Can dogs eat bananas? Short answer- yes, but in moderation. Learn the benefits and potential risks of feeding this delicious fruit to dogs, as well as tips on how to incorporate it into their diet.
Can Dogs Eat Bananas?
It doesn’t seem to matter what you are snacking on, your dog probably thinks you should share. That includes when you are munching on fruits and vegetables. If you are wondering whether it’s safe for your dog to eat bananas, you are not alone. And, your concerns are warranted. There are many fruits, such as grapes and cherries, that can be toxic to dogs. The good news is that you can safely share this sweet treat with your furry best friend.
Bananas Can be a Healthy Treat
It may sound strange that a dog may enjoy a little fruit from time to time. After all, many of us think of dogs as carnivores. While dogs enjoy and need a diet heavy on meat and protein, modern research suggests that they are actually omnivores. Even the diet of wild wolves includes both plant and animal sources.
Bananas are high in vitamins and minerals. This super fruit is a convenient way to incorporate some important nutrients into your dog’s diet. Let’s look at some of the benefits.
Dogs can experience the same digestive issues as humans, including constipation. If you have ever had to take your dog to the vet for tummy troubles, there’s a good chance that the vet recommended giving it a little banana or pumpkin to get things moving. That’s because bananas are high in both fiber and water.
Biotin is one of the B vitamins. It’s also known as vitamin H. As humans, we often take biotin supplements to help maintain healthy skin, nails and hair. Those same benefits can carry over to your dog. Biotin also helps convert food into energy. Some studies even suggest that it may help alleviate allergy symptoms. With so many dogs experiencing environmental allergies these days, safe and natural remedies sure couldn’t hurt.
Potassium is an important mineral for heart and kidney health. Bananas are also high in magnesium, another mineral essential to cardiovascular health.
We all know how important it is to get enough vitamin C. This super nutrient helps ward off illness and inflammation. There are even some studies that suggest it can help with anxiety. If you have a nervous pooch, incorporating a few foods high in vitamin C may help.
Even though bananas may be a healthy treat, dogs’ digestive systems aren’t made for a plant-based diet. Too many fruits and vegetables may cause diarrhea, constipation or vomiting. At least 90% of your dog’s diet should come from high-quality dog food. Treats need to remain treats, even if it’s a sweet, sugary fruit like bananas. While a large dog may have up to half a banana per day, small dogs should be limited to two or three small bites daily.
Can Dogs Eat Banana Peels?
All parts of a banana are safe for your dog to eat, including the peel. Unlike orange peels, banana peels are not toxic to dogs. That being said, banana peels are very hard to digest and contain a lot of fiber. This can cause vomiting and intestinal discomfort. They can also be difficult to chew making them a potential choking hazard. So even though peels may be safe, it’s best to stick to the flesh when feeding a dog bananas.
Can Dogs Eat Banana Bread?
Like all sweets, it’s best to limit your dog’s intake. Even though banana bread may contain bananas, it also often contains added sugars or artificial sweeteners – and some artificial sweeteners, like xylitol, are extremely toxic to dogs. Many dogs are also sensitive to gluten. Most banana breads have a flour base which could cause tummy troubles or inflammation.
Depending on the recipe, there may be other ingredients that aren’t so safe for pets. For example, raisins can be fatally toxic to dogs. Chocolate and walnuts are also foods dogs should avoid. Therefore, it’s best to stick to whole fruits and vegetables unless you are positive there are no potential toxins in baked goods. Even then, limit sweet treats to small bites on special occasions.
Can Dogs Eat Banana Chips?
While a slice of banana every now and then can be a healthy snack, banana chips should be avoided. For starters, they are dried. They will need to absorb moisture from elsewhere to be digested. This can cause constipation, or in extreme cases bowel blockage. Secondly, store-bought banana chips often have a lot of added sugar. Too much sugar can cause weight gain and diarrhea. Stick to whole foods when it comes to fruit and vegetable treats.
Can Dogs Eat Bananas Every Day?
As always, when making any dietary changes consult your veterinarian first and take it slow. Too much banana too fast will likely cause an upset stomach.
Bananas, like many other fruits, contain a high amount of natural sugars. Like humans, too much sugar is not good for dogs. Keep bananas as a treat instead of a staple of your dog’s diet.
Here are a few fun ways to feed your dog bananas:
- In the summertime, try freezing banana slices for a cool snack after an outdoor walk.
- Try incorporating bananas into healthy dog treats, but keep the ingredient list short to avoid extra calories and potential allergens.
- Smear some mashed bananas onto a silicone lick mat for a healthy treat that is mentally stimulating as well.
- Stuff some banana slices into your dog’s favorite Kong and freeze for a long-lasting treat.
You can also try making one or more of these homemade dog treats that include bananas:
- Banana Oatmeal Hypoallergenic Dog Treat Recipe
- Homemade Soft Banana Dog Treat Recipe for Senior Dogs!
- Homemade Frozen Pumpkin Banana Pup Pops Hypoallergenic Dog Treat Recipe
- Peanut Butter Banana Dog Treats Recipe
- No-Bake Peanut Butter Dog Treat Recipe
And don’t be afraid to mix things up! Many dogs enjoy a variety of different foods in their diet. Luckily, there are plenty of fruits and vegetables safe for dogs. And a varied diet is a great way to ensure your dog is getting plenty of vitamins and minerals it needs to live a long, healthy life.
Can dogs eat bananas? You betcha! But as with all good things in life, only in moderation and only as a treat. As always, if your dog has any sort of medical condition that requires a specific diet, please talk to your vet before feeding Fido bananas (or anything else new for that matter).
Do your dogs like bananas? Do you have a favorite homemade dog treat starring this superfruit? Share your thoughts below!