If you are wondering whether you can share the delicious bananas you have on hand with your dog, the answer is yes. Bananas are actually a healthy treat for most dogs, and they can even help with diarrhea and other mild gastrointestinal issues. This means that the next time your pet looks longingly at the banana you are slicing for your cereal, you can feel free to share it.
Health Benefits of Bananas in Dogs
For the same reasons bananas make good snacks for people, they make good snacks for dogs. They are packed with nutrients, like vitamin B6, vitamin C, potassium and manganese, and provide lots of dietary fiber, which helps with regulating bowel movements, and natural sugars, which keep energy levels high.
In addition to providing many nutritional benefits to healthy dogs, bananas can help ease mild diarrhea. They contain high levels of pectin, a type of soluble fiber that absorbs liquid in the gastrointestinal tract, and inulin, a type of fiber that encourages the growth of healthy gut bacteria. Also, the potassium in bananas helps to replace lost electrolytes.
Feeding Bananas to Your Dog, The Right Way:
If you decide to give your dog a piece of banana, make sure to remove the peel first. While the peel is not toxic to dogs, it can present a choking hazard. Also, if you have a dog that tends to swallow food whole instead of chewing it, consider mashing the banana or cutting it into tiny pieces before feeding it to your pet.
When introducing bananas to your dog’s diet, start slowly. Give the dog only a tiny piece at first, and if the pet develops constipation, vomiting, diarrhea or other problems, remove bananas from the animal’s diet. If after a few days, the dog seems to be tolerating the fruit, you can continue giving the pet small amounts every few days.
Ideally, you want to feed only one to two small pieces per week, but you can offer bananas more often if you wish. For a large dog, feeding one banana segment of no longer than an inch once per day is appropriate.
What Happens if Your Dog Eats Too Much Banana?
Bananas, like most foods, are best enjoyed in moderation. If you give your dog too much banana, the pet may become constipated. Also, bananas are rich in potassium, and too much of this nutrient can cause heart issues and other problems.
It is important to note, however, that a healthy dog would have to eat a very large amount of banana to overdose on potassium. To be safe, check with your veterinarian before feeding bananas to your pet if the animal has a known heart problem. This is especially important if you have a very small dog with severe heart issues.