You love Fido, and it’s hard to say no. This is especially true when you’re enjoying a quick snack and your beloved pup starts begging for you to share. If you happen to be eating a banana, you may wonder… are bananas good for dogs?
Naturally, you want to give your dog everything they want — but you also know that some human foods aren’t good for your furry friend’s stomach. Bananas have good and bad traits, so your pup should only have them in moderation. Read on to learn why that is.
Are Bananas Good for Dogs?
Bananas are safe for dogs to eat, and they have lots of health benefits, too. Bananas are high in minerals like potassium, and they’re naturally sweet. Plus, they’re easy to peel and eat, which makes them a popular snack – at least for humans.
But since dogs’ nutritional needs are different from ours, they benefit differently from bananas in their diet. Bananas are…
- Loaded with nutrients, like fiber, vitamin B6, biotin, and copper.1
- High in fiber, so they’re especially appealing for any pup prone to an upset stomach or who just needs a healthy digestive boost.2
- A great source of potassium. The potassium content helps keep your dog’s heart and kidneys healthy. It also plays an important role in digestion, and may help keep your dog’s stomach calm.3
- Full of manganese, which helps with bone growth and will help your dog produce healthy cartilage.4
- Loaded with Vitamin C, and its antioxidant properties.5 Just like in people, antioxidants can help keep dogs healthy.6
- Low in sodium and cholesterol, which means that in addition to these positive benefits, you don’t need to worry about exposing your dog to these potentially harmful nutrients.7
On top of all that, bananas are gentle on puppy stomachs, and they can be comforting and nutritional if Fido is under the weather.8
Bananas are a tasty treat that you and your dog can both enjoy. When dogs eat bananas, they get a lot of health benefits, but there are some drawbacks to bananas as food for dogs.
The Downsides of Bananas for Dogs
You now know that bananas aren’t dangerous or toxic for dogs, but that doesn’t mean they’re always good for your pup. Before you start feeding your dog bananas, read up on the downsides that bananas pose to your dog’s health (hint: it’s all about moderation).
- The average banana has about 100 calories, and a lot of sugar. Depending on how big your dog is, this could cause weight gain – so it’s probably not a good idea to give your pup a whole banana every day.9
- While the fiber content in bananas can help regulate your pup’s digestive system, too much fiber can have the opposite effect and lead to stomach or digestive problems.10
- If you’re feeding pieces of banana to your dog, peel it first. Banana peels can cause stomach issues or digestive problems.11
Sugary fruit snacks may not be a great choice for everyday food, but as an occasional treat, you can make your dog’s day by sharing some banana.
Introducing Your Dog to Bananas
When you give your dog a new food for the first time, there are certain steps you should follow to ensure the new food is being introduced in a healthy way.
- If your dog is trying bananas, or any other food, for the first time, give them just a small amount. Watch their reaction for the next few hours to see if they get sick or react poorly. Don’t introduce a new food right before you leave your dog home alone.
- If your dog seems fine after a couple of hours, the next time, you can give a larger bit, and work your way up from there.12
- Dogs can have food allergies. If you’re giving your pooch a banana for the first time, pay attention for symptoms like hives, sneezing, coughing, or difficulty breathing. If you suspect your dog may be having an allergic reaction, call a vet right away.13
Note: Pay close attention to how your furry friend responds when you give them bananas or any new food. This includes not only your dog’s behavior, but the frequency and consistency of bowel movements. If you suspect a food allergy, contact your vet as soon as possible.
Bananas Are One Part of Your Dog’s Healthy Diet
You already know that bananas have a lot of benefits for your dog, so long as your pet practices moderation. That’s because bananas fit well into the general guidelines for selecting a healthy snack for your dog.
The best snacks for your dog contain the vitamins and minerals they need. The best foods contain vitamins A, B, C, D, E, and K. Look for minerals in your dog’s food too, like calcium, potassium, magnesium, iron, zinc, copper, and others for a balanced diet.14
The Benefits of Dietary Fiber
You know that bananas can be a good occasional treat for dogs, in part because of their high fiber content. But what’s so great about fiber for dogs?
- Dogs can’t digest fiber, so it doesn’t have much nutritional value on its own. However, fiber can slow down your dog’s digestive process. This can give your dog’s body more time to absorb nutrients from other food.15
- Wild dogs, like wolves and foxes, don’t typically eat much fiber— but that’s because their diets in the wild are suited for their digestive systems. If your dog eats commercial or processed dog food, they may benefit from additional fiber from vegetables or fruits, like bananas.16
- Fiber is important for dogs for the same reason it is for humans. Fiber helps regulate your pup’s digestive system and keeps their bowel movements regular.17
- Fiber helps dogs feel fuller faster, and helps them lose weight. Fiber is a particularly important nutrient for overweight dogs, or for any dog that needs to shed a few pounds.18
How to Incorporate Banana Dog Treats in my Pet’s Diet?
With their natural sweetness, bananas may already be a favorite treat for your dog. But if you have a picky eater, there are ways to convince your dog to try bananas.
- If you don’t mind some clean up, you can occasionally mash bananas into your dog’s food and serve them alongside their dinner.19
- If you really want to treat your pup, you can bake banana cookies with plain yogurt, peanut butter, carrots, or other dog-safe ingredients.20
- Dogs love food with a crunch, so feel free to freeze mashed banana to give your dog a sweet, cool snack that’s perfect for the summer.21
- Another way get a crunch is by sharing banana chips with your pooch. Just be sure to read the label to make sure the chips don’t have extra sugar added to them. Or you could dry your own!22
Whether you have an adventurous eater or a picky pup, you can find a way to make bananas an attractive treat for your dog.
When served along with regular food, you can ensure your dog has a healthy and fiber-rich diet.
Make Bananas Your Pup’s New Favorite Treat
Bananas are safe for your dog to eat, and they’re also loaded with nutrients — however, the high sugar levels might have some negative impacts on your pup’s health.
When you share bananas with your puppy as just an occasional treat, you can encourage his or her health and well-being without overdoing the sugar. Remember: moderation is key when it comes to any treats for your dog (and you)!