Can Dogs Eat Bananas?
Written by: Alicia Boemi, Dogly Wellness Advocate & Canine Nutritionist
We humans often grab a banana for a healthy snack or on-the-go treat knowing this yellow fruit is packed with beneficial nutrients but are bananas good for dogs? Yes! Those same benefits of this superfood snack apply to our dogs as well! In this article we’ll talk all about how your dog can enjoy a treat of bananas and also cover a few safety measures to be aware of when feeding your dog bananas. Whether you incorporate bananas as an occasional treat or regularly into your dog’s diet, rest assured knowing that this healthy human food is going to give your pooch health benefits.
Are Bananas a Safe Snack for Dogs?
Bananas are a sweet treat that do contain a decently high sugar content so it’s best to feed your dog small quantities of banana in order to avoid gastrointestinal problems or weight gain. Avoiding large amounts of bananas ensures that your dog gets the nutrient benefits that a banana can offer while not feeding your dog too much sugar. If you have a dog that is diabetic, it might be wise to skip feeding them bananas as a snack. You also want to make sure that you avoid feeding your dog the banana peels. This can cause major stomach upset as dogs cannot digest the peel and it can cause a blockage. While the peel is non-toxic, it is still unsafe to feed your dog. Stick to feeding the inside of the banana to your pooch!
What are the Health Benefits of Bananas?
Bananas are high in fiber and contain many vitamins, minerals, and even prebiotics that make them an optimal addition to your dog’s food while also providing a tasty treat.
Fiber: The fiber content in bananas can aid your dog’s digestive system by soothing an upset tummy and even potentially alleviating diarrhea. Be sure to consult your dog’s veterinarian with any questions if your dog has persistent diarrhea.
Prebiotics: Banana can aid in the digestion of food by naturally fermenting in your dog’s gut system which becomes food for probiotics and can create a healthy intestinal flora.
Vitamin B6: Bananas contain high amounts of Vitamin B6 which is a necessary vitamin for your dog’s immune system, hormones, and nervous system to function properly.
Potassium: Bananas are pretty well known for their high amount of potassium, an important mineral and electrolyte to maintain water balance, kidney and heart function in a dog’s body.
Biotin: Biotin can help your dog’s digestive system, coat, and skin and is found in high amounts in bananas. Biotin can often help dogs who suffer from dry skin.
Vitamin C: Vitamin C is an important antioxidant to fight oxidative stress and reduce cell damage in the body. Vitamin C can give a boost to your dog’s immune system so it’s a good thing bananas also contain this beneficial antioxidant which is very helpful to dogs of all ages.
Feeding Bananas as a Healthy Treat to Dogs
Dog parents should be mindful when introducing new foods and avoid feeding high amounts of any new food to avoid stomach upset. Also, you should be aware that the size of your dog does matter when feeding supplemental foods such as a banana. If you have a very small dog, your pup should be fed a size-appropriate amount of banana. Even with a big dog, my advice is to feed small pieces and work your way up to a larger piece of this yummy yellow fruit. You can introduce bananas to your dog by feeding small pieces of mashed banana as the occasional treat. You can freeze leftover bananas in small amounts and feed it to your dog at a later time. If your dog tolerates the small pieces of banana, you can give a bit more each time or add it regularly into your dog’s food.
You don’t have to mash the banana in order to feed it. You can also make frozen ‘banana chips’ by thinly slicing a banana and freezing the slices! Once frozen, feed a banana chip or two to your dog (even better on a hot summer day).
Easy Banana Dog Treats with Peanut Butter
- Peanut butter (make sure it does not contain xylitol which is deadly to dogs)
- Dog treat chews (optional)
Mash the banana well and mix it with 1 tsp-tbsp of peanut butter depending on the size of your dog. Slather over the dog treat and feed or freeze OR roll the mixture into bite-sized balls and freeze as its own treat!
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