If you notice your dog is licking their lips and half of your breakfast banana has magically disappeared while you went to get coffee, then you don’t need to worry—about their health, at least. Most dogs can eat up to a few slices of banana a day (or up to half of a banana for larger dog). In fact, in many homemade dog treats, bananas are a common ingredient to jazz up the recipe.
You may, however, need to brush up on your training routine so they don’t steal your food. Too many bananas means a lot of sugar, which could ruin their appetite or lead to weight gain.
Read on to learn more about how to safely give your dog bananas as a snack.
Benefits of Bananas For Dogs
Bananas are packed with nutrients such as potassium, magnesium, Vitamin B6, and Vitamin C. These vitamins play an essential role in your dog’s overall health and energy levels. However, if you are already feeding your dog a commercially available dog food, then they’re likely already getting all the vitamins and minerals they need.
Adding a banana won’t likely be a game changer to their diet—but it could do wonders for strengthening your bond with your dog. Using a banana slice or two as rewards might make a training session more exciting. In general, for small dogs, a couple of slices of banana is enough, while larger dogs can have up to half a banana.
The high fiber content of bananas can help with dog diarrhea, but the high sugar content of bananas can also cause your dog to have an upset stomach. If you notice your dog’s stool becomes loose after they eat bananas, then its best to switch this treat out.
If you want to learn more about how to safely feed your dog banana, check out this quick video we made:
Keep your dog’s banana portions small
Introducing a lot of sugar into your dog’s diet can cause a shift in their natural gut bacteria which can cause diarrhea and digestion problems. In addition, excessive feeding of bananas may cause health-related problems such as obesity and diabetes over time. You may notice your dog’s gut will appreciate more natural dog treats with banana as an ingredient.
Ways to Feed Your Dog Bananas as a Treat
There are many ways to prepare this sweet treat for your dog:
- Mash up a little banana and add or mix it to your dog’s usual bowl of food.
- Mix banana with a little yogurt or peanut butter onto a lick mat.
- Create some peanut butter banana ice cream for the summer.
- Stuff a bit of banana in a Kong and freeze it for a treat that’ll keep your dog busy for a while.
- Slice a banana and share a few bites with your dog, then freeze the rest for a frozen banana bite recipe.
- Combine coconut, oat flour and banana for these gluten-free banana dog treats.
Avoid Feeding Peels
Though banana peels aren’t toxic, they can be difficult for dogs to digest. The tough, fiber-rich consistency of the peel can cause a blockage in your dog’s digestive system. It’s recommended to keep banana peels out of your dog’s reach and peel the banana before you share it with them.
If your dog does ingest a banana peel, keep an eye on them to ensure they’re still eating and pooping as usual. If you notice they aren’t following their usual potty routine or are behaving differently (lethargic or constantly pacing) then it’s best to take them to the vet to make sure there isn’t a blockage in their digestive system.
Avoid pre-made banana goods
Avoid giving your dog any baked banana goods that you don’t know the ingredient list for. This includes banana breads, pancakes, and muffins, which usually include chocolate or raisins. Chocolate and raisins are toxic to dogs. Store-bought banana goods may also have excess sugar that your dog doesn’t need.
Can Dogs Be Allergic to Bananas?
While an allergy isn’t necessarily common, it is a good idea to keep an eye on your dog after feeding them something new like bananas.
Evidence of your dog having an allergenic reaction will include symptoms, like:
- Scratching and butt-scooting
- Hair loss, either an all-over thinning or bald spots
- Tummy trouble like vomiting and diarrhea (for food allergies)
- Swelling of the feet, face, or joints
- Swollen muzzle and/or eyes
- Sudden gasping and trouble breathing
- Rapid-onset diarrhea or vomiting
The last three are signs of anaphylaxis and require emergency care.
If you have any concerns about your dog’s reaction to food, it’s always best to consult with your veterinarian. There are common food allergies that dog’s can have, which include chicken and beef. Knowing your dog’s allergies or reading through the ingredient list can help narrow down if a new treat or food is causing allergic reactions.
Mix It Up! Other Fruits to Try
Bananas are a delicious and nutritious treat for your dog to enjoy in moderation. There are also other fruits which are safe for your dog to explore, including:
Allowing your dog to try new foods is a great way to increase your dog’s overall wellbeing and happiness. Hiding these foods in toys may also make them more exciting. Eating food can be a mentally stimulating activity for dogs, as long as they are placed in the right puzzle toys (not too difficult or easy). In fact, these enrichment activities have been proven to reduce destructive behavior like chewing. Just be sure to know which foods your dog can and can’t eat.