When the temps drop, there’s nothing more cozy than a cup of tea in your hands and your pup by your side. But should Christina Wag-uilera have some sips, too? A few dog-friendly tea companies think so, claiming the brews they make provide health benefits like relieving bloat, motion sickness and even anxiety. We answer all of your questions about this steeping trend and whether it's right for your pup:
Wait, you’re suggesting my dog drinks my tea?
Not exactly. You’re not just giving your beloved pup a cup steeped with your go-to Earl Grey. In fact, please don’t. Regular, human tea (and coffee) is dangerous for animals with its high caffeine content and heat. But, certain plant-, herb-based and caffeine-free teas (think: chamomile, echinacea, ginger) can be beneficial if served in the right amount. Enter: dog tea companies. These businesses are producing pet-specific blends, nixing caffeine from the ingredient list.
What are the benefits of these dog teas?
Just like with humans, certain teas can naturally help remedy issues like anxiety, stress, indigestion (hello, bloating), nausea or inflammation. They can also work as immunity boosters, bug repellents or even anti-bacterials. For example, a tea with peppermint leaves and sage can improve your pup’s bad breath since they both have antibiotic properties. And teas with nettles or dandelions are great for balancing electrolytes, ya know for those super long hikes.
What about the downsides?
Dogs react more intensely to certain herbs than we do, which means making sure you serve up a safe proportion of tea to water (aka, follow the directions on the package). As far as ingredients in tea, some herbs like ginseng or echinacea might be dangerous if your pup is on certain medications—so always check with your vet before brewing a pot.
How do you serve a dog tea exactly?
Well, you could use a cup and saucer if you’re fancy (and brave). But a bowl is also totally fine—as long as your pup can easily lap it up. Just remember to make sure the tea has cooled down to room temperature before you serve it.
Where can I get some of this pup tea?
Quite a few companies are offering different types of brews: Tea Pet Salon has a selection of natural herbal blends, Australia-based Doggie Tea sells a special "Kiss Me" brew to improve digestion and bad breath, and the California Tea House has a "Machu" blend that's supposed to help lower stress levels and reduce the likelihood of car sickness (for those pups prone to it.)
The Ollie blog is devoted to helping pet parents lead healthier lives with their pups. If you want to learn more about our fresh, human-grade food, check out MyOllie.com.