There are lots of fruits and vegetables worth incorporating into your dog’s diet. But there are also some (like grapes) that can be harmful to her health.
So it’s no surprise you’d wonder, “Can dogs eat bananas?” before you give your dog her first taste. The short and simple answer to that question is an unequivocal yes.
But before you start feeding bananas to your dog, there are some important facts to consider.
In this article, I’ll share the pros and cons of incorporating bananas into your dog’s diet. You’ll also learn some useful insights on how to serve this tasty fruit to your happy canine.
If you’re ready to begin, then let’s dive in and get started.
6 Reasons Bananas Are Good For Dogs
Every dog owner wants to give their dog a chance at a long and healthy life. Letting your dog eat bananas is one easy way to help reach that goal.
Bananas offer your dog some of the same health benefits they do for humans. Here are 6 big ones you should know about …
1. Maintain Healthy Blood Pressure
Bananas are rich in potassium and vitamin B6. These two nutrients can help regulate your dog’s blood flow. Low blood pressure equates to healthier heart function.
2. Strengthen Muscles
Bananas are also full of magnesium, which plays a major role in muscle maintenance. For active pooches, eating bananas can help make sure they maintain strong muscles.
3. Increase Bone Strength
Potassium in bananas can reduce calcium loss from bones. And the magnesium in them can promote healthy bone growth.
4. Improve Brain Function
Along with enhancing heart health, vitamin B6 can promote cognitive capacity. That means bananas will help keep your dog’s mind sharp.
5. Supercharge Immunity
If your dog eats bananas, it can help boost her resistance to sickness. Bananas contain vitamin C, an antioxidant that helps dogs heal and repair.
6. Improve Digestive Health
A medium-sized banana has 2.6 grams of dietary fiber, which can help regulate the digestive tract. Bananas are also a prebiotic that feed probiotics (the good bacteria in the gut).
RELATED: 6 natural prebiotics for dogs: why probiotics aren’t enough …
The Downside Of Bananas
By now you know that dogs can eat bananas! And they’re a healthy addition to your dog’s diet but …
… you don’t want to go overboard. If you do, the benefits can quickly turn into disadvantages.
Bananas have natural sugars and starches. For reference, a medium-sized banana has 14 grams of sugar and about 6 grams of starch.
Too much sugar and starch can be harmful for your dog. Weight gain can be an issue. Like humans, obesity in dogs can occur when they eat starchy diets.
Although bananas provide digestive benefits, overfeeding your dog can result in upset stomachs. Excess sugar, for example, can often be a cause for diarrhea. And for some dogs, eating too many bananas can also lead to constipation.
Are Banana Peels Safe For Dogs?
Banana peels aren’t toxic for dogs. But, they’re difficult for dogs to chew. That toughness can make them hard for dogs to digest, which could cause a bowel obstruction.
If your dog eats a banana peel, she may get sick. Symptoms may include indigestion or vomiting.
If she is vomiting repeatedly or you see other symptoms like bloat or less responsiveness, call your holistic veterinarian.
RELATED: When to worry about your dog’s bowel obstruction …
How To Feed Bananas To Your Dog
The amount of banana your dog can eat depends on how big your dog is.
Wise and Wonderful Integrative Veterinary Center suggests:
- Medium to large dogs should only receive half of a normal-sized banana.
- Small or toy breeds should only eat 2 or 3 tiny slices.
Because of their sugar content, bananas are best left as a treat. In general, treats should only make up 10% of your dog’s daily caloric intake.
There are endless ways to serve bananas to your dog. If you’re searching for ideas, here are a few you can try:
- Mix bananas in with the rest of your dog’s food.
- Mash and stuff them into one of their toys.
- Give bananas a solid texture by freezing then cutting them into pieces, or dehydrate them in a dehydrator or low oven.
- Create a homemade dog treat and use bananas as an ingredient.
Can Dogs Eat Bananas?
When it comes to your dog’s diet, you’re careful about what she eats. After all, the food you feed your dog is the foundation of good health.
Dogs are carnivores. But they’re capable of eating a mixed diet that includes fruit and vegetables, too. And with their assorted minerals and vitamins, bananas are a great addition to a balanced diet.
If you let your dog eat bananas, remember that moderation is key. That way, she’ll reap rewards and avoid negative consequences.