Last Updated on May 20, 2021 by adrienne hardwick
Who doesn’t love giving their dog a tasty snack? There are so many great ones out there, it is impossible to resist a tasty table scrap every now and again. The same goes for your morning fruit snack – a little end of banana here and there can’t hurt. Can it?
The great news is that bananas are perfectly safe for your dog to eat, and are actually a great source of fibre to help rumbly tummies as well as key vitamins.
So if you have often wondered if bananas can hurt or even kill your dog, fear not..
Here’s everything you need to know about bananas, how they impact your pup, and the ingredients that are extra good for them.
What Happens When a Dog Eats a Banana?
Nothing happens when your dog eats a banana. They have a good chew (unless they are Labs, then it’s straight to swallow) and eagerly look at you for a bit more. Or, if they are like my dogs they spit the banana out and ask you what on earth you were thinking.
However, it’s not like you can just feed your dog a diet of bananas. They still need to be given in moderation and follow the 10% rule – their diet should ONLY consist of 10% treats and 90% of their main nutritious meals.
But are there any risks that come with bananas? Well, there are a few things you should be aware of before you nana mad.
First, bananas have a lot of natural sugar in them. This means you should avoid feeding them to young puppies as it could cause their blood sugar levels to spike dangerously. Always consult your vet before you start feeding them treats like this.
If your dog is overweight or has a slow metabolism, too much banana can cause weight gain due to those natural sugars. They are actually a great treat to give them when losing weight, but only if they are active and getting enough exercise – even the Kennel Club UK recommends it.
There is also the risk of potassium poisoning, but this is so unlikely to happen it is barely worth mentioning. Your dog would have to eat DOZENS of bananas in one go for this to happen.
It leads to a condition called hyperkalemia, so take them to the vet if they eat dozens of bananas.
Other than that, bananas are actually pretty good for your pup and contain some really beneficial ingredients – as you’re about to discover.
Ingredients in a Banana That are Good for a Dog
Your dog is certainly going to see some health benefits when they are given bananas. The natural sugars will boost their energy, so make sure you take them out for a good walk where they can really run and blow off some steam.
They are also low in sodium and fat, as well as naturally filling. This is great for dogs who are both active and trying to maintain a good physique. Since they are naturally filling, they are also able to help prevent overeating (unless it’s Labs, they are never full… ever).
Potassium is good for them too. Just like it helps to prevent cramp in humans, the same goes for dogs, and it leads to healthier blood vessels that keep things pumping around the body efficiently.
What about the specifics? Well, the great news is that we have a list of specific ingredients found in bananas that are sure to leave you and your pup jumping for joy.
#1 Vitamin B6. Dogs can suffer from poor mental health too, and vitamin B6 helps to boost those happy hormones to help them feel happier and more active. It also helps to control the level of homocysteine in the blood, which can cause the arteries to harden if left unchecked.
#2 Vitamin C. This helps to boost the immune system by creating antibodies, and can also alleviate the symptoms and inflammation caused by seasonal allergies. It also has properties that help keep your dog’s coat shiny and soft.
#3 Vitamin B7. This is also known as biotin, and it is essential for muscle development and maintenance. A dog with a biotin deficiency will have a very poor coat, lethargy, and may even suffer from skin lesions.
#4 Magnesium. This is essential for the production of cell energy. Every time your dog moves, magnesium is used up and needs to be replenished. Ensuring they are getting enough magnesium means that they can lead a healthy and active lifestyle.
#5 Fibre. Not only does fibre help your dog to feel full faster, but it is also essential for regulating their bowels and ensuring they pass stools that are both firm and healthy. However, too much fibre can cause constipation and too little can cause loose stools.
#6 Tryptophan. This is beneficial to both humans and dogs, helping to boost their mood and also improve their sense of alertness. Think of it as a great way to stay awake on those sleepy days.
How Many Bananas Should You Allow Your Dog to Eat?
There isn’t a set limit to how many bananas you can give your dog to eat. You might be the kind of person who gives them the end of your banana every morning, or you might enjoy giving them a whole one once a week.
As long as you are following the 10% rule, it doesn’t really matter. For very small breeds, this might mean half or even a quarter of a banana. For very large breeds, this could equal two bananas in one sitting. It’s all down to your judgement.
Just remember that as bananas are very filling, you don’t want to give them too much or they might not want to eat as much of their main meal. You have to ensure they are getting enough PROTEIN and other nutrients to keep them fit and healthy.
There’s also more than one way to give your dog a banana-y treat. Why not try making your own dog treats at home using bananas? One of my favourite recipes is quick and easy, and there is no need to cook anything!
What you will need:
- 1 cup peanut butter
- 1 mashed banana
- 1 ice cube tray
Take the peanut butter and the mashed banana and mix them in a bowl until combined. Once this is done, you can scoop them into the ice cube tray sections. Next, place them in the freezer for a few hours (or until solid).
When they are ready, take them out and let your pups enjoy themselves. They are perfect for hot summer days when your dog needs to cool down with a tasty treat.
What fruits can dogs eat?
There are so many great fruits that dogs can eat. These include:
In fact, we have a whole guide on the fruits (and veg) that are safe for your dogs to eat. You can check it out here and also learn about which fruits your pup should be avoiding.
Can dogs eat banana peels?
Sure thing, your dog can eat banana peels, but we would also suggest you avoid it. The peels are hard for them to digest, and this can lead to an increased risk of intestinal blockages. It could also give them an upset stomach, so it is best to avoid letting them eat the peel.
Do bananas help a dog’s upset stomach?
Absolutely, bananas can help a dog’s upset stomach. They are high in fibre, which means they help to firm up the stools so that they are less loose. However, bananas should be given in moderation as too much of anything is bound to cause stomach grumbles!
So, there you have it. Everything that makes bananas a great treat for your dog. They are high in fibre, contain some essential vitamins and minerals, and are also a great way to let them know you love them. Just remember, too much of a good thing ends up with angry stomachs!
Are you enjoying our guides to canine care? We have an entire series that helps you to understand more about the way they behave, why, and the thing you can and cannot feed them.
For over a decade, Adrienne has been a freelance content writer and blogger who’s passion lies in anything related to dogs. Growing up, dogs were a very important part of family life in the Hardwick household. Now, Adrienne is the proud parent to two Swedish Vallhunds called Moose and Pumpkin.