Dogs go bananas for human food. However, many foods consumed regularly by humans aren't good for dogs, and some are downright harmful. But can dogs eat bananas? Here's the lowdown on bananas for dogs and why you might want to consider giving your dog an occasional bite of this vitamin-rich fruit.
Bananas are packed with potassium and vitamin C, and they're also good sources of vitamin B6 as well as manganese, biotin, and copper, all of which benefit your dog's overall health. Bananas are also rich in magnesium, which may help your dog absorb other vitamins more efficiently and promote healthy bone growth, says the American Kennel Club (AKC).
Drawbacks of Bananas for Dogs
Bananas are also high in sugar, so they should only be given as an occasional special treat, not made a regular part of your dog's diet. And while the fiber content in bananas can be good for your dog in small amounts, if your dog eats too much this could actually cause constipation instead of helping to prevent it.
Say No to Banana Peels
While they aren't toxic to your dog, banana peels are hard to digest and could make your dog sick or cause intestinal blockage. So be sure to discard banana peels in a place where your dog can't get to them. The garbage disposal is likely the best place for banana peels, especially if your dog has a tendency to dig through the trash.
What if your dog gets a hold of a banana and eats the whole thing, peel and all? You should call your veterinarian right away if you notice any signs of sickness, digestive issues, or blockage. When first introducing bananas into your dog's diet, it's also a good idea to keep an eye out for signs that he might be allergic, such as excessive itching, as well as for signs of weight gain. If you notice signs of either, stop feeding bananas to your dog right away. Additionally, if your dog is diabetic or has issues with high blood sugar, it's probably best to keep him away from bananas altogether. Your vet will be able to give you the best information on whether or not bananas are okay to feed your dog as a special dog treat from time to time.
How to Give Your Dog Bananas
While some dogs love the taste of bananas and will eat chunks of one right out of your hand, others take some coaxing. You can try some of the following tactics to introduce bananas to your dog:
- Try mashing it in his food
- Mix a little bit of banana with peanut butter (Again, peanut butter is another food that should be consumed in moderation by dogs. It should never be used as a frequent snack or reward.)
- Fill a food-dispensing toy with mashed banana and freeze it
- Freeze a banana before peeling and slicing it, and give the frozen slices to your dog
- Give him dog treats that have bananas as an ingredient to see if he likes the taste. Hill's has a great peanut butter and banana option for him to try.
Can dogs eat bananas? The short answer is yes — in moderation. While packed with nutrients, bananas are a sugary treat that should only be a small part of an overall nutritious dog diet. If you have any doubts about feeding your dog bananas, consult your vet about the best sources of nutrition for your pet.
Jean Marie Bauhaus
Jean Marie Bauhaus is a pet parent, pet blogger and novelist from Tulsa, Oklahoma, where she usually writes under the supervision of a lapful of furbabies.