Love snacking on bananas and wondering whether your dog will too? The answer is yes - not only can dogs eat bananas, but they also find them delicious and reap loads of health benefits from eating them. Our team of dog nutrition experts, here at Bug Bakes, are about to explain why bananas are good for your pooch and how to serve them best. Read along to find out!
Are bananas safe for dogs?
If you are researching what fruits and vegetables dogs can eat, you probably already know that some of those veggie treats for dogs are only good if you use a certain part of the fruit or vegetable, while other bits can be dangerous. The good news is that the banana is completely safe for your dog - you can feed your four-legged friend the whole fruit without worrying about seeds being a choking hazard or pits causing an upset stomach.
Thanks to being enclosed within its peel, the banana fruit itself is less likely to have been directly exposed to any agricultural chemicals that could be harmful to your dog. The banana peel, however, is NOT safe for your dog to eat. Even though the banana peel isn’t technically toxic to dogs, it can cause serious digestive issues that need to be addressed by a vet, as the peel contains too much fibre for your dog’s body to process easily.
This is why, to be on the safe side, you should always peel bananas before you feed them to your dog. In case your dog eats an unpeeled banana whole, there’s no reason to panic but you should monitor their behaviour throughout the day for any signs of an upset stomach. If you do notice anything odd, call your veterinarian for advice.
Do all dogs like bananas?
Much like humans, dogs have their individual preferences, so no, not all dogs love bananas, but in reality, most of them do. To find out how your pooch feels about bananas, give them a small piece of the fruit and see what their reaction would be.
Sometimes, you won’t get a positive response from your dog. However, that may be just because the texture of the banana is still new to them. Try again with frozen banana slices and see if that makes your four-legged friend happier.
Even if your dog seems to be eager to have more of their new sweet treat, introducing bananas into your dog’s diet should be done slowly. Remember, anything new you add to a dog’s diet can upset their stomach, at least until they get used to it.
Are bananas good for your dog’s diet?
Bananas are one of those fruits that you can find all year round and they are not very pricey either; that paired with the fact that they are yummy, makes them a staple choice for a dog treat. What’s more, bananas are not just a great motivator for your pleasure-seeking pooch; they are also a rich source of nutrients and vitamins. Here are some of the things found in bananas that are good for your dog:
- Vitamin C: Works like a booster for your four-legged friend’s immune system and brings their energy levels up
- Vitamin B6: This little vitamin is great for your dog's mood - it supports the neurotransmitters in the body, regulates the hormones and builds proteins, making both your dog's brain and body healthier
- Fibre: Bananas are a very fibre-rich fruit, so when consumed in moderation, they can help your dog’s digestion and maybe even alleviate the symptoms of various digestive problems. However, don’t overdo it or it may have the opposite effect (more on this below)
- Magnesium: Good for the bones, magnesium helps your pooch grow and most importantly, it makes them feel full of energy
- Potassium: Potassium stimulates your dog’s muscles and nerves, and it ensures its kidney, heart and bones stay healthy
- Biotin: Good for healthy skin and lustrous fur, biotin makes your dog feel and look fabulous
Are bananas bad for dogs in any way?
Despite all their health benefits, bananas are just a snack and as such, they should only be consumed in moderation. They contain a lot of sugar (hence their wonderfully sweet taste) and feeding your dog too much sugar on a regular basis can lead to weight gain and in more severe cases - obesity and diabetes.
Eating too many bananas can cause an unnaturally high level of fibre and sugar in your furry friend’s system, resulting in an upset stomach and diarrhoea. If that happens, call your vet to ask for advice.
It is also possible that your dog may have a health condition that you are not aware of and it could cause a negative reaction to bananas. If your dog has an underlying kidney condition or diabetes, for example, the sugar and potassium in the bananas could aggravate the issues. Also, in rare cases, dogs can be allergic to bananas. Signs of an allergic reaction include difficulty breathing, sneezing, rashes and coughing. If you notice any signs of your dog feeling unwell, call your veterinarian immediately.
How many bananas should a dog eat?
Moderation is the name of the game when it comes to dog treats. A small dog should have a couple of pieces of a banana a day only, whereas a large dog can have half a banana. As for puppies, they have different nutritional needs than adult dogs, as they require nutrients to support their growing organisms. This is why any treats you want to add to a puppy’s diet, you should first discuss with a veterinarian.
No matter how delicious, healthy and nutritious bananas may be, you can’t rely on them to support a healthy diet for your dog. In fact, dog treats, including bananas, should comprise no more than 10% of your dog’s daily intake. Every dog needs to have a proper diet, at least 90% of which is made up of balanced, complete dog food, such as the one we make here at Bug Bakes.
Ethically sourced and approved by vets, our cold-pressed, insect dog food is protein-rich and contains all the nutritional goodness your pooch needs for a healthy diet. If you decide to make the switch to Bug Bakes, our team of dog nutritionists will also create a unique nutritional plan, tailor-made for your special furry friend.
How to prepare bananas for your dog
The first step is always to peel the banana and avoid any issues that eating a banana peel can cause your furry buddy. Then, slice up the banana - it makes it easier to eat, less likely to be a choking hazard, and it gives you control over how much your dog eats.
Fresh bananas are good throughout the year, sliced or mixed with your dog’s food. In the summer, you can maximise the pleasure of having a little bit of fruit by freezing some banana bits. Give the sweet icy treat to your doggo on a hot summer day - they’ll love the cooling freshness in their mouth.
Want to get creative? Bake some banana chips at home and share them with your dog (avoid the shop-bought ones because they contain too much sugar), or puree the bananas, stuff them in a squeezable toy and watch your dog work to get its treat. They’ll have fun too!
If whether dogs can eat bananas isn’t the only fruit-related question you have asked yourself about your dog’s diet, check out our article on the best fruits and vegetables to feed your dog for more foodie inspiration.