Oh bananas! One of mankind’s favorite and most popular pieces of fruits. How can they not be when they’re so darn tasty?!
For many people across the globe, bananas are a staple in their day-to-day lives, especially during breakfast when they prepare that quick-to-go breakfast of cereal, milk and a banana cut into small slices.
But, can dogs eat bananas? And are they completely safe for them to consume? Sharing human foods with our dogs is becoming an ever-increasing practice among the community of dog owners, which is why talking about these issues is very important so that people know what they can and can’t share with their pups.
As you know, not every food that’s okay for mankind to eat holds the same for animals (as you can see in our extensive list of foods discussed in this section), and the last thing you want to do is harm or intoxicate your dog without being aware of doing so.
Can Dogs Eat Bananas? The Short Answer
So, in principle, YES, bananas are safe for your dogs to eat (as long as you feed them bananas in moderate amounts), and they are in no way toxic threats to your dog.
Unlike a whole lot of other fruits out there, bananas are completely fine for your dog from a toxicity standpoint.
However, not all dogs are the same, and especially when it comes to feeding your dog bananas.
Some dogs will love bananas like crazy (just like I do), while others will absolutely despise them, especially when it comes to the way they smell – as that can really trigger some dogs.
Why Should Dogs Eat Bananas?
Just like a banana is very healthy and beneficial for you and I to eat as part of our overall diet, bananas also have tons of benefits to offer our dogs.
Well for starters, bananas are notorious for containing:
– Potassium, which has amazing benefits for your dog’s muscles (especially if you’ve got a rather more active dog at home), as well as amazing benefits for your dog’s blood vessels and blood flow throughout the body
– Magnesium (very good for building protein in your dog’s body)
– Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine, which improves blood cell function and oxygen transportation to vital organs in your dog’s body)
– Vitamin C (preserves cells and protects against cell damage)
– Fiber (a perfect aid for dogs with bowel movement problems) and copper. Ever heard of the BRAT diet that people with diarrhea are always recommended to follow for a few days until the diarrhea is gone? The BRAT diet stands for Bananas, Rice, Applesauce, and Toast – so the next time your dog has a bad case of diarrhea, consider feeding them a few slices of banana to help them recover fast and easy!
Bananas are also very well known to promote improvements in dog bowel movements, which is always a good thing all dog owners must strive for.
However, be careful not to overdo it with the bananas, as that will just be counterproductive, as you will discover in the following section.
Some studies have also found that bananas have a recognized effect in protecting your dog’s stomach from ulcers, acid secretion and stomach wounds. How awesome is that?
Also, when incorporating small banana slices as treats/rewards during training sessions, thanks to their carbohydrate nature and the sugar contained within them, they will keep your dog energized, focused and pumped for any physical activity or demands you throw at them. Dog training efficiency 101, ladies and gentlemen!
How Many Bananas Should Dogs Eat?
As you already know, bananas are a high source of sugar, which means you should only feed your dog banana slices in moderation.
As with any new food that is added to your dog’s diet, when you start feeding your dog bananas, watch out for any suspicious signs that might suggest potential problems. These include, but are not limited to, allergic reactions, sudden changes in weight and diarrhea.
If you don’t stick to the moderation principle and feed your dog a large amount of banana slices all at once, you will put your dog at risk of constipation, since they become difficult to digest.
You will also be putting your dog at risk of heart problems due to excessive potassium intake, a condition known as Hyperkalemia. Moderation is key!
So, only think of bananas as a treat for your dog from time to time, and never consider bananas to be a big part of your dog’s diet.
As a general rule of thumb, try not to exceed giving your dog one whole banana per week, divided into slices throughout the week of-course, and not one banana eaten all at once. YOUR dog may or may not be able to tolerate a little more than that, so start off small and see how much your dog can handle without this having any negative repercussions on their well-being.
How Can Dogs Eat Bananas?
It’s really up to you how you choose to feed your dog a few slices of bananas, as there are many ways you can go about this, and all roads lead to the same destination.
To start off, it’s preferable that any banana you feed your dog is a ripe banana and not an unripe banana (also known as green banana). Your dog will love the ripe banana much more than the green banana, not to mention the health benefits they get from eating the ripe banana.
Moving on, you should slice the banana into small pieces and feed a few to your dog as they are, or you can choose to mash a few of these banana slices together and add them to the dog food that your pooch is already having.
When you mash a few banana slices together and mix them in with certain dog food recipes, this can significantly make your dog’s food a whole lot tastier.
(Not all recipes will work with this, however, as I wouldn’t think a dog food with salmon recipe would taste good with a few banana slices mashed together).
The reason you should slice the banana into small pieces first and not feed your dog the whole thing altogether at once is that the larger the banana piece your dog eats is, the harder it is for them to digest it and the higher the risk of gastrointestinal blockage happening is.
Here’s an awesome recipe we found if you’re looking to get creative with bananas as treats for your dogs – it’s a banana and honey dog treat that Fido will adore you for. Just take it easy because of all that sugar!
When Should I Feed My Dog Bananas?
As we established above, bananas are a rich source of sugar, so your dog should eat them sparingly. You’re best off using them when you want to give your dog a treat or reward when training them, and not including them as a regular food item in your dog’s overall diet.
When Should I Not Feed My Dog Bananas?
When it comes to not feeding your dog bananas, you should know right off the bat that you need professional advice on this issue if your dog is diabetic, because of the very high sugar content in bananas. If your dog is diabetic, talk to your veterinarian about this first, and don’t take the risk yourself.
The only other two cases that comes up besides having a diabetic dog are when your dog is allergic to bananas or your dog has a sensitive stomach that may not accept bananas very well, unlike the average dog stomach that does.
This is why it’s extremely important to keep your veterinarian up to date on any potential changes to your dog’s diet that you intend to make. Like they say, better safe than sorry!
Can Dogs Eat Banana Peels?
Needless to say, you should never EVER feed your dog a banana peel, as banana peels are known to cause gastrointestinal blockage in your dog as well as give them a bad case of constipation.
The only part of the banana your dog should ever eat is the banana flesh, nothing else.
Can Dogs Eat Banana Chips?
Dogs eating banana chips is a definite NO-NO, very much like dogs eating anything else that’s deep-fried like this is a NO-NO as well.
If you were to deep fry bananas yourself and feed those to your dog, that’s very bad in and of itself because of the very high amounts of fat that these bananas will have in them, which is terrible for your dog’s health and well-being.
And, if you were to purchase readily-made banana chips from the supermarket, that’s even more terrible because of the very high fat content in them in addition to all the chemicals, additives and preservatives used in these products and that help increase their shelf life.
When it comes to feeding your dog bananas (or any other food, fruit or vegetable), always opt for staying natural.
Can Dogs Eat Banana Bread?
We previously talked about dogs eating banana bread in an article about dogs eating bread in general, but we have to say it again here – NO, dogs can’t eat banana bread safely, so please refrain from feeding this type of bread to your dog.
The majority of banana bread manufacturers love to include certain ingredients that make the bread taste ever so heavenly, but the bad news is that these ingredients are very toxic to dogs.
Some examples of the ingredients used in banana bread are raisins, chocolate and chocolate chips, and we all know how anything made of chocolate or raisins can be very dangerous to dogs.