Feeding fruit and vegetables to your dog is a great way to introduce more vitamins and minerals into his diet. Unlike other produce, bananas are available all year round and can be served in many different ways.
But, can dogs eat bananas? Yes, dogs can eat bananas in moderation. Bananas contain vitamins, minerals, and are high in natural fibers. When offered as treats, bananas can improve a dog’s immune system and help with digestion. However, bananas contain sugar which can lead to obesity, stomach upset, and diabetes.
When it comes to feeding bananas to your dog, moderation is the key! Continue reading to learn the pros and cons of bananas for dogs and what is the best way to serve bananas to your pooch.
Are Bananas Good for Dogs?
Bananas are one of the most nutritional fruits for dogs and are an excellent alternative to salty and fatty dog treats.
Naturally rich in vitamin B6 and vitamin C, bananas can boost your dog’s immune system and keep him healthy and strong. Additionally, this delicious fruit is high in potassium and low in sodium and cholesterol which makes it a great option for a healthy snack.
Bananas are also high in fiber, which means that they support proper digestion and can soothe minor gastrointestinal problems. Overall, when fed in moderation, bananas can be a great treat for your dog.
Benefits of Bananas for Dogs
Including bananas to your dog’s diet can have major benefits for his overall health. The biggest benefits of feeding bananas to a dog are:
1. Bananas for A Stronger Immune System
Bananas are a natural source of vitamin C, an antioxidant that is necessary for the development, growth, and repair of all tissues. By letting your dog eat bananas you will boost his immune system and make it more adept at fighting diseases.
2. Bananas Support Digestive Health
Bananas are high in fiber which is essential for proper digestion and good nutrient absorption. A medium-sized banana contains around 2.6 grams of dietary fiber which supports gastrointestinal health and can also help if your dog is suffering from constipation or diarrhea.
3. Bananas Promote Normal Blood Pressure
As stated earlier, bananas contain potassium and vitamin B6. These two micronutrients can help your dog to regulate his blood flow, thus keeping his blood pressure low and supporting healthy heart function.
4. Bananas Support Strong Muscles
Bananas are also rich in magnesium which helps the body to absorb and produce protein, thus keeping the muscles healthy and strong. If you have an active larger pooch, adding bananas to his diet can help his muscles to stay lean and strong.
5. Bananas Are Good for The Bones
The potassium-rich banana has a beneficial impact on bone mineral density since it neutralizes acid load and reduces calcium loss from the bone. Additionally, the magnesium promotes healthy bone growth, thus supporting a healthy skeletal system.
6. Banana Improves Brain Function
Besides being good for the heart, vitamin B6 also supports brain development and function, thus keeping your dog’s mind sharp at all times.
Side Effect of Bananas for Dogs
By now, it’s very clear that adding bananas to your dog’s diet has many benefits for his overall health. However, this is only true if you offer small quantities and use bananas as occasional treats.
The downsides of eating too many bananas are:
1. Bananas Contain Sugar
Like most other fruits, bananas contain starches and are high in sugar. Too much sugar can be harmful to your dog and lead to obesity, gastrointestinal problems, and diabetes (source).
Keep in mind that your dog will have to eat a huge amount of bananas often to develop any of these conditions. So, don’t go overboard and feed your dog bananas moderately.
2. Upset Stomach
While eating a banana once in a while is beneficial for your dog’s digestive health, eating too much can cause a stomach upset. The high fiber content can lead to constipation in some dogs, but too much sugar can also cause diarrhea.
How Much Bananas Can I Give My Dog?
Before you start feeding bananas to your dog, talk with your vet to see if this is something you should or shouldn’t do. Your vet will also tell you how much bananas your dog can eat based on his weight, age, and dietary needs.
Here are some general guidelines:
- Toy and small breeds should eat two or three tiny slices of bananas
- Medium and large dogs can eat a half of a normal-sized banana
To take the full advantage of everything bananas have to offer to your dog, feed them as treats. Keep in mind that treats should only make up 10% of your dog’s daily calorie intake (source).
How to Feed Bananas to Your Dog?
There are many ways you can serve bananas to your dog, just don’t forget to peel them first. While banana peels aren’t toxic, they are hard to digest and can result in indigestion and vomiting, so it’s best to avoid feeding banana peels to your dog.
Popular ways to feed bananas to dogs are:
- Mash and stir bananas into your dog’s food
- Mix a banana with a little peanut butter
- Freeze the whole banana, peel and cut it in tiny slices
- Just slice the banana and offer the pieces as treats
- Make a homemade banana dog treat with peanut butter and cheese
- Mash bananas and stuff them into a Kong toy
Feeding bananas to your dog is a great way to offer some diversity and include much-needed vitamins and minerals in his diet. Remember, moderation is the key, and you should feed your dog bananas only as an occasional treat.
While bananas aren’t toxic to dogs, the high sugar and fiber count can lead to stomach upset and obesity if your dog eats them all the time. So, pace yourself and let you pooch gorge on bananas only once in a while!