Can Dogs Eat Bananas?

Dog and Banana

Story at-a-glance -

  • Bananas are one of the many fruits that your dog can enjoy, as they provide many health benefits
  • Bananas are a great source of dietary fiber, which may help promote your pet’s digestion and alleviate gastrointestinal problems
  • A good rule of thumb is to feed your dog one slice of banana at a time
  • While the inner part of bananas is safe and healthy for dogs, their peels are a different story

By Dr. Karen Shaw Becker

Bananas have been a part of human’s 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 people food, it’s only natural to ask, “Can dogs have bananas or is this fruit 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 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

Thiamin

Riboflavin

Niacin

Folate

Pantothenic acid

Iron

Zinc

Selenium

Can Dogs Eat Banana Peels?

While the inner part of bananas is safe and healthy for dogs, their peels are a different story. Banana peels can be bad for your dog because even though they’re not really toxic, they can be very hard to digest. Banana peels 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 as is. If you want to go the extra mile, you can also turn this fruit into a sweet and delicious treat. Here are some quick and easy banana treats that you can try making for your dog:

Frozen Banana Basil Towers

Ingredients:

Banana

Fresh basil

Ground free-range turkey or chicken, fresh

Procedures:

  1. Cut the banana into thin slices.
  2. Place a fresh basil leaf on every banana slice, and then top them with a small amount of ground turkey or chicken meatball.
  3. Freeze for three hours on a cookie sheet or freezer-safe pan.

Banana Nut Biscotti

Ingredients:

2 overripe bananas

1/4 cup plain kefir

1 1/2 cups almond flour

Procedures:

  1. Blend all ingredients together, and then pour the mixture into a greased mini loaf pan.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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, don’t be so quick to give them to felines — they may not be good for your cat’s health.

Bananas contain high amounts of carbohydrates, a substance that your cat’s body is not equipped to digest. Cats lack the salivary, intestinal and pancreatic enzymes necessary for breaking down and digesting carbohydrates. Their liver enzymes are also meant to handle protein and fat, not starches.

Once your cat does digest carbs, they can’t utilize the end products, like glucose, as well as dogs or humans do. Most of the carbs you’ll feed to your cat will only be stored as fat in their body. Hence, it might be a bad idea to make bananas a part of your cat’s diet, as this may contribute to a higher risk of obesity, diabetes, pancreatitis and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

It’s also highly likely that your cat doesn’t have a taste for bananas, since they’re not attracted to sweet-tasting foods unlike dogs and people. Rather, they prefer foods that taste like animal products, which tells a lot about their carnivorous nature.

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. Keep in mind that bananas are high in sugar and carbohydrates, both of which may lead to health problems like diabetes and obesity when consumed by your pet in excessive amounts.

A good rule of thumb is to feed your dog one slice of banana at a time. You can also consult your holistic veterinarian to find out how much bananas your pet can eat.

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, as long as they’re homemade, made from organic bananas and free from additional sugar.9