Do you enjoy some great fruit and fruit juices each day? Fruit is a very healthy addition to our daily diet, and there are even some fruits that dogs really enjoy. But what about acai berries?
What are Acai Berries?
Acai berries are a somewhat like grapes and they come from the rainforests of South America. They come from acai palm trees. The tree’s fruit is about 1-2 cm in diameter and are a very deep purple. The fruit is filled with seeds, and the taste has been described as somewhat of a blend of chocolate and berries.
In recent years, acai berries have been termed a superfood that has benefits for almost all parts of the body. Acai berries may be helpful to treat dementia (including Alzheimer’s), reduce the incidence of heart attacks and other cardiovascular diseases, fight cancer, and more.
Acai berries contain:
- 20 calories
- 0 g protein
- 5 g total fat
- 1 g carbohydrate
- 1 g fiber
- 6 mg calcium
They’re also a rich source of healthy fatty acids, and more.
So, these berries are very healthy for us, but what about our dogs?
Is Acai Safe For Dogs?
While many holistic vets do say acai juice and berries are good for dogs, the reality is that these berries can make your dog very sick. The reason is they contain theobromine.
Theobromine is a substance that’s also found in chocolate, which makes chocolate toxic to dogs. Dogs are not able to break down theobromine in their bodies, which leads them to develop symptoms of poisoning.
Like blueberries, acai contains antioxidants and has associated health benefits for humans. It can have a high toxicity level for dogs and impact their immune system. Anthocyanins and free radicals in acai, blackberries or cranberries can lead to similar side effects than chocolate poisoning in dogs. Acai bowls are not dog food and the acai fruit while being anti-inflammatory for humans may not cary the same benefits for your pooch. The associate vitamin c and its impact on cholesterol for humans does not carry over to dogs.
Dog treats should not contain human food, like dark chocolate some things like the goji berry can impact dog’s immune system and overall dogs’ health. The digestive system of your pooch is very fragile and the potential benefits of omega-3 fatty acids in berries like raspberries is not worth the side effect caused by their high sugar content. Heart disease or heart failure could happen after a dog eats too many of them, in milder cases weight loss is also common.
Symptoms of Theobromine Poisoning in Dogs
You may notice these symptoms if your dog is suffering from theobromine poisoning:
- Increased urination
- Internal bleeding
- Pale gums
If you notice these symptoms in your dog, then call the vet immediately. This may be a life-threatening medical emergency.
Treatment of Theobromine Poisoning in Dogs
The vet may choose to give your dog medication to make him vomit up the berries. They may also use activated charcoal to keep your dog’s body from absorbing the substance. Otherwise, the vet may also give your dog IV therapy to provide your fur baby with fluids and other medications.
If treated early, most dogs will go on to fully recover from theobromine poisoning.
As you can see, while the berries are not considered toxic to dogs, they do contain a substance that can make your dog very sick. For this reason, it’s better to avoid giving your fur baby acai berries. If your dog really begs for these when you’re eating the berries, try to have another safe fruit snack on hand for your dog to enjoy. You’ll both be happier for it!