When I first got Leela I wasn’t overly choosy about what food we fed her. My general rule of thumb was to avoid the supermarket brands and aim somewhere in the middle of what the pet stores were pushing.

One day a friend of ours brought over a bag of dog food their dog wasn’t eating and without so much as giving it a second glance, I put it over with Leela’s other bag of food.

Then when it came time to feed… I noticed that this particular food had green tea in it.


“Lamb and rice with green tea“?


My first thought was “doesn’t green tea have caffeine in it”?

I’m not a big tea drinker so I had to hit up the internet for research. Turns out green tea does indeed have caffeine in it, but dog foods with green tea in it use an extract, the caffeine content of which is negligible.

Then there are folks like the The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, who write

while we generally do not advocate offering people food to pets, decaffeinated green tea can cause minor stomach upset if ingested, and it may still be possible for mild hyperactivity to occur from large ingestions.

The bottom line? An occasional lick or two of a green tea beverage (provided there are no herbs or xylitol added) should not pose a problem—but we would not recommend letting your dog consume more than that.

Are herbs or xylitol added to Holistic Recipe Solution dog food? No idea.

What I do imagine though is that there’s more than a few licks of green tea in a serving though.

Figuring it was only a small bag and initially serving it up with caution, I can report that Leela didn’t seem to suffer any ill effects from the food (no upset stomachs or anything).

But still… is it worth the risk? I’d like to think dog food manufacturers aren’t dopey enough to be putting ingredients into their products that are directly harming pets but… yeah, that’s not really a good argument.

For now? Green tea in the dog food means “no buy”!

Personally I’ve never liked the stuff. Always feel like I’m drinking a glass of soupy grass water. Yech.