Acai berries have recently become popular in the western world due to their health benefits and antioxidant properties.
If you are one of the many people who enjoy eating or drinking these South American dark purple berries and have pets at home, you may be wondering – can dogs have acai berries too?
The short answer is – a few of these berries will hardly harm your pup. But overall, feeding them to canines is not considered safe or advisable, mainly because they contain the toxin theobromine, which is also found in cocoa and chocolate. This is probably the reason why many describe their taste as a combination of berries and chocolate.
What Are Acai Berries?
These small deep purple berries resemble grapes, grow on palm trees, and are indigenous to the rainforests of South America. They contain powerful antioxidants, which can help improve cognitive function, heart health, athletic and sexual performance and even prevent some types of cancer.
The theobromine they contain gives these small berries a wonderful chocolate-like flavor. Unfortunately, it is also known to be highly toxic to canines.
How Are Acai Berries Good For Our Health?
They are packed with vitamin C, antioxidants such as anthocyanin, calcium, fiber, and healthy fatty acids. So, it comes as no surprise that acai berries are considered a superfood.
Eating them, or consuming food supplements made with them, in the recommended quantities can help reduce bad cholesterol levels, reduce inflammations and oxidative stress, improve blood flow to the brain, lower blood sugar levels, and prevent and kill cancer cells.
They are found to help boost athletic performance and help resolve problems with obesity, metabolic syndrome, and even erectile dysfunction.
Are Acai Berries Safe For Canines?
If your pup happens to gobble up a few acai berries, chances are there will be no harmful adverse effects. But giving your dog large quantities of acai or feeding it with these berries on a regular basis is not safe at all.
You should refrain from giving your furbaby acai berries because they contain the same toxin that makes chocolate so poisonous to dogs – theobromine.
Even though some dog parents claim that small amounts of acai berries can benefit dogs, the scientific evidence and the National Animal Supplement Council (NASC) suggest that you should avoid feeding canines with acai berries altogether.
So, to stay on the safe side, we recommend that you follow their advice and keep these berries away from your furry friend.
How Much Acai Berries Can A Dog Eat Safely?
If you are determined to give your pet some acai berries, make sure it is a tiny amount, especially if you have a small-sized dog. Theobromine poisoning in dogs can be a life-threatening condition, so it is best to stay safe.
You can reward your pup with other berries which are healthy and safe for it, such as blackberries, cranberries, and raspberries, again in moderation instead.
Can My Dog Have An Acai Berry Allergy?
Like humans, dogs can be allergic to just about any food. So, yes, your pet can also be allergic to acai berries.
What Are The Symptoms of Theobromine Poisoning?
Suppose your four-legged companion has somehow got hold of a larger amount of acai berries (or chocolate) and you are worried about potential theobromine poisoning. In that case, you should call your veterinarian or a pet poison helpline as soon as possible.
The most common symptoms of theobromine poisoning in canines include:
- Racing heart rate
- Panting and restlessness
- Increased thirst
- Increased urination
Since the theobromine may take up to 24 hours to be metabolized, the symptoms may appear long after the dog has ingested the berries.
If your vet asks you to take your pet to the clinic, make sure to do it as soon as possible. The earlier the treatment begins – the better the chances for a full recovery without complications.
Final Verdict – Keep the Acai Berries Away From Your Dog
Even though a few of these yummy berries may not harm your dog, it is better to be safe than sorry, so we recommend that you keep all acai berries, drinks, foods, and supplements which contain them safely away from your pup.
These South American berries may be very healthy for us, but because they contain theobromine, they can harm and even poison your dog!
So, sticking to healthier and safer fruits is best if you want to add some to your pup’s diet.