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Can dogs eat bananas?
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Can dogs eat bananas?

For every person out there asking whether dogs can eat bananas or any other fruit, there’s usually at least one pair of pleading puppy eyes waiting semi-patiently for their humans to finish their online search and give them their snack already.

Sharing fruits with your pup is a healthy (with some exceptions), low-calorie alternative to store-bought, processed dog treats. Check out our guide to learn which fruits are safe for dogs to eat and which ones are toxic.

But let’s get back to bananas and reveal their health benefits! I will also give you more info on how to feed them to your pup and share a few fun homemade banana treat ideas.

Can dogs eat bananas?

Of course they can, plus most dogs love them. It’s as if our pups knew that bananas are rich in essential nutrients and generally beneficial for their health and immune function.

However, bananas are also high in sugar content, so you should keep them in the treat-only category and feed them in moderation.

Pax loves bananas — whenever I hold one, he appears out of nowhere in seconds. He must have a banana radar!

Bananas are a good treat after exercise, as they are rich in potassium and magnesium. These minerals help prevent muscle cramps and rebalance electrolytes after eating salty foods or drinking ocean water, which many dogs do.


How many bananas can dogs eat?

As a rule of thumb, fruit shouldn’t exceed more than 5% of your dog’s daily diet, which is roughly what canines would eat in nature.

Health benefits of bananas for dogs

While some nutritionists say that bananas are nutritionally starchy treats and high in sugar, they do contain some beneficial nutrients.

Bananas have a moderate glycemic index, about 30% greater than apples. Less ripe bananas are generally less sugary and better for your dog.

Here are a few of the most important nutrients found in bananas and their health benefits:

  • Potassium: regulates heart and muscle contractions, maintains electrolyte balance, improves body hydration
  • Magnesium: supports healthy cognitive function and bone development, helps prevent and relieve muscle cramps,
  • Vitamin B6: responsible for hormone regulation, red blood cell formation and nervous system function, supports optimal immune response
  • Vitamin C: protects cells from harmful free radicals, helps strengthen the immune system, reduces inflammation and promotes wound healing
  • Fibre: improves digestion and promotes regular bowel movements

IMPORTANT: While fruits such as bananas can be a great way to add more vitamins and minerals to your dog’s meals/ treats, they’re not enough to cover nutritional gaps. Unfortunately, neither is our and our dog’s food due to intensive agriculture and nutrient-depleted soils.

Make sure your dog gets all the essential nutrients for a healthy and long life by supplementing their diet with human-grade, bioavailable minerals and vitamins.

When are bananas bad for dogs?

As with any food consumed in excess, bananas too can cause problems for your dog, including diarrhea and vomiting.

If your dog is overweight or has been diagnosed with diabetes, you may want to feed lower glycemic index fruits such as apples and consult your veterinarian for food recommendations.

How to feed your dog bananas

The easiest and quickest way to feed your dog bananas as a treat is to cut them into small slices and serve them as is.

You can also make homemade frozen banana chips by placing the slices into the freezer for a couple of hours.

You can offer your dog the occasional dehydrated banana treat, but they are higher in sugar than the fruit. If you want to add some healthy fats, you can spread some coconut, pumpkin seed or almond butter but make sure it doesn’t contain xylitol which is toxic to dogs.

If you want to add a healthy topper to your dog’s meal, you can mash a few slices of banana and add them to their food. If your dog is a busybody and loves to be entertained, you can add mashed bananas inside a Kong Toy or spread it on a lick mat. 

Last but not least, you can add bananas to your favourite doggie fruit smoothie and mix them with your dog’s supplements for a delicious immunity booster.

 


Can dogs eat bananas - FAQ

  • What fruit is toxic for dogs? 

You should avoid giving your pup fruits such as grapes/raisins, black and red currants, and grapefruits because they’re highly toxic to dogs. Feed cherries, peaches and apricots without pits as they contain cyanide.

  • Why can't dogs eat bananas?

In fact, dogs can eat bananas, but you should feed them only as an occasional treat. Bananas are rich not only in minerals and vitamins but also natural sugars. Thus, giving your dog bananas every day or more than a few slices at a time can upset their stomach.

  • How much banana can I give my dog?

If you haven’t given your dog bananas before, start with a couple of slices and see how their stomach reacts. If your dog tolerates bananas and likes them as a treat, I recommend consulting with your veterinarian to determine the best portion size.

  • Do bananas help with dog diarrhea?

Bananas contain a high amount of fibre that can help improve digestion and maintain regular bowel movements. However, giving your dog too many bananas or being allergic to them can cause diarrhea.

That being said, cooked squash or pumpkin is better suited to soothe your dog’s upset stomach than bananas. Check out our holistic guide to treating dog diarrhea for more diet and natural treatment recommendations.

  • Can dogs be allergic to bananas?

Although the chance of having your dog be allergic to bananas is slim, you should always start slowly when introducing new fruits to your dog’s diet and test how their body reacts. If your dog develops symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, itching, hives, and swelling soon after eating bananas, please see your veterinarian.

  • Can dogs eat banana peels?

No, while the banana peel is not toxic to dogs, it’s hard to digest and can potentially cause intestinal blockage. If you want to feed your dog some bananas, take the peel off first.

  • Can dogs eat banana chips or dried bananas?

Yes, as long as the banana chips and dried bananas have no added sugars or artificial sweeteners, they’re safe for your dog to eat.

Banana chips and dried bananas are a crunchy and healthy treat you can easily make at home and bring along on your outdoor adventures with your pup or use for training. Make sure you give these banana treats in moderation to avoid upsetting your dog's stomach.

  • Can dogs eat frozen bananas?

Yes, frozen banana slices can be a refreshing summer pup treat. Depending on your dog’s size, you can break the slices into smaller bits to avoid choking, especially if they like scarfing down their food.

  • Can puppies eat bananas?

Yes, puppies can be fed bananas but only in small amounts. Since bananas are high in sugar, it’s recommended not to give your puppy more than a few slices of banana a day as a treat. Feeding your puppy more than that can cause digestive upset.

About the author

Dr. Peter Dobias, DVM is an Integrative veterinarian, nutritionist and creator of natural supplements for dogs and people. Helping you and your dog prevent disease, treat nutritional deficiencies, and enjoy happier, healthier, and longer lives together.

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