Bananas are high in Potassium, Calcium, Iron, and vitamin C. This fruit is also high in fiber, which is known to solve various tummy issues. And it all sounds like a good thing for any pup. However, like with any not-really-dog food, we have to dig deeper. And uncover all the pros and cons of feeding bananas to your pet.
So, can dogs have bananas?
According to the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) Food Database, the 100g of raw banana contains 89 calories, 1.09g of protein, 0.33g of fats (0.11g is saturated), 22.84g of carbs, including 2.6g of fiber and 12.32g of sugars.
On top of it, a bit of mineral and nutrients including 5mg of Calcium, 0.25 mg of Iron, 358mg of Potassium, 8.7mg of Vitamin C, 0.1mg of Vitamin E, etc.
While it’s all good, let’s look for some empirical evidence backing up the assumption that bananas + dogs = love.
To be fair, that is not the most popular research topic amongst scientists. But I’ve discovered a few somewhat “ancient,” but related studies. Better than nothing.
Let’s take, for example, this report investigating all types of human food that dogs can (or cannot) eat. Its author, Carl Schlotthauer, pointed out (quoting a bunch of other fellow scientists) that raw bananas were the most poorly digested of all foods studied . Digestibility could be slightly improved by baking, but still was very low. This paper is dated by 1941, but I am pretty sure that bananas or pups stomachs didn’t change dramatically since then.
Another study (from 1939 yikes!) discovered that protein contained in bananas can be helpful to deal with low hemoglobin in dogs. However, the premise of the research was to keep those dogs on the low-protein diet. And that led to low hemoglobin in the first place.
On top of it, as mentioned in the paper, pups need only 7-8 g of banana protein to produce 1 gm. of new hemoglobin. And it’s about 800g of bananas. I can hardly imagine a dog surviving on such a diet, so, probably, utilizing bananas to cure anemia is not the best idea.
All in all, during my research, no fatal risks to pups health caused by the consumption of bananas were discovered. As well as clear benefits of it. So, your dog can enjoy that divine-smelling fruit in a minimal amount relatively safely.
Can dogs eat banana peels?
Be careful of peels. Banana peels, in a nutshell, are not dangerous to dogs, but they may create a blockage. The dense fiber in banana peels may be almost impossible for some pets to digest. And smaller dogs may even vomit a few hours after consuming banana peels. Or even worse, there’s always a risk that little one might choke.
How about banana chips?
According to the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) Food Database the 100g of banana chips has 519 calories, 2.3g of protein, 33.6g of fats (28.97g is saturated), 58.4g of carbs, including 7.7g of fiber. And a bit of mineral and nutrients including 18mg of Calcium, 1.25 mg of Iron, 6.4mg of Vitamin C and more.
Banana chips are not poisonous to dogs, but they are not appropriate treats either. Even though chips are a great source of nutritional fiber and Vitamin C, the product is also high in BAD fats and sugar. All in all, the health risks of sharing it with your puppy surpasses its nutritional benefits.
And for more details, you can refer to our guide bluntly called “Can Dogs Eat Banana Chips?” 🙂
And banana bread?
While bananas are safe somewhat safe to eat, you may need to be way more cautious about banana bread.
According to the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) Food Database the 100g of banana bread has 421 calories, 5.26g of protein, 15.79g of fats (1.75g is saturated), 68.42g of carbs (42.11g are SUGARS!), including 9.8g of fiber. Also 44 mg of Cholesterol.
And a bit of mineral and nutrients including 1.89 mg of Iron, and that’s pretty much it.
So on top of being too high in useless fats and ridiculously sugary, banana bread might also include some pretty toxic ingredients. It can be anything from raisins to chocolate, both can make some severe damage to your dog. So for the sake of simplicity, it would worth it to toss the idea of combining your pup and banana bread away.
Can dogs at least eat dried bananas?
According to the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) Food Database, the 100g of dried bananas has 346 calories, 3.89g of protein, 1.81g of fats, 88.28g of carbs, including 47,3g of sugar and 9.9g of fiber.
So, just like with banana chips the total amount of sugars make this treat too risky for your pup. If bananas, for some reasons, are an absolute must, I would suggest sticking with the raw version.
Dog’s health and bananas
Can diabetic dogs eat bananas?
Just as with humans, dogs with diabetes have to stay trim. If your pup is overweight, shedding pounds can assist his body to use insulin, a hormone keeping sugar level intact, properly.
And that makes it less likely that your pet will experience complications caused by the disease, including urinary tract infections and cataracts.
So in most cases, vets would suggest a high-fiber, low-fat diet in that case. And even though bananas sort of fit the bill of being high-fiber and low-fat, it’s an epic fail in the sugar department. As we mentioned at the beginning of this article, the 100g serving of bananas contains 12.32g of sugars.
If a diabetic pup is your real issue, it’s better to stick with the well-balanced dog food that meets that high-fiber, low-carb restrictions. Doghint’s suggestion would be, for example, adult weight management recipe by Natural Balance. This particular one has 26% max Protein, 7,5% min Fat, 10.5% max Fiber. Pretty good, huh? And dog-owners sort of raving about how efficient this plan is for the fat-trimming purposes.
For more options (if the question is really on your mind) you can check our guide covering how to put your dog on a diet.
Dog diarrhea and bananas
There’s that idea that bananas might improve symptoms of digestive upset like diarrhea. The truth it’s not a medicine. It’s too high in sugar. And, as it was found by the science-people we’ve mentioned at the beginning of the article, bananas can’t be even broken down by canines’ stomachs properly.
Instead of feeding your dog more bananas, to fix that unpleasant digestive upset you should better keep an eye on pups diet. Reduce his food intake to see what he tolerates and which products might have caused the issue in the first place. And, as usual, If troubling symptoms persist for more than 24 hours, you better consult with your vet.
My dog ate bananas, what’s next?
If you suspect that your dog ate bananas and worry about it, monitor your dog carefully for any unusual symptoms, including signs of pain or discomfort.
Those might include restlessness, panting, yelping, straining to pass a bowel movement, vomiting, diarrhea, and even dilated pupils. If your dog displays any – it’s worth it to give a friendly call to your vet.
The best dog treats with bananas
Bananas do have that amazing smell that your pup will love so much. Now, since we’ve established that raw bananas are not the worst, but not necessarily the best dog treats ever, let’s think of a compromise. It can be healthy commercial banana treats made with pups nutritional needs in mind. I crawled all the possible options and seems like this one by Nutro is the best.
These treats really pack a crunch and are perfect for dogs of all sizes. According to the crowd, the smell is absolutely gorgeous, like the freshest, ripest, fruit you’ve ever come across. Tasty, banana-smelly, and nutritious. Seems like a self bet to me.
In terms of the essential numbers, those are only 5 calories per treat, 13% min protein, 7.5% min fat, and 2% max fiber.
Homemade banana treats for your pup
If you are still striving for a DIY option, I’ve come across Alex’s blog. She shares tons of absolutely smashing recipes, including this cubes she made for her dog Caesar. It’s a frozen mix of mashed banana, peanut butter, and Greek yogurt. And it seems like Caesar really enjoyed it, so maybe your pup will like it too. You can check the detailed instruction in Alex’s post here.
And if you are going for a homemade alternative, just keep an eye on those ingredients. Make sure that yogurt and peanut butter don’t include anything potentially toxic, like xylitol, too much sugar or anything similar.
The most simple frozen banana dog treats
I am not Gordon Ramsey, by any means. So the easier the recipe is, the more I like it.
So my personal favorite of all homemade frozen banana dog treats recipes is the following:
Get the treat stuffer, (like this super durable and basic from Kong). Put banana inside and freeze it. That’s it. Just don’t overuse bananas in your pet’s diet.
Dogs and bananas. Summary
Bananas are relatively safe for dogs. Even though the fruit is rich in potassium and vitamin C its also high in sugar, fiber, carbs, and it’s hardly digestible by canines. Most dogs naturally get very excited the sweet bananas aroma and will enjoy fruit’s taste. But is it really a good reason to make it a regular in dog’s menu?
Dogs are dependent on us for their nutritional requirements. And most of the pet’s food should come from clinically-proven balanced sources. Bananas (or better yet bananas treats designed with dogs’ dietary needs in mind) can only be added to the table on infrequent occasions.
Thanks for the blog graphics: Canva.com