Feeding your dog fruit sounds strange on the surface. Nevertheless, there are health benefits to eating bananas and certain other fruits as long as they are consumed with caution.
Can bananas kill dogs? Bananas cannot kill dogs as long as they are eaten in moderation. Bananas are high in fiber, vitamin C and B6 which are all great for dogs. They can be high in natural sugar, but this is not dangerous to the health of a dog, it provides them with more energy.
What happens when a dog eats a banana?
When a dog eats a banana, they are going to be fine. They are not dangerous to a dog, they actually are a good source of food for a dog. However, they still need to be consumed in moderation. It is not as if you will be able to switch over your dog’s diet over to solely the consumption of bananas.
Nevertheless, when eaten, your dog is going to see some health benefits:
- They will have a boost in energy due to the natural sugars that are contained in bananas. I guess that you could call it a sugar high. This will cause them to become more active which is great for their health.
- Since bananas are low in sodium and fat, your dog is going to lose weight and become leaner. Bananas will make your dog fill full which will prevent them from overeating. They are great as a treat even when your dog is on a diet due to being obese as suggested by the kennel club in the UK.
- Also, your dog will develop healthier blood vessels because of the level of potassium.
Nevertheless, there are a few drawbacks that you need to be aware of to have a complete picture of how a banana could affect your dogs:
- There could some weight gain because of the high level of calories. This will not occur in all dogs, mostly in older dogs that are less active physically. When a dog is not getting enough exercise, it going to develop health problems and it will have a longer life expectancy.
- If your dog were to help itself to a large batch of bananas, it could cause some gastrointestinal discomfort. They contain a lot of fiber that could cause some constipation.
- The consumption of large amounts of banana can cause the glucose level to increase, even to the point of hypoglycemia (source).
- The high level of potassium in a banana is fine in moderation, but too much potassium in a dog can cause hyperkalemia. Although the probability of having a toxic level of potassium due to bananas is rare. Your dog would have to consume bananas in the dozens in a sitting.
Ingredients in a banana that are good for a dog
There are numerous components in a banana that are great for your dog. Here is a list that outlines each one:
- A banana contains Vitamin B6 that helps a dog in many ways. It causes a dog to secrete hormones that help with mental health. If your dog is depressed, it will put your dog in a better more positive frame of mind. It also helps to control the level of homocysteine in the blood that can cause the arteries to harden.
- Vitamin C is also found in a banana. This vitamin acts in the same fashion as an antihistamine that will relieve your dog from the inflammation caused by allergies. It also will help to improve the health of their coat by making it shinier. Vitamin C also helps to improve a dog’s immune system by creating antibodies that fight toxins in the dog’s body.
- Vitamin B7, also known as biotin, is found in bananas. In other words, a banana will help to rid your dog with a biotin deficiency. A low level of biotin can dry out the coat of a dog, cause lesions on the skin, and even cause lethargy. It is important for muscle development which is important for many larger breeds of dogs.
- The level of fiber in the banana will help to regulate the bowel movements of your dog. One great aspect of high fiber is that your dog will feel full faster which is great for dogs that tend to overeat and that are overweight.
- Bananas contain magnesium that is beneficial to dogs. Magnesium is within your dog’s body at an abundant level.
- Dogs will also benefit from the tryptophan that is in bananas. This will help to keep your dog alert in a good mood. Those attributes are perfect ones for our aging dogs that seem to struggle with alertness.
Are there aspects of bananas that are not good for the health of your dog and that make them possibly toxic?
- If you were to allow your dog to eat the peelings, it is possible that they would become sick. The surface of a banana is not extremely sanitary. Some peelings may have been sprayed with insecticides that could render them toxic. Nevertheless, there is a little chance that chemicals have entered into the banana.
- Banana peelings are hard to digest because they are fibrous. This toughness could cause a blockage in the intestinal tract of your dog. When the flow in the intestines is hindered, your dog could become constipated. Also, a large blockage could render your dog ill enough that they would need to see a vet.
- If you have a puppy, avoid feeding your dog bananas all together until you have spoken with a vet. The high carb content in bananas may cause their sugar level to be too high. A puppy needs to be able to easily digest its food so that it can use its energy to grow and to become stronger. Also, bananas will make your puppy full quickly which will cause them to avoid maintaining a balanced diet.
- The sugar level in bananas is high even though it is natural. Bananas are not good for dogs that are already overweight. Even though your obese dog might crave for bananas, the high sugar level means that they should be avoided until your dog has lost its extra weight. They are not as bad as some other fruits but feeding your dog bananas as a treat once in awhile only is recommended.
How many bananas should you allow your dog to eat?
You should allow your dog to have a banana as a treat. If you were to give your dog bananas daily, they would most likely become constipated. Bananas are a healthy food, but they are not essential to the diet of a dog. Bananas originate from areas in the world where few dog breeds would have had access to them.
I would suggest that you allow your dog to have a banana a week. More than once a week is going to run the risk of causing digestion problems for your dog. Bananas are high in carbohydrates which will cause your dog to feel full very fast. If a dog is full, she is going to avoid eating other foods that are high in protein which is a dietary requirement for all dogs.
If you would like to incorporate protein into your dog’s snack on bananas, you could try the following recipe for banana and peanut butter treats for dogs:
- one well-beaten egg
- one mashed banana (peeling removed)
- one cup of coconut flour
- 2 tbsps of peanut butter
- 1 cup of rolled oats
- a quarter cup of dry parsley
- 2 tablespoons of honey
Heat your oven to 300 degrees.
Mix the above items together and then let the mixture sit for 30 minutes.
Spoon out the dough using a tablespoon onto a cookie sheet. You should end up with around two dozen balls of dough. Using a fork, flatten out the balls to make discs of 2 inches.
Bake the dog treats for 45 minutes and set them aside for cooling.
You can store them in the fridge in a plastic container that is sealed or you could just put them directly in the freezer for future use.