Can dogs eat bananas? Are they good for them, or a really bad idea?
Let’s find out!
It’s great fun when we can share our food with dogs. People have been sharing table scraps with their pets for thousands of years.
Nowadays, though, we’re aware this isn’t always a good idea. So many human foods can do real harm to a dog.
Some fruits are known to have health benefits for people. You might wonder whether we can give these same benefits to our dogs.
Today we’re going to look at one popular fruit, the banana.
Feeding dogs bananas is a common practice in many homes. But, is it a good idea?
How much banana can a dog eat? Will bananas hurt dogs? We’ll answer these questions and more.
So, can dogs have bananas?
Dogs and Bananas
The banana as we know it today has had a long history. Nowadays this fruit is grown in tropical regions all over the world. It was once confined to Southeast Asia, however.
As trading by sea became more commonplace, bananas spread. They’re a popular crop and grow in practically any tropical climate.
This fruit has something in common with our dogs. Bananas are the product of selective breeding.
They may have even been the first example of us doing this with a plant.
Recently, people have become interested in feeding bananas to dogs.
Can dogs eat bananas?
Before we feed anything to our dogs we should consider their natural diet.
Dogs are just domesticated wolves, and their stomachs have only changed a little since that time.
Do dogs eat bananas?
In many homes, yes. This doesn’t necessarily make it a good thing, though.
Let’s take a look at how bananas might be bad for dogs.
Are bananas bad for dogs?
Too much dietary sugar can cause problems for dogs. Conditions like tooth decay become much more of a risk. Weight gain and subsequent diabetes can also be a huge issue.
Fiber presents another problem.
Humans usually need a source of fibre to keep everything flowing. Dogs have much shorter guts.
Excess fiber can easily upset a dog’s gastrointestinal system.
We should never give more than one banana to our dog as a treat. Any more would be too much sugar.
Food allergies are a big issue for many dogs. Can dogs be allergic to bananas?
Are dogs allergic to bananas?
Allergies happen when a dog reacts badly to one of the proteins in a certain food. There’s almost no limit to foods dogs can be allergic to.
Dogs can be allergic to bananas, but it’s rare. Allergic reactions can also vary hugely.
They can result in anything from itchy skin to organ failure.
This is one of the many reasons to introduce new food slowly.
This way we can wait and see how the dog will react.
You might be wondering if there’s anything toxic to dogs in bananas. Are bananas safe for dogs?
Are bananas poisonous to dogs?
Bananas are not toxic to dogs.
There’s nothing present in great enough quantities in a single banana that will cause your pooch harm.
This is not to say that a dog will react well to them, though.
If a banana upsets you dog’s stomach, it could cause vomiting and diarrhea.
However, this isn’t a uniquely banana related effect. New foods often cause problems.
If this happens it’s rarely serious.
If your dog’s upset stomach persists, it may be best to see a vet. Persistent diarrhea can make a dog dehydrated.
So, bananas are not poisonous to dogs. Even the skins are not toxic.
As you’re probably now wondering, can dogs eat banana peels?
My dog ate a banana peel
Can dogs eat bananas peel?
Dogs’ stomachs aren’t great at digesting tough fiber. A banana skin is made entirely of this kind of dense material.
There is therefore a risk that a skin could get stuck if not chewed.
Obstructions like this are very dangerous. If something plugs a section of the intestine it can be lethal.
A section of the gut may start to die. This is a serious veterinary emergency.
The main symptom of a blockage is vomiting, usually some time after the peel is eaten.
As food backs up the stomach starts to reject it.
If you know your dog has eaten a whole banana skin, and he starts vomiting, it’s best to go to a vet straight away.
Often a dog will just pass the peel. Smaller dogs might have more trouble doing this.
For these reasons, if we do choose to feed our dog bananas, we should do so without the skin.
So, are there any health benefits to bananas for dogs?
Are bananas good for dogs?
Bananas do contain some useful nutrients for dogs.
Potassium is one of the reasons humans eat bananas. This mineral is also good for our dogs in the right amounts.
If a dog lacks potassium in his diet, it can cause health concerns.
Potassium plays a major role in the way his body works.
With this being said, potassium is found in a lot of complete dog foods.
If your dog already has enough potassium, he won’t see any benefit from bananas.
It’s fun to feed different foods to our dogs, but don’t fall into the trap of assuming our health foods transfer to them.
Bananas should be an occasional treat. You don’t need to feed them to your dog; it’s a choice you can make.
So what about dried bananas? Are they better or worse?
Can dogs eat dried bananas?
Dried bananas are a crunchy delicious snack, but hey might not be ideal for dogs.
Dehydrated food is in essence more concentrated than regular food.
This means that in the same weight of dried banana there’s more of everything, including sugar.
Unfortunately because of this high sugar content, dried bananas wouldn’t make a good dog snack.
Very small amounts could probably be fed as a treat without any problem. Despite this, regular bananas are a better option.
Let’s look at how a very young dog might react to bananas.
Can puppies eat bananas?
So, can dogs eat bananas at a young age?
Sometimes we forget how vulnerable puppies are. They’ve only relatively recently moved to solid food.
Adult dogs are quite hardy.
A deficient puppy diet, though, can lead to catastrophe surprisingly quickly.
This is why you’ll often be warned against making your puppy food at home. The same goes for their treats.
As we’ve said, every dog is different.
A puppy fed a banana every now and then might be completely fine. But at this vulnerable stage we should err on the side of caution.
For anyone still wondering if they can give their dog bananas, let’s sum up.
Can dogs eat bananas?
So, can dogs eat bananas?
Bananas are a delicious and plentiful food item. They’re also very healthy for people, but this doesn’t mean they’re a great choice for dogs.
This fruit, like most, is very high in sugar. Dogs’ digestive systems are built to run mainly on meat. Anything outside of that should be thoroughly researched before we offer it.
On the whole, bananas are one of the safer fruits to feed to our dogs.
The lack of anything toxic is reassuring, but we do still need to be careful.
Dogs and bananas can mix, but it’s not a match made in heaven.
The skins are difficult to digest. If a dog eats a whole banana peel it could get stuck. This would mean a trip straight to the vet.
The potential benefit of potassium makes bananas okay for dogs. It should always be considered as a treat, though.
The answer to the question, ‘Do dogs like bananas?’ really depends on your dog.
Different dogs have different tastes.
Introducing a new food item should be done slowly. Start small, and work your way up. You can always eat the rest of the banana after giving your dog a piece!
Does your dog like bananas? Let us know in the comments below.
References and Further Reading:
- The hemodynamic effects of potassium deficiency in the dog, O. G. Galvez et al
- Banana raw USDA food database
- Acute pancreatitis possibly caused by allergy to bananas
- Food Allergy in dogs S. D. White
- Banana (Musa spp) from peel to pulp: Ethnopharmacology, source of bioactive compounds and its relevance for human health, A. Pereira et al
- Serotonin, Norepinephrine, and Related Compounds in Bananas, T. Phillip Waalkes et al
Effects of dietary carbohydrate fat and protein on growth body composition and blood metabolite levels in the dog, D. R. Romos, P. S. Belo, M. R. Bennick, W. G. Bergen, G. A. Leveille
- Seizures and severe nutrient deficiencies in a puppy fed a homemade diet
- Fossil dogs and wolves from paleothic sites in Belgium, the Ukraine, and Russia: Osteometry, ancient DNA and stable isotopes, M. Germonpre
- A comparative analysis of wolf (Canis lupus) diet in three different Italian ecosystems, C. Capitani
- Calcified microbial plaque. Dental calculus of dogs. E. Coignoul, N. Cheville
- Intestinal foreign bodies in dogs and cats
- Tracing antiquity of banana cultivation in Papua New Guinea, C. Leftner et al
- Banana chips USDA Food database