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Can Dogs Eat Bananas?

Let’s talk about bananas for dogs.

There’s some confusion out there among dog-lovers as to what dogs can and can’t eat. Some fruits that seem like a no-brainer, such as grapes, are not healthy snacks for dogs.

Part of the issue is that so many pet owners will feed a dog certain foods that are not good for them. Even though they’re not healthy for a dog, they’re still not toxic either. 

Since they’re only feeding them their pets these foods in minimal quantities, their dog may not immediately get sick. This may lead many owners to believe that certain foods are good for dogs.

For the sake of your dog’s health and longevity, it’s time to clear the air on the question of whether dogs can eat bananas or not.

Are Bananas a Good Food for Dogs?

So, can dogs eat bananas with no downsides or side-effects? The answer is a resounding yes! They’re chewy, mashable, and relatively sweet (depending on how ripe they are). 

The content of bananas also makes them nutritious,  just like peanut butter. When used in moderation, the bioactive compounds in bananas actually help soothe a dog’s stomach.

Can My Dog Eat Infographic

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The Benefits of Bananas as Food for Dogs

  • Contains vitamin C: An antioxidant that reduces inflammation, which can cause cancer in a dog.
  • A good source of B vitamins: Bananas include B6, which is crucial for energy levels, brain function, and eye health.
  • High in potassium: Potassium is a crucial nutrient for regulating brain and heart function, as well as muscle activity in both humans and dogs.
  • High in fiber: A diet that is high in fiber contributes to regular bowel movements and easy digestion, which leads to a happy and healthy dog!
  • Part of the BRAT diet: “BRAT” stands for “bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast. It’s the vet-recommended diet for pooches when they’re experiencing an upset stomach.
  • Carb source for your dog’s energy: A dog relies on carb content to fuel up. Bananas are a great treat when your dog is playing or if you’re training a dog with rewards.
  • Additional magnesium source: Bananas are a treat that’s rich in magnesium. This further contributes to a dog’s bone growth and their ability to absorb protein and micronutrients.

Essentially, the reasons bananas are beneficial for humans also make them good for dogs to eat.

How to Feed Your Dogs Bananas

When feeding your dogs a fruit like bananas, you should consider their weight, size, and current calorie intake. Some fur parents love to give their pets little nibbles of fruits and vegetables as healthy treats. Others like to give their dogs food off their plate at dinnertime and that’s fine as long as it’s safe for your dog. 

For small dogs Some small dogs have a big appetite. They’ll happily accept fruits as treats and may even try to eat the whole thing in excitement. That’s a bad idea because they may also end up throwing up too much food eaten too quickly. For small dogs, just a few banana slices through the week are more than enough for their nutritional needs.

For medium-sized dogs Medium-sized dogs will happily accept half a banana every three days. Yes, this portion is the right amount. Don’t give them more than one whole banana a week.

For large dogs Some breeds of large dogs, such as Labs, are notoriously hungry at all times. They’ve got a never-ending appetite for treats. However, this predisposes them to easy weight gain because they’ll eat anything. In their old age, this becomes on their bones. One to two whole bananas is a great limit and gives them all the vitamins they need.

Can dogs eat bananas? Yes. But there are also cases of pet owners who have a dog that doesn’t enjoy bananas at all. It comes down to taste. 

So if you know you want to incorporate bananas, or your vet is suggesting bananas for added nutrition, try to give bite-sized pieces as a treat by:

  • Mixing small chunks of frozen banana into a small bowl of applesauce
  • Adding a smear of peanut butter onto pieces of banana so your dog will go for the peanut butter and end up eating the banana
  • Mashing up the banana into your dog’s other food (just skip the peel)

Do Bananas Give Dogs Diarrhea?

Instead of being a cause of diarrhea, bananas can actually help settle a dog’s stomach.  Along with boiled chicken, soft, mushy rice, applesauce, and toast, bananas are a great food to make sure that they get all their essential vitamins, such as potassium and vitamin C.

How Much of a Banana Can a Dog Eat?

There are two things to consider when feeding your pet a banana while also staying safe: 

  1. How much to feed them 
  2. Which portions they can eat

When it comes to their diet, you need to incorporate balance everything in moderation is the best rule for food, including vegetables and treats.

You can give your dog a full banana, but you should make sure that they’re not too ripe. When a banana ripens, they contain high amounts of sugar so aim for a happy medium.

You can feed dogs banana peels, but it’s not the best idea. They’re not toxic to your dogs, but they’re definitely hard on your dog’s stomach. The banana peel is tough and fibrous, so it could cause some digestion difficulties. 

However, if they get at a peel because they’re sifting through your trash bins, don’t worry too much. 

Conclusion

The canine digestive system is why a dog can eat bananas like a treat, yet something as common as a grape is toxic for their system. The way humans digest food, our energy output, and our overall caloric needs are different than a canine’s. 

That’s why feeding some dogs a treat can significantly affect their weight and nutritional needs. It’s always a good idea to check with your vet before feeding your dog anything new as a treat — even something as natural as bananas. In general, however, bananas are a Fido-favorite.

 

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About the Author

tom-massey

Tom Massey

Tom Massey has owned and operated Snowy Pines Labradors for over a decade. They have become the leaders in English Labradors in the US. He and his team serve customers all over the US and Europe. They house their "dog family" in a state of the art facility on a large farm in the Ozark Mountains. With an obsession for genetics and temperament they raise and train dogs known across the globe for health and personality. Tom serves the pet industry in many forms campaigning for ethical breeding, training, and pet ownership.

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