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Dogs are family, and many families find that gathering around a dinner table sharing food is one of the best places to build relationships. It’s natural to want to include all family members, even our dogs, but we also want to make sure that the scraps sliding off the table are safe for everyone. Most dog owners know that chocolate is to be avoided, but can dogs eat bananas?
Dogs eat kibble and bones. Some like to rummage through trash. It’s surprising the things that dogs will eat, but most importantly, what can they eat? Just how much of our morning smoothie ingredients can we toss down to man’s best friend? If you’re asking yourself, can dogs eat bananas? Simply put, yes, dogs can eat bananas. In fact, some veterinarians recommend it.
According to the American Kennel Club, bananas are high in potassium, vitamin B6, and Vitamin C. It’s a great alternative to fatty treats while still high in fiber. If your pup is having issues with gastrointestinal problems, bananas are a great treat!
They also contain a lot of magnesium and potassium that is good for building and maintaining strong bones and muscle mass.
The vitamin B6 proves to be the magic ingredient in feeding dogs bananas. It has excellent benefits to keep even the itchiest pups at ease by promoting a healthy coat and skin. This same B6 can also help to regulate blood flow and keep low blood pressure. It also helps with their brain function, keeping their mind sharp and ready to play fetch.
Finally, vitamin C helps build their immune system to keep them from getting sick in the first place.
How to Serve Your Dog Bananas
While delicious and nutritious, feeding fido a whole banana can have undesirable side effects. Bananas are best served cut into small, easily digestible bites. For a great refreshing treat in the summertime, try freezing the banana before peeling it.
Here are some other ways your dog might enjoy bananas:
- Mash the bananas into their kibble
- Mix with peanut butter
- Fill a Kong with banana
- Dehydrated bananas can make a great snack on the go
For small dogs, a few pieces of banana once or twice a week is an appropriate amount. Large dogs can have a bit more, consuming half a banana a few times a week.
You can also enjoy this recipe for a DIY Banana Dog Treat:
- One egg
- One mashed banana
- 1/3 cup of smooth peanut butter* (low sodium is a healthier choice for pets)
- 1 teaspoon of honey
- 1 ½ cup of whole wheat flour
- One egg white, lightly beaten, for brushing (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 300ºF.
- Lightly beat the egg then mix in the peanut butter, mashed banana, and honey. Blend thoroughly. Add the flour a little at a time, until the mixture is evenly combined.
- Turn out the dough on a floured board and roll until ¼ inch thick. Using a cookie cutter of your choice, a biscuit cutter, or the rim side of a glass, cut the dough into the desired shape. Brush tops with egg white (optional).
- Place cookies on a lightly greased baking sheet or one fitted with a Silpat silicone baking sheet liner.
- Bake cookies for 25-30 minutes, until golden brown. (Cook time will vary based on the size of your cookie. Bake less for smaller cookies, more for larger cookies.)
- Cool cookies on a wire rack. Leaving them out overnight will produce a crunchier cookie. Storing them in a sealed container will keep the cookies softer.
When To Use Caution
While you can feel free to toss down a bite of that banana while making grandma’s homemade banana bread, it’s important to remember that bananas are high in sugar. Adding bananas to a dog’s diet is also a quick way to add unnecessary calories.
Because being overweight can impact dogs just as much as it can humans with issues like high blood pressure and diabetes, it’s important to monitor the addition of bananas to their diet. Be sure to consider your dog’s size and weight when incorporating any new food into their diet.
Can dogs eat banana peels? The answer is no. They are not considered toxic, but they are very difficult to digest and can cause blockages in the esophagus, stomach, and intestines. If you want to use all parts of the banana, the peel can be used to rub on inflamed or itchy skin to help soothe your dog.
Even without the peel, another concern when feeding bananas can be constipation, so be sure to keep an eye on things after you introduce the food.
What to Watch For
Just like with humans, it’s good to keep an eye on your dog when feeding them anything new. Weight changes or signs of allergies might be a signal that your dog is not tolerating the banana and you should contact your veterinarian.
Here are some signs of allergies to watch out for when deciding if dogs can eat bananas:
Remember, if you think your dog is having an allergic reaction, contact your veterinarian.
Puppies and Bananas
When answering the question can dogs have bananas, the benefits are geared towards adult dogs. Before feeding a puppy bananas, check with your veterinarian. Puppies are growing and developing which means they need a specific diet to help them be big and strong. The added calories from bananas could interfere with their development.
Dogs Can Eat Bananas
We spend a lot of time worrying about our four-legged friends. Their companionship makes them one of the family, and we want to keep them safe and happy. Pet owners spend a lot of time wondering what parts of their own lives are appropriate for their furry family members. You can rest easy knowing that bananas are a treat you and Rover can occasionally enjoy together.
If your dog needs their stomach settled or is having issues with a dry itchy coat, bananas in moderation may be a great natural source of relief.
The next time someone asks if dogs can eat bananas, just ask them to pass the peanut butter.