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September 16, 2020 4 min read
Bananas are one of the healthiest foods out there for humans - they're packed with all manner of important nutrients to keep people healthy and full of energy. They're also cheap, easy to come by, and, in our humble opinion, pretty darn delicious.
So what about your hungry four-legged friend - can dogs eat bananas?
Dogs can absolutely eat bananas - in fact, they're often recommended by veterinarians and other professionals as an ideal snack for your pup. They're not all upside, though - one of the reasons they're so delicious is because they have relatively high sugar content, and that's not good for dogs.
As with all snacks, bananas should only comprise a small part of your dog's diet (veterinarians typically recommend that snacks of all kinds should make up no more than 10% of what your dog eats).
Also, it's important to differentiate between plain bananas (which are good!) and banana-flavored foods or dishes that have banana in them, which are much more likely to have ingredients that are problematic for your pup.
Bananas have lots of vitamins, particularly B6 and C, and they're also extremely high in potassium and magnesium. Potassium boosts muscle growth, increases metabolism and can even improve the cognitive function of your dog. It also promotes healthy bones and teeth (alongside calcium and phosphorous) and helps to keep organs like the kidneys, live and heart functioning well. Magnesium promotes healthy bone growth and also helps dogs absorb vitamins and produce protein.
The other big benefit to bananas for dogs is fiber - they have lots of it, and it's good for your dog's digestion.
So yes, bananas are definitely good for dogs and make a wonderful snack.
The biggest potential issue with bananas is sugar - they have a substantial amount of it, and it's not great for dogs. That said, this shouldn't stop you from giving them to your pup; just make sure you do so in moderation. Too much sugar can lead to weight gain, and it's important to make sure your dog maintains a healthy weight.
While eating banana peels likely won't do any serious harm to your pup, it's still not a great idea to feed them to dogs. They're not toxic, but they contain a high amount of fiber that can make them tough to digest. If you've got a dog that tends to wolf down food, the peel can also get stuck in their throat, or if they're able to get it down whole, they may vomit it back out later. If your dog accidentally steals a peel, just make sure he doesn't choke on it.
As long as you don't overdo it, your dog can eat bananas in any form you like. A few pieces here and there as treats are great, especially if you smear a little peanut butter on there for some extra protein (and flavor). If you want to make that banana last a little longer, mash it up and shove it into a Kong or other stuffable toy and freeze it. If you want, you can even puree some banana and add it to your Pupsicle Mix. You can also freeze a banana whole and then cut it into nice crunch frozen banana ice cubes.
So what about other foods that are made with banana? Let's take a look.
Can dogs eat banana chips?
It depends how they're made. If your banana chips are just slices of banana that are dehydrated and/or oven baked, that's great, as there's nothing added. On the other hand, if they're deep fried, then they should most definitely be kept away from your dog.
Can dogs eat banana bread?
We'll refer you to our post about whether dogs can eat bread for more detail on this, but the general answer is that while they can, they probably shouldn't. Bread isn't inherently toxic to dogs, but it's also highly caloric and not very nutritious.
Can dogs eat banana pudding?
We would advise you to stay away from pudding due to its high sugar content. If you want to give your dog a healthy alternative, blend up some bananas and plain Greek yogurt for a creamy (but healthy!) snack.
They most certainly can. Bananas are a nutritious and enjoyable snack that can be a nice addition to your pup's diet. They also have natural sugars that are likely to make them quite enjoyable. In terms of preparation, they're easy - just take off that banana peel. Since they're mushy, they don't pose the choking risks that many other fruits do.
In terms of other foods that feature bananas, from baked goods to pudding to chips, the best way to figure out if they're okay for your dog is to see what's added to them. If there are additives like salt and sugar, you'll want to stay away (and while this does more or less take baked goods off the table, at least that means you don't have to share!).
You can also mix them with other healthy foods like peanut butter or Greek yogurt to add an interesting twist, or smash up bananas and freeze them in your ice cube tray to give them a nice crunch.
Of course, bananas, along with any and all other snacks that you give to your dog, shouldn't comprise more than 10% of her diet and should be accompanied by high-quality dog food. If you have any questions about bananas (or any other foods) and whether they're okay for your dog, your best bet is always to check with your vet first. But if your vet gives you the thumbs up, bananas are a wonderful snack for your pooch!
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