Can Dogs Eat Bananas?
If you want your dog to be as healthy and happy as possible (and let’s face it, who doesn’t?), then chances are that you want to feed them the best diet possible too.
Of course, it’s not quite that simple. While some fruits and vegetables are perfectly fine for dogs and will indeed provide all the same benefits that they provide us with, others can actually be quite dangerous for your pup.
So, the question then is: can dogs eat bananas?
ARE BANANAS SAFE FOR DOGS – THE SHORT VERSION
The quick answer to this question is yes, dogs can eat bananas – but only in small quantities.
Bananas are not bad for dogs, per se, and don’t contain any harmful substances. That said, there are still good reasons to be careful.
The problem with bananas is that – like any fruit – they are rich in sugar. Sugar itself is not necessarily a problem for dogs, but it can become a problem when eaten in large amounts.
That because sugar is actually a very harmful substance to dogs and humans. It is addictive, and it also causes damage to the nerves, causes inflammation, and spikes blood sugar.
What you need to remember is that a dog is very small compared to a human. Even a big dog is small compared to a human! Thus, if they eat bananas, they will gain a lot more sugar than if we ate bananas. It’s like you’re giving your dog a whole bunch of bananas every time that you have one!
This can be a problem then as it can spike the blood sugar to a drastic degree. This then in turn causes a surge of insulin, which causes the body to absorb that sugar ready to store or to use. If you keep repeating this process, things get worse still: eventually the body can learn to adapt to the constant spikes in sugar and will eventually stop producing insulin altogether. This then leaves the animal unable to utilize any sugar in future and is what causes diabetes.
Diabetes is a common issue for dogs and can lead to blindness and a host of other issues as the sugar builds up in the blood with nowhere to go. If your dog does have diabetes, then it would be best to avoid sugary foods such as bananas and instead opt for a diabetic dog food option. The other things to remember as a dog owner is that dogs aren’t naturally likely to encounter anywhere near as much sugar in their diet as humans. Humans in fact would have survived on a large number of nuts and fruits during their early evolution, whereas dogs who are descended from wolves have a naturally almost carnivorous diet.
Another potential issue with bananas for dogs is that they are very high in fiber. While fiber is good for dogs and humans alike, dogs don’t need as much as humans as their digestion works very differently. Thus, if a dog gets too much fiber, it can actually lead to a host of problems – in particular, it is likely to cause constipation or diarrhea.
Again, for these reasons it is best to give a dog bananas only in small quantities and to keep them as a treat.
HEALTH BENEFITS OF BANANAS
That said, there are some positives of bananas for dogs as well, which is why some owners may still choose to share this type of fruit with their pets.
For one, bananas are a great pick-me-up that are high in energy. Bananas contain lots of simple carbs that are readily available for the body to turn into fuel. At the same time, they also contain vitamin B6 which actually helps the body to absorb and use sugar. On top of that, they are also rich in vitamin C. Vitamin C is able to be converted in the body to serotonin, which is often referred to as the ‘feel good hormone’. That in turn means that it can leave dogs feeling happy and also sleeping better – seeing as serotonin in turn will be converted to melatonin.
On top of all that, vitamin C is also obviously very good for the immune system and for helping to prevent colds and flus.
Bananas are a great source of potassium meaning that they can help to prevent cramping and keep your dogs energetic and happy. They are also high in manganese, biotin, and copper.
Bananas are also a tasty and soft food for dogs, being very easy to share. You can use this as a treat that’s a little healthier than a pure snack, or as a way to encourage a dog to eat a tablet that perhaps it doesn’t normally like to.
This is another useful weapon in your arsenal!