Can dogs eat bananas?

Many dogs love the taste of banana. But before you give them a chunk, find out if dogs can eat bananas...

It may seem like a funny question to ask but it’s a subject pet owners can be confused about. What can dogs eat and what is poisonous to them? A few fruits and vegetables can be really damaging and even life-threatening to dogs, such as grapes and cherries, so it’s essential to know which foods are safe.

Most importantly, what about bananas? The good news is, yes! Adult dogs can eat bananas but it’s a little more complicated with puppies.

Introducing bananas to a dog’s diet

Bananas do not contain toxins for dogs, even the skins, so don’t panic if your dog decides to gulp down a whole one. However, dogs who are not used to bananas may be sick or have diarrhoea if they eat too many at first. This is because their digestive systems won’t be used to the huge amounts of fibre in banana skins.

Avoid this problem by chopping the bananas into treat sized chunks, minus the skin, and feed them sparingly, to begin with. Some dogs will love the sweet, fruity flavour of banana and others will literally turn their noses up at them!

How much banana can my dog eat?

If your dog decides they like bananas, they can make a handy and tasty treat.  They are a healthier choice as they are without the calories and added fat and salt of some preferred manufactured dog treats. Banana chunks are great to use for training purposes if your dog enjoys them. But be aware that they contain natural sugar. If you are watching your dog’s weight, don’t feed them too many. Use them as a treat!

Vets and nutritionists suggest a 90/10 rule when feeding dogs little extras, such as banana chunks. 90% of their calories should be gained from their actual dog food and the remaining 10% can be made up from treats.

Health benefits for dogs eating bananas

Although bananas contain lots of fibre, potassium, vitamin C, and vitamin B6, they don’t really provide much nutritional value to dogs. They should only be fed on top of a balanced and complete dog food.

Some vets may recommend feeding bananas to dogs with gastrointestinal problems or if they need extra magnesium to help with the absorption of vitamins, promotion of bone growth or production of protein. It is worth pointing out this would be under the guidance of your vet. If your dog is sick or has diarrhoea, take them to the vet before you feed them a bunch of bananas.

What about feeding bananas to puppies?

Be a little more cautious about feeding bananas to puppies. They usually have a very specific diet to help them grow properly. By adding in too many banana treats, you can upset the balance of your feeding plan. Plus, when puppies experience foods for the first time, they can get very upset stomachs. In summary, avoid feeding bananas to puppies.

 

With an Agria Pet Insurance policy, you can access the free Pet Health Helpline, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The veterinary-trained team will advise on any concerns or queries that you may have over your pet’s health – much like the NHS 111 service for people. Call free on 03333 32 19 47.