Looking for a healthy treat for your canine companions? Try giving them bananas. Bananas are a natural, 100% dog-safe snack that most dogs love to eat.
But perhaps you're still wondering, are there benefits to letting your dogs eat bananas? And, if so, what are they?
Also, how often should you feed them bananas? Will it cause a negative reaction in some dogs?
If you wish to know more about bananas as a dog treat, consider your wish granted. We've written this guide to explain all there is to know about letting your dogs have bananas.
First, we cover all the benefits and warnings of feeding dogs bananas. Then, we even share some banana dog treat serving suggestions.
Keep reading to learn why you should give this healthy snack to your dogs.
Benefits of Letting Dogs Eat Bananas
First of all, bananas are healthy for dogs for the same reasons they're healthy for humans. That is, they provide large doses of essential vitamins and nutrients.
They are high in fiber, potassium, vitamin C, and vitamin B6. They also contain high amounts of biotin, manganese, magnesium, and copper. All of these are extremely beneficial to your overall health and bodily functions, and your dog's as well.
Here are some of the specific benefits these nutrients provide.
Fiber aids your dog's digestion. It helps solve blockages and other gastrointestinal problems your dog may be having.
Potassium supports healthy kidney and heart functions. It's also believed that proper potassium intake promotes healthy bone density.
Vitamin C is an effective antioxidant for reducing free radicals in your dog's body. This slows the progression of aging and some degenerative diseases. It may also reduce inflammation.
Vitamin B6 is vital for a variety of important bodily functions. It's necessary for the production of glucose and niacin in your dog's body. And it impacts the function of your dog's immune system, nervous system, hormones, and blood cells.
Magnesium is good for healthy bone growth. It also helps your dog's body to produce protein and to absorb other vitamins better.
Biotin is another essential component of healthy digestion in dogs. It's also beneficial for your dog's skin and coat and for muscle formation.
Warnings About Feeding Your Dogs Bananas
As beneficial as bananas are, they're not an absolute good. Here are a few very important warnings about feeding your dogs bananas.
Not Too Much of a Good Thing
Because of their high fiber content, bananas help relieve digestive problems in dogs. The reason is that fiber cannot be digested so it helps push food through the digestive tract.
The problem is, too much of this undigestable fiber can cause a blockage in the digestive system. Therefore, too much banana can cause your dog constipation.
Also, bananas are very high in sugar. Too much sugar can cause excessive weight gain, diabetes, and other canine health problems.
Due to these reasons, bananas should be given to dogs sparingly.
They're Not For Every Dog
Just like people, dogs can have allergies to certain foods. Some dogs have allergic reactions to bananas or simply have trouble digesting them.
If you do try feeding your dog banana, start with very small amounts. Monitor your dog carefully for signs of an allergic reaction.
These include coughing, sneezing, difficulty breathing, swelling, itching, and hives. If your dog displays any of these signs, stop feeding it bananas. Also, take the dog to the vet for allergy testing.
Remove the Peel
Banana peels are not technically toxic for dogs. But they can't digest them. Because of this, they can get stuck in your dog's intestines, causing painful gastrointestinal problems.
But your dog won't know this. To them, the peel smells the same as the delicious banana treat they're allowed to have. They'll be tempted to eat it if you leave it somewhere they can get at it.
So if your dog is prone to eating from the trash, take extra care to dispose of banana peels safely out of their reach.
Bananas Are Not Medicine
The claim that bananas aid digestion should not be viewed as a prescription. These digestive benefits are a generality, not a medicinal cure for any and all gastrointestinal issues your dog is having.
For one thing, if your dog has never eaten banana, you have no way of knowing how they'll react to it. If they're allergic, bananas might worsen any existing digestive problems.
Secondly, if you don't know what's causing your dog's digestive problems, bananas could make things worse. For example, the problem may be caused by too much fiber in your dog's diet. Since bananas are high in fiber, feeding one to your dog will exaggerate the problem rather than solving it.
Ask Your Vet First
Always ask your vet first before making any changes to your dog's diet. They know your dog's personal health situation. Thus, they'll give you personalized advice on how to go about adding bananas to your dog's diet.
Beware of Feeding Bananas to Puppies
Because puppies are still growing, they need a specific diet to develop properly. Because of bananas' high sugar content and other factors, they may inhibit your puppy's development. Never feed bananas to your puppy until you've discussed it with your veterinarian.
What If Your Dog Ate Banana Without Permission?
Maybe you're researching this because your dog devoured your whole supply of bananas while you were out. If so, take these precautions.
First of all, if your dog has never had bananas before now, you need to watch them for allergic reactions. An allergic reaction is especially dangerous in this situation because the dog probably consumed a large amount of banana. At any hint of an allergic reaction, take your dog to the vet right away.
Second, investigate whether the dog ate any banana peel. If so, watch for signs of choking or gagging and monitor the dog's bowel movements for several days.
If the dog does not pass or vomit the peel after a couple of days, go to the vet. Also, if the dog ate more than one peel, you shouldn't wait to take them to the vet.
Tips On Feeding Dogs Bananas
Here are a few guidelines on how to incorporate this healthy treat into your dog's diet.
How Often Should Dogs Eat Bananas?
Because they are high in sugar, use the 90/10 rule. That is, 90% of your dog's calorie intake should come from their normal food.
Treats should only account for 10% or less of their daily calories. Include bananas as part of this 10%. And don't give them bananas every day.
Proper Portion Sizes
Besides the 90/10 rule, avoid giving your dog too much banana at one time. No more than half of the banana should be given to them at a time. For small dogs, limit it to one quarter at a time.
Find Out From Your Vet
Again, your vet will know the proper amount of banana for your dog better than anyone. Get the official portion plan straight from your vet's mouth.
There are lots of ways to let your dogs enjoy this treat. Here are a few serving ideas.
This is the easiest way to share this treat with your canines. Simply slice or break off a piece of banana and hand-feed it to them.
Additionally, you can freeze portion-controlled slices of banana and hand them out from time to time. Some dogs don't like raw banana but love eating it when frozen.
Mix It With Other Dog-Safe Ingredients
Use banana as an add-on to other treats. Mix it with dog-safe peanut butter or yogurt, for example.
You can also mix it in with their regular food, although, this may not be to your dog's liking. So be sure to test it with a small amount of dog food first.
In A Fillable Dog Toy
Banana is a fun filler for Kongs or other fillable dog toys. You can do this with raw banana alone or mixed with other ingredients. Also, it's less messy if you fill the toy with mashed banana and then freeze it.
Doggie Ice Cream
Here's another consistency variation your furry companion may prefer. Blend or mash the banana with any dog-safe ingredients your dog likes. Freeze the mixture and scoop it with an ice cream scoop.
Follow These Tips When Feeding Dogs Bananas
Now that you know, try letting your dogs eat bananas. But when you do, be careful to follow the advice in this guide exactly.
Remember, feeding dogs bananas may cause digestive problems and allergic reactions if done improperly. Always remove the peel and start with very small portions. And talk to your vet before incorporating any changes to your dog's diet.
To make things even easier, bookmark this page so you don't forget this advice. Always refer to this guide when feeding your dogs bananas.
Next, get more advice on feeding human food to your dogs. Click here to learn how popcorn might be bad for your dog.