Bananas, with their soft, smooth interior fruit and built-in handy wrappers, are a yummy and portable snack perfect for breakfast or munching on the go. Bananas are delicious and great for people, but can dogs eat bananas, too?
Bananas are a very ancient fruit, dating back to 500 BC. There are actually over 1,000 types of bananas grown in 150 countries around the world. Surprisingly, bananas aren’t actually fruit! Technically, they’re herbs, and the plants they are grown on are on considered to be “high herbs,” not trees.
One popular theory is that the “Forbidden Fruit” eaten by Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden might not have been an apple, but may have been a banana because of the height of the fruit and the size of banana leaves.
Good news. Not only are bananas delicious for people, bananas are also a great and healthy snack to share with your pup. “Dogs can eat bananas as a snack in conjunction with eating a complete and balanced commercial diet,” says Heather Loenser DVM, the Senior Veterinary Officer at the American Animal Hospital Association. “Like anything, it’s about moderation.” Dr. Loesner adds that dogs shouldn’t eat a diet of just bananas, but bananas for dogs are fine as a snack option.
Although it’s okay to share the interior fruit of bananas with your dog, it’s best to avoid feeding your pup any banana peels. While banana peels aren’t toxic to dogs, they can be very hard for dogs to digest. Banana peels can, however, be used to soothe bug bites on dogs. Rubbing the inside of the banana peel skin onto inflamed and itchy skin can be very soothing.
When it comes to bananas for dogs and portion size, you shouldn’t give most dogs a whole banana. A whole banana is actually bigger than most dogs’ heads! Give your dog just a few slices of banana. Bananas, like all foods, may cause gastric upset in some dogs. So, feed your dog just a slice or two at first to make sure it’s not causing any tummy issues.
Bananas are a great, heart-healthy treat for both dogs and people — they’re a good source of vitamin C, potassium, fiber and vitamin B6. Bananas are low in sodium, cholesterol and fat. Like many other fruits, they do contain a fair amount of sugar, so it’s important not to give your dog too many bananas.
Because bananas are safe for dogs, some commercially manufactured treats and pup-cakes feature bananas. Here are a few homemade treats featuring bananas that your dog might enjoy:
Sassafras Lowrey is an award-winning author. Her novels have been honored by organizations ranging from the Lambda Literary Foundation to the American Library Association. Sassafras is a Certified Trick Dog Instructor, and assists with dog agility classes. Sassafras lives and writes in Brooklyn with her partner, a senior Chihuahua mix, a rescued Shepherd mix and a Newfoundland puppy, along with two bossy cats and a semi-feral kitten. Learn more at sassafraslowrey.com.
Thumbnail: Photography by Ivanova N / Shutterstock.
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