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Last Updated on August 24, 2022 by Scott
Matcha is a well loved bright green drink that is enjoyed by many people worldwide. However, although humans love it, it might not be the best for our furry companions. Try as we might, our pets always want to try a little of whatever we’re having, which can be detrimental to their health if we’re not careful.
If your dog consumes a small amount of matcha, it is unlikely to harm your dog. Although high amounts of caffeine can be potentially harmful for dogs, matcha in small and controlled amounts will not cause any harm to your pet.
Some dog foods do contain small amounts of matcha in them. Some owners may also want their pets to get some of the added health benefits of matcha consumption in a safe and healthy manner. Read on to learn more about matcha, how it can affect your dog, and more.
What Is Matcha?
Matcha is a finely ground Japanese powder made of green tea leaves. It’s known for having a high amount of antioxidants in it. It was originally consumed mostly in East Asia, but has grown to be popular worldwide. The name translates to “powdered tea.”
The green tea plants used to make matcha are grown specifically to be made into matcha. They’re grown in the shade, then they’re harvested and have the stems and veins removed. Later, they’re processed by a stone mill made specifically for making matcha powder.
Preparing matcha also has its own special process. Unlike most other teas, which are steeped in water, matcha is whisked into hot water. This makes a frothy drink that has a natural sweetness to it.
Besides beverages, matcha is used for making desserts and snacks, such as soft serve ice cream, cake, and even chocolates.
The Benefits And Risks of Matcha For Dogs
Matcha is known for its high count of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. It’s possible for your dog to get these health benefits from matcha as well. However, the dose of matcha will need to be significantly smaller than it would be for human consumption.
Certain forms of matcha will work, while others will not. Matcha ice cream or cake is never a good idea to give to your pet. The high sugar content, as well as potential inclusion of other toxic ingredients such as chocolate, will prove to be more detrimental for your pet than helpful.
The easiest way to give your dog matcha is in powdered form. A small sprinkle of it on top of your dog’s meal will suffice. Just be sure to not give your dog matcha too often, as this can result in harm to their digestive system. When in doubt, consult with your vet.
The benefits of giving your dog matcha is similar to the benefits of humans consuming matcha. Along with having a lot of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, matcha can help boost your immune system.
There are other health benefits from consuming matcha, which include the following:
- Helps protect the liver
- Boosts brain function
- Promotes heart health
- Helps with weight loss
- May help prevent certain cancers
- Prevents type 2 diabetes
Overall, matcha is a health booster. It can be found in some dog food products, particularly in dog treats and chews.
Consider adding matcha to your own homemade dog treats.
The biggest risk with giving your dog matcha is the possibility of caffeine toxicity. Dogs should not have high amounts of caffeine, as they are more sensitive to the effects of caffeine than humans are.
Caffeine will raise your dog’s blood pressure and can cause cardiac arrhythmia, which is potentially dangerous. Large consumption of caffeine can result in damage to your pet’s liver, heart, kidneys, lungs, and central nervous system.
Some pet owners choose to opt out of giving their dog anything with caffeine in it to avoid this potential problem.
The most important thing to remember when it comes to your dog and caffeine is moderation.
Things To Consider If You Give Your Dog Matcha Powder
It’s important to consider the amount of matcha you give your dog and how often. Moderation is the main way to prevent caffeine toxicity for your pet. Additionally, it’s good to take into consideration any of your pet’s dietary or health needs.
For example, if you have an older dog that you know is prone to issues with blood pressure, it may be best to give them an even smaller dose of matcha, or perhaps none at all. However, if you have a dog with little to no health issues, then you have less to worry about.
Lastly, it’s always best to consult with your veterinarian first before doing anything else. They have extensive knowledge about your pet’s health and will be able to tell you if your dog can have matcha and how much to give them.
If I Decide To Give My Dog Matcha, How Should I Prepare The Matcha?
First and foremost, make sure you’re not giving your dog matcha desserts. Ice cream and cakes can have high amounts of sugar and are likely to include far too much caffeine for your dog. Additionally, they may have chocolate in them, which might give your dog more caffeine than you intended to give them.
You can prepare matcha for your dog by brewing it as a drink.
- When brewing matcha for your dog, make sure to use a small quantity, no milk.
- Make sure it is not boiling when served.
- Dilute it with cold water as needed.
If you don’t want to steep tea for your dog, you can sprinkle the powder on top of their meal. If they won’t take to the powder in its bowl, try buying treats that have matcha in them or making homemade treats with matcha powder.
What Is A Safe Amount of Matcha For Dogs?
There isn’t a specific amount of matcha that is safe for all dogs in all situations and contexts. Generally speaking, you want the amount of matcha to be small. To get a specific measurement, it’s best to consult your veterinarian for a dose size.
Symptoms to Watch For If Your Dog Consumes Too Much Matcha Tea or Caffeine
If your dog is given matcha in moderation, then you can avoid the possibility of caffeine toxicity. However, it’s important to be able to recognize the symptoms of caffeine toxicity in dogs, which are typically as follows:
- Loss of consciousness
- Hyperactivity or restlessness
- Increased or abnormal heart rate
- Increased body temperature
- Elevated blood pressure
If you see any of these symptoms arise after your dog consumes matcha or any other form of caffeine, take your dog to the veterinarian immediately. This situation can be dangerous for your dog and you should seek medical assistance when dealing with this.
Other Types of Tea That Are Safe For Dogs
If you want to give your dog the health benefits of tea without worrying about caffeine, there are quite a few caffeine free options. Many of them serve as herbal medicine that helps with digestive issues and other stomach related issues.
Here are some considerations:
- Chamomile tea is a herbal tea that is caffeine free. It helps with digestion, as well as soothing anxiety for your dog. It is considered one of the safest supplements for digestive ailments.
- Peppermint tea also helps with digestion, and will freshen your dog’s breath. It’s caffeine free and will aid your dog with any other stomach related problems. The cooling effect of the peppermint can also help relieve pain and reduce vomiting. However, peppermint tea must be given in small doses.
- Ginger tea is another safe tea option for your dog. It’s a great herbal alternative medicine used to help treat skin diseases in dogs.
When it comes to dosage for any of these teas, even though they’re caffeine free, be sure to consult with your veterinarian first. They can give you a better idea of what kind of dosage to use, as well as what form to serve the tea.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Is matcha toxic?
A. Matcha is not toxic but can be harmful if consumed in large quantities. It can induce nausea and affect your liver and kidneys. However, it does still contain vitamins and minerals that are beneficial for your health. Serve in moderation.
Q. Is green tea the same thing as matcha?
A. Although matcha is made from green tea plants, they’re not quite the same thing. Not all green teas are planted, harvested, processed, or served in the same way as matcha. Matcha green tea plants are grown specifically to make matcha, are processed with a stone mill, and are whisked instead of steeped into water.
Q. How much matcha is toxic for dogs?
A. Matcha should not be served to dogs in large quantities and matcha consumption should be monitored. If you notice symptoms of caffeine toxicity in your dog, be sure to take them to the vet.
A little matcha will not harm your dog. In fact, it can have a lot of health benefits and boost their immune system. When in doubt, consult your veterinarian. They can help you decide whether or not matcha is something you want to feed your pet. Just remember, serve matcha in moderation.
Scott is the founder of TeaMinded. He enjoys tasting and discovering teas from across the globe, with green teas and ceremonial matcha from Japan being among his favorites. He’s grateful to be immersed in the tea community, always learning and sharing along the journey.