Dogs are quite inquisitive about what their humans eat. However, not every human food is healthy for dogs. Considering the benefits of bananas, is it really good for our canine companions? This is the most common question asked by every pet parent at least once. For your information, dogs really like bananas. But how you feed it to your dogs is where the trick lies.
Fruits are one of the best snack options for any dog and banana is no exception. It is a rich source of vitamin C, vitamin B6, potassium, magnesium. Bananas also have fibre that improves the overall digestion of dogs.
If this superfood is packed with such goodness, why is it important to give this fruit to your dog in limited quantities? Well, that is because of the unwanted sugar and carbs, which you definitely do not want your dog to consume in large quantities. The best way to include bananas in a dog’s diet is by feeding it as a treat.
Benefits of Bananas
We all want our furry friends to live as long as possible and have a healthy lifespan. This vitamin-rich food offers innumerable health benefits and helps in keeping them fit. Some of the advantages of having bananas are –
- Bone Strength – Magnesium in bananas promotes bone growth and potassium helps in reducing the loss of calcium from bones.
- Muscle strength and nourishmment – Banana is a superfood for dogs that are active and involved in daily exercises. It has magnesium that is very important to nourish muscles and give them strength.
- Controlled Blood Pressure – Potassium and vitamin B6 are the main components that regulate the blood flow across the body. Maintaining balanced blood pressure is vital for the functioning of a dog’s heart.
- Surged Immunity – Rich in vitamin-C, bananas help dogs in fighting sickness. The antioxidants boost resistance to viruses and bacterias and help the body heal quickly.
- Improved Brain Function – A dog’s brain responds really well when given vitamin B6. It not only stimulates their brain but also makes it sharp and enhances its cognitive capabilities.
- Better Digestion – The fibres present in bananas are quite good for a healthy digestive system and regular bowel movements.
Drawbacks of Bananas
There are endless health benefits of giving bananas to your dogs who would definitely be tempted by its great taste and smell. But excess of everything is bad and so is a banana for your canine. A few reasons why you should resist feeding your dogs this fruit:
- Diabetes – Banana naturally contains three kinds of sugar that prove to be unhealthy for dogs. Obviously, they are harmful only when taken in abundance, but why take the risk.
- Obesity – Surplus sugar in bananas eventually causes obesity if frequently eaten in large amounts. Less active dogs are likely to get affected by this easily.
- Constipation – A large amount of fibre retained by eating bananas can cause indigestion, constipation and other gastrointestinal disorders.
- Allergies – Your dog may be allergic to Bananas. How will you know this? Watch out for swellings, constant sneezing or coughing, breathing problems and rush to the vet immediately, if necessary.
- Hyperkalemia – Dogs generally get this disease due to increased potassium levels in the bloodstream. This eventually gets serious and can cause cardiac arrest and other heart issues.
Will Banana Peels Work for Dogs?
Banana peels contain way more fibre than bananas which makes it quite tough for the body to digest. Dogs may feel nauseated or even vomit after eating banana peels. They may get bad constipation or even severe blockage in the intestine. Monitor your pet closely if they ever eat peels by mistake. You can even consult a vet if needed.
How much is too much?
If given in moderation, bananas prove to be one of the best treats for your dogs – healthy, tasty and pocket-friendly. But make sure it is not a part of their balanced diet and fed in abundance. Half of a regular-sized banana is sufficient for a medium to large-sized dog every day. For small pups and toy breeds, two to three small pieces of banana are adequate each day. The amount, however, is not fixed. Certain breeds can be fed depending on the activity they do on a daily basis. If your breed follows a consistent exercise regime, slightly increasing their dose will not harm.
If you don’t know for sure whether your dog has had too many bananas, observe their bowel movement. Accidental and uncontrolled consumption of excessive bananas may lead to certain signs of restlessness and pain. The side effects may result in vomiting and diarrhoea. The dog may also feel disoriented and eventually collapse out of weakness. Be vigilant of symptoms like whining, dilating pupils, discomfort and contact your vet immediately if needed.
Pet-Friendly Ways to have Bananas
There are so many products in the market that cater to the nutritional value provided by a banana. However, making something healthy at home for your pets is always a good idea. The Internet is full of DIYs on how to treat your dogs with bananas. Some of the best and easy ways are –
- Frozen bananas – This one is the easiest of all. Freeze the banana, peel it off and then cut it into small pieces. Your perfect and refreshing summer treat is ready.
- Mashed bananas – Another simple way is to just mash up a banana in regular dog food once in a while. Your dog may get surprised by the sweet flavour. Make sure you keep a check on the portions.
- Baked cookies – Take an ordinary cookie recipe, remove the sugar and chocolate ingredients with banana. Ta-da! Freshly baked banana cookies are ready for your dog.
- Toy full of bananas – This one is the best for the dog’s mental stimulation. Just stuff a piece of banana in your dog’s toy and let them play with it. Other fun products to experiment with bananas are yoghurt and peanut butter.
So now that you have your answers, run your imaginations wild and let your pooches go bananas!