Can dogs eat bananas? They sure can! While they shouldn’t be eating any of that banana bread you’ve been making recently, fresh bananas are both nutritious and delicious for dogs.
We spoke with two veterinarians to give you the full story on bananas and dogs. Our guide will explain the nutritional benefits of bananas and how to introduce them into your dog’s diet. So if you’re ready to learn all about bananas and dogs, read on!
Benefits of Bananas for Dogs
Dogs can eat bananas, but are bananas good for dogs? Yes, they are! While the nutrients in a banana are actually more beneficial to humans than dogs, according to Jerry Klein, DVM, chief veterinary officer of the American Kennel Club, bananas are a tasty and nutritious treat for our pups.
Dr. Albert Ahn, DVM, strategic advisor for MYOS Pet in Cedar Knolls, New Jersey, agrees, saying bananas are a healthy treat as part of a complete and balanced diet. According to Dr. Ahn, bananas are a great source of the following vitamins and minerals:
- Vitamin B6
“Potassium is important for your dog’s heart, kidneys, muscles and digestion,” explains Dr. Ahn. “Magnesium is a critical player in energy metabolism. Bananas are also high in fiber, which is a necessary component in your dog’s diet and can help to maintain proper digestion and a healthy digestive tract.”
How to Feed Bananas to Dogs
Before introducing any new food into your dog’s diet, always check with your veterinarian first. While in most cases dogs can eat bananas, bananas are high in sugar, and some dogs may have sugar limits, such as rapidly growing puppies, diabetic dogs or obese pups.
“Your veterinarian can help answer those questions properly for your individual dog,” Dr. Klein says.
Once you’ve gotten their OK on whether your dog can have bananas, follow these guidelines:
- Start small. “Always start any new food in small amounts to see if the dog likes the treat and to see if there are any gastrointestinal complications afterwards, like diarrhea,” Dr. Klein says. “If signs persist over 24 hours, notify your veterinarian.”
- Moderation is key—you don’t want to feed dogs large amounts of bananas. Dr. Ahn suggests not giving more than half of a banana to a large dog per day. For small dogs, only feed them a couple of small slices each day to avoid any digestive upset.
- As a rule of thumb, remember that treats should not make up more than 10 percent of your dog’s diet.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Can dogs eat banana bread?
A: While bananas are OK for dogs, banana bread should not be given to canines. Desserts like banana bread should be considered human food only, as it contains additional sugars and other unhealthy ingredients for dogs. Your favorite banana bread recipe may even contain ingredients, such as chocolate chips, that are actually toxic to dogs. Stick with plain bananas, only.
Q: Can dogs have banana pudding?
A: The same goes for banana pudding! While bananas are good for dogs in most cases, banana pudding is definitely not. Like banana bread, it’s loaded with added sugars and ingredients that could be harmful or even toxic to your pup.
Q: How much banana can I feed my dog?
A: As Dr. Ahn suggested above, large dogs shouldn’t have more than a half of a banana per day. For small dogs, only feed them a couple of small slices each day to avoid any digestive upset.
Q: Should I mash the banana for my dog?
A: Can dogs have mashed bananas? Absolutely! Do you have to mash bananas before feeding them to you pup? Well, that depends. If your dog is a fast eater, Dr. Ahn suggests mashing part of a soft banana into a food toy to make it a game. It “ultimately slows down how quickly it can be eaten,” he says.
Q: Can dogs be allergic to bananas?
A:When giving your dog a new food, you should always be on the lookout for adverse or allergic reactions. These may include gastrointestinal complications (such as diarrhea or vomiting) and repetitive scratching or licking of the body. You can learn more about allergy symptoms and treatments here.
Top Dog Food With Bananas:
Another way to feed your dog bananas is through dog food toppers with bananas that you can add on top of your dog's regular diet to boost nutrition.
Here are a few suggestions:
Top Dog Treats With Bananas:
Dogs and bananas are such a match made in heaven that you can purchase treats that contain the yummy ingredient. You can even whip up some DIY banana treats yourself with the recipes below.