Can Dogs Eat Bananas? Are Bananas Safe for Dogs?
The curved, yellow, and tropical goodness that is the banana. You put them in your smoothies, in your fruit salad, or peel them and eat them as a quick and healthy snack. Generally speaking, dogs usually want people food most of the time, so maybe you’re wondering if you can feed your dog some of your banana?
Are bananas safe for your dog? The short answer is, yes! Bananas are a safe treat for your dog, but with some minor warnings, so please read on.
The Healthy Banana
The banana is a tropical fruit that belongs to the Musa family (that includes the plantain) and is, strangely enough, classified as a berry. Covered in an easily peeled yellow jacket, the banana is a firm yet soft and sweet fruit that is delicious and has many health benefits.
Bananas are a source of fiber and carbs and are high in potassium and Vitamins B6 and C. They provide a wide range of health benefits such as:
- Moderating blood sugar levels
- Allowing for improved digestion
- Aiding in weight loss: can make you feel full and helps with exercise
- Supporting heart health
- Contains antioxidants
- May improve kidney health
Bananas are available all year as they are transported around the world from tropical regions (bananas originated in Southeast Asia and are grown today in India, Africa, China, as well as South and Central America).
Bananas and Your Dog
The health benefits of bananas for humans are well-documented, but how do they affect dogs? Well, the same beneficial vitamins and minerals found in bananas are also good for your dog. The potassium and vitamins in the banana make them a heart-healthy snack for people and dogs alike. The dietary fiber found in the banana will also aid your dog’s digestive system.
You can give the banana to your pup in small pieces directly from the source or mash it up and add it to her food. The banana can also be frozen, peeled, and cut up into small slices on hot days as a cold and sweet treat.
The Downside for Dogs
While bananas are decidedly healthy, there are a few issues you should take note of. Dietary fiber is very good for the digestive system, but too much can create upset stomach and diarrhea, so small amounts of banana will help to avoid this problem.
While the banana peel is not harmful to your dog, it does contain a moderate amount of fiber and could make your dog ill if ingested. Banana skin is difficult for your dog to digest and could potentially cause a blockage in the intestinal tract or prove to be a choking hazard.
The last potential risk from bananas is that they are relatively high in sugar (fructose). If you have a diabetic dog or one that is struggling with obesity, you should avoid bananas or only give tiny amounts as an occasional sweet snack. Always talk to your veterinarian if you have concerns about your dog’s diet and health.
If you’re concerned about your dog’s blood sugar levels, here are some signs of high blood sugar:
- Excessive thirst
- Weight loss
- Extreme hunger
- Increased urination
If your dog exhibits any of these symptoms, contact your vet immediately.
Bananas are a safe and healthy treat for your pup as long as you only give her small pieces and ensure she doesn’t ingest any of the peel. Watch your dog for signs of discomfort or stomach upset and contact your vet if you’re ever concerned about your dog’s health.
You can also make your own homemade banana treats from recipes like this one. All kinds of recipes for dogs can be found online, and it not only gives you control over the ingredients for your dog, but is fun to make (especially if you have children that would like to help).
Please do speak to your vet, however, when adding people food to your dog’s diet. As long as it’s in moderation and you’re not using it to replace nutrients that might be otherwise found in your dog’s usual food, the occasional bite of banana is a great way to make your dog happy and keep her healthy.
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Featured Image Credit: t_watanabe, Pixabay