Banana smoothies, banana bread, banana muffins, banana chips, banana pudding, banana cream pie… oh the options.
Even just on their own as a simple, healthy snack, bananas are a thing of beauty!
And we’re always on the lookout for simple ways to spice up our dogs’ diets with safe, feel-good options. So, can dogs eat bananas? Do they offer any value nutritionally?
And if so, how can you feed them?
Let’s peel back the facts on bananas for dogs!
Can Dogs Eat Bananas?
Yes! In moderation, bananas are a great fruit to add to the bowl for some variety. And many dogs love the taste – even the texture – of this fun fruit.
Bananas are high in:
- Prebiotics – help feed the friendly bacteria in the gut
- Potassium – aids in the functioning of electrical charges in the heart, nerves, and muscles
- Vitamin B6 – generates glucose, regulates hormones, and is essential for the proper functioning of the red blood cells and nervous system
- Vitamin C – helps reduce inflammation and remove potentially harmful free radicals
- Fibre – beneficial for the digestive system and can be helpful with diarrhea
- Magnesium – promotes bone growth and helps your dog produce proteins and better absorb vitamins
- Manganese – produces energy, metabolizes protein and carbohydrates, and helps make fatty acids
Bananas are also low in sodium and cholesterol, making them a good choice for a healthy occasional treat.
How to Feed Bananas
Can dogs eat bananas every day? Since bananas contain lots of natural sugar, you don’t want to go overboard. As an occasional treat, they’re great, but don’t add banana to the bowl every day! We recommend alternating bananas in with your other fruit and veggie offerings – maybe a little bit a few times a week.
Additionally, the ripening process changes the nutritional structure of a banana, so there’s a difference between unripe (green bananas) and ripe (yellow).
- Green bananas have higher resistant starch content and lower sugar content. So, a dogsuffering from diabetes is better off eating a green banana. The resistant starch functions as a prebiotic. You don’t want too much starch though, so watch for that. They are also higher in micronutrients.
- In the case of ripe bananas, their antioxidant value is much higher, which is good. They’re also easier to digest that unripe bananas. Just be aware that the sugar content is higher in ripe bananas.
Both are good, for different reasons, so maybe switch between the two.
Also, be wary of the peels. While the peels are not toxic to dogs, they are hard to digest and may cause a blockage. Banana peels may also cause stomach upset and result in vomiting and diarrhea. So, just peel those puppies first!
To feed your dog bananas, you can simply cut off a piece of your own and share it with your pup. (Be carful if your dog is a gulper – bananas can slippery, and in this case we would cut the pieces into quarters to be sure it doesn’t lodge in their throat! This holds true for all tubular treats, including frozen.)
Or try one of these ways:
- Mash it up in your dog’s regular food
- Mix it with some kefir for a healthy smoothie
- Stuff it into a toy and freeze it
- Freeze the whole banana, peel it, and slice it
A Go-To Banana Recipe
Here’s a simple, but healthy, recipe we make for our dogs:
- 1 cup plain kefir
- 1/4 cup chopped strawberries
- 1/4 cup banana
Blend everything together in the blender until smooth. You can pour it right over your dog’s food like this, give a little bowl on its own, or pour it into ice cube trays and feed an ‘ice cream treat’ whenever the urge strikes!
When it comes to bananas, they’re a simple, cost-effective way to give your dog a healthy treat! Share some today.