In this article we take a look at the pros and cons of feeding bananas to your dog.
Can Dogs Eat Bananas?
Yes, dogs can eat bananas. In fact, bananas provide your dog with a number of health benefits and are certainly better than feeding your dog salty or fatty treats. If you take a look at the labels, most dog treats actually contain banana anyway. Despite all the banana goodness, it is still recommended to only feed your dog banana in moderation (as with anything).
What Are the Benefits of Eating Bananas?
Packed full of vitamins and minerals, bananas provide many benefits when consumed by your dog. These benefits include but are not limited to:
- Potassium – this keeps bones strong and aids blood vessel function. It can also help with problems ranging from kidney issues to stress, and much more.
- Vitamin B – this vitamin is required for energy and helps to stave of anemia by aiding in blood cell production.
- Vitamin C – contributes to a healthy immune system and much more.
- Copper – copper plays a part in energy production, is essential for collagen formation and increases iron absorption.
- Magnesium – helps to keep blood pressure stable, promotes bone growth, helps with protein production and helps with the absorption of vitamins.
- Fiber – important for keeping the digestive system running smoothly and helps prevent constipation.
Like most foods, there can be negatives to eating them. That is why eating them in moderation is essential.
The banana’s biggest problem is that it contains sugar in the form of fructose. A medium sized 105 calorie banana will contain 7.1 grams of fructose on average. This is still better than apples and pears.
As mentioned, some of the benefits of eating banana include additional potassium and fiber to help with the digestive system. However, too much potassium can be a bad thing. Too much banana can actually lead to an increase in digestive problems and possibly even constipation.
Try not to feed your dog banana peel. Although there is nothing really wrong with it, it is very hard for your dog to digest. As such, it can cause constipation and other digestive issues.
If your dog shows any signs of constipation, vomiting or digestive upset, you should take your dog to a qualified veterinarian.
How Much Banana Is “In Moderation”?
Small dogs and puppies should eat no more than a few slices at a time. Their total consumption should be kept below 1/2 of a banana per week.
Large dogs can eat around 1 banana per week. Whether you feed your dog the banana in one go or space it out over the week is up to you.
Ways to Feed Your Dog Banana
There are many ways to feed banana to your dog. Here are just a few suggestions:
- In full – if you have a large dog you could give him the entire banana. Don’t do this more than once per week.
- In slices – ideal for puppies and small dogs. The results are even better if you freeze it.
- Mix it – you could mix it with treats such as peanut butter or yogurt.
- Kong it – you can put it in a Kong toy. Again, the results are even better if you freeze it.
- Mash it – why not mash it into your dog’s food?
What Else Can My Dog Eat?
Why not feed your dog some of the following as a healthy snack or treat? As with banana, moderation is still key.
- Sweet Potato – jam-packed full of vitamins and nutrients.
- Yogurt – improves gut function and has a host of other benefits, such as protein, calcium and vitamin B12.
- Flaxseed – high in alpha linolenic acid, flaxseed is great for your dog’s skin, coat, bones and their brain.
- Rutabaga – I didn’t know what this vegetable was until recently, but it’s similar to a turnip but available all year round. Rutabaga are packed full of vitamins and minerals.
- Salmon – a great source of protein, vitamins, minerals and the fatty acid Omega-3.
- Blueberries – an excellent source of vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals and antioxidants. Just small amounts though, otherwise you may face diarrhea!
- Pickles – your dog can eat pickles in small doses.
Check out this video of other “human foods” dogs can eat:
Can dogs eat bananas? They certainly can. Bananas are a healthy alternative to other processed treats. Just make sure that you don’t overdo it and feed your dog bananas in moderation.