Can Dogs Eat Bananas? Are Bananas Good for Dogs as a Healthy Treat?

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Yes, bananas are one of the many fruits that you can feed your dog. It can be a healthy treat when he’s being a good boy or as motivation during training.

It’s a great source of essential nutrients like potassium and fiber but low in calories. We all know that having too much of anything is bad, so moderation is key.

Yorkshire Terrier puppy with bananas

But what else makes bananas good and bad for dogs? How much is too many? Can all dog breeds benefit from this fruit? Let’s find out.

What are the Benefits of Bananas for Dogs?

Since we now know it’s safe to feed bananas to your pooch, let’s take a look at the many health benefits bananas offer.

1. High fiber in bananas will improve dogs’ digestive health: Dogs prone to having gastrointestinal problems can benefit from high-fiber fruits like bananas, apples, and watermelon. An average banana has around 2.6 g of fiber that can help move food along the digestive tract, which aids digestion, solves blockages, and improves gut health.

Not only can it regulate your pet’s weight, but bananas also have prebiotic fiber that can reduce bloating and make healthy intestinal bacteria or microbes thrive.

2. Bananas support the dog’s heart and kidney functions: This fruit is also rich in potassium. Although bananas don’t treat and prevent heart diseases, getting enough of them can help your dog’s heart in many ways, such as regulating heartbeat, lowering cholesterol levels, and maintaining normal blood pressure, which is also good for kidneys.

3. Healthy alternative to fatty, salty treats: Bananas are also low in cholesterol, sodium and are free of fat. That alone makes them better than most store-bought treats that usually have additives.

What nutrients in bananas are beneficial for dogs?

Bananas are packed with essential vitamins and minerals that will contribute to your dog’s overall health. Here are some of the nutrients your dog can get from bananas.

  • Potassium: Dogs require 20 mg of potassium daily. Proper potassium intake supports their muscle development, regulates fluid levels and blood flow, promotes healthy bone density, and contributes to a healthy heart and kidney function. If your pooch is sick, which causes him to vomit and have diarrhea, then your dog’s potassium level is depleting — extra potassium aids in healing faster.
  • Vitamin B6: A 100-gram banana has about 0.4 mg of this vitamin, and it’s one of the essential nutrients with many responsibilities. It supports the neurotransmitters or nervous system of dogs, regulates hormones, and builds proteins. It’s not just a critical coenzyme for bodily functions, but it also keeps their mind sharp. Together with potassium, it keeps your fur baby’s potassium-sodium levels balanced. Dogs need at least 0.1 mg of Vitamin B6 for each pound they weigh.
  • Vitamin C: Bananas also have around 8.7 mg of Vitamin C, which are effective antioxidants that reduce inflammations, boost the immune system of dogs, and help keep them from getting sick. Generally, dogs are recommended to have a minimum of 125 mg per day of Vitamin C, but this is for small breeds. So how much your dog should have will highly depend on its breed size and when they are sick or stressed.
  • Magnesium: This nutrient aids the dog’s body to absorb and use the minerals and vitamins more effectively or as energy metabolism. It also produces protein, as well as promotes muscle maintenance and healthy bone growth. Canines have a recommended value of 150 mg of magnesium daily, and an average-sized banana contains 27 mg.
  • Biotin: One serving of banana only gives your dog 0.2 micrograms of biotin. Still, we can thank this essential component for supporting our dog’s nails, coat, and skin health, while aiding muscle formation and healthy digestion.

What are the Health Risks of Bananas for Dogs?

Flat-coated Retriever chewing a banana
A Flat-coated Retriever chewing a banana – Image source

Bananas can be risky for dogs if they have underlying issues such as chronic kidney disease or diabetes. Feeding your dog too many bananas can dump an overload of potassium in its blood.

Here are some other potential health risks of bananas for dogs.

1. Vomiting and diarrhea: With or without the peel, canines get a reaction if their digestive system isn’t accustomed to the fiber bananas contain. This can lead to an upset stomach for your dog.

2. Allergies: If it’s your pet’s first time trying a banana, observe him and see if he’ll get an allergic reaction. Symptoms can include coughing, sneezing, difficulty breathing, hives, or swelling. There’s a low possibility for this, but once you notice any of these signs, stop feeding bananas to your dog and get in touch with a vet right away.

3. Diabetes, obesity, tooth decay: Bananas also have very high sugar content. This can lead to the development of obesity, diabetes, and tooth decay for dogs if too much is consumed. 

Any dog who is already suffering from the illnesses we mentioned shouldn’t be given bananas. However, in normal circumstances, this fruit doesn’t pose any health issues for dogs.

What’s in bananas that are harmful to dogs?

Like most fruits, bananas contain elements that can be harmful to dogs in high amounts.

  • Sugar: All fruits, including bananas, have a pretty high sugar content and are natural sources of fructose, glucose, and sucrose. Excessive sugar in your pet’s diet isn’t going to do him any good. As we mentioned earlier, it can cause unwanted weight gain and other health concerns.
  • Fiber: While it’s a good thing for dogs, too much of it can cause an adverse reaction to other fidos.

What Happens If Dogs Eat Too Many Bananas

Maybe you’re out, or your dog got curious and was able to reach the bananas on the counter and ate most or all of them. Observe your dog to know if he’s getting an upset stomach from overeating bananas.

The high fiber content of bananas can cause gastrointestinal issues like vomiting or constipation.

If your dog also ate the banana peels, blockage or choking can potentially happen. If this occurs, be sure to rush your pet to the vet immediately to try and clear the blockage.

In severe cases, your pet might need surgery to remove the peel.

How Should You Feed Bananas to Your Dog?

Bull Terrier smelling the banana
A white Bull Terrier dog sniffing the banana – Image source

It’s always best to peel and slice bananas into serving sizes to avoid choking. This will also let you see how much bananas your pooch can tolerate. You can also mix it with dog-safe peanut butter for a tastier treat.

Besides giving fresh bananas to your fur baby, you can mash and mix them with his dog food.

If your pup isn’t a fan of this fruit because it’s mushy or starchy, you can freeze and slice it into little chunks and stuff it into his favorite treat dispenser or puzzle feeder.

This is an excellent option if your canine friend is teething, needs help cooling warm during summer, or you just want to give him a different food experience in terms of temperature and texture.

Check with your vet on what and how much to feed your dog if you’re feeling unsure. Generally, they’ll base it on your pet’s breed diet, size, weight, metabolism, and even health.

When should dogs eat bananas?

A dog can eat bananas without any specific timing or condition. Dogs that don’t have any health risks from sugar and fiber consumption can eat bananas without a time limit.

Dogs can eat every kind of banana, such as red banana, plantain, burro banana, or pisang raja, when the dog owner and vet find it nutritious.

Special days for fruits, such as 21 April as it’s National Banana Day, can be a good fit to give a banana to your dog as a special event.

When should dogs not eat bananas?

As mentioned, some dogs may show a food intolerance or allergy to bananas, in which case you should stop feeding your pet this fruit.

Severe symptoms of an allergic reaction for dogs can include hair loss, a swollen face, trouble breathing, and rapid onset diarrhea. These are signs of anaphylaxis and require emergency veterinary care. 

Some dogs simply don’t like the taste and texture of bananas. If that’s the case, there’s no reason to force your dog to eat them.

Dogs with kidney issues or diabetes should NOT be given bananas as the increased potassium levels can be dangerous for their health.

Bananas can cause a condition known as hyperkalemia in these dogs due to too much potassium. An overload of potassium in the blood can cause your dog to become lethargic and disoriented and may even lead to collapse.

What are Foods Made with Bananas for Dogs?

Beagle mix eating banana
A Beagle mix dog eating banana – Image source

Do you have some questions regarding the different varieties of banana-based foods and which ones are safe for your furry friend to consume? Keep reading to see which types of banana-based foods are safe for your dog.

1. Banana Peels 

Your dog can eat banana peels since they aren’t toxic, but they can be difficult to digest.

We mentioned that it can make your pet choke and can cause blockage, but just keep an eye on him to make sure he still has an appetite and is defecating normally.

2. Banana Bread

Human desserts like banana bread contain a lot of sugar which can be very bad for dogs. Also, some banana bread contains ingredients that are dangerous for dogs, like chocolate chips.

Unless you make the recipe with ingredients that are all safe for your pet, you can feed him that.

3. Banana Chips

Can dogs eat banana chips? Yes. This lightweight and easy-to-carry energy boost food can be a great treat for dogs when you’re out hiking or running with them or doing some obedience or agility training. 

They are perfectly safe for your dog to eat, but rather make your own using a dehydrator. Commercial variants can have very high levels of salt and sugar and added preservatives that can be harmful.

4. Banana Pudding

Like banana bread, you shouldn’t give your dog banana pudding to eat. Most banana puddings contain a lot of sugar and preservatives, colorings, and flavorings that can harm your pet.

5. Frozen Banana

If your pup doesn’t seem to like the texture of fresh bananas, you can try feeding him frozen bananas.

Your dog may see the frozen banana as a different type of treat, as it is a new texture and temperature which can encourage him to eat it. Frozen bananas can be particularly refreshing on hot days.

6. Banana Muffins

If made for humans, banana muffins are loaded with sugar and other ingredients harmful to dogs. Unless you find muffins specifically made for pets, it’s best to avoid feeding your pup these tasty treats.

7. Banana Cake

While it may be super cute to give your dog a cake on his birthday, do ensure that the cake is safe for your dog to consume. Stay away from store-bought banana cakes and instead try our dog-safe banana cupcake recipe below.

8. Banana Pie

Thick pastries will only load your dog with sugar, fat, and carbohydrates and could lead to obesity and diabetes. So it’s better not to feed your pet banana pie.

Are foods made with bananas safe for dogs?

It depends. Bananas are safe for your dog by themselves, but they are frequently mixed with other ingredients to make human food.

Food that contains added sugar, xylitol, chocolate, and raisins should be avoided. If the food is specifically crafted for dogs, they should be free of these ingredients and are thus likely safe for your pet to consume.

Are dog foods made with bananas healthier for dogs?

No foods made with bananas aren’t necessarily healthier for your dog. While a low-risk fruit, bananas aren’t as beneficial for dogs as some other fruits and vegetables.

Generally, dog foods containing bananas include the fruit in such a small amount that the beneficial nutrients might not actually make that much difference.

If your dog food offers your pet a complete and balanced diet, you don’t need to stress if it does or doesn’t include bananas.

What is the Amount of Bananas that Dogs Can Consume a Day?

Black Labrador looking starring at the banana
A Black Labrador looking starring at the banana – Image source

Due to their high sugar content, you should only feed your pet bananas in moderation. Feeding your dog too many bananas can cause them to have an upset stomach.

Bananas should only ever be given as an occasional treat and never in place of a meal. When feeding your dog any other fruit and vegetable, it’s best to follow the 90/10 rule.

This states that 90% of your pet’s calories should come from his daily meals regardless of his size. The other 10% can come from treats, like bananas.

Most average-sized dogs can eat about ½ a banana a day, while small dogs only need 2 or 3 pieces each day.

What Dog Food Recipe Treats Contain Bananas?

There are a variety of banana-flavored dog treats that you can try at home with no baking required.

  • 3-ingredient Peanut Butter Banana Dog Treat
  • Brie’s Banana and Honey Dog Treats Recipe
  • Frozen Banana Bone Dog Treats

You can also try this video recipe to make Banana Oat Dog Treats:

What are the dog food products that include bananas?

Try feeding your dog bananas by adding them as a tasty topper to his food. There are a variety of commercial meal toppers that feature banana as one of their main ingredients.

Here are two of our favorite dog foods with bananas that you may consider.

  1. Grandma Lucy’s Pureformance, Grain-Free Pre-Mix
  2. Stella & Chewy’s Lil’ SuperBlends Dog Food Topper

You can also find some tasty commercial dog treats made from bananas. Here are some great ones that you can check.

  1. Bocce’s Bakery PB-Banana Chip Recipe Dog Treats
  2. Hill’s Natural Soft Savories Banana Dog Treats

Don’t miss out: Best Dog Treats for Training

Can Dogs Eat Derivatives of Bananas?

Keep your dog from bananas found in the garbage, in the compost, or that have sat around outside. While dogs have strong digestive systems, even their immunities will struggle to stand up to these banana derivatives.

Try and ensure your pet does not have easy access to the garbage or compost where they can find these items.

What diseases in dogs can bananas help?

Feeding your dogs bananas can help manage certain diseases.

  • Aiding in constipation and diarrhea relief
  • Reduce the risk of high blood pressure
  • Minimize the risk of having kidney stones
  • Protection from ulcers and heartburn remedy
  • Bananas can stimulate the production of hemoglobin in the blood and so help in cases of anemia.

As mentioned, bananas can help pets with digestive issues like constipation and diarrhea. However, if feeding a small amount of bananas isn’t helping relieve your dog, don’t just keep feeding it to your dog.

Instead, consult your vet, who will be able to assist in establishing a proper diet for your pet and supplying medication appropriate for his condition.

What are other foods that dogs can eat similar to bananas?

If your dog doesn’t like the taste of bananas, don’t stress, there are plenty of other fruits and vegetables that offer your pet plenty of vitamins and minerals.

Here are some great alternatives to bananas that you can consider for your pup.

  • Apples, another nutrient-rich fruit
  • Spinach, which is also packed full of vitamins and minerals
  • Watermelon, which also offers your pet a sweet treat
  • Strawberries, another sweet treat for your dog
  • Cucumber, another great motivational treat for your pet
  • Sweet potato, which provides a wealth of nutritional benefits
  • Yogurt, which can also be combined with bananas to create some delicious snacks
  • Edamame, another unassuming vegetable with plenty of health benefits

Feeding Bananas to Your Pet: Everything in Moderation

White dog loves banana
A white dog loves banana – Image source

Tasty, high-fiber treats, such as bananas, can be an excellent motivator for your pet, and most dogs love them.

They can be served fresh or frozen or mashed into a Kong or puzzle toy to give your dog an extra bit of physical and mental stimulation. 

Bananas can also help relieve diarrhea and constipation in pets. However, they aren’t a cure-all.

Be sure not to overdo it when feeding your dog bananas, as the high sugar content of these fruits can cause more harm than good. 

As always, it’s a good idea to chat to your vet before introducing new foods, like bananas, into your pet’s diet.

Dogs may not get all the nutrients from bananas as we do, so we have to be cautious with whatever we feed our fur babies.

Does your dog love bananas? Let us know in the comments below.

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