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Bananas are a great treat for humans, but can the same be said for dogs? Let’s take a look at whether dogs can eat bananas and the many forms this fruit can take.
Yes, dogs can eat bananas! Not only is this yellow fruit safe for canines, but it’s a healthy, low-calorie treat. According to the American Kennel Club, bananas also have a lot of health benefits that can help your dog:
● Potassium: Your dog needs 20 mg of potassium each day. Potassium helps with muscle growth, cognitive function, and bone health. Sicknesses that include vomiting and diarrhea can deplenish your dog’s potassium stores, and extra potassium might help with faster healing.
● Vitamin B6: This vitamin promotes heart health and also keeps your dog’s potassium-sodium levels in balance.
● Vitamin C: Vitamin C is an antioxidant that can reduce inflammation.
● Fiber: Fiber helps with digestion and can also regulate your dog’s weight.
Everything is better in moderation, however — too many bananas might cause gastrointestinal distress, so don’t reach for the fruit bowl too often.
If you’ve never fed your dog a banana before and are not sure how they will tolerate it, start with just a few pieces. For a little dog, you’ll want to keep portion sizes small; large dogs may be able to eat half a banana once or twice a week. If you’re in any doubt about how much banana to give your dog, talk to your veterinarian.
It’s also important to keep your dog’s weight and activity level in mind as you decide whether to add bananas to the menu. Since bananas have a lot of natural sugar (fructose, glucose, and sucrose), they can provide a boost of energy for an athletic dog who’s ready to go for a run. But if your dog is overweight and/or sedentary, it’s probably best to hold off on bananas — the extra sugar might put your dog at risk to gain extra weight.
No — bananas are best kept as a once-in-a-while treat. Your dog doesn’t need to consume the high sugar content in bananas every day. Plus, it’s not good to give your dog an abundance of any human food. But as long as you reserve bananas to be a special treat, bananas and your dog should get along just fine.
Cats are a lot different than dogs. They cannot digest many plant food sources, and in fact, they don’t require any carbohydrates in their diets. For felines, meat is the most important part of their diet. So while a small piece of banana isn’t necessarily going to hurt your cat, it’s not going to help, either. Plus, there’s a pretty small chance your cat will actually eat and enjoy a banana. Save this human food treat for your dogs.
Banana peels aren’t toxic to dogs, but they are hard to digest because of the highly concentrated amount of fiber. Consuming a banana peel may cause vomiting from your dog, or in some cases, the peel might cause an intestinal blockage. Bottom line: Don’t give your dog banana peels on purpose. But if you accidentally drop a peel on the floor and your dog snaps it up, it’s probably okay. Just keep an eye on him or her and go to the vet at any signs of distress. You’ll want to keep bananas away from any other pets in the house, too.
Yes! As long as there are no artificial sweeteners in the product, banana chips are safe for dogs to eat. They carry many of the same health benefits as whole bananas. A medium-size dog can eat five to 10 chips while a small dog just needs a few. Save banana chips for a special treat instead of an everyday occurrence, however — the extra fiber might cause diarrhea. Also, when it comes to banana peels, that’s one part of a banana that is not good for dogs of any size and at any time.
Banana bread, in moderation, isn’t inherently bad for dogs. A little bit can be a tasty treat, and your dog will still get many of the health benefits from bananas.
However, banana bread usually contains lots of sugar, which is as unhealthy for dogs as it is for people. Be sure to know if your dog has any wheat or grain allergies. Check the nut content as well to make sure there’s nothing hazardous, and avoid banana bread with raisins — they’re fatally toxic to dogs.
You don’t have to feed your dog plain banana slices — it’s okay to jazz things up a little, as long as you do it with safe foods. Use these simple recipes to help your dog enjoy the benefits of bananas in moderation and with approval from your vet:
● Put banana slices inside a Kong toy.
● Spread banana slices with sugar-free peanut butter.
● Make homemade banana chips.
Bananas can be a safe, fun, and even nutritious treat for your dog! But even our pups can have too much of a good thing. If your dog overdoes it on bananas, make sure you’re prepared for the expenses. Consider investing in a dog insurance policy with MetLife Pet Insurance.1 Get a free quote today.
Nothing in this article should be construed as financial, legal or veterinary advice. Please consult your own advisors for questions relating to your and your pet’s specific circumstances.
1 Pet Insurance offered by MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC is underwritten by Independence American Insurance Company (“IAIC”), a Delaware insurance company, headquartered at 485 Madison Avenue, NY, NY 10022, and Metropolitan General Insurance Company (“MetGen”), a Rhode Island insurance company, headquartered at 700 Quaker Lane, Warwick, RI 02886, in those states where MetGen’s policies are available. MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC is the policy administrator authorized by IAIC and MetGen to offer and administer pet insurance policies. MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC was previously known as PetFirst Healthcare, LLC and in some states continues to operate under that name pending approval of its application for a name change. The entity may operate under an alternate, assumed, and/or fictitious name in certain jurisdictions as approved, including MetLife Pet Insurance Services LLC (New York and Minnesota), MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions Agency LLC (Illinois), and such other alternate, assumed, or fictitious names approved by certain jurisdictions.