The banana, without a doubt, makes for a very healthy snack. This nutritious fruit is eaten so often that you may wonder about occasionally giving bananas to the family dog.
More than ever people are sharing wholesome human foods with their pets. This can include a banana or two but conscientious canine lovers always check first. After all, food poisoning is also on the rise for dogs.
While there are many fruits which are potentially toxic for your four-legged friend, a banana is not one of them. That’s great news but read more to find out why you still need to restrict your dog’s portions.
Can I Give My Dog a Banana? Answer: Yes
You can definitely share some but do so in moderation.
Bananas can be beneficial to your pet. They can make for a great treat but, obviously, you should never include the peel. The high levels of vitamin B, vitamin C, fiber and potassium may provide some of what your dog may lack in their regular meals. Of course, a banana cannot replace what your pooch really needs which is a quality meat-based canine-formulated diet. So limit this fruit by restricting it to snack status.
Speaking of snacks, there’s a low-priced but quality dog treat made with real bananas. It contains no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives and does the trick!
Banana’s Bountiful Benefits
Fruits, in general, are well known to contain high levels of vitamins and minerals. The sweet tasting banana, in particular, is considered to be one of the most nutritious. It’s low in sodium yet high in antioxidants which could benefit your dog’s skin and coat. Further, the vitamin C may fortify their immune system while the soluble carbs can boost energy levels.
There’s no doubt that the banana can be beneficial not only for people but for animals as well.
For K9 Digestive Health
Some vets recommend feeding ripe bananas to dogs with colitis (inflammation of the colon) and for other bowel problems. The enzymes within can soothe irritations in the intestines. Spasms of the colon may also be better controlled by including ripened banana in your dog’s diet. On the other hand, too much could have the opposite effect which is why portion size matters.
Don’t Go Bananas!
Be sure to give amounts that are appropriate for your dog’s size and weight. Anything more may be problematic for reasons which we’ll soon explain. Typically, large to medium-sized breeds can be given half a banana a few times per week. Smaller breeds should only be eating a few small pieces. These estimates are fairly conservative and you can adjust them as you see fit.
More Reasons for Moderation
The potassium found in bananas, while very healthy, is not tolerated as well by dogs when given in large amounts. Excessive potassium, or Hyperkalemia, can also lead to heart problems in canines. And while feeding a banana may help with digestion, too much of any type of fruit can negatively affect the digestive tract in the form of constipation and/or cause an upset stomach.
So, to be very clear, feed your dog the occasional banana but limit the amount.
Bananas as Treats
Small pieces of banana make for great treats. Use one as a reward but avoid feeding your best buddy things like processed banana chips due to the added preservatives. The point is to provide natural whole foods instead of recipes containing harmful chemicals and many unknowns. If you bake something for your dog containing bananas, remember to exclude potentially dangerous ingredients such as raisins and most nuts.
There’s an excellent banana and peanut butter doggie treat which we also recommend.
Conclusion on Bananas
High in fiber and vitamins, bananas can be a healthy treat for your dog. Your vet may even recommend adding some banana for digestive health. In any case, it’s best to feed this fruit in moderation since too much may have the opposite effect on your dog’s digestive system. Minimize the potential for choking by removing the peel. Also, slice your bananas up into small pieces so you can reward Fido at an enjoyable pace.