Can Dogs Eat Ripe Bananas? Are Green & Overripe Bananas Good For Dogs?

can dogs eat bananas

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Can dogs eat bananas? The short answer is yes, but it’s not quite that simple.

Bananas contain a lot of sugar, so they should only be given as an occasional treat and should not become an integral part of your dog’s diet. If your dog is eating bananas regularly, it could lead to health problems such as diarrhea.

So, is it safe to feed my dog bananas? How many bananas can my dog have? Can dogs eat green bananas? Are there any health benefits or side-effects?

We answered these and everything you need to know about feeding dogs bananas in this guide. Let’s dive right in!

Are Bananas Good For Dogs?

Several health benefits are associated with this delicious fruit.

But, is it beneficial to our dogs? Here is what the research says.

A study published in the Journal of Pharmacognosy and Phytochemistry revealed that in animals, bananas significantly help suppress acid secretion and lower cholesterol. The dietary fiber component in banana pulp was responsible for its cholesterol-lowering effect. So now you know bananas can help if your dog is having gastrointestinal problems.

Another recent animal study conducted by researchers at the University of Alabama found that the potassium found in this yummy yellow fruit made the animals less likely to accumulate fat, cholesterol, and other substances build up in the walls of their arteries. This is sometimes called “hardening of the arteries” and can lead to several problems in the body.

It looks like this popular tropical fruit is not only delicious and healthy for humans, but a dog can also benefit from its nutrient-packed components.

However, the benefits don’t stop here!


Benefits of Bananas For Dogs

The American Kennel Club (AKC) states that bananas are a good source of potassium, vitamin B6, and vitamin C. They also have magnesium, which can help dogs absorb other vitamins more efficiently and promote healthy bone growth.

Other common benefits include:

  • Potassium can support heart and kidney functions.
  • Great carbohydrate source
  • Bananas are known to reduce swelling, aid in weight loss, strengthen the nervous system, and help with the production of white blood cells, according to Laura Flores, a San Diego-based nutritionist.

Bananas have high beneficial properties that some veterinarians recommend it as a replacement for fatty or salty treats.

While bananas may seem like a great addition to your dog’s diet, you need to know how to feed them to your pooch, the drawbacks, and other important information, so don’t feed your pup a banana yet and keep reading!

health benefits of bananas on dogs

Possible Side Effects & Risks of Bananas For Dogs

Like with any food, you should only feed your dog bananas in moderation. Anything in excess can lead to problems.

Kerri Marshall, DVM, and chief veterinary officer for Trupanion Pet Insurance, says that “bananas aren’t toxic to pets. However, they are difficult to digest and can create a blockage if eaten whole or in large pieces.”

Overeating of bananas can cause the following side effects in dogs:

  • Bananas are also high in sugar. They should be fed in moderation.
  • Oveariting bananas can sometimes cause constipation.
  • Hyperkalemia (excessive levels of potassium in the bloodstream) can affect your Fido’s heart, in some cases leading to severe complications.
  • Overeating can cause diarrhea in dogs.

Dr. Marshall recommends monitoring for allergies, weight changes, and possible signs of a sensitive stomach. Remember to always speak with your veterinarian about any new addition to a dog’s diet.


How Many Bananas Should I Feed My Dog?

Your canine friend can safely enjoy a few slices of banana and will likely be perfectly fine.

Don’t overdo it, though. If you let your dog an entire banana may cause an upset stomach or digestive issues.

Bananas should be only used as treats, and they shouldn’t be part of your pup’s regular diet.

Medium and Large Dogs: 1/2 of a regular-sized banana per day (cut in slices)

Small and Toy Breeds: 1 to 3 small pieces of banana per day

If your dog is new to eating bananas or any snack for that matter, always start with smaller portions than what’s recommended to ensure he is okay, and you are not causing any stomach distress.


Green Bananas vs Ripe Bananas: Which One Should Give Fido?

There are two types of bananas, unripe (green bananas) and ripe (yellow). Did you know the ripening process changes the health benefits of a banana?

So, which one is the best option for your dog?

It depends on what nutritional benefit and taste you want to your furry companion to experience.

Dr. W. Jean Dodds, DVM, a graduate from the Ontario Veterinary College, wrote a great comparison post between feeding unripe versus ripe bananas to your dogs.

Let’s take a look at the comparison table below, and we’ll later explain why you would want to choose one over the other.

Green BananasRipe Bananas
Higher in resistant starchLower in sesistant starch
Lower in sugarHigher in sugar
Lower on the glycemic index Higher on the glycemic index
Not as easily digestible More easily digestible
Higher in micronutrients Lower in micronutrients
Lower antioxidant properties Higher antioxidant properties
Source: Dr. W. Jean Dodds, DVM

Why Green Bananas For Dogs

PROS: Green bananas have high resistant starch content and low sugar content. So, a dog suffering from Diabetes is better off eating a green banana. Unripe bananas have probiotic bacteria that help with good colon health and mineral absorption such as calcium and iron—basically, the resistant starch content functions as a prebiotic.

CONSToo much resistant starch can cause multiple health concerns in both people and animals such as bloating and gas due to the higher resistant starch content. Unripe bananas have low antioxidant levels because of these increases with the age of the banana.

Why Ripe Bananas

PROS: In the case of bananas and their antioxidant value, the riper, the better states Dr. W. Jean Dodds. Why you ask!

Antioxidants prevent cell damage known as “oxidative stress,” which can cause cancer, susceptibility to infections, obesity, degenerative diseases, and even heart disease.

Also, yellow bananas are easier to digest because the resistant starch changed to simple sugar.

Another great reason why to give your dog ripened bananas with brown splotches is that these bananas produce a substance called Tumor Necrosis Factor (TNF). This substance gives ripe bananas anti-cancer properties and the ability to combat the production and elaboration of abnormal cells in your body.

With more age and dark patches, the banana has a higher immunity enhancement quality.

CONS: The high sugar content makes ripe bananas snack dogs and people with Diabetes should avoid it. They are 8 percent starch and 91 percent sugar.

Their high glycemic index makes ripe bananas easy to digest, which causes blood glucose levels to spike rapidly. Some micronutrient is lost as the banana ages.

NOTE: When deciding what’s best for your dog, when in doubt, please always consult with your veterinarian.


Can Dogs Eat Bananas?

So, can dogs eat bananas? Generally, yes!

If you have gotten to this point in the article, you know there are some exceptions to dogs eating bananas. As you have seen, bananas are incredibly beneficial. However, they should be given in moderation.

When feeding a banana to your dog, take into account your dog’s health (i.e., food allergies, diabetes, etc.), stomach sensitivities, and diet requirements.

Bananas for dogs are excellent as a snack option, but make sure you understand the benefits and possible drawbacks.


Can Dogs Eat Green Bananas?

Can dogs eat unripe bananas, aka green bananas? Most people feed bananas to their dogs when they’re yellow and ripe, but green and unripe bananas may be safe to eat but your pup may experience bloating and gas due to their high resistant starch content. Plus, your dog might dislike its taste and texture. While unripe bananas have some benefits, we don’t advise feeding them to your dogs instead of ripe (yellow) bananas.

If you have any doubts about feeding your dog bananas, consult your vet.


Can Puppies Eat Bananas?

Puppies have specific nutritional diets to maintain growth and development properly. It’s best to get approval from your veterinarian before adding bananas to your puppy’s diet.

Bananas are a very high-carb fruit that contains sugar, which could potentially disturb your puppies’ underdevelop digestive system or make them less likely to eat proper meals.


Dog East Banana (Video)

Watch this cute Husky munching on a banana for the first time!


Top Ways to Feed Your Dog Banana

Here are some other ways your pooch can enjoy this tasty snack:

  1. Mash the banana and occasionally top his or her kibble with it.
  2. Stuff it into a Kong either frozen or unfrozen mashed banana. 
  3. On a hot summer day, freeze the whole banana, peel it, and slice it.
  4. Mix it into a little peanut butter or other pet-friendly human foods.
  5. Bake up your own special at-home banana treat

Alternatively, you can give Fido these Banana Bite chips or these Crunchy Dog banana treats by Nutro. They are both amazing!


DIY Banana Dog Treat

If your doggo is a true fan-ana of bananas, then these 3-ingredient home dog treat is the perfect recipe for your beloved friend!

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups gluten-free old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup natural peanut butter
  • 1 large ripe banana (or 2 medium bananas), smashed

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Blitz the old-Fashioned rolled oats in a blender until you have a fine flour, or, use oat flour instead. Set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, smash the peanut butter and ripe banana. And the oat flour and smash with a fork until the dough is thick and well combined. If it’s crumbly, add 2-4 Tablespoons more peanut butter and recombine. You want the dough to be firm, sticky, and pliable
  4. Roll dough into a thin slab, about ~1/4 inch thick, and cut into shapes with a dog bone cookie cutter. Alternatively, you can roll them into ~1 Tablespoon balls and flatten them with your hands for a simple circular cookie.
  5. Bake for ~15 minutes until lightly brown underneath. Allow to cool for 10-15 minutes before sampling or sharing with your pup!
  6. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks

Recipe Source: Flora & Vino


Nutritional Facts

If you are curious about the nutritional value of a Banana for dogs, here are the nutrition facts for bananas, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 1 medium banana (4.5 oz / 126 g)

Calories110   Calories from Fat 0 *Percent Daily Values (%DV) are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.
Amt per Serving%DV*Amt per Serving%DV*
Total Fat0g0%Total Carbohydrate 30g10%
Cholesterol0mg0%Dietary Fiber 3g12%
Sodium0mg0%Sugars 19g
Potassium450mg13%Protein 1g
Vitamin A2%Calcium0%
Vitamin C15%Iron2%
Source: U.S. Food and Drug Administration.


Dog & Bananas FAQs

Here are the answers to some of the most common questions we get about banana eating dogs.

Can Dogs Eat Banana Peels?

No, it’s not advised to give your dog banana peels! While banana peels aren’t toxic, the banana skin fibrous content makes it difficult for dogs to digest.

Banana peel is known to be a good source of certain biogenic amines. If eaten in excess, the high amounts of biogenic amines in the banana peel may have toxicological effects on your pup. On the other hand, banana peels may still have pesticide residue that was sprayed at banana groves during cultivation.

Other possible side effects that could occur when your dog eats banana peels include:

  • Banana peels can be a choking hazard.
  • May cause intestinal blockage.
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea

Just keep banana peels out of your dog’s reach. If your dog ate a banana peel by accident, don’t panic, it’s highly unlikely your dog will experience any life-threatening symptoms. They are not poisonous. However, if you notice any problems, visit your veterinarian as soon as possible.

The peel of a banana is reported to be rich in many high-value health-promoting antioxidant phytochemicals that act as antioxidants neutralizing free radicals and removing their power to create damage.


Can Dogs Eat Banana Chips?

It may be tempting to give your pooch banana chips, but not so fast!

Bananas chips then to be higher in starch and sodium (or sugar, depending on if you choose sweet or salty chips). They might not be as healthy for Fido, but you can give them a couple of bites of chips once in a while without worrying about side effects.

If you are planning to give your dog banana chips, pick up some all-natural banana chips (sans additional sugar or salt). If you can make your banana chips at home, that would be even better. Or just get banana chips made for dogs like this one.

Most banana chips you find at your local supermarket contain chemical additives and preservatives that help increase their fat content. Avoiding processed foods as much as possible is an excellent way to keep your pup happy and healthy.


Can Dogs Eat Banana Bread?

The answer here depends on the ingredients used to make the bread.

If your banana bread has high sugar content and raisins, then you need to beware. Raisins are fatally toxic for dogs, and dogs should avoid highly sugared foods. Some dogs may have wheat allergies or sensitivities to grains, so be on the lookout for that too.

The key here is to make sure all the ingredients in your banana bread are safe for dogs to consume. Banana bread in moderation is unlikely to harm your dog and given as a treat only.

Can Dogs Eat Overripe Bananas?

When the banana peel changes its color, develops brown spots, or turns completely black, it’s considered to be overripe. When this happens, the banana has converted almost all the starch to sugar and thus has gotten as sweet as it can before it spoils.

While humans can safely enjoy an overripe banana, we don’t advise feeding it to dogs. It’s mostly sugar and it could upset your dog’s stomach. You should feed overripe bananas to diabetic dogs.


Banana Alternatives

Can my dog eat bananas? Yes dogs can safely eat raw bananas, with moderation in mind, of course. Just make sure the banana is ripe and hasn’t gone bad.

If giving your dog bananas sounded great, wait until you read up about all these great life-changing dog food options.

Dog probiotics can be a life-changer for dogs suffering from digestive and other health problems. Heard about CBD? Although research about this product still small, many vets recommend CBD products for dogs.


Sources and References: [1] Journal of Pharmacognosy and Phytochemistry, [2] University of Alabama [3] Live Science, [4] W. Jean Dodds, DVM, [5] Oxford Academic, [6] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health

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