Have you ever wondered if your dog can eat bananas? Lots of human foods aren’t safe for dogs — but some “people food” can actually improve their health and make for a fun snack. Let’s take a look at whether dogs can eat bananas and the many forms this fruit can be presented.
Yes, dogs can eat bananas! Not only is this yellow fruit safe for canines, but it’s even good: According to the AKC, bananas have a lot of health benefits that can help your dog. Everything is better in moderation, however — too many bananas might cause gastrointestinal distress, so don’t reach for the fruit bowl too often. You’ll also want to stick to feeding your dog only the fleshy inside of the banana and not the peel.
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. And 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 peels aren’t toxic to dogs, but they are hard to digest because of the highly concentrated amount of fiber in the peels. 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.
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 diet component. 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 is actually going to eat and enjoy a banana. Save this human food treat for your dogs.
Bananas can actually provide a lot of health benefits for your dog. This fruit contains a lot of:
- Potassium: Your dog needs 20mg 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.
These are just a few of the health benefits bananas provide, and they’re all things that your dog needs to stay healthy and strong. Bananas aren’t all good, however — as they also contain a lot of sugar, which is one reason you shouldn’t give your dog bananas every day.
|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 and banana chips 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, and 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.
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. Check out these simple banana-friendly recipes and tips for your pup:
- Put banana slices inside a Kong toy.
- Spread banana slices with sugar-free peanut butter.
- Make homemade banana chips.
Use these simple recipes to help your dog enjoy the health benefits of bananas in moderation and approval from your vet. Bananas are a fun treat to occasionally give your dog, but if he or she accidentally swallows a banana peel or eats too much, things could get slippery.
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