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Can dogs benefit from green tea?

Green tea has been recognised as an antioxidant powerhouse offering health benefits to humans but can it do the same for our canine friends and how can we add it to their diet? 

Well, while searching for the answer, we’ve found a recent review concluding:

“Tea’s potential as an anti-cancer medication is gaining global recognition.”1

If you drink good quality green tea, you can mix a few leaves into your dog’s food as well. In small amounts you shouldn’t need to panic about the caffeine levels BUT make sure you start with a very low dose and see how your pet reacts. Increase gradually and only give the ‘real thing’ (the caffeinated version) in the morning rather than throughout the day.

The following blog recommends caffeine-free tea. Iris, as a devoted green tea drinker, can tell you that it is hard enough finding a decent-quality normal green tea in the UK so the chances of getting a decaffeinated version with equivalent medicinal constituents is even more slim. So, if introducing your pet to standard green tea, go cautiously and steadily.

We also found an unexpected answer that’s encouraging if you want to do something potentially beneficial for your pet’s oral health. There is evidence for the use of green tea in a “reduction in periodontal disease and oral malodour” in dogs 2 and for “Gingivitis and oral malodour” in cats. 3

Importantly, if your pet has a health concern, please ensure you see your vet to get a diagnosis and treatment recommendations. Helping to prevent the reoccurrence of both oral problems and cancer is where herbs come into their own. We recommend you see Iris for a herbal consult to make sure you get the most out of any supplements you choose for your pet or any herbs that require prescription.

There are some good quality decaffeinated products for pets on the market. Nutraplaque, a natural supplement containing decaffeinated green tea, helps in reducing plaque build-up and malodour and can be purchased direct from the UK-based manufacturer Nutravet. It’s worth asking your vet whether they stock this. Alternatively, we can order Nutraplaque (containing decaffeinated green tea and seaweed) or you can get it online at:

To summarise, green tea, when used carefully, is a natural way to support your pet’s health so why not pop the kettle on!

Iris, who likes a “cuppa green please”, shares a few leaves with her Whippet Blossom who, despite being a fussy eater, doesn’t mind them in her breakfast and has her supplements mixed into her dinner. Iris recommends infusing green tea leaves with hot water at around 80 degrees Celsius for better taste and to preserve the antioxidant properties. Please note, tea leaves added to your pet’s breakfast should be cooled before serving.

1 Lian Y, Li X, Lan Y, Li Z, Lin X, Huang J, Zhang B, Feng Z. Bibliometric and visual analysis in the field of tea in cancer from 2013 to 2023. Front Oncol. 2024 Jan 11;13:1296511.

2  E. Isogai, H. Isogai, K. Kimura, T. Nishikawa, N. Fujii & Y. Benno (1995) Effect of Japanese Green Tea Extract on Canine Periodontal Diseases, Microbial Ecology in Health and Disease, 8:2, 57-61.

3 Hiroshi Isogai, Emiko Isogai, Koichi Takahashi, Yoichi Kurebayashi Effect of Catechin Diet on Gingivitis in Cats, Intern J Appl Res Vet Med • Vol. 6, No. 2, 2008.82.