This article has been reviewed for factual accuracy by a qualified veterinarian, using information available at the time of publishing. Dog owners are urged to consult with their veterinarian when making dietary decisions for their pet. This article is designed to provide general information but it does not take into account your pet’s health status or circumstances.
Plantains are a common type of fruit used in many cultures for cooking and are in the genus Musa, along with bananas. Plantains look like larger bananas, which makes people believe that they are the same as bananas when it comes to feeding them to dogs. But that is not quite the case. Plantains are safe for dogs to eat, but they should be fed in small quantities. Plantains have some considerable differences from bananas that make them harder on a dog’s system. That means there are some things you need to know and consider before feeding plantains to your dog. Here is everything you need to know about plantains before giving them to your dog.
Can Dogs Eat Plantains?
Yes. Dogs can eat plantains. Plantains are a starchy tropical fruit that closely resembles a banana. Since these two fruits are in the same genus, they are both safe for dogs. However, plantains have some key differences that differentiate them from bananas. They are often cooked in the unripe green form and ripen to a sweet, yellow fruit. Green plantains are often harder, tougher, and more fibrous than bananas, which makes them more difficult to feed your dog. Bananas ripen faster and are usually softer, so they pose less of a risk to a dog than a plantain does. You can still feed plantains to your dog, but there are some important things you should know before you do.
Health Benefits of Plantains
Plantains offer a number of health benefits for dogs, provided they are fed properly and in small quantities. Plantains contain vitamins, minerals, healthy dietary fibers and antioxidants. Together, these things can pack a helpful punch for your dog. The fiber helps facilitate healthy digestive tract behavior.
Despite the benefits, you should still only feed your dog small amounts of plantains on rare occasions. Think of plantains as a treat rather than a meal replacement.
Dangers of Feeding Your Dog Plantains
Plantains have some risks inherent to them that you need to be aware of before feeding. First, in the yellow form, they are high in sugars and overindulgence could lead to weight gain over time and secondary health problems such as joint pain and pancreatitis.
Plantains can be choking hazards. Since green plantains are so hard and tough, some dogs have a hard time chewing them. If a dog cannot chew the plantain properly, they could choke. That is why it is important that you soften your plantains by cooking them before feeding them.
Plantains are also full of fiber. They are tough, which can cause stomach problems in large amounts. Vomiting and diarrhea could result.
How to Feed Your Dog Plantains
If you want to feed your dog plantains, there are some things you need to do to prepare them. Do not feed your dog raw green plantains. It could be a choking hazard due to how hard they are.
Before feeding your dog plantains, you should soften them. You can soften plantains by either boiling them in a pot of water or baking them in the oven. Softening the plantains will help your dog be able to chew them properly and make digesting them easier. After you soften the plantains, chop them into small slices or chunks and then feed them to your dog one at a time. You should only feed your dog one or two pieces of plantain once or twice per week. Do not feed them anymore than that to avoid any potential health issues.
Plantains to Avoid
Plantains come in all different types, and there are some plantains that you should avoid. Avoid any plantains such as plantain chips that have additives such as salt, seasoning, flavor, or oil. Plantain chips can cause your dog to get an upset stomach.
You should also avoid feeding your dog fried plantains. In some cultures, fried plantains are a staple. But dogs do not need the additional fats and oils that accompany fried plantains due to the risk of pancreatitis as well as weight gain over time.
You should only feed your dog plain, softened plantains. Do not feed raw, unsoftened plantains. It is best to buy the plantains yourself and prepare them yourself to avoid any potential pitfalls that could be hiding in human food.
Dogs can eat plantains as long as you follow some simple rules when feeding them. You should soften your plantains by baking or boiling them and only feed them in small quantities. If you do those things, your dog can get some great health benefits from plantains. Given incorrectly, plantains can cause weight gain, stomach upset, choking or blockages, or pancreatitis. However, there is nothing inherently dangerous to dogs about the edible material in plantains themselves.