Can Dogs Eat Bananas?
There are many foods that are delicious and healthy for humans. However, it’s not necessary that all of them are good for dogs too. In fact, many of them are prohibited for dogs. One of these foods is bananas which is so delicious and packed with vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that one always feels that their beloved pooch too should enjoy it, but they wonder if dogs can eat bananas.
To their peace of mind, dogs can eat bananas, although not as a main meal! As such, as omnivores, dogs don’t really need bananas (or any other fruits and vegetables) in their diet. Still, bananas can be an excellent occasional treat for doggies because they are fat-free and low-calorie, and at the same time yummy too!
Published: January 21, 2022.
Since they are also low in cholesterol and sodium, they don’t carry a risk of producing dangerous diseases in dogs and since they are loaded with nutrients, they perfectly support the dogs’ overall health. Actually, sometimes vets recommend bananas as a healthy alternative to fatty, salty treats.
If a dog owner wants to start bananas or any new food for the first time for their dog, they must ask their veterinarian who can advise regarding whether to give it or not in the first place and if it’s to be given, what the serving size should be depending on the dog’s age, size, etc.
Bananas as a Dog Treat
Dogs, even though they grow up, are like babies. They need treats from time to time. Treats are also necessary to reward and motivate dogs. But one cannot give chocolates and ice creams to dogs. While human babies may not face any problems with the sweet or savory treats, dogs may be affected by them. In such a situation, bananas are a lifesaver. Dogs love them and they are healthy.
Bananas are not only tasty but also inexpensive and easily available year-round. They also have their own packaging which keeps it safe inside and enables one to carry them in travel. Bananas, being low in fat, sodium, and cholesterol, beat packaged dog treats that usually contain excessive fats or additives.
Health Benefits of Bananas for Dogs
Bananas are obviously a healthy treat for dogs. Here are their health benefits.
Rich in Potassium: Bananas are high in potassium content and potassium is necessary for a healthy heart and kidneys, proper muscle development, healthy bone density, and balanced fluid levels.
Biotin: Biotin in bananas keeps dogs’ skin healthy and coat quality high. It’s also essential for muscle development.
Vitamin B6: Vitamin B6 in bananas acts as an important coenzyme for brain and other body functions. It builds proteins, regulates hormones and fluid balance, and supports neurotransmitters in the dog’s body.
Vitamin C: Bananas are also high in vitamin C which is a well-known antioxidant and thus strengthens the immune system of the dog.
Magnesium: Bananas also have magnesium in them which promotes healthy bone growth and also helps the body make effective use of vitamins and minerals.
Loaded with Fiber: Bananas are loaded with fiber and just as fiber is good for the human digestive system, it’s good for the dogs’ gut too. Fiber makes it easy for the food to keep moving further in the digestive tract and thus keeps diseases like constipation, diarrhea, etc. at bay. Fiber also disallows any blockages in the body and maintains healthy blood circulation.
It should however be noted that dogs don’t get all the nutritional benefits humans get from bananas. Besides this, the serving size is too small to give a lot of nutritional benefits. Moreover, if a dog is on a complete and balanced diet, dog owners aren’t relying on bananas to supply any essential nutrients.
Although bananas are healthy and tasty for dogs, one should remember that they’re also very high in sugar. Therefore, if allowed to eat too often, they can cause obesity and even diabetes.
Can Bananas be Used as a Medicine?
The answer to this question is ‘no’! Although bananas are claimed to aid digestion, the claim is just a generality and cannot be considered as a medicinal cure for any of dogs’ digestive issues.
If the dog owner doesn’t know the cause of their dog’s digestive problem, there’s a high chance that bananas may worsen the issue. E.g. consuming too much fiber may cause stomach upset and if the dog is given a banana, the issue may be aggravated.
Can Puppies Eat Bananas?
Although grown-up dogs can definitely eat bananas in a moderate amount, dog owners may wonder if puppies can eat them. Puppies are in their growth and developmental stage and therefore need a specific diet.
The additional calories from bananas or any other fruit may interfere with their development. Hence it’s recommended not to feed bananas to puppies. The best way is to consult one’s vet.
Do All Dogs Love Bananas?
Although dog owners may wish that their dogs enjoy a healthy and tasty treat like bananas, unfortunately, it’s not necessary that their dog may love bananas. Just like humans, dogs too are choosy about foods and bananas may not be on their favorite foods list.
If one wants to ‘introduce’ their dog to bananas, they may serve them small pieces to start with (after consulting their vet) and see if the dog likes them.
Dogs may even be intolerant or allergic to bananas. If a dog owner’s dog has never eaten a banana, they should start slow and watch if their dog shows signs like coughing, sneezing, itching, hives, or difficulty in breathing.
If any of these signs are seen, they should stop feeding bananas and talk to their vet. If a serious reaction takes place, they should visit their vet immediately.
Some dogs may not like fresh bananas but may accept their frozen form. Freezing a banana or any other fruit or veggie is a great way to change its texture to make it interesting.
To an animal, it’s probably an altogether different type of treat because of the different texture and temperature experience. Frozen bananas are also a refreshing and delicious treat during the hot season.
How Much is an Excessive Quantity?
Although some dogs may not like or may be intolerant or allergic to bananas, most other dogs love them. But that does not mean that they should eat bananas in large quantities. Eating an excessive number of bananas may cause problems in canines.
Being high in sugar, bananas should only be fed as an occasional treat and can never replace a regular meal.
Dog owners can remember the 90/10 rule as per the experts. This means that 90% of the dog’s daily calories must come from their regular diet, whereas 10% can come from treats.
To make it easier, one can remember that ½ of a banana for a large dog and two three small pieces for a small dog are enough per day. A dog owner can even reduce this amount to see what their dog tolerates.
Dogs should be served a specific diet to support their growth, development, and well-being. Dog owners should consult their vet about feeding bananas as treats and in what quantity they should be served to puppies.
How to Identify if a Dog has Eaten Too Much Banana?
If a dog eats too much banana, it may show some stomach upsets. If a dog likes bananas so much that they get into them secretly and eats too many, the owner should watch their poop.
Stains in the poop could indicate constipation. If the dog consumes peels too, there could be a blockage. There could be more serious gastrointestinal problems and immediate vet attention might be required.
If a dog has underlying kidney problems or diabetes, an excessive number of bananas may put an overload of potassium in their blood. This shows symptoms like weakness, disorientation, or even collapse. A vet is an ideal person as they know a dog’s health and can advise an owner about using bananas as treats.
Is Banana Peel Good for Dogs?
Banana peel is not toxic to dogs. However, it contains too much fiber that isn’t as easily digested as the fruit. If a dog eats a banana peel, it may not move through the gut and could lead to blockages. Such a situation may need immediate vet assistance.
Can a Dog Eat Banana Chips?
The good news is that banana chips are a lightweight, quick energy boost that is perfectly safe for dogs while out hiking or when the dog needs a quick treat. However, most commercially produced chips have high sugar content and preservatives in them.
Therefore dog owners should consider dehydrated chips that lack these ingredients. Dog owners can even make banana chips at home with the help of many recipes available online.
Can a Dog Eat Banana Bread or Banana Pudding?
Desserts that contain bananas like banana bread or banana pudding contain added sugar and other ingredients that are not only bad but may even be toxic to a dog, such as chocolate chips. Therefore banana desserts produced for human consumption should never be fed to dogs.
Easy Homemade Banana Dog Treats
The internet is full of banana dog treat recipes. Other than banana slices, here are some of the quick and easy ones.
Frozen Bananas: Dog owners can slice bananas up and brush the slices with lemon juice and place them in the freezer. A dog would be delighted to snack on them on sweltering days.
Filling a Treat Dispenser with Bananas: A Kong or other treat dispenser toys are fun as they keep the dog engaged while letting the dog enjoy the treat. A dog owner can fill such a dispenser toy with a banana and freeze it. The dog will remain mentally stimulated while trying to lick the frozen banana out.
Serving Mixed with the Regular Meal: Bananas can be mashed and mixed with the dog’s regular meal. The dog may love the change in taste in their regular meal.
Serving Mixed with Other Favorite Ingredients: Yogurt and peanut butter (should not have xylitol (as xylitol is toxic to dogs) and should be given only occasionally as a treat) are most dogs’ favorite.
Dog owners can mix them with bananas for tasty and novel snack combinations. They can even freeze this mixture to turn it into a doggie ice cream!
Other Uses of Bananas to Dogs
Rubbing banana peel on a dog’s itchy or inflamed skin, e.g. due to a bug bite or touching poison ivy, can soothe the affected area. However, a dog owner should consult their vet before trying this remedy.
Bananas are definitely a healthy, tasty, and safe treat for dogs, and dog owners should consider feeding them occasionally to their beloved pooches in place of unhealthy treats filled with fat, salt, and preservatives.
As they are high in sugar, one must monitor the amount their dog eats to keep their pet away from problems like weight gain, constipation, stomach upset, and diabetes.
Although bananas cannot take place of a dog’s main diet, they are versatile and can be turned into various recipes which the dogs love. This makes the fruit a go-to food to appease hunger as well as to bring happiness!