It’s a common occurrence for people to share snacks or table scraps with their furry companions. Although this tradition has continued for centuries, it’s critical to keep in mind that dogs digest differently than humans.
Dogs don’t need as many fruits or vegetables since they eat a primarily carnivorous diet. But, there’s no harm in additional nutrition, right?
For example, the banana is a delicious and nutritious fruit that humans love. It contains vitamins and minerals like potassium, vitamin B6, and vitamin C. It’s easy to eat, and its abundance makes it even easier to find at any local market.
With this reputation, it’s no wonder that dog owners have considered bananas a viable food option for their canine friends. But, are bananas really as healthy for dogs as they are for us? Are there any hidden benefits or harm in feeding them bananas?
Let’s find out.
Are Bananas Good for Dogs?
As previously mentioned, the banana has nutrients like potassium, vitamin B6, and vitamin C. Dogs can definitely benefit from these vitamins and minerals.
Bananas are even a better alternative for salty treats, which tend to be fattier. The fruit’s high fiber content benefits dogs with gastrointestinal issues. The magnesium in bananas also helps with bone growth and protein production.
So, yes! Bananas are good for dogs, thanks to the myriad of advantages they can gain from its contents. Your dog may even enjoy the sweet, starchy flavor that’s characteristic of the nutritious fruit.
Still, it’s not good to feed your dog bananas all the time. The fruit contains natural sugar, which no dog or human should consume in large amounts. The consequences of excess sugar range from weight gain to unstable blood sugar.
Can Dogs Eat Banana Peels?
Although banana peels contain more nutrients than the banana itself, it might not be a good idea to feed them to your dog. They’re not toxic, but they’re hard for a dog to digest. In the worst-case scenario, banana peels can cause an intestinal blockage.
To be on the safe side, you should feed your dog bananas without the peel (and not too many!). A vet can determine the right amount of bananas to feed your dog, considering their age, size, breed, activity level, and other factors.
How to Feed Your Dog Bananas
There are many ways to prepare bananas for your dog to eat.
If you want to keep things simple and just let them eat a banana whole, there’s no real problem with that. However, too much banana can cause diarrhea and temporary digestion issues. So, let’s delve into creative ways to feed your dog small banana portions.
Mash Some Banana With Their food
In case a dog isn’t that fond of bananas, this is an excellent way of giving them a healthy dose without them knowing.
Even if your dog isn’t that picky, they will likely appreciate the flavor you’ve added to their food. Bananas can be a useful, healthy condiment that provides variety to your dog's diet.
Tip: For special days when your dog deserves something extra, you can add a little honey or peanut butter into the mash as well!
Peel and Cut the Banana Into Pieces
This is the most standard way of feeding bananas to dogs. Small banana pieces are easier on your dog’s stomach and less likely to cause digestive issues.
You have two options for feeding your dog banana pieces: fresh or frozen. Feeding the banana fresh at room temperature makes a tasty treat. Frozen bananas are great for hot days and are refreshing for a dog who’s been up and about.
Simple Homemade Banana Dog Treats
Fresh, frozen, or mashed bananas supply plenty of nutrition, but those who can allot time and effort for food prep can try some of these delicious recipes:
Banana Peanut Butter Oat Cookies
This recipe yields a perfect treat for dogs that enjoy peanut butter. All you need are a peeled ripe banana, a cup of peanut butter, and a cup of oat flour.The procedure is quick:
- Mix the three ingredients in a bowl until they form a pliable dough. If the mixture is a bit dry, a little more peanut butter will do the trick. If it’s too moist and lacks shape, then a little oat flour will improve the texture.
- After that, roll the dough on a floured surface or sheet of parchment paper.
- Then, the dough can be cut into various shapes using a cookie cutter. Those in a hurry can opt to skip the cookie cutting and just roll the dough into balls to be flattened by hand. This method results in nice, circular cookies that a dog will appreciate nonetheless.
- After you form the cookies, place them in the oven (preheated to 250 degrees) and bake for around 15 minutes. You’ll know they’re done when they’re golden-brown underneath.
- Once you pull them out of the oven, wait for a few minutes so they can cool down and firm up. After that, they’ll be ready to serve!
Frozen Banana Peanut Butter Coconut Treat
This recipe is great for those who aren’t able to bake. The only ingredients needed are a peeled ripe banana, a cup of peanut butter, and a cup of coconut oil. You will also need a baggie and a silicone mold.
- First, place the three ingredients into a bowl and mash them all together using the back of a spoon. They will mix easily if the peanut butter and coconut oil are soft. If the ingredients aren't soft, it's better to use a bigger baggie to contain the thick, chunky texture.
- Once the ingredients are mixed, fill the baggie with the resulting mush.
- Next, cut the corner of the baggie with scissors and squeeze the mush into the silicone mold. If you don’t have a mold, you can just squeeze it into circular dots onto a cookie sheet with wax paper on top. Your dog will appreciate the treat regardless of the shape!
- After you’ve formed the cookies, place the mold or sheet into the freezer until they’re solid.
- Pop them out when they’re frozen and serve. Or, place them into a freezer-friendly bag to keep for later.
Thanks to the tasty combo of banana, peanut butter, and coconut, your dog will definitely love these as a treat on a hot day.
Bananas for Canines
Now you know why and how you can feed your dog bananas. Aside from being delicious and nutritious, a banana is an excellent treat for dogs who like variety in their diet.
Whether served mashed, cut, baked, or frozen into treats, dogs can stand to benefit from bananas. They could even enjoy them! Just remember - everything is good in moderation.