Bananas are household must-haves. As far as fruit is concerned, the banana is far from a one-trick pony, it can be blended into sweet smoothies, baked into delicious breads, and sliced and spread on almost any food you can think of. They come in bunches large enough for the whole house to enjoy, but should they be shared with your four-legged family members as well? Can dogs eat bananas?
Fruits can be a great way to add more nutrients into a dog's diet. Blueberries, strawberries, and watermelon are all safe for canine-consumption. But, there are some fruits owners should avoid giving their pooch as well, such as cherries and grapes. Will the banana join the ranks of Fido-safe fruits, or find itself on the 'do not feed' list? Read on to find out!
Can Dogs Eat Bananas?
They absolutely can! According to Dr. Felicity Moffatt, Lead Veterinarian at Dr. Treat "Bananas are high in Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, potassium, fiber and magnesium," which makes them not only a scrumptious snack for your pup, but an extremely healthy one at that!
However, due to having a higher sugar content than other fruits like blackberries, or vegetables like carrots and pumpkins, they should be given occasionally rather than daily.
Bananas are great for dogs! Dr. Courtnye Jackson, veterinarian and owner of The Pets Digest, tells us they are "high in fiber and vitamins, but low in cholesterol and sodium." This ratio makes them a substantially healthier alternative to fatty meat-based treats. The banana's high fiber content can also help dogs experiencing gastrointestinal issues, as fiber can soften stool and relieve constipation.
Another nutrient bananas contain that is essential to ensure good health is magnesium, and they have lots of it. A high intake of magnesium increases bone mineral density, and minimizes the risk of bone fractures.
Possible Health Hazards?
As mentioned previously, bananas are high in sugar, which means that "moderation is key," says Dr. Aziza Glass, expert veterinarian at Fresh Pet; for dogs, sugar "can be detrimental in large quantities," and cause a variety of health problems such as obesity, dental issues, and diabetes.
Owners should also ensure their dogs don't accidentally eat a banana's peel either, as "whilst not toxic to dogs," Dr. Moffatt says, "they are hard to digest and can cause a blockage."
How to Serve
Even though they should be served sparingly, there's a lot of ways bananas can be prepared for your pup. The first of these ways is to simply peel and slice. Small dogs and puppies should be fed no more than a small piece of banana; two to three slices should suffice. Large dogs may have a little more, about half a banana at most, but even they should be fed in moderation; Dr. Courtnye Jackson warns that "too much can cause an upset stomach and possible vomiting or diarrhea."
Another great way to feed bananas to your Fido is to freeze and make them into a fun, chilly treat! A frozen banana can be sliced and fed directly to your dog, or mashed inside a treat toy like a Kong toy to keep your canine entertained for hours!
Bananas can also be covertly incorporated into the ingredients of food for picky pups who may pick them out. You can find them in the recipes of many homemade dog foods and treats usually paired with its best pal peanut butter.
To recap, dogs can eat bananas, but they should only be offered occasionally. In general, treats should not exceed 10% of a dog's diet. Even if a food is known to be safe for dogs to eat, it is still important to check with your vet first before you introduce your pooch to a food for the first time.
Does your dog love to snack on bananas? Tell us on the Wide Open Pets Facebook page!
READ MORE: Oranges for Dogs: Canine and Citrus Can Make Cool Companions
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