Can dogs eat bananas is one of the first questions to ask when we are looking to give our dogs any of the food we eat, particularly fruit or vegetables or anything which is not meat derived.
Dogs, like children are natural born marketing experts. Just one longing look from your dog and they would have us believe we can safely feed them anything we are preparing for ourselves. In this article, we’ll specifically look at dogs and bananas.
Can dogs eat bananas?
Dogs can eat bananas. In common with humans, the nutrients in bananas are also beneficial to dogs. Bananas contain good levels of potassium, vitamin B6, vitamin C, magnesium and are a good source of fibre. They also contain antioxidants and plant compounds.
Bananas can be a beneficial addition to their normal food but should be fed sparingly.
The nutrients found in bananas are good for digestive health, bone health and they help the body produce protein. For humans and dogs alike, bananas are nutritious.
How much Banana should I feed my dog
Bananas should be fed in moderation, in moderate portion sizes. Use banana as a treat in treat size, rather than as a staple every day snack. Many vets are happy for your to feed banana to your dog as a treat as they are considered a better choice than some manufactured dog treats, which can contain high levels of salt and/or fat.
I have a banana smoothie for breakfast on some days. My two dogs know very well I will nip about a 5 cm ‘top and tail’ from the banana, which is theirs, so they tend to watch me quite closely whenever I get the blender out of the cupboard in the morning!
Occasionally I mash a small banana up with some mild cheese and some peanut butter (must be Xylitol free – see below). I will then fill a Kong with this mixture and freeze this for use as a treat later. In case, I were to forget, I find my dogs will remind me this treat is in the freezer as they rush to be near the freezer whenever I might be going near the freezer! back to marketing expertise again!
Another good reason to only feed banana as a treat, in a treat size portion is because bananas contain sugar, especially when they are ripe, i.e. the peel is yellow. Green bananas contain starch which turns to sugar as they ripen.
How often should I give banana to my dog
There is no hard and fast rule about the regularity of feeding bananas, just be sure they don’t have too much, too often. An average sized banana contains about 95 – 115 calories, so should be fed in moderation, in moderate sized portions. I liken any additional food I give to my dogs as a mini version of what I eat, so I am happy for them to have a little banana 2-3 times a week, or half a small banana mixed with mild cheese and peanut butter to freeze in a Kong for a later treat occasionally.
I find it a good idea to consult my vet if I am unsure about the suitability of anything I feed my dogs. Vets undergo rigorous training and are a treasure trove of information, both medical and practical. I know I eat a balanced diet and am also conscious my dogs probably benefit from applying the same principal.
Can dogs digest banana peel
No. Banana peel isn’t toxic but it does not break down very easily and is therefore not digestible. It may cause a blockage, so don’t be tempted to give banana peel to your dog.
So, are bananas ap’peel’ing
Yes, they are. They are also a good value snack or treat, in comparison to other snacks. They are very portable and because of their skins, are well protected, making them a perfect human and dog treat alike on the go or at home.
Just a word of caution. If your are making a banana and peanut butter mix to feed to your dog, please check there is no Xylitol in the peanut butter or in anything your feed your dog.
Xylitol is a naturally occurring, sugar free sweetener which is extremely toxic to dogs, even in small quantities.
It can quickly cause low blood sugar, seizures, liver failure and even death quite rapidly after taking, so please check the label of anything your feed to your dog, or may have in reach. Xylitol is also commonly found in toothpaste, mouthwash, sugar free chewing gum to name but a few products.
Most brands of peanut butter do not use Xylitol as a sweetener but there are a few brands which do, so it is always good practice to check the label of any food your buy.
In addition, it is always best to ensure any human product (not just food) is kept out of reach of dogs. Potential danger can lurk in places your would not think of as obvious, for example, disposal of toothpaste tubes (which may contain Xylitol) in bathroom bins which could be accessible to dogs.
Anyway, back to bananas. Yes, dogs can eat bananas!