Bananas have been a part of the human diet for thousands of years. In fact, they are one of the most popular and highly cultivated tropical fruits in the world. They’re filling, versatile, affordable and rich in a variety of health-promoting nutrients, which is why it’s not surprising that you’d want to share them with your dog. But before you let your dog eat this fruit, it’s only natural to ask, “Can dogs have bananas or is it bad for them?” Read on to find out.
Are Bananas Good for Dogs?
The good news is that bananas are one of the many fruits that your dog can eat. Not only are they safe, they provide many health benefits too. For starters, bananas are a great source of dietary fiber, which may help promote your pet’s digestion and alleviate gastrointestinal (GI) problems.1 They also contain free radical-fighting flavonoids and polyphenols like lutein, zeaxanthin, beta-carotene and alpha-carotene. Plus, they’re an excellent source of:2
- Vitamin B6, which helps soothe your dog’s nervous system.
- Vitamin C, which provides powerful antioxidant properties to help your dog fight the effects of free radicals.3
- Potassium, which helps improve your pet’s heart rate and blood pressure levels.
- Manganese, which is necessary for the activation of antioxidant enzymes and for the synthesis of proteins, carbohydrates and lipids.4
- Magnesium, which helps promote bone and heart health.
Other vitamins and minerals that your dog can obtain from bananas include:5
- Vitamin A
- Pantothenic acid
Can Dogs Eat Banana Peels?
While bananas themselves are safe and healthy for dogs, their peels are a different story. While they’re not really toxic, banana peels can be hard to digest and may cause blockage, depending on the size of your dog and how much they have eaten. They can also be a choking hazard for your pet.6
Try Making These Banana Dog Treat Recipes Today
There are many ways to feed your dog banana: You can give it to them frozen, mash it with their food, put it inside their chew toys or simply feed it to them as is. If you want to go the extra mile, you can also turn this fruit into a sweet and delicious dog treat. Here are some quick and easy banana treats that you can try making for your dog:
Frozen Banana Basil Towers for Dogs
✓ Fresh basil
✓ Ground free-range turkey or chicken, fresh
- Cut the banana into thin slices.
- Place a fresh basil leaf on every banana slice, and then top them with a small amount of ground turkey or chicken meatball.
- Freeze for three hours on a cookie sheet or freezer-safe pan.
Banana Nut Biscotti
✓ 2 overripe bananas
✓ 1/4 cup plain kefir
✓ 1 1/2 cups almond flour
- Blend all ingredients together, and then pour the mixture into a greased mini loaf pan.
- Bake at 325 degrees Fahrenheit for one hour. Once done, remove from oven and let cool for 20 minutes. Flip onto a cutting board and slice into 1/2-inch strips.
- Bake the strips again at 250 degrees Fahrenheit for an hour, or until hard. Remove from oven and let cool before giving to your pet.
- Store extra servings in the freezer or refrigerator and consume within one week. If stored in the freezer, this can stay fresh for up to three months.
Can Cats Eat Bananas?
While bananas do not cause any toxic effects on cats, most cats won’t be interested in eating any fruit, as they are carnivores. If your cat expresses an interest in eating bananas, you can offer a small slice to them as a treat.
Be Careful Not to Feed Your Dog Too Many Bananas
Just like most foods, bananas are best enjoyed by your dog in moderation.7 Although they’re a healthy alternative to processed treats, it’s still not right to make them a large part of your dog’s daily diet. Feed your dog one slice of banana at a time. A good rule of thumb is to give your dog a 1/4-inch banana slice for every 10 pounds of their bodyweight per day.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Bananas
Q: Are bananas toxic or poisonous to dogs?
A: No, they’re not. Bananas are in fact safe for dogs when eaten in moderation. They provide your pet with a variety of beneficial flavonoids and polyphenols with antioxidant properties, as well as vitamins and minerals such as vitamin B6, vitamin C, potassium, manganese and magnesium. They’re rich in fiber as well, which may help improve your dog’s gut health and digestion.8
Q: Can bananas help alleviate dog diarrhea?
A: Yes, bananas are helpful for relieving dog diarrhea. This fruit contains pectin, which is a type of fiber that may help draw water out of your dog’s feces, resulting in harder stools. If your dog has diarrhea, you can mash a small amount of banana into their bland diet to help reduce their loose stools.
Q: Can dogs eat banana chips?
A: Yes, banana chips can be an excellent treat for your dog when given in very small quantities. Dried fruits have concentrated amounts of sugar, which can cause GI upset if fed in large amounts.