Can Dogs Eat Boba?

There are different breeds of dog that can be allergic to something. Bulldogs, Chinese Shar-Peis, Retrievers, Terriers, Shih Tzus, and Lhasa Apsos are more commonly affected, though any breed can develop allergies. 

We should be careful about what we should feed our furry friend and buddies. The onion family, such as onions, garlic and chives, whether raw or cooked, can be toxic to dogs. It may lead to gastrointestinal irritation and red blood cell damage.

Chocolate, macadamia nuts, corn on the cob, avocado, artificial sweetener (Xylitol), and alcohol are also known to be toxic for dogs and should not be given to them. Now, there is one question that needs to be answered, and that is “can dogs eat boba?”. 

What Is Boba?

Before we answer if “can dogs eat boba?”, let us get to know what this stuff is. Also known as tapioca pearls, boba is the translucent, squishy bubbles usually found as one of the ingredients in boba tea or bubble tea. Bubble tea or “boba tea” is a sweetened drink made of flavored tea, milk and bubbles. Boba tea originates from Taipei, the capital of Taiwan. 

The soft chewy black round pearls found at the bottom of a Boba milk tea is made from tapioca starch, also known as cassava starch. This is the reason why it got its name as tapioca pearls. Though the traditional color of the Tapioca pearls is black, you will find a variety of pastel colors nowadays with the use of artificial coloring. 

Boba tea or bubble tea market is booming these days and you would probably hear your colleagues getting this popular boba milk tea drink. 

What Does Boba Tea or Bubble Tea Made Of?

Now, let us check the perspectives between the tapioca pearls as well as the other ingredients in the boba milk tea drink. In regular serving, the boba drink  mainly consists of four primary ingredients: 

  1. Liquid Base – for the boba milk tea version, boba tea shops will use milk as the base of the drink. If you want the regular tea, they will use water with tea that has been steep already. 
  2. Creamer – creamer can be used on both boba milk tea and the regular boba tea/bubble tea version. It can be combined with the milk as some boba tea shops would use milk, half-n-half, or powder creamer.
  3. Sweetener – to achieve the sweet taste of the Boba tea, shops may use honey, fructose, simple sugar syrup, and sugar as sweeteners. Depending on your drink preference, you can also get sugar-free sweeteners like Stevia, Aspartame, and Sucralose. 
  4. Flavors – to enhance your boba tea or bubble tea experience, you can get different assorted flavors from fruit purees, flavored syrup, or flavored powder. 

The addition of tapioca pearls or popping boba pearls on your drink can also be optional and some shops allow their customers to request how much can be added into the boba drink. It is usually served in a disposable plastic cup, each filled with the aforementioned ingredients with a spoonful of Tapioca pearls.

If you don’t prefer having some tapioca pearls or popping boba pearls in your boba milk tea, you can opt for other chunky items like aloe, jelly, coconut flesh, and beans. To  get a mouthful of the drink and the chewy pearls or other chunky items, you should use a thick straw at least 12mm in diameter. Popping the straw into the boba drink’s film or plastic cover would create a fun popping sound experience. 

You can enjoy a sip of this refreshing bubble tea during the afternoon, or if you will need milk teas in the evening. Boba drink is now popular everywhere, along with other dairy products like homemade boba ice cream. Also, many people refer to Boba as bubble tea or pearl milk tea. 

Can Dogs Eat Boba?

Let’s answer your question: “Can dogs eat boba?”. That would be a tricky question to answer as it would vary. Check out some reasons below.

Boba is enriched with fats, calories, too much sugar, and many toxic ingredients. If ingested by the dogs, they may cause diabetes, obesity, and other health issues. There are other components in the boba drink that are not suitable to share with your furry friends including chewy tapioca pearls, and the other components which are not not healthy and safe for dogs.

Excess sugar in the boba drinks can cause dental problems, obesity, and other intestinal obstruction or digestive issues, especially for the puppies. If consumed beyond the recommended value, the boba bubble tea pearls at the bottom also clog the intestines.

But based on the ingredients where the boba bubble tea is made, some of them can be safe for dogs. For example, the boba pearls or tapioca pearls in the boba drink are made from tapioca. That can be safe for dogs to eat, especially in moderation. Many dog foods such as canned dog food or kibbles have tapioca flour or tapioca starch as one of the ingredients. 

For dogs that are allergic to grain-based starches in their food, tapioca will be a great option as it is a perfect gluten-free flour option for your furry friends. But we should be wary if the dogs eat popping boba too much as they contain a lot of sugar and carbohydrates. 

Dogs can also suffocate as they tend to swallow before chewing these tapioca pearls. If these small tapioca pearls are not chewed properly, they may lead to intestinal blockage in dogs and can cause constipation.  

Since most of the boba drinks have creamer on them, don’t feed boba to your furry friends. If your dogs are lactose intolerant, dairy products such as milk or half-n-half would not be good for them. 

Lactose intolerant dogs are those that are lacking the lactase enzyme. These enzymes are responsible for breaking down lactose, which is a sugar that is found in dairy products like milk.  Intestinal upset or abdominal pain, vomiting, and diarrhea are the common problems that may occur if the dogs eat popping boba with dairy products. 

Just in case that your dogs are not lactose intolerant, you will need to watch out if you will let the dogs eat with some dairy products and feed them in moderation. 

Powder creamer is considered harmful to dogs. The nutritional value in the boba drinks is not designed for dogs and they are for human food. To give you an idea, the powder creamer used in boba are Hydrogenated vegetable oil (coconut and/or palm kernel and/or soybean), Corn syrup solids, Sodium caseinate, Artificial flavor, Annatto color, Mono and diglycerides, Dipotassium phosphate, and Sodium aluminosilicate. 

Since hydrogenated vegetable oil is usually processed, that would not be good for our dogs to eat. If the dogs eat bursting boba too much, it would be difficult for their body to properly digest food with hydrogenated oils. 

Due to its plastic-like nature, hydrogenated oils will cause the dog’s digestive enzymes to  continually break it down. This attempt to digest the compound could lead to an upset stomach as their stomach temperature increases. 

Also, this could lead to other dog’s health problems such as the blood getting thicker and harder to flow through the veins. This could imply to a dog’s heart to work harder to move this blood throughout their body. Hydrogenated oil can clog their arteries that will affect their brain and brain functions.    

On another note, the corn syrup found on boba drinks is not needed by the puppies. This is used as one of the sugar substitutes on drinks like honey boba. We always have to remember that just like humans, excess sugar consumption can lead to canine obesity and weight gain. 

There is also a vegetable dye that’s not safe for dogs present in the powder creamer called annatto color. This gives the creamer some color, but it is not good for your dog to eat. If you are making boba with a creamer, avoid giving it to your dogs. 

Just like fruit juices, the fruit puree on the boba drinks can be consumed by dogs in moderation. It is safe to give them fruit puree as that is the only healthy ingredient in Boba that is safe for dogs. However, we have to remember that most purees are already mixed with other ingredients that are not good for the dog’s health. 

If you are looking for ways on how to induce fruit juice on your fur babies, you can feed them with fruits like apples, blueberries, and pumpkins. You can also make them into a puree for your dog’s healthy snack option. 

As mentioned, there are few sugar substitutes present in the bubble tea. We should watch out when feeding our dogs with excess sugar as it could lead to several health issues and even tooth decay. These empty calories could lead to obesity, diabetes, liver failure, hypoglycemia, and even death.

A healthier option if your puppies get addicted to sweets would be honey. Though it needs to be consumed in moderation as it also has sugar content that could lead to tooth decay. But make sure if you are going to feed honey boba, it does not contain raw honey as that can be harmful to dogs with compromised or weak immune systems. 

Fructose is also present on bobas. Though fructose from fruits like apples, blueberries, strawberries is fine, other fruit fructose like grapes can be harmful to your dogs. If you’re thinking of letting your buddy get a lick from the boba, ensure that the fructose is from fruits that are safe for them. 

Sweeteners like stevia, aspartame, or sucralose may also impose health threats to the dogs. Consuming too much stevia can cause diarrhea. Whereas aspartame is very sweet, actually 00 times sweeter than sugar that is alarming if your dog consumes too much of it. Sucralose is also very sweet and can result in gastrointestinal upset in dogs, just like aspartame. 

If you have popping boba prepared from seaweed juice with the taste of fruit juice, your dogs may love it but you have to be careful as it contains artificial flavors which can be harmful for them. 

When You Should Let Dogs Eat Boba

Since boba is rich in sugar content, make sure to check your dog’s condition before you let them eat boba. If your dog is diabetic, obese, have liver or kidney failure, and are allergic to tapioca, never allow them to consume this drink. We have to be responsible pet owners. 

The nutritional value on this boba is only based on humans. There is no nutritional benefit for the dogs. It is only made for human consumption, thus, we have to be careful when giving it to our fur babies. There are dog drinks intended for them, so might as well invest in this actual drink. 

Thank you for your time in reading this post. I hope that you’ve gained some information about whether you will let your dog eat boba or not.