Can Dogs Eat Bananas?
Bananas are world renowned for their one-of-a-kind flavor and nutrient-rich composition. Chock-full of essential vitamins, bananas provide humans with a long-lasting energy boost, encourage weight loss and stave off muscle cramps. But are bananas good for dogs like they are for their humans? Many well-meaning pet parents are feeding dogs people food, only to discover that their dog's tasty snack is actually toxic. Discovering what people food dogs can eat is vital to the health and well-being of your beloved canine. So what's the verdict on bananas for dogs?
Can Dogs Eat Bananas?
Yes! Actually, out of the many snacks humans regularly give their pets, bananas are one of the best people foods for dogs to eat.
Bananas are good for dogs much in the same way they are good for humans. They're high in potassium, which promotes healthy muscle function that's ideal for active pooches. Bananas are also chock-full of vitamins C and B6, which help boost metabolism and overall health.
Among other benefits, the banana boasts extremely high fiber levels that are perfect for man's best friend. "If your dog is obese or overweight, [fiber] is beneficial because it makes your dog feel more full and satiated," says Justine Lee, DVM, DACVECC, DABT, a toxicology consultant at the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center and founder of VETgirl. Fiber-full food can also lend more substance to watery stools, providing relief to dogs with chronic diarrhea. It can promote bowel movements in dogs suffering from constipation as well. But it's important to only feed your dog a few slices at a time to avoid overfeeding.
Though dogs can eat bananas without getting sick, one question still remains: Do dogs like bananas? Some of the banana's chemical compounds is an offensive odor for some dogs, deterring them from enjoying this healthy snack. Though many of our canine companions do not enjoy bananas as readily as other fruits, those that do like them can reap the many benefits of this wholesome food.
Are Bananas Safe for Dogs?
Bananas themselves are quite good for dogs, but are all banana dog treats created equal? Can dogs eat banana peels? Our furry friends are certainly capable of consuming banana peels (which have plenty of nutrients), but the peel's tough skin can be hard to digest. Unless cut into very small pieces, banana peels also have a chance of blocking the dog's intestinal tract and causing severe damage. Though dogs and bananas can be a match made in heaven, the peels can find a better home in the compost pile.
Can dogs eat banana chips? While most are perfectly healthy, always read the ingredients list to make sure that the chips don't contain any unnecessary sugar or chemical additions. Some dogs prefer banana chips over fresh bananas, but only feed the chips to your dog in moderation and keep in mind that not all dried fruits are safe. For example, raisins contain unknown compounds that are extremely toxic to dogs for reasons not yet known to the world of veterinary medicine.
On the whole, fresh bananas tend to be the healthiest snack for your dog.
Banana Dog Treats
One popular way to kill two birds with one stone is by creating tasty banana dog treats. If you want to give your dog something different and get rid of some overripe bananas, then consider making some delectable handmade banana dog treats using our special recipe.
People Food Dogs Can Eat
Considering how often we catch our dog's eyes staring pleadingly at our plates of food, it's no wonder owners often find themselves slipping their beloved pet some people food here or there. But it's important to make sure that you're handing out people food dogs can eat.
There are a number of healthy people foods for dogs that can be used to spice up your pet's diet. Many of these foods include nutrient-rich fruits like apples and pumpkin—but grapes are known to be extremely toxic to dogs. Many vegetables are also safe for your dog, like green beans and carrots. People are often surprised by the dog's wide dietary range, but Lee points out that "dogs are omnivores like humans. It's totally fine for dogs to be on vegetable sources of protein."
Lee and other veterinarians caution dog owners to show restraint when feeding dogs people food, even with fresh fruit like bananas. "Over 40 percent of dogs and cats in America are grossly obese," Lee says. This extra weight can place a great deal of strain on the body and lead to serious health complications, including diabetes, heart disease, liver failure and painful joint disorders. To avoid allowing your dog to become overweight, it's important to remember that the banana's rich natural fats can be turned into a negative thing if eaten in excess. In general, Lee advises that no "kind of snack be more than 5 to 10 percent of your dog's daily caloric diet," allowing your pet to remain healthy while still experiencing a diverse diet.
When it comes to feeding dogs people food, Lee suggests one simple philosophy to keep your dog healthy and happy: "Everything in moderation."