Can dogs eat bananas?

Despite what many people believe, fruit and vegetables are actually quite important for a dog's diet – in moderation. What about bananas, though; can dogs eat bananas?

Are bananas healthy for dogs?
Are bananas healthy for dogs?  © 123RF/mrwed54

It's widely accepted that bananas are a superfood for humans – a tasty and healthy snack that'll provide all sorts of nutrients and vitamins. Dogs need different things out of their food, though, and a type of food that's incredibly healthy for us might not only be utterly useless for them but could be actively dangerous.

In this dog guide, TAG24 will take a look at dogs vs. bananas. Can dogs eat bananas, and if so, how many bananas can dogs eat, and how often?

Can dogs eat bananas safely?

While bananas do admittedly contain many healthy minerals and vitamins and can be beneficial to a dog's health, they are not recommended. Too many bananas can muck up your doggo's digestive system, cause a variety of mild health problems, and can simply cause a lot of stomach aches for your handsome hound.

Admittedly, these elongated berries contain enzymes that help reduce inflammation, are full of diarrhea-killing pectin, and will provide a lot of energy, too, so it might be worth giving your dog a little bit every now and again. You just need to be extremely conservative with the portions and do it very rarely.

You see, many of those same benefits can cause a variety of drawbacks. For example, that same pectin can cause severe constipation if overconsumed by your darling doggo. Additionally, that energy comes from the sugar intake, and we all know what too much sugar does – diabetes, liver disease, obesity, etc.

Dogs with pre-existing heart issues should also seriously limit their banana intake (as in, eat no bananas at all) because an overabundance of potassium can damage the heart muscle, leading to further problems. All in all, and with everything related to a dog's diet, consultation with your vet is key.

If your dog does eat bananas, though, you need to make sure that they fit a few basic requirements. All bananas must be ripe, and need to be peeled, before your dog eats them. When consumed like this, a small amount is okay.

Most importantly: What's important to know, though, is that if your dog has jumped up onto the kitchen counter and eaten a banana without your permission, don't panic. Monitor it, make sure that it hasn't choked on the peel, and try to stop it from happening again.

Bananas are okay for dogs when eaten in small quantities, rarely.
Bananas are okay for dogs when eaten in small quantities, rarely.  © 123RF/Vadimmashkov

Can dogs eat banana peels?

No, dogs must never eat banana peels. While the peel itself provides minimal risk except for being unpleasant to eat and a choking risk, it can be contaminated with a variety of different pesticides. We don't generally wash our bananas because we peel them and therefore don't need to worry about it, but if your dog eats the peel, then it could get poisoned. Take it to the vet in this situation.

How many bananas can dogs eat?

Dogs should only ever consume a very small amount of banana, at maximum a half-banana per day. WebMD suggests that it is perfectly okay for big dogs to eat about half a banana every day, but smaller dogs should eat at most two or three pieces. Of course, these dosages depend entirely on you having screened your beloved doggos for allergies beforehand.

Here are the basic rules that we would recommend you follow:

  • Large dogs should only get half a banana at a time, and that half banana should be provided only every two to three days
  • Small dogs should only have one or two pieces over that same time period
  • Puppies should not eat any bananas at all; you need them to have a very strict and natural diet for the purpose of their physical and mental development

If you are unsure: In all issues of dog diet, your veterinarian should be consulted before you make any hard decision. They are the experts – not you and not us – so don't do anything without their express permission.

How often can dogs eat bananas?

Dogs can get very sick if they eat too many bananas.
Dogs can get very sick if they eat too many bananas.  © 123RF/Dzmitrock

While the dosages above can be consumed daily if necessary, we would recommend only providing bananas to your doggo once every two to three days or two to three times a week. It is important that these rules are followed, of course, after consultation with your veterinarian.

Additionally, bananas should only be served to your dog in the following ways:

  • As a small piece or slice between meals
  • Chopped up in food
  • As a flavoring in dog biscuits
  • Puréed and turned into ice cream for summer
  • As banana chips designed specifically for your dog
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While bananas are relatively safe, giving them to dogs is not generally a good idea. Instead, you want your dog to eat a diet exclusively designed for its body and needs.

Dogs aren't really supposed to eat bananas

Dogs aren't purely carnivorous, but that doesn't mean that they need a vegetable or fruit-heavy diet. Many of these items are sugar-heavy or contain carbohydrates that aren't ideal for a dog's health. Of course, stay calm if your dog eats a banana, but don't go handing out bananas willy-nilly. Also, don't hand out strawberries, apples, cherries, or cheese.

As with many of our articles where we take food and ask whether it's okay for your dog to eat it, the answer is pretty simple: If your doggo eats a little bit of banana, it's fine, but you shouldn't feed them banana, and you should certainly not give them large quantities.

Cover photo: 123RF/mrwed54

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