Can Dogs Eat Bananas, Is It Safe?

It is common knowledge that dogs are not suppose to eat people food.  The problem with that statement is that dog food is made out of the same foods people eat.  Therefore, the statement is misleading.  It is true that most dog foods are specifically designed to meet the nutritional needs of dogs, and that there are foods that are very harmful to dogs.  There are, however, many human foods that your dog can enjoy with you, and one of those is indeed the banana.

Tell me about bananas.

Bananas are a staple fruit that most people have on hand in their kitchens.  The popularity of bananas stems from their inexpensive price and ease of access.  You can purchase a banana at any grocery store and most convenience stores.  This native plant of Indonesia, Malaysia, and Australia was first domesticated in Papua New Guinea.  Its tasty flesh soon made it a coveted crop.  It was available in select areas in the Mediterranean by the first millennium AD, and made its way to the Americas in the 16th century.  Today, there are more than 43 million tons of bananas consumed worldwide.

Bananas and dogs

As it is the most popular fruit in the world, it is natural that we would want to share this treat with our canine companions.  The good news is that you can!  The bananas light, velvety flesh contains copious amounts of potassium, B6, manganese, amino acids, and fiber.  Bananas are a power house of nutrition which is often used by trainers as a treat for working dogs.  Their high levels of natural sugars can help a tired dog recover energy quickly, and their electrolyte load helps replenish a dehydrated animal.

Bananas are known to be soothing and gentle on the stomach and digestive tract of humans and dogs.  Often, veterinarians will prescribe a diet containing bananas for animals suffering from GI disturbances.  The enzymes contained within the fruit are known to have an antispasmodic effect on the colon of dogs, and bananas are an affective antacid for when your dogs belly is in knots from eating something they shouldn’t have.  They are also very useful for elderly dogs that might not be able to chew as they once could due to their distinctive soft texture.

Of course, you can offer your dog a bite of your banana the next time you are eating one, but there are better ways to offer this treat to your friend.  When mixed with peanut butter, bananas provide a boost of protein along with the bananas exceptional nutrition.  This sticky concoction can them be placed within a treat ball which your dog will have wonderful time trying to dig out.  You also can mix bananas, peanut butter and oats into a baked cookie which you can feed as a treat.  Just remember to keep the consumption of bananas within moderation.  The ingestion of too many of the fruit can cause loose stools, and potassium, although beneficial in small amounts, is harmful at large doses.

Dogs and humans share a long history of mutual trust.  They are the first animals that we domesticated, and the ones with which we have the deepest bond.  We share our lives with them and it is our nature to want to share our food with them as well.  You have to remember to do your research before feeding anything to your animal.  Although there are foods that are good for dogs, some are poison.  Do not assume that just because you can eat something then your dog can as well.  Despite our bond, dogs and humans are still separate species that require different nutritional needs.

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