Humans and monkeys aren’t the only species that have a fondness for bananas—dogs love eating them too! Whether they’re drizzled with peanut butter or served straight out of the peel, bananas are generally safe and healthy for our canine friends to eat in moderation.
Banana Nutrition: Are Bananas Good For Dogs?
Bananas are packed with health benefits including potassium, vitamin B6, vitamin C, manganese, biotin, fiber, and copper, and they’re also low in cholesterol and sodium1.
Most dogs think bananas are pretty tasty. As with many types of fruit, bananas can be a nice, healthy alternative to most dog treats. This is because, although bananas are fairly high in natural sugar, they are less energy-dense than a doggie biscuit.
In addition to being a yummy fruit treat for dogs, bananas have a unique texture that allows us to use pieces of them as hidden-pill-delivery material when pups need medication, especially if we need to avoid high fat/high salt options like peanut butter or cream cheese.
Can Dogs Have Bananas Every Day?
Dogs can eat small quantities of banana every day, if you want to use this fruit as the staple treat in your dog’s diet. However, remember that all the treats your dog eats in a day should total to no more than 10% of their daily calorie intake.
A small piece (¼ of a 8–9” banana) provides about 30 kcal. Tiny dogs eat fewer calories per day than larger dogs, so a Chihuahua’s treat budget (in terms of calories) is going to be much smaller than a Labrador’s. Keep that in mind when you’re slicing up that banana.
Remember, bananas are not appropriate substitutes for your dog’s main complete and balanced diet. They are strictly treats.
Can Dogs Eat Banana Peels?
No. While banana peels aren’t considered to be a toxic food for dogs, the peels themselves are very difficult to digest. The dense and fibrous texture of the peel could lead to choking, gastrointestinal problems such as blockages within the GI system, or vomiting and diarrhea due to an upset stomach.
Although it might be fun to watch your clever collie find a way into the fruit, always peel the banana before offering it to any dog.
How To Add Bananas To Your Dog’s Diet
Some dogs love bananas enough to eat slices of it from your hand like it’s a dog biscuit or soft-baked treat. Others only enjoy bananas when you mix it in with other foods. And some dogs may despise bananas, no matter what form it comes in. For the non-banana haters, here are a few ideas for how to prepare a banana for your dog for a health treat they’ll love:
- Add mashed banana into your dog’s regular dry food.
- Drizzle all-natural (and sugar-free) peanut butter over slices of a ripe banana as a special treat (keep in mind that peanut butter will add calories).
- Freeze an entire banana, slice it, and offer it as a cooling treat on a hot day.
- Stuff a banana into a treat-holding toy and freeze.
- Blend a banana together with a bit of peanut butter and low-fat cheese and serve as a whipped snack (again, mind the calories).
- Create a banana-based dog treat from items in your kitchen, such as these popular peanut butter oatmeal banana dog treats. They include four ingredients: mashed banana, peanut butter, whole wheat flour, and old fashioned oats.
- Try this equally-simple pumpkin banana dog treat recipe, which uses pumpkin puree, mashed banana, eggs, and whole wheat flour.
- Make these banana “brownies” that would make the best occasional treat.
- Use half-slices of banana as a training treat in lieu of store bought treats.
- If you have a freeze drying or food dehydrator machine, freeze or dry banana slices for your dog. Dried bananas are great extra crunchy treats in moderation.
Bananas aren’t the only fruit your pooch can enjoy, though! Dogs can eat blueberries, too, which can become a healthy treat for their diet.
This article has been reviewed by Margo Hennett, DVM.
Margo Hennet, DVM, cVMA, and veterinarian at BARK is a canine nutrition, health, & wellness connoisseur. She has a combined 10 years of experience in clinical medicine, research, and education—that’s 70 dog years of know-how—and graduated from Colorado State University as a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine. She completed specialized training in internal medicine prior to working as a general practitioner in Colorado, has authored peer-reviewed publications and textbook chapters, holds certification in veterinary medical acupuncture, and is a member of the American Academy of Veterinary Nutrition and American Veterinary Medical Association.
1Harvard School of Public Health. (2021, July 6). Bananas. The Nutrition Source. Retrieved February 21, 2022, from https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/food-features/bananas/