Fresh bananas are nutritious and delicious for dogs
Americans eat a lot of bananas. According to the USDA, in 2018 each American ate an average of 14 pounds of bananas–that’s over 50 bananas in one year! But can dogs eat bananas? Absolutely. Bananas are a great treat for your pooch.
Unlike many other fruits, which have components that can be toxic to dogs, bananas are good for dogs and are high in potassium, Vitamin B6, and Vitamin C. As with any treats, dogs should only eat bananas in moderation. Bananas are a great low-calorie treat and a good source of potassium, but they are also high in sugar and should not be implemented as part of your dog’s main diet.
Are bananas ‘appealing‘ to dogs?
Pardon the pun, but dogs, just like their humans, have food preferences. Bananas might not be a hit with your dog’s taste buds. They may just simply not like the taste of bananas. However, giving your pup either small slices of banana or banana pieces is ideal when first introducing this fruit. As mentioned above, be mindful that pieces of banana, however small, contain large amounts of sugar, which can be very harmful to a dog’s digestive system. Therefore, moderation is key. In the right amounts, bananas can boost energy levels for dogs as a form of slow-release energy, just like they do for humans.
Can dogs be allergic to bananas?
Some dogs have a food sensitivity or allergy to bananas. As with any new food, introduce your pup slowly with small pieces of the fruit, and watch for signs like coughing, sneezing, difficulty breathing, itching, or hives. If you observe any of these symptoms, stop feeding your dog bananas and contact one of our online vets as soon as possible. They are available 24/7 and happy to give advice or write a prescription if you live in a state that allows it. If you notice a more serious reaction, you should take your dog to an emergency veterinary clinic immediately.
The benefits of bananas
Aside from being tasty, inexpensive, and easily accessible, bananas are an excellent source of essential vitamins and nutrients, including potassium, magnesium, and Biotin, which are important for your dog’s overall health. Bananas are also a great source of fiber and are low in fat and cholesterol, beating out packaged dog treats that may contain excessive fats or additives. The high fiber content in bananas also aids your dog’s digestive system, moving food through the intestinal tract and helping to resolve constipation, diarrhea, and blockages. Other vitamins and nutrients in bananas support healthy kidney and heart function, regulate fluid levels, and help muscle development.
Can dogs eat banana peels?
It is important to remove the banana peel before feeding a banana to your dog. Banana peels contain a lot of fiber that is harder to digest than the fiber contained within the actual banana fruit. Ingesting banana peel could also cause intestinal blockages in your dog, as the peel may have difficulty moving through the digestive system. If this happens and you become worried, then seek advice from one of our online vets immediately using the button below.
Is it generally ok for dogs to eat fruits and vegetables?
It’s not uncommon to want to spoil your dog by sharing table scraps or your favorite snack. After all, if it is safe for you to eat, it must be OK for them to eat, right? Not necessarily. Although many human foods are perfectly safe for dogs, some are unhealthy and even dangerous for your pooch. It’s important to learn which fruits and vegetables dogs can eat. Dogs digest food differently than humans do, and eating the wrong foods can lead to long-term health problems and, in extreme cases, even death. As carnivores, dogs have no real need for fruits and vegetables as part of their diet, but an occasional fruit or veggie as a treat is OK. Read on to find out which fruits and vegetables are OK for sharing in moderation and which should be avoided.
Fruits Dogs Can and Can’t Eat
Apples: Apples are a safe food for your pup. Apples are a healthy treat and a great source of Vitamin A and Vitamin C. They are also high in fiber, which has the beneficial properties of promoting bone growth. Apples are a wonderful treat for older dogs, as they are low in protein and fat, making them easy to digest, and can have an anti-inflammatory properties. Apple slices are the best form of apples for dogs. Make sure to remove the core and seeds before offering them to your pup.
Avocados: Dogs should not eat avocado. Although avocados are a healthy snack for humans, they are not safe for dogs. Avocados contain a toxin called percin, which can cause vomiting and diarrhea in dogs.
Blueberries: Dogs can eat blueberries. Blueberries can be used as a healthy alternative to store-bought treats. They are somewhat of a superfood for dogs, as they are rich in fiber and antioxidants, which help prevent cell damage in both humans and dogs and contribute to good digestive health.
Cranberries: Similar to bananas, cranberries are a safe treat for dogs in moderation. Cranberries, both dried and normal, make for a great treat; however, cranberries don’t appeal to some dogs due to their tart taste, and can also cause an upset stomach if consumed in high quantities.
Cantaloupe: Cantaloupe is great as an occasional treat for dogs. Cantaloupe is low in calories, packed with nutrients, and is a great source of hydration, given its high water content. As with cranberries, cantaloupe has a high sugar content and should be offered in moderation to avoid stomach upset in your pup.
Cherries: Dogs should not eat cherries. Cherry plants contain cyanide, which is toxic to dogs. Cyanide disrupts oxygen transport in dog’s blood cells. If you suspect that your dog has consumed cherries, be on the lookout for symptoms such as dilated pupils, red gums, and/or difficulty breathing, as these are potential signs of cyanide poisoning.
Vegetables dogs can and can’t eat
Asparagus: Although asparagus isn’t unsafe for dogs, it is best that they don’t eat it. Asparagus is too tough to be eaten raw and often loses nutrients when cooked. If you’re looking to feed your dog vegetables, it’s best to find another option.
Broccoli: Broccoli florets are a safe treat for dogs in moderation and in small quantities. Broccoli is a great source of nutrients, as it is low in fat and high in Vitamin C and fiber; however, broccoli contains isothiocyanates, which can cause gastric irritation in some dogs. It is important to note that broccoli stalks are a choking hazard for dogs, so if you plan to feed your dog broccoli, it is safest to do so in small quantities and to avoid giving your pup the stalk.
Brussel Sprouts: Brussel sprouts are a great source of nutrients and antioxidants for dogs; however, be forewarned that they are known to cause gas.
Carrots: Carrots are a good snack choice for your dog. Carrots are high in fiber and Vitamin A and can improve your pup’s oral health.
Celery: Celery is a superfood for dogs. Celery is high in Vitamins A, B, and C, and contains other nutrients that improve cardiovascular health and help fight cancer. As an added bonus, celery can also help to freshen your pup’s breath.
Green Beans: All types of green beans are safe for dogs to eat. Green beans are high in vitamins, minerals, and fiber. If you’re feeding green beans to your dog, low-salt or no-salt green beans are recommended.
Mushrooms: Mushrooms should be kept out of your pup’s diet. Of the 50,000 wild mushroom species in the world, only 50-100 are known to be toxic; however, the mushrooms that are toxic can severely hurt your dog and could even lead to death. It is better to be safe than sorry, so mushrooms should be kept out of your dog’s diet.
It’s hard to resist sharing our tasty treats with our favorite side-kicks, especially with those sweet faces looking longingly at us in anticipation, but it’s important to be sure that your treat is safe for your pooch. A healthy list of special treat recipes can be found here. By working with an online veterinarian, you can determine what foods you can and cannot share—and even what you should share, in certain instances—with your pup. Contact an online vet at TelePAWS today to discuss any dietary or nutritional concerns that you may have for your dog.
We’re here to help!
If you’d like professional advice on any particular food or treat mentioned in this article or would like nutritional/dietary advice for your pup, our online vets are available 24/7 to advise you and help you to make an informed decision. A low-cost consultation now could save you from much higher bills if you feed the wrong type of food to your beloved pet. Advice can vary from breed to breed, so it’s always better to be safe than sorry.