Dogs

Can Dogs Eat Bananas

Jul 15, 2021

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Can Dogs Eat Bananas

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Who doesn’t like bananas, right? They are delicious and naturally sweet. They’re free of fat and cholesterol and they have many other health benefits. Plus they are good for some quick energy.

Bananas are a wonderfully healthy fruit for humans. But, what about dogs? Can dogs eat bananas?

We won’t keep you in suspense. Yes, you can give your dog some banana! Many dogs love them. But there are some things you should know about bananas for your dog’s safety, such as how to serve them and how much banana your dog should eat.

Before you start peeling those bananas, read our quick guide about dogs eating bananas.

Banana Nutrition Stats

Lovely golden bananas (or mushed up speckled bananas) pack lots of nutrients.

Once cup of mashed bananas (225 g) contains the following:

  • 200 calories
  • 4 grams protein
  • 3 grams fat
  • 93 grams carbohydrates
  • 5.9 grams dietary fiber
  • Vitamin C 19.6 mg
  • Magnesium 60.8 mg
  • Potassium 806 mg

One medium banana has about 105 calories.

Bananas Nutritional Facts At A Glance

If it’s not clear from the numbers, bananas are a great source of dietary fiber. They can help with digestive and gastrointestinal issues. Bananas are especially good for constipation, ulcers, and heartburn.

Bananas are a good source of Vitamin B6, biotin, and copper. They are also low in sodium. Plus, they are a wonderful prebiotic.

Vitamin B6 helps the body produce red blood cells; and it metabolizes carbs and fat to turn them into energy. It also removes unwanted chemicals from the kidneys and liver.

Here’s a little-known fact: from a botanical point of view, bananas are berries!

Can Dogs Eat Bananas?

Yes, dogs can eat bananas. There is nothing harmful about the fruit of the banana. In fact, some veterinarians recommend giving a dog a little banana if he’s having gastrointestinal problems.

If you slice them up they can be a good alternative to fatty or salty treats. Lots of dogs love bananas. (My dogs go crazy as soon as I peel a banana.)

You do need to be careful and not give your dog banana peels. They are not toxic but they are harder for dogs to digest. If your dog eats the banana peel he could vomit it back up in a few hours. In some cases a dog could develop a blockage from eating banana peels.

Are Bananas Good for Dogs?

Absolutely, yes! Along with the health benefits already mentioned, bananas can be a good prebiotic for dogs. Your dog’s gastrointestinal system contains a multitude of microorganisms to help him digest his food.

Most of these microorganisms (flora) are beneficial but some are not so good. Prebiotics can help the good microorganisms grow. Many dog foods add these prebiotics but you can give your dog foods like bananas a couple of times per week to encourage this friendly flora to grow in your dog’s gut.

How Much Banana Can (Should) Dogs Eat?

This is an important question. With all of their health benefits, bananas are still relatively high in natural sugars. You should only give your dog a moderate amount of banana – and not every day. A medium-sized dog could eat half a banana at one time; while a small dog could eat a quarter of a banana.

Too much banana at one time could pose a problem for dogs with diabetes so talk to your veterinarian before letting these dogs have bananas or other fruits high in sugar.

Too much banana for any dog can result in an upset stomach, which is true of eating too much of anything.

How Often Can Dogs Eat Bananas?

If your dog doesn’t have health issues that might be affected by the sugar in bananas, you could give him a moderate amount of banana two or three times per week.

The Correct Diet Is Important

Dogs need to eat the correct diet for good health. This means that they require good quality protein and fat. Foods like bananas should only be given as an occasional treat.

While there are many different ideas about good dog foods and different ways to feed dogs, your dog needs the following in his diet:

  • Good Sources of Protein- All dogs need good sources of animal protein in their diet. Meat, fish, poultry, and eggs are all good sources of animal protein.
  • Good Sources of Fat- Fat provides essential fatty acids (EFA) and helps distribute the fat soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K so your dog’s body can absorb them.
  • Named Ingredients- Look for named ingredients in your dog’s food and avoid generic ingredients. The more specific the ingredient is, the better. Otherwise, you don’t really know what you are feeding your dog.
  • Low to Moderate Carbohydrates- Many dog foods are loaded with carbohydrates. This is true even with some good quality foods. Carbohydrates are not “bad” and they can be beneficial (dietary fiber can come from carbs, for example). But carbs should not be a substitute for protein.
  • Avoid Artificial Preservatives, Colors, and Sweeteners- Artificial preservatives and colors/dyes have been linked to some health problems in humans and animals. You should try to avoid these ingredients in dog foods.
  • AAFCO- AAFCO is the Association of American Feed Control Officials. AAFCO sets voluntary standards for pet food labeling. Look for foods that have these minimum standards.
  • Fresh Water- All dogs need easy access to fresh water unless they are ill or have some other reason to be temporarily kept away from water.

What Are Other Health Alternatives to Bananas In A Dog’s Diet?

Bananas are a healthy treat but there are many other fruits and vegetables that can provide some of the same benefits. You should consider these foods as treats.

Check with your veterinarian if your dog has any health issues and you are concerned about giving any of these foods.

  • Apples
  • Asparagus
  • Bell pepper
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Cucumber
  • Green beans
  • Mangos
  • Oranges
  • Parsnip
  • Pears
  • Pineapple
  • Pumpkin
  • Strawberries
  • Summer squash
  • Sweet potato
  • Tomatoes
  • Zucchini

How Do You Give Your Dog Bananas

Bananas are such a versatile fruit, there are lots of ways you can help your dog enjoy them.

First, of course, you can cut a banana into pieces and let your dog have some.

Mash a banana and mix it with your dog’s food.

Mash a banana and put it into a Kong-type toy, freeze it, and let your dog enjoy trying to lick it out.

Freeze a whole banana and slice it for your dog on a hot day.

There are also lots of recipes for banana dog cookies and cakes online. One of our favorites is this recipe for a frozen yogurt for dogs. You need a blender or food processor.

Combine:

  •  1 banana
  •  32 ounces of plain yogurt
  •  2 tsp of peanut butter (check to make sure it does not contain xylitol)
  •  2 tsp of honey

Mix- Fill an ice cube tray or muffin tin with the mixture.

Freeze- Bananas and peanut butter are great together. It’s hard to find any dog that doesn’t love these treats.

Conclusion

Bananas are a healthy treat for dogs but remember to give them to your dog in moderation. They are high in sugar so check with your vet if you are concerned. Otherwise, bananas are very beneficial for most dogs.

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Carlotta Cooper is a long-time contributing editor for the weekly dog show magazine DN Dog News. She's the author of The Dog Adoption Bible, a Dog Writers Association of America (DWAA) award winner. In addition, she is an American Kennel Club Gazette breed columnist and is the author of several books about dogs. She has been reviewing pet foods and writing about dog food for more than 10 years
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