Categories
Articles

Can dogs and Small Puppies eat bananas?

If you have ever been in the past, are currently or are considering becoming a dog owner, you likely already know that dogs will eat anything – dog food, cat food, human food, shoes, poop, grass and just about anything else you put in front of them or in their bowls. However, just because a dog eats something doesn’t mean that particular something actually should be eaten. In fact, some of the things that dogs eat can actually be toxic for them.

With that in mind, it can be hard to find good snacks and treats for your dog. If you want to feed your dog treats, but you don’t want to buy the generic, store-bought treats in packages, you may have to do a little research. The trick is finding something they will enjoy but that is also healthy for them.

Can Dogs Have Bananas?

If you’ve ever wondered, “Can dogs have bananas?” the answer is yes, dogs can eat bananas. In fact, not only can they eat bananas, but bananas are actually very healthy snacks for dogs. Bananas are chock full of good things for canines. They have a lot of potassium, which is key to strong muscles and adequate growth in dogs.

They also have a lot of vitamin C and vitamin B6. Vitamin C is an important vitamin in dogs because it helps boosts their immune systems, just as it does for humans. It can also help prevent hip dysplasia and clear up urinary tract infections or kidney issues in animals. Vitamin B6, too, has numerous health benefits for dogs. It helps with the generation of red blood cells, the regulation of hormones and the nervous system and it improves dogs’ immune systems and heart health.

Furthermore, bananas are surprisingly high in fiber, which is something just about every living creature needs. Fiber is a key ingredient to making a dog’s entire gastrointestinal tract function properly, and bananas have a lot of fiber.

Bananas also help keep your dog’s skin and coat healthy. This is because they also have a lot of biotin in them. Biotin is very popular with humans because it can help combat hair loss and even help regrow hair. It can do the same thing for dogs, helping them with skin and fur issues that may be making their hair fall out.

The magnesium in bananas works to ensure strong bones in your dog, especially as it ages. It also aids in the dog’s protein production and absorption of vitamins. In fact, about the only downside to bananas is that they have quite a bit of sugar in them. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t feed them to your dogs, however; it simply means you must only give them as treats in moderation.

Can Small Puppies Eat Bananas?

While bananas are relatively safe for puppies in extremely small and infrequent portions, you might want to wait until your puppy is a little older before you decide to try feeding it bananas. Puppies have very specific dietary needs, and their bodies are still growing and developing. For this reason, it is extremely important to keep your puppy on a strict diet that has been developed by you and your vet.

Bananas aren’t going anywhere; they’re going to be around a while. Your puppy will have plenty of chances to eat them when he gets a little older. There is no sense rushing into it and possibly hurting your puppy rather than helping him.

Should Dogs Eat Bananas When They Are Sick?

Is banana good for dogs when they’re sick? The answer depends on the kind of sickness from which your dog is suffering. If a dog’s sickness stems from stomach or intestinal problems, then yes, eating a banana will almost certainly be beneficial. Bananas are good for preventing bacterial growth in the stomach, calming down upset stomachs and fighting off infection. If your dog has pain resulting in muscle, bone or joint ailments, bananas can aid with that problem as well.

Here is a fairly comprehensive list of illnesses and other conditions which can be helped when dogs eat bananas:

  • Upset stomach
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Other digestion issues
  • Heart issues
  • Colon cancer (prevention, not cure)
  • Obesity
  • Degenerative diseases (prevention, not cure)
  • Insulin sensitivity
  • Pain in the muscles and joints
  • Cramping
  • Kidney stones (prevention, not cure)

Can Dogs Eat Banana Peels?

While it is completely fine and healthy to feed your dog some bananas every now and then as a yummy treat, the banana peels are a completely different story. While banana peels are not toxic, strictly speaking, they are also not great for your dog to consume.

First of all, just as you probably wouldn’t enjoy the taste of eating the peels of bananas, neither would your dog. The peels are a bit bitter and have an odd texture that isn’t very appealing. Banana peels are also extremely fibrous. This is part of the reason the texture is so off-putting.

The excess amounts of fiber in banana peels, though, could also cause your dog to become sick and vomit. The vomit is not because the peel is poisonous. Instead, it is because of the large amount of fiber in the peel. There is so much fiber that the dog can’t digest it all. Fiber makes the bowels move, but if too much is ingested, it often has to come out another way. For this reason, eating banana peels can also cause diarrhea.

Why Do Some Dogs Not Like Bananas?

For some strange reason, there are many dogs out there who do not like bananas. In fact, if you put a banana anywhere near them, they will jump, run, hide or just generally start acting crazy. If you’ve ever seen online videos of cats going nuts at the sight of a cucumber, you’ll have some idea of how some dogs react to bananas.

There is no clear and concise reason as to why dogs behave in this way, although some experts believe it has to do with them mistaking the banana, which is, admittedly, oddly shaped, for a snake of some kind. Snakes are not natural predators for dogs, but venomous snakes can still kill them. Instinctually, dogs know this and become scared when they think the banana they are seeing is a snake.

As for why some dogs don’t like to eat bananas, the only way to truly know would be to ask the dog and magically have him answer you. Since that’s not likely to happen anytime soon, we’ll just have to keep guessing. Our theory is that dogs, just like humans, have their own opinions on what tastes good to them. Maybe they don’t like the taste. Maybe they don’t like the way the banana feels inside of their mouths.

If your dog is one of the ones who doesn’t like bananas, you might try putting a little peanut butter on one and feeding it to him. Dogs love peanut butter. This could make him change his mind on the whole banana situation.

However, if your dog still doesn’t like bananas after that, don’t fret. While bananas are a good, healthy snack, your dog isn’t going to die from not eating them. There are plenty of other options out there for getting extra potassium, fiber, and vitamins into your furry friend.

How Much Banana Can Dogs Eat?

If you are feeding your dog a banana for the very first time, you need to watch him carefully for the first few days afterwards just to make sure he isn’t going to have some kind of weird reaction to it. There is almost zero possibility of this happening, but as with any new food, you’ll need to watch for resulting changes or problems.

Once you’ve established your dog can eat bananas, you’ll be able to feed them to him without much fear. However, as already mentioned, bananas – like most fruits – have very high sugar content, and too much sugar can lead to diabetes in dogs just as it can in human beings. So you’ll definitely want to feed him bananas or banana treats in moderation.

Most vets recommend feeding your dog no more than one banana a week. If you have a larger dog who is extremely active and has a high metabolism, you might be able to increase that number to two a week, but if you’re in any doubt, don’t risk it. One banana a week is enough to give your dog all the benefits listed above and cuts way down on the risk of diabetes from feeding him too many.

What Can Happen if I Feed My Dog Too Many Bananas?

In the long-term, your dog could develop diabetes if you feed him too many bananas. This is a very serious disease that is very expensive to treat and can potentially shorten your dog’s life by many years or even kill him. This is probably the most serious side-effect of feeding your dog too many bananas.

Other side effects include vomiting, which has already been mentioned above, and diarrhea. This is because bananas are full of fiber, which helps the bowels to move. If you feed your dog too many bananas, he is likely getting way too much fiber, and that could result in a serious case of doggy diarrhea.

Ironically, too many bananas can also cause constipation in dogs. We know how crazy that sounds since we’ve been preaching about the fiber content in bananas, but nevertheless, it is true. Aside from making it easier to go to the bathroom, fiber also sucks up water from inside the body. If your dog isn’t drinking enough water and is eating an excess of bananas, all that extra fiber could suck out what little water he’s drinking and cause him to become constipated.

Another, more unusual side effect of too many bananas is a doggy headache. How can you tell if your dog has a headache? That is an excellent question! You have to observe his behavior. If he seems lethargic or doesn’t want to eat, play or do anything, he might very well have a headache. Bananas have amino acids in them that will often enlarge blood vessels, thus resulting in a headache.

A final side-effect of too much banana consumption is rotting teeth. As we all know, sugar can cause some serious dental problems in humans; the same is true for dogs. Bananas are full of sugar, which can cause serious decay in your dog’s mouth, especially if you aren’t an owner who plans on brushing your dog’s teeth every day.

How to Feed My Dog a Banana

There are several different ways to feed your dog a banana. If you are simply feeding him a raw banana by itself, it is important to cut the banana up into small pieces, especially if you’re feeding the pieces to a small-sized dog.

It also doesn’t hurt to start off slow, feeding your dog only a fourth of a banana, then gradually moving up to a half and then a whole. During this process, monitor your dog closely to ensure he’s not having any negative reactions to the bananas. Has his attitude or energy level changed? Has anything changed in his bathroom habits? Does he seem sick to his stomach or lethargic? If the answers to all these questions are no, then your dog will likely be fine eating a banana every now and then.

Bananas dipped in peanut butter are another great treat for your dog. Almost all dogs go crazy for peanut butter, and for those who like bananas as well, there is no better treat than this. Simply take some of the slices and add a little peanut butter to them for flavor. Remember, peanut butter – especially raw peanut butter – is just as thick and hard to swallow for dogs as it is for you, so make sure you provide your furry friend with plenty of water to drink while eating this particular snack.

For a nice summertime treat, put your sliced bananas into the freezer to make frozen banana bites for your dog. He will still get all the nutrients of bananas, and it will be a nice, cool treat to help him cool off after a hot day outside.

Two other ways to feed bananas to your dog include mixing them with something. Bananas are very mushy. This makes them easy to mix with other foods your dog enjoys. You can mix mushy bananas with your dog’s regular food. You can also mix them with some plain yogurt for an especially nutrient-filled treat for your friend.

If you don’t mind doing a little cooking, there are also some other ways to feed bananas to your dog.

Are There Any Good Recipes for Banana Treats?

There are all kinds of recipes out there for tasty banana treats for your dog. A quick Google search would likely turn up hundreds for you to choose from; however, we’ve scored the web for you to find some of the best recipes available. Here are five of our favorites:

Banana and Peanut Butter Dog Biscuit

Ingredients:

  • Mashed up banana (1/2 cup)
  • Peanut Butter (1/3 cup)
  • Lightly beaten egg white (1)
  • Whole wheat flour (1 cup)
  • Honey (1 tbsp)
  • Wheat germ (1/2 cup)
  • Egg (1)

Directions:

  • Preheat your oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Lightly grease up a cookie sheet or use a pizza stone if you prefer.
  • Combine the banana, peanut butter, egg and honey into a mixing bowl. Stir thoroughly, eliminating as many chunks as possible.
  • Add the flour and wheat germ and continue to mix thoroughly until thickened.
  • Once the mixture is thick enough, remove it from the bowl and place it on a flour-covered surface. Roll it around to get out all the knots.
  • Flatten out the dough and cut it into your desired shapes using cookie cutters.
  • Move the cut-outs to the cookie sheet or pizza stone.
  • Brush the tops of each treat with the egg white.
  • Bake in the oven for half an hour or until the tops of the biscuits turn golden brown in color.

This recipe makes approximately a dozen treats. The recipe can be altered, of course, to make larger or smaller batches. These biscuits can also be kept for later consumption. Left out in a sealed container, they will last three of four days. However, if you seal them and put them into the fridge, they will keep for approximately two weeks.

Banana, Bacon and Cheerio Dog Treats

Ingredients:

  • Mashed banana (1)
  • Cooked, crumbled bacon, drained of grease (1/2 cup)
  • Cheerios (1 cup)
  • Whole wheat flour (2 cups)
  • Reduced sodium chicken stock (1 1/2 cup)
  • Pumpkin puree’ (1 1/2 cup)

Directions:

  • Cook and drain bacon beforehand.
  • Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Lay parchment paper on a baking sheet.
  • Add banana, bacon, Cheerios, pumpkin, flour and chicken stock to a large mixing bowl. Add more chicken stock as needed to thin the mixture.
  • Roll dollops of the mixture into small balls or scoop out the mixture with an ice cream scoop. Place these on the baking sheet.
  • Bake in the oven for 50 minutes.
  • Allow treats to cool thoroughly before serving them.

Depending on the size of your rolled-up balls, this recipe can make anywhere from a dozen to 18 treats. The treats can be stored in a sealed container in the fridge for up to two weeks.

Double Banana Dog Treats

Ingredients:

  • Bananas, medium ripe (3)
  • Eggs, large (2)
  • Oat flour (4 cups)

Directions:

  • Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  • Use a small mixing bowl to mash all but 1/2 of one of the bananas. Set that 1/2 aside.
  • Mix the eggs and flour in with the mashed bananas. If the mixture is too sticky, add more flour as needed.
  • Roll the dough out on a flour-covered surface until it is 1/4 inch thick.
  • Cut out your treats using any shape you like.
  • Take the 1/2 banana you have left and slice it into very thin slices. Places one on each of the treats.
  • Bake somewhere between 20 and 25 minutes until the edges are brown and the banana slices are dry.
  • Allow the treats to cool completely before giving them to your dog.

This recipe makes approximately two dozen treats. The recipe can be adjusted if you need more or less treats. The treats can be stored in a refrigerator for up to two weeks in a sealed container.

Frozen Banana and Peanut Butter Treats

Ingredients:

  • Banana (1)
  • Peanut butter (4 tbsp)
  • Vanilla or plain yogurt (12 ounces)

Directions:

  • Using a high-powered blender, blend all three ingredients together until smooth.
  • Pour blended mixture into plastic molds or ice trays.
  • Freeze the molds for two hours minimum.

This particular recipe is one of our favorites simply because it is so easy! It literally takes no skill in the kitchen. If you can throw ingredients into a blender and hit a button, you can easily make these treats for your furry best friend. Another great thing about these treats is that you can make them into adorable little shapes if you have some cute molds at home. These would be the perfect snack for summer. Uneaten treats must be put back into the freezer, of course, to keep from melting.

Banana Oatmeal Hypoallergenic Dog Treats

Ingredients:

  • Banana, ripe (1 – the mushier, the better)
  • Oatmeal (1 cup)
  • Coconut oil (2 tbsp)

Directions:

  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Mix all the ingredients in a medium-sized mixing bowl and then set it aside for ten minutes.
  • Take one tablespoon servings of the mixture and roll them into loose balls.
  • Place these onto a greased cookie sheet and flatten them only slightly.
  • Bake for approximately 15 minutes or until the bottom of the treats are golden brown.
  • Let the treats cool completely before serving.

As-is, this recipe makes about a dozen treats. The recipe can, of course, be adjusted as needed for more or less treats. Excess treats can be placed in a sealed container and refrigerated for up to two weeks.

Now that you know all there is to know about dogs and bananas, it may be time to try one out on your own dog and see if he approves. Remember, if this is the first time your dog will be eating a banana, monitor him closely for a few days for signs of any kind of allergic reaction. Also, don’t serve him too much at once.

In fact, now that you have some great recipes for banana dog treats, it might even be better if you started him out with one of those. That way, he gets only a small amount of banana to begin with to see how he’s going to like it.

Also, keep in mind that this guide is for normal, healthy dogs on a normal diet. If your dog has underlying or pre-existing health issues or has been put on a special diet by your veterinarian, please double-check with him before feeding your dog anything not pre-approved in his diet plan. Introducing new foods to dogs with illnesses or dogs on restrictive diets can do a lot more harm than good.

If you have any more questions about bananas and your dog, don’t hesitate to reach out to your local vet’s office to ask them. Remember, anytime you’re planning something new for your dog, it is always better to be safe than sorry, and a simple phone call to the vet doesn’t usually cost you a thing.