Bananas are very healthy and delicious. They contain vitamins, minerals, dietary fibers, and carbohydrates. The big question is can dogs eat bananas?
We, humans, enjoy having these fruits in between meals, as snacks, and in cereals and smoothies. It is therefore natural to want to pass the same nutritional value to our dogs. Can dogs eat bananas, and what other fruit can dogs eat?
Even though bananas are rich in vitamins and minerals, they have high levels of sugar and carbohydrates which are dangerous to a dog’s health; therefore, they should be issued in moderation.
Bananas and Dog health
Instead of relying on store-bought food and treats, dog owners are increasingly making their dog food at home. Pet owners are relying on human food, including fruits, to ensure that their dogs receive a balanced and healthy diet. Bananas are one such way humans attain nutritional health benefits and it is normal to want the same for the dog.
Are bananas, therefore, good for a dog’s health? Yes, they are. In an interview Dr. Debra Zoran, (holder of a Ph.D. in canine nutrition and a veterinary professor at Texas A&M University) stated that giving dogs bananas can be very beneficial; however, pet owners have to ensure that issuing the banana, as a treat, does not destabilize the dog’s diet.
Nutritional Benefits of Bananas
When humans consume bananas, they can expect a healthy dose of fiber, antioxidants, and nutrients. A study conducted by L. Finger of Harvard T.H. Chan – School of Public Health revealed that bananas are a good source of potassium, Vitamin B6 and C, Magnesium, Copper, Manganese, Carbohydrates, fiber, biotin, and sugar.
Even though dogs do not attain the full nutritional benefits from bananas as humans do, the fruit can offer a vast array of health benefits to the dog. Vets often recommend bananas because they are rich in potassium, vitamins, low in sodium and cholesterol, and have no fats, making them healthier choices compared to other fatty and/or salty foods. Your dog gets these benefits from eating bananas:
- Vitamin B6 assists the body to produce red blood cells, metabolize carbohydrates and fats, and ensure the nervous system is healthy.
- Vitamin C which boosts the dog’s immune system assists in building the cartilage in the body, and protects the body’s cells from damage.
- Potassium regulates the body’s optimal fluid balance and supports heart and kidney functions.
- Manganese assists the dog to produce collagen, protecting the skin and bones.
- Magnesium which helps in building protein and facilitates the transport of energy throughout the body
- Fiber which ensures the body prevents and resolves any gastrointestinal problems. It also helps in ensuring that your dog’s bowel movements are regular.
How To Feed Your Dog Bananas
Bananas can be quite nutritious to our loyal pups and if fed in the right quantities can give great health benefits. However, before you give your dog a banana consider that not all dogs are the same; therefore, consulting your veterinarian on whether to feed the dog bananas is crucial.
Understand that the vet has expertise and experience in dog health and therefore can suggest proper and specific quantities for banana intake, based on your dog’s health record.
If the vet agrees that the dog can have bananas, then you can ensure the dog receives this nutritious treat in several ways. There is no shortage of ideas on this, depending on how you prefer preparing your dog’s meals. Here are a few ideas:
Simple Steps on How to Prepare bananas for your dog.
- Mash and mix the bananas into your dog’s food. For the dog, having a change in taste and smell of the food can be very exciting.
- Mash and stuff them in chewing toys which allows the dog to have both mental and physical stimulation when they are active and playing.
- Mix them with other treats. This can be a good way of checking whether the dog likes bananas or not.
- Mash the banana and mix it in with peanut butter.
- Peel the banana, freeze it and offer it to the dog in small sliced pieces.
- Peel the banana, stuff it in a chew toy, and freeze it.
- Bake peanut butter and bananas to make Banana Pup-Cakes or Banana Cookies.
When are Bananas Bad for Dogs?
When Given in Large Quantities.
Bananas are bad for dogs when they are given in large quantities and without consideration for the overall calorie intake of the dog. Just like many other fruits and treats, it is essential that bananas make up less than 10-15% of the dog’s total diet to regulate calorie intake and ensure the diet is not destabilized; this means that only a very small piece of a peeled banana should be given to the dog and even then, it should be occasional.
When given without consideration for calorie intake.
In an interview, Dr. Jennifer B. Berg, owner of Tribeca Veterinary Wellness clinic, stated that bananas are rich in sugar and carbs. As such, large consumption of bananas can result in high-calorie intake leading to unwanted weight gain and health problems.
Additionally, the continuous consumption of bananas can destabilize the dog’s balanced diet due to the lack of control in calorie and sugar levels. This can lead to gastrointestinal issues, obesity, and diabetes. Moreover, when the dog is given large banana quantities they may develop constipation issues due to the high fiber content they are consuming.
To manage the calorie intake, Dr. Zoran suggests that when bananas are offered as treats, then other foods should be reduced to manage the calorie intake.
Stay Away From Banana Peels
Do not feed the dog banana peels. Even though they are not toxic, banana peels can be very hard to digest and can cause blockages in the dog’s digestive system. It is unlikely that a dog would consume a banana peel; however, if they do, do not panic. The dog will likely start vomiting, diarrhea, and have changes in bathroom movements. If the symptoms do not let up within 24 hours and if you notice any other health complications arising, then consult your veterinarian immediately.
Side Effects of Bananas for Dogs
When dogs consume bananas in large quantities, the following side effects can be observed:
- Constipation arising from the excess fiber content in the body
- Heart Problems because of all the potassium in the bloodstream, leading to cardiac arrest in the worst-case scenario.
- Excessive weight gain and/or obesity
- Blood sugar irregularities
- Intestinal Blockages
Do Bananas Cause Allergies to Dogs?
Bananas do not cause allergies to dogs; however, some dogs can have an allergic reaction when they consume bananas. Hence, when you offer your dog a banana for the first time, check its reaction for any allergic reaction such as sickness, diarrhea, and skin problems. Consult a veterinarian to confirm the same and advise on the way forward.
Can Dogs Eat Bananas Chips?
Banana chips are great energy-boosting snacks; however, the bananas have to be dehydrated and remain natural. Any processed banana chips can be harmful to the dog’s health.
Can Dogs Eat Banana Bread?
Banana bread for your dog is debatable. There are concerns about the sugar levels and ingredients used to make the banana bread. For instance, is the banana bread contains raisins or chocolates, then dogs cannot have it because these elements are toxic to the dog.
On the other hand, sugar levels are also a concern. Therefore, if the banana bread has been made in such a way that toxic contents are not used, then it can be issued to the dog as a treat and not a staple dietary meal.
Can Dogs Eat Dried Bananas?
Yes. Dried bananas, like banana chips, can be given as a treat.
Can Dogs Eat Banana Peppers?
Yes. Dogs can eat banana peppers, but it has to be introduced in small bits. According to an article by Dospull, Banana peppers are a type of pepper that has a higher amount of succulent taste when compared to other peppers. The peppers have a tangy and mild taste and can add flavor to a dog’s meal.
However, unlike humans who can stand a large amount of pepper in their food, dogs require small quantities at first, so that they can get used to the taste of the peppers. Dogs cannot ignore specific tastes and hence have to be eased into the habit of eating banana peppers. Ensure, however, that the overall quantity being consumed is low.
Other Nutritious Fruits That Dogs Can Eat
There are several fruits that dogs can consume, these include:
- Apples which are high in fiber and low in fat
- Apricots which are full of potassium and beta-carotene useful in the fight against cancer
- Blueberries which have antioxidant properties
- Cantaloupe which contains a host of vitamins and minerals
- Cranberries which boast of a large number of vitamins, manganese, and fiber
- Mangoes which are packed with vitamins
- Oranges which have helpful nutrients and vitamin c
- Pears which contain Vitamins
- Pineapples which have a large number of vitamins and minerals
- Raspberries containing low sugar and high fiber and vitamin C content
- Strawberries that assists in maintaining good health in dogs
- Watermelons which are 92% water; hence keep your pet hydrated.
However, for each fruit listed above, there are regulations on how each should be administered to the dog. Extra caution and research is required before offering a dog any part of the fruits listed.
Summary of Can Dog Eat Bananas?
Yes, dogs can eat bananas, however, you need to check the quantity of intake and ensure that you keep your dog hydrated. Do not feed your dog banana peels otherwise banana bread, banana chips, and bananas are safe for your dog.