Skip to content
Previous article
Now Reading:
Is green tea toxic to dogs?

Is green tea toxic to dogs?

It can work wonders for humans, but should it be in your dog's supplements?

If you have read some of my previous articles and blogs, you already know that I love to learn from real life experiences and get off the beaten path. After all, that is how we discover new ways of life and healing too.

I decided to write this article after posting on Facebook asking whether green tea is toxic or not. The results were surprising because there was a split. Half of the people believed that green tea is good for dogs, and the other half thought that it was not.

My Green Tea Story

Green tea leaves

If you have traveled around the world, especially in third world countries, indigestion and food poisoning comes with the territory. Most travelers have at least one experience with "third world indigestion," and I am no exception.

When I visited Myanmar (formerly Burma), I fell in love with this beautiful country and its people. The country just emerged from fifty years of almost complete isolation, and I loved the feeling of going back in time.

Unfortunately, I too ate the meal that didn't agree with my body and consequently went through a two-day unplanned "cleanse." Perhaps my indigestion would have lasted even longer had a local woman not advised me to drink green tea.

After a few cups, I was cured and could enjoy the rest of my trip without frantically looking for the closest washroom. The green tea medicine was amazing!

Dogs, Diarrhea, and Green Tea

If you share your life with a dog, you now how notoriously naughty they can be. My dog, Skai, is no exception. He knows very well how to sneak away around the picnic areas in parks and on beaches and find food remains that are far from fresh.

When the scavenger hunt is successful, the result is usually an unwanted "cleanse" in the middle of the night. The body knows how to get rid of food that didn't fit. The problem is that our dogs no longer live in the bush like their ancestors and no one wants to wake up at 2 am to clean up the mess.

Naturally, one would think that similar to humans, green tea could treat diarrhea or prevent diarrhea in dogs. However, this would be a mistake.

Research behind the tea toxicity

It is relatively common to see that dogs react to certain foods differently than humans. Good examples are grapes and chocolate, and also tea.

The topic of chronic toxicity of green tea in dogs was studied in 2011. This study revealed that green tea extracts can cause lethal liver, gastrointestinal, and renal toxicities in fasted dogs. The main findings were necrosis of the liver cells and gastrointestinal lining as well as kidney damage, degeneration of reproductive organs, and bone marrow disorders.*

While the damage was found only in dogs that were fasted, it is very clear that green tea carries a substantial risk to dogs, and in my opinion, there is no reason to take such risk.

Why is green tea added to many natural supplements?

This question points to one common phenomenon, people often wrongly assume that what is good for people is good for dogs.

I believe that it is better to be safe than sorry, and there are other safer ways of treating diarrhea and other medical conditions. After all, it is unlikely that dogs would consume significant amounts of green tea if they lived in the wild.

How to address diarrhea safely without drugs and chemicals

If you are interested in learning how to address diarrhea in dogs, click here.

Int J Toxicol. 2011 Feb;30(1):19-20. doi: 10.1177/1091581810387445. Epub 2010 Nov 22. Green tea extract-induced lethal toxicity in fasted but not in nonfasted dogs. Wu KM1, Yao J, Boring D.

About the author

Dr. Peter Dobias, DVM is an Integrative veterinarian, nutritionist and creator of natural supplements for dogs and people. Helping you and your dog prevent disease, treat nutritional deficiencies, and enjoy happier, healthier, and longer lives together.

Most Popular

  • Flying with dogs
    In my article, I share the personal story of how I'm able to fly with my dog, Pax, thanks to overcoming challenges with sleepwalking and night terrors. This unique experience not only allowed me to travel with my service dog but also serves as a reminder that even difficult situations can have positive outcomes.
  • dog and pony
    Successful communication is essential for building healthier and more fulfilling relationships and happier lives. In this article, I'll share with you 8 communication hacks to help you avoid unnecessary drama, prioritize active listening and address conflicts effectively.
  • Dalmatian eating fruit
    Can dogs eat bananas, apples, strawberries and other fruit? What about grapes? Find out what fruits are safe, toxic, and healthy for dogs. Learn about the potential health benefits and risks of feeding fruit to your canine companion, and get tips on the ideal time to feed it.
  • Illustration of the anatomy of a heart
    As dog lovers, we all want our beloved pups to live long and healthy lives. Protecting your dog's heart from potential health issues is important, and in this blog Dr. Dobias shares some key points that you might not yet be aware of, read on to find out what you can do to keep your dog's heart safe. 

Dog Health

  • Husky lying on blanket with heart toy
    Dogs have our hearts and that is why we need to protect their heart. Dog’s as they age often face muscle problems and spinal misalignment and you might be surprised to know how that can hurt their heart. Learn how to protect your dog’s spine and by extension their heart.
  • The secret ingredient for a perfect No. 2
    Dogs and humans have evolved side-by-side but they are still quite different when it comes to their digestive tracts and dietary habits. We have studied their original environments such as the soils of the African savanna and consulted with top experts in the field of probiotics and microbiology to come up with a combination that reflects healthy bacterial flora of canines.
  • Man being pointed at
    Criticism can hurt a brand, but constructive feedback can help it grow. In this blog Dr. Dobias talks about the differences between these approaches, and how to handle the power of influence and opinion with care. 
  • Broccoli with vitamins and minerals
    Are you worried that your and your dog's diet is missing something? Maybe you're worried about toxin levels in food, the environment, or flea and tick products. Let's face it; we can't remove ourselves entirely from our toxin-filled world, but we can do things to reduce our exposure to harmful substances. 

Human health

  • Dr. Dobias with Pax
    How do you navigate the seas of life? How do you deal with disappointment? Whatever life throws at us, we can always rely on our dogs to bring joy into our days. In this blog I share my thoughts on the support our dogs provide during the difficult moments in life. 
  • Why 1 in 4 Americans suffer from non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD)
    Learn more about the alarming prevalence of Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD) affecting 1 in 4 Americans. Discover its main risk factors, diagnosis methods, and treatment options to better manage or prevent this silent yet severe condition. 
  • A new perspective on brain health, memory loss, Alzheimer's Disease, and dementia in people and dogs
    The Science of DHA and the Brain: Omega-3 fatty acids, primarily DHA, are the unsung heroes of brain health. They play crucial roles in brain physiology and biological activities, with exciting links between Omega-3 levels and cognitive function. Higher DHA levels have been shown to preserve the integrity of the Blood-Brain Barrier (BBB), your brain's security system
  • Dr. Dobias and Pax
    It appears that most of the world is ready for change, but whenever I think about the solutions to any of the problems that plague our world, I can’t prevent myself from thinking that we humans are acting like little toddlers who have broken a toy and do not know how to fix it. Despite my generally optimistic attitude, I have had a hard time staying positive at times because I know how complex this all is. Read here for some tools that make me feel good about the world, which I would like to share with you.

News, stories and good life

  • Dr. Peter Dobias with his dog Pax on his lap
    Do you have trouble staying positive during difficult times? These days we are surrounded by a lot of negative messaging, and it's easy to let that get you down. Here are some of my tips for remaining positive, and don't forget to share your tips with me!
  • Man raising fist on a mountain
    Most of us have been exposed to panic-inducing information about the virus spread, however, I have noticed the general absence of one piece of information, how to make your immune system stronger and body more resilient. (It will definitely not happen by stockpiling toilet paper!) I have always loved immunology and the current situation has prompted me to put together two simple lists on how to increase your dog’s and your own immunity.
  • Man with dog wearing a collar
    Does your dog have ear problems, nasal or oral tumors, reverse sneezing or an  itchy head or hair loss on their head? Learn how you can address some of these problems and save thousands in vet care costs.
  • Terrier eating raw food
    Now there is no need to guess if there is something missing in your dogs diet.  The HairQ Test is a highly accurate test for mineral deficiencies, toxins and heavy metals in dogs to finely tune your dog’s diet and supplement schedule.



Your cart is currently empty.

Start Shopping