brewing with hot water making them less dangerous than coffee beans. 

People who drink coffee sometimes use their leftover grounds as compost for their gardens. Plants can grow healthy with it as it is said to have many benefits to the soil. You should make sure that your dog cannot access the soil if you decide to do something like this with your used coffee grounds. Heres an interesting question can coffee be safely used with dogs? The answer is yes! Next lets talk about that.

Are there any ways in which coffee grounds can be used safely with dogs?

While coffee grounds contain many minerals such as calcium potassium iron and magnesium that can be beneficial for dogs they also contain catechols that can upset their stomach. It is not safe to use coffee grounds with dogs unless you can fully remove all the caffeine from the grounds as well as the catechols. Studies and evidence supporting this claim are also lacking. 

It is a good idea to compost your coffee grounds in order to keep your dog away from them. Put the coffee grounds in a plastic bag and tie it in a knot before dumping them in the trash (be sure your dog can not get to the area its being sprinkled on.)


In the unfortunate event that your dog happens to come across some coffee grounds and you suspect she has eaten some call your vet and explain the situation to him. Check your pups weight per caffeine content by using the caffeine calculator followed by the dog toxic consumption chart. Also look out for signs symptoms and body language. As long as its decaffeinated grounds you do not have much to worry about except possibly an upset stomach. 

You should not be so hard on yourself if Bengy got into the coffee grounds. This happens to everyone from time to time. Keep your garbage in an area where your dog cannot get to it next time and dispose of the grounds better. 

If you want to read more about dog food tips read here: Dog Food Tips and Tricks.

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