Can Dogs Eat Bananas? Effects of Bananas for Dogs as a Dog Food

can dogs eat banana

Yes, dogs can eat bananas. Bananas provide numerous health benefits for dogs. Bananas contain high concentrations of vitamins, fiber, and potassium for dogs’ daily diet, while they have low concentrations of cholesterol and sodium. Bananas affect dogs’ kidneys and hearts. Furthermore, bananas assist in the alleviation of anemia and upset stomach. Some people refer to bananas as mood food for dogs because they relieve depression and stress.

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What are the Benefits of Bananas for Dogs?

The benefits of bananas for dogs’ health and mood are listed below.

Bananas provide numerous health benefits for dogs, including the following:

  • Improve dogs’ brain function: B6 vitamins in bananas are essential for the development and functioning of the brain.
  • Improve a dog’s heart function: potassium in bananas is a nutrient that benefits dogs’ heart function.
  • Promote bone growth in dogs: magnesium in bananas aids bone strength.
  • Increase the energy levels of dogs: bananas’ calorie and glycemic index can affect the energy levels of a dog in a positive way.
  • Improves dogs’ sleeping habits: the melatonin in bananas regulates dogs’ internal clocks to normalize sleeping patterns.
  • Boost dog’s mood: B vitamins in bananas produce hormones that improve dogs’ mood.
  • Protect dogs’ eye health: B vitamins in bananas boost eye health in dogs.
  • Reduce inflammation risks in dogs: the antioxidant vitamin C reduces inflammation in dogs.
  • Promote healthy aging in dogs: vitamin C’s antioxidants slow down aging in dogs.
  • Help to stop diarrhea and vomiting in dogs: Bananas’ fiber content prevents gastrointestinal problems in dogs.
  • Improve a dog’s skin and coat: Biotin in bananas ensure dogs have healthy skin and hair.
  • Reduce swelling in dogs: Rutin, a vitamin C compound in bananas reduces swelling in dogs
  • Strengthen dogs’ nervous system: tryptophan, an amino acid, in bananas benefits a dog’s nervous system.
  • Produces white blood cells in dogs: vitamin B6 in Banana improves white blood cell production in dogs.

What are the harms of Bananas for Dogs?

The harm or adverse effects of bananas mainly occur when dogs eat too much of them. Bananas should be seen as treats rather than a part of a dog’s diet. The rule of thumb is to make sure treats do not exceed 10% of a dog’s daily consumption.

Issues that may arise from dogs eating too much banana include the following:

  • Weight gain
  • Elevated blood sugar levels
  • Diarrhea

Some dogs have allergic reactions to bananas, showing the following symptoms:

  • Itching
  • Digestive problems
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Coughing

Adverse effects for dogs with underlying health issues like diabetes or kidney problems could cause the following:

  • Disorientation
  • Weakness
  • Collapse

When Should a Dog Eat Bananas?

A dog should eat a banana at the following times:

  • The best times to give dogs bananas are listed below. Banana treats at bedtime could have a calming effect on dogs and alleviate stress and depression to enjoy better sleep.
  • Banana treats could serve as a pick-me-upper to restore a dog’s glucose levels after a lot of running outside.
  • The high fiber content of bananas can help dogs with gastrointestinal problems.
  • Dogs with anemia can also eat bananas.

How Many Bananas can a Dog Eat per Day?

A dog can eat one or fewer bananas per day, based on the dog’s weight.

The amount of bananas a dog can eat per day is essential because it could be the difference between bananas being healthy and harmful. Details are listed below.

  • The size of the dog determines the size of a healthy portion of a banana. Remember that any treat, including banana, should not be more than 10% of a dog’s daily calorie intake.
  • A medium-sized banana has about 100 calories. A large dog can eat one medium-sized banana per day.
  • Dogs need approximately 25-30 calories per pound of body weight. Based on body weight, large dog breeds can eat more bananas per day than medium, or small dog breeds.

Calculating a healthy portion of banana for a dog’s daily diet can be done as below:

As an example of a healthy banana portion calculation for dogs, a German Shepherd weighs 50 to 90 pounds. Its daily calorie requirement is 1250 to 2700. Therefore the total calories (10%) allowed for treats is 125 to 270, which is one-and-a-quarter to two-and-three-quarters medium-sized bananas. However, the calories of any other treats the dog eats during the day must be subtracted from the allowed amount of banana.

Another example of calculating a dog’s safe daily intake of bananas follows for a small dog.

A Chihuahua weighs only 4 to 6 pounds. The amount of calories small dog breeds require is 400 to 600. Thus, the total calories (10%) allowed for treats is 40 to 60, which is about half a medium-sized banana. The calories of any other treats the dog eats during a day must be subtracted from the allowed amount of banana.

Because we humans like to share our treats with our dogs, the safest amount of banana is about half a banana for a large dog and two or three slices of banana for smaller dogs without having to do the math. To learn what dogs can eat with what frequency and amount, read the related guide.

Which Nutrients in Bananas Benefit Dogs’ Health?

Bananas are packed with nutrients that benefit dogs’ health. The nutrients and benefits they provide are listed below:

  1. Potassium: Potassium is an electrolyte mineral essential for blood circulation, muscle activity, heart, and brain function of a dog. Potassium deficiency could cause Arrhythmia, which means irregular heartbeats. Potassium also limits the accumulation of cholesterol, fat, and other harmful substances to build up and cause hardening of the arteries — a condition that could lead to numerous health problems. The portion sizes suggested above will provide the daily potassium needs of a dog.
  2. Magnesium: Bananas are rich in magnesium, which improves the stability of nerve-cell and muscle membranes and promotes the secretion and functioning of hormones. Furthermore, magnesium forms the mineral structure of dogs’ teeth and bones.
  3. Vitamin C: Bananas are rich in vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant that helps reduce inflammation while promoting healthy aging in dogs. Vitamin C in bananas combats and prevents degenerative diseases, including all types of cancer.
  4. B vitamins: Bananas contain five essential B vitamins that boost a dog’s mood, generate glucose, promote red blood cell production, increase energy, protect eye health, and support brain function. They are vitamin B6, riboflavin, folate, pantothenic acid, and niacin.
  5. Biotin: Bananas are packed with biotin, also referred to as Vitamin B7. This B complex vitamin maintains a dog’s healthy skin and a bright, shiny coat. Biotin also supports the healthy functioning of the cardiovascular, digestive, nerve, and metabolic systems of dogs.
  6. Fiber: As a good fiber source, bananas help dogs with vomiting or diarrhea issues. The fiber in bananas absorbs excess water to aid in bowel regularity. Additional health benefits of fiber include producing healthy pH levels in the intestines to inhibit undesirable bacteria growth in the dog’s gut.
  7. Carbohydrates: The carbohydrates in bananas fuel the dog’s body, making a banana snack the perfect energy booster after a lot of exercise. Carbohydrates restore the dog’s glucose levels required for strength.
  8. Amino Acids: Amino acids are essential in a dog’s diet because they are the building blocks for multiple biologically active proteins and compounds.

Which Nutrients in Bananas Can Harm a Dogs’ Health?

The nutrients in bananas that can harm dogs might be the same as healthy nutrients — it all lies in the need for moderation. The potentially harmful and nutritional value of bananas for dogs and examples are listed below:

  1. Sugar: The only nutrient in bananas that has no health value for dogs is sugar. The sugar content of a medium banana is about 14 grams, which is high for dogs. It will cause weight gain and tooth decay in a dog.
  2. Fiber: Fiber is healthy, but too much could cause either constipation or diarrhea in dogs. Fiber soaks up fluids like water, and if the dog does not drink enough water, excess fiber can cause constipation. In contrast, a dog that consumes a lot of water might develop diarrhea.
  3. Amino acids: Too many are speculated to cause headaches in dogs. More studies are necessary, but in humans, too many amino acids cause dilated blood vessels that cause headaches, and some suggest the same happens to dogs.
  4. Potassium: Too much potassium in a dog’s bloodstream can cause Hyperkalemia, which is a condition that affects the heart, and it could lead to severe complications.

Can Bananas Affect Dogs’ Mood?

Like in humans, bananas can affect a dog’s mood. What is there in bananas that can improve a dog’s mood?

Bananas contain the protein tryptophan, which is converted into serotonin by the dog’s body. Serotonin is a well-known hormone that causes dogs to feel relaxed, happier, and in a better mood.

Vitamin B6 also adds a reason for bananas being called mood food for dogs. It produces neurohormones like norepinephrine which plays an essential role in a dog’s mood.

Can Puppies Eat Bananas?

Yes, puppies can eat bananas. It is a nutritious and tasty treat for pups, but it must be given in moderation. For proper development and growth, puppies have specific nutritional needs. Bananas are high in carbohydrates and sugar, both of which could disturb the undeveloped digestive system of a puppy.

Puppies of all breeds can eat bananas in small quantities. It is a good idea to mash the banana and put it in or on a toy for the puppy to lick off to slow down ingestion.

Can Older Dogs Eat Bananas?

Older dogs can eat bananas; in fact, it is a healthy choice of treat. Dogs’ bodies naturally manufacture Vitamin C. However, as they age, their systems’ ability to produce Vitamin C is diminished. For that reason, a daily banana treat can benefit any aging dog.

Another reason that makes bananas a brilliant and healthy choice for older dogs is their low cholesterol content and multiple nutrients that can support the dog’s health as it ages.

Should Different Dog Breeds Eat Different Amounts of Banana?

Yes, different dog breeds should eat different amounts of bananas. However, it is not the breed but the breed’s size that determines how much banana a dog should eat per day. Puppies, small breeds, large breeds, pregnant and aging dogs need varying amounts of nutritional content in their diets, and the same applies to bananas.

According to general rules, toy and small breeds should not eat more than three small pieces of banana per day and large and medium dog breeds only half a banana — in slices.

The breeds listed below are examples of large dogs that can eat more than one banana per day:

  1. Labrador Retrievers weigh between 55 and 80 pounds
  2. German Shepherds weigh between 50 and 90 pounds

The following are examples of medium-sized dogs that can eat about half of a medium banana per day

  1. Basset Hounds weigh between 40 and 60 pounds
  2. Siberian Huskies weigh between 35 and 60 pounds

The following are examples of small breeds that can eat only 1 to 3 slices of banana per day:

  1. Yorkshire Terriers weigh between 4 and 6 pounds
  2. Chihuahuas weigh between 4 and 6 pounds

Are Bananas more beneficial for some dog breeds?

No, bananas are equally beneficial for all breeds of dogs.

Are Bananas less beneficial for some dog breeds?

No, bananas are equally beneficial for all breeds of dogs.

Which Banana Recipes and Parts can be eaten safely by Dogs?

Keeping moderation in mind, dogs can enjoy banana treats in many forms, including the following:

  • Fresh banana — Dogs can eat fresh bananas in amounts based on their size. Eating large chunks could cause digestive problems. It is safer to mash or slice the bananas.
  • Bananas chips — Most dogs love the crunch of banana chips. Check the ingredients of store-bought chips or make the chips at home to ensure only safe ingredients are used.
  • Frozen banana — After giving a dog a few fresh banana slices, slice the rest and freeze it for treats on a hot day.
  • Mashed banana — Smear some mashed banana on a lick mat or a Kong to make the treat last longer.

Which parts of the banana can dogs eat?

Dogs can safely eat only one of the three parts of bananas safely. The three parts of a banana are the stem, the peel, and the soft fruit. Although the peels and stems are not toxic, they are hard to digest. Therefore, sticking to the soft fruit for dog treats is the safest route. However, the peels of bananas are healthy, and by chopping them in a food processor it could be incorporated in dog treat recipes in small amounts.

Can Dogs Eat Frozen Bananas Safely?

Yes, dogs can eat frozen bananas safely. Bananas are reportedly one of the most nutritional fruits for dogs. Experts suggest dog owners provide natural vitamins and healthy antioxidants in fresh fruit instead of store-bought treats. One of the easiest ways to always have a healthy snack for dogs is by freezing banana slices.

The Journal of Pharmacognosy and Phytochemistry published a study that indicates that, in dogs, bananas play a significant role in suppressing acid secretion and lowering cholesterol. The low sodium and cholesterol levels make banana treats healthier than any “human snacks.”

However, diabetic dogs and those with issues related to high blood sugar should not eat bananas at all unless approved by a veterinarian.

Can dogs eat Banana Peels safely?

No, dogs cannot eat banana peels safely. Although banana peels are not toxic, pesticide residue could harm a dog.

  • The fibrous content of the banana skins causes digestive problems.
  • Banana peels can cause blockages in the intestines, vomiting, and diarrhea.

However, banana peels are packed with high-value antioxidant phytochemicals that promote health by neutralizing free radicals, removing their damage-creating powers. Small quantities of liquidized banana peels can be added to recipes for dog treats.

Can dogs eat Banana Nut Muffins safely?

Yes and no. Generally, only peanuts and roasted chestnuts are safe to put in banana muffins or any other dog food; however, it is only safe for healthy dogs. Most other nuts could cause problems, while some are even toxic for dogs.

Avoid adding nuts to bananas or any other treat for dogs with the following health issues:

  • Urinary Tract Issues — Any type of nuts, even the safe ones, can exacerbate the problem.
  • Sensitive Stomachs — The richness of all nuts make them unsafe for dogs with stomach problems.
  • Pancreatitis — The fat content of all nuts makes them dangerous for dogs with pancreatitis.
  • Small Dogs — Whole nuts could cause small dogs to choke, or they can cause intestinal obstructions.
  • Obese Dogs — The fat content of nuts make them all undesirable for overweight dogs.

Can dogs eat Banana Bread safely?

Yes and no. Whether banana bread is safe for dogs depends on the other ingredients in the recipe. Avoiding the following ingredients can make banana bread a safe treat for dogs:

  • Sugar — Adding sugar can cause weight problems and tooth decay.
  • Raisins — Never add raisins to banana bread or any other dog treats because they are toxic enough to cause a dog’s death.
  • Wheat and grains — Avoid these ingredients for dogs with grain sensitivities or wheat allergies.

Can dogs eat Banana Cake safely?

When it comes to banana cake, the same risks as banana bread apply.

Can dogs eat Fried Bananas safely?

Yes, dogs can eat fried bananas, but it is not desirable. The fat content of two medium-sized fresh, raw bananas is only about one gram.

  • A small portion of fried bananas has as much as 14 grams of fat.
  • Fried bananas should not be given to dogs with weight or obesity issues.

Can dogs eat Dried Bananas safely?

Yes, dried bananas are safe for dogs to eat. However, the following should be noted:

  • Store-bought dried bananas typically contain added preservatives and high levels of sugar, both harmful for dogs.
  • Dog owners would be wise to dehydrate banana slices themselves in an oven or dehydrator.

Can dogs eat Banana Chips safely?

Yes, dogs can eat banana chips safely, but some versions may not be very healthy. Like all processed foods, banana chips could do more harm than good for the following reasons:

  • Starch and sodium — Banana chips bought from supermarkets have either salt or sugar added — both harmful for dogs.
  • Harmful additives — Store-bought banana chips typically contain preservatives and chemical additives that increase the fat content.
  • No additives — If choosing commercially offered banana chips, check the ingredients to ensure they are all-natural.

Can dogs eat Banana Baby Food safely?

Yes, dogs can eat banana baby food safely, but only under certain circumstances. The dietary needs of dogs differ from those of humans. However, banana baby food might help a dog get over gastrointestinal distress. A veterinarian might advise dog owners to give dogs baby food if they show any of the following signs:

  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Anorexia due to refusal to eat
  • Dehydration due to refusal to drink water
  • Constipation

Can dogs eat Banana Pudding safely?

Yes and no. Whether banana bread is safe for dogs depends on the other ingredients in the recipe. Keep in mind that the following ingredients can make banana pudding an unsafe treat for dogs:

  • Sugar — Adding sugar can cause weight problems and tooth decay.
  • Wheat and grains — Avoid these ingredients for dogs with grain sensitivities or wheat allergies.

Which Dog Food Brands Add Bananas to their Dog Foods?

Some dog food manufacturers include bananas in their recipes for making dog foods.

  1. Wagg Treat Peanut Butter and Banana Cookies: Oven-baked cookies enriched with Minerals and Vitamins and free of Palm Oil. These cookies contain 4% Banana and 4% Peanut butter, along with Wheat, Whey Powder, Chicken Meal, Chicken Fat, Glycerine, and Gelatine.
  2. Wholesome Pride Banana Bites: This manufacturer does not list the percentage of banana content on their labels. However, they declare that their Banana Bites contain only two all-natural ingredients, bananas, and coconut oil.

Can Eating Bananas Cause Diseases in Dogs?

No, bananas in moderation cannot cause diseases in dogs. After eating bananas, any health problems dogs could experience involve overeating or eating large chunks of bananas. The following are common adverse health issues in dogs after eating bananas:

  • The high levels of potassium in bananas could adversely affect dogs with existing diabetes or kidney problems. Symptoms include disorientation, weakness, and collapse.
  • Too many bananas can cause an upset stomach in dogs of all sizes and any age.
  • The high sugar content in bananas can cause tooth decay and excessive weight in dogs.
  • Dogs prone to allergies might experience reactions that include coughing, sneezing, hives, itching, or breathing problems.

Can Dogs Eat Bananas When They are Sick?

Yes, bananas, in moderation, promote overall health in dogs. A banana treat is a healthy, low-calorie, fat-free, and low cholesterol treat with loads of nutrients.

Can An Anemic Dog Eat Bananas?

Yes, anemic dogs may eat bananas. Anemia is a condition that follows a decrease in hemoglobin or red blood cells. It causes fatigue and breath shortness. The high iron content of bananas can stimulate hemoglobin production to fight anemia.

Can Dogs With Kidney Disease Eat Bananas?

With a veterinarian’s consent, small amounts of bananas would be safe for a dog with kidney disease. Take care, though, because too much can overload the dog’s blood with potassium, which could be dangerous. Also, kidney failure could be aggravated by the phosphorus in bananas.

Can Dogs Eat Bananas to Help With Diarrhea?

Yes and no. While bananas are often recommended for dogs with diarrhea, too much could exacerbate the problem. The fiber in bananas helps move the food through the intestines, absorbing the fluids to prevent diarrhea. However, if the dog does not drink enough water, the high-fiber content could cause constipation. In contrast, if the dog drinks too much water, the fiber cannot absorb enough fluid, and diarrhea follows.

Can a Nursing Dog Eat Bananas?

Yes, a nursing dog can eat bananas, but only a few grams per day. The health benefits of bananas for nursing dogs include Vitamin C and B6. The magnesium in bananas helps with bone growth and aids the body’s vitamin and protein absorption.

What Else can Dogs Eat along with Bananas?

There are many ‘human foods’ that dogs can eat safely, along with bananas. The list contains some examples:

1. Blueberries

Blueberries brim with healthy nutrients. They contain various vitamins that boost a dog’s immune system, promote increased bone density, quality of nerves, muscles, coat, and skin, and reduce inflammation.

  • The various minerals in blueberries aid the body in the efficient use of vitamins and promote bone growth.
  • Phytochemicals in blueberries reduce chronic diseases and inflammation and fight cancer.
  • The antioxidant properties of blueberries fight free radicals that cause molecular and cellular damage, thereby slowing down the dog’s aging process.

To learn more things about blueberries and dogs, read the related “Can Dogs Eat Blueberries?” guideline.

2. Walnuts

Walnuts should not be given to dogs or added to the recipes of treats. They could contain poisonous Juglone or toxic Mycotoxins that cause seizures or convulsions in dogs.

Read the related “Can Dogs Eat Walnuts Safely?” guideline to learn more about Walnuts and dogs.

2. Cherry

Care should be taken when giving dogs cherries. The high sugar content can complicate diabetes in dogs or cause obesity and stomach upset. Most dangerous, though, is the risk of cyanide poisoning if they ingest the hard cyanogenic glycoside containing pit in the fruit’s center.

3. Oatmeal

Oatmeal has many health benefits for dogs. It has high levels of fiber and contains many minerals, antioxidants, and nutrients. Oatmeal is also a suitable substitute for dogs showing sensitivities to grains or wheat. It is best to prepare it with water instead of milk because dogs often have problems breaking down lactose.

Read the related “Can Dogs Eat Oatmeal?” guideline to learn more about Oatmeal and dogs.

Which Dog Treat recipes contain bananas?

There are numerous recipes available for making dog treats containing bananas. The following three-ingredient combination recipes are widely available:

The main ingredient is banana mixed with peanut butter and coconut oil for frozen treats or peanut butter and oats to make baked cookies. The third option is banana slices frozen in watermelon or pineapple juice mixed with plain yogurt.

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Sarah Brady

Sarah Brady is an animal lover and the proud dog-mom of a Golden Retriever named Brody and an Italian Greyhound named Jessup. Unfortunately, Jessup developed serious allergies to many different types of dog foods and ingredients when she was just a puppy. Meanwhile, Brody could eat seemingly anything and carry on as healthy as could be. Sarah spent hours of time researching and testing different foods and brands before finding something that worked for little Jessup. She wants Dog Food Care to simplify this experience for future dog-parents who face food allergy or tolerance issues of their own.