Health & Wellness
You're feverishly chopping bananas for your post-workout smoothie when a slice rolls off the counter and lands at your dog's feet. Don't fear if your dog manages to eat the banana at lightning speed (as they normally do). Bananas are usually OK for dogs to snack on.
(Even though bananas are generally safe for dogs, always consult your vet before introducing a new food item to their diet.)
Bananas are low in cholesterol and calories and contain several nutrients, but don't expect them to change your dog's health significantly. While the following benefits are great to incorporate into your pup's diet, occasional slices here and there aren't enough to drastically improve their well-being:
• Potassium: boosts energy, maintains nerve and muscle health
• Fiber: promotes a healthy gut, helps dogs feel full
• Magnesium: supports bone, muscle and nerve health
Pro tip: Feeding your pup bananas can benefit you, too. Their sweet taste and texture make them great for hiding medications, so you can easily trick your dog into taking prescribed pills or supplements.
Treats, including bananas, should only make up 10% of your dog's total daily calories. Your veterinarian can help you determine proper portions based on your pet's specific needs.
As long as your vet approves, it's OK for your pup to eat this sweet, low-calorie treat every once in a while. Moderation is the key here, as bananas are high in sugar. Too much sugar in a pup's diet can lead to obesity, which can reduce your dog's lifespan and put them at risk for developing medical conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, arthritis and kidney disease. Sharing a few slices with your dog every once and a while is unlikely to cause a problem, though.
Banana's sticky nature may cause dental problems such as cavities, too. So keep this in mind when deciding how much banana you're willing to let your pup enjoy.
RELATED: Can dogs eat blueberries?
Banana peels aren't toxic, but they're harder to break down because they contain a lot of fiber. If your dog eats a banana peel, it may cause an upset stomach, which can lead to vomiting and diarrhea. Contact your veterinarian for advice if this happens.
Should you replace your dog's treat jar with a banana bundle? No — again, this treat is best shared in moderation. When it comes to snacking, offer them smaller, easily digestible pieces and keep the banana peel out of paws' reach.
You don't have to dive and wrestle your dog over a rogue banana slice. Bananas are a great now-and-again treat that your pet can enjoy safely (and happily).
We're confident that bananas aren't the only human food your dog would love to sink their teeth into (cue the drool). Check out our series “Can dogs eat ... ?” to learn more about which human foods are off-limits and what's fair game.