Why Bananas Are a Great Treat for Dogs


Photo: Olga Olga Buyanova / EyeEm / Robbie Goodall / Getty

They’re yellow, tasty, and come in their own wrapper, but can dogs eat bananas?

They sure can. In fact, bananas for dogs are one of many fruits and vegetables safe for pups to eat. Just make sure to toss the peel.

“As far as we know, they’re safe for cats and dogs,” says Ahna Brutlag, DVM, with Pet Poison Helpline, which answers potential poisoning questions for veterinarians and pet owners.

Here’s what else you should know about dogs and bananas:

Can Dogs Have Bananas?

They can have some tasty slices, but don’t overdo it. Feed them in moderation. Bananas should only be a small part of a dog’s overall healthy, balanced diet.

“If someone were feeding their dog [bananas] excessively, and that dog has underlying issues, like obesity, too many bananas could contribute to the problem,” Brutlag says.

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How much banana can a dog eat? It’s different for each dog, depending on size and activity level. Consider one banana or less per day for a medium or large dog and just a few banana slices for a small dog.

Are Bananas Good for Dogs?

Bananas are good for dogs as long as they don’t eat too much of them. They’re sweet but not as sugary as other treats for dogs. They’re also packed with fiber, which can help some dogs who may be experiencing gastrointestinal problems. They also include potassium (good for the heart and kidneys), manganese, magnesium, vitamin B, and vitamin C.

There are plenty of ways dogs can eat bananas: Mash it up in food or mix it with peanut butter. Peel, freeze, and feed in slices. Or stick a frozen chunk in your dog’s favorite food toy for a delicious distraction to help keep him occupied.

Dogs can have banana chips, but while these crunchy treats are safe for dogs to eat, they’re usually high in fat. Too many, day after day, could lead to weight gain or problems with your dog’s pancreas.

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Can Dogs Eat Banana Peels?

The peel is the part of the banana that’s bad for dogs. Just like humans, dogs shouldn’t eat banana peels. Aside from being bitter and not at all tasty, a banana’s exterior can get stuck in a dog’s throat or elsewhere in the gastrointestinal tract. If a dog eats part or all of a banana peel, call your veterinarian, especially if your dog seems uncomfortable or restless or is whining, yelping, or panting. That could indicate an obstruction in your dog’s gastrointestinal tract.

“While banana peels aren’t toxic per se, they are hard to digest and could pose a risk of bowel obstruction,” Brutlag says. “The good news is the peels are bitter when chewed, which is why we don’t eat them either.”

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