Can Puppies Eat Bananas?

By admin / March 5, 2017

can puppies eat bananas

Just as fruits offer plenty of wholesome nutrients to humans, they can benefit your dog too. Fruits contain fiber, minerals, vitamins and other nutrients that can boost your dog’s health and energy.

However, you have to be careful about what fruits you add to his bowl. Certain varieties including grapes, cherries and apricots are toxic and can cause severe reactions. But most other fruits including apples, watermelon (without seeds and rind) and strawberries are great.

For a growing puppy especially, the nutritional supply from fruits can foster healthier development.

Can Puppies Eat Bananas and In What Proportions?

To that list of healthy fruits you can feed your dog, add bananas. Ripe bananas are rich in potassium, a mineral that is especially crucial for developing puppies.

Potassium is essential for healthy cell, muscle and enzyme function. The body also uses it to maintain proper fluid balance in the body. In fact, veterinarians recommend bananas over other not-so-healthy potassium sources such as salty treats.

Other benefits of bananas

  • They contain magnesium, another essential mineral for the dog. Magnesium is crucial in bone development. A puppy growing up without adequate magnesium in its diet could experience serious muscular and bone problems later in life. This mineral is also used in numerous enzyme reactions.
  • They are rich in fiber. If you puppy constantly experiences digestive issues such as diarrhea or constipation, the problem might be deficiency of fiber in its diet. While fiber does not deliver any energy or nutritional benefits, it greatly aids the movement of food through the gastrointestinal tract. Additionally, fiber is highly recommended for weight management and prevention of diabetes.
  • They contain plenty of other nutrients including vitamin C, vitamin B6, biotin and copper. Combined, these components boost the immune system, keep the dog’s muscles working and maintain skin and coat health.
  • They have low amounts of sodium and cholesterol. One of the biggest concerns for puppy owners is the nutritional value of the treats they buy. Too many treats contain high levels of salt and bad fat. Bananas are low in both, making them great as a treat.

Do Puppies Even Like Bananas

puppy_bananas

This will depend on your individual puppy’s peculiarities. Some puppies absolutely love the taste of bananas while others cannot stand the smell let alone the taste.

So the only way to find out is to start with a small piece. Let your puppy smell it and lick it to decide whether it is his new favorite treat.

If he likes it, here are a few ways you can add the fruit to his diet.

How to Feed Bananas to Puppies

Veterinarians highly recommend using bananas as treats and not part of the main diet. The main reason is the high sugar content. It can lead to an overload in calories and even cause constipation.

Additionally, keep the peels away. They are hard to digest and could cause a blockage in the dog’s digestive tract. This can be especially dangerous for a puppy whose digestive system is still developing.

The simplest way to feed a banana to your puppy is by giving it to him directly. Ideally, you should cut it up into smaller, easy-to-chew pieces.

If you have to use it as part of the primary diet, only add it as a compliment to the main puppy food. Just mash up a banana and mix it well with his food. It is a good idea to test whether he likes the taste and smell of bananas before adding it to his food. Otherwise the entire bowl of food will go to waste if he happens to hate bananas.

You can also mash it and mix it with peanut butter (make sure it is xylitol-free) or yogurt. It makes for a really sweet and starchy treat.

If you don’t want a messy situation, try freezing the bananas and then peel and slice into small pieces. This is especially ideal for hot days.

Any Warnings?

Like most foods, do not overdo it. The high sugar content can cause digestive and health problems if the puppy eats too many bananas. As mentioned, excessive consumption can also lead to constipation. Also don’t forget to throw the peels out.

So can puppies eat bananas? The answer is a resounding yes, as long as he likes it. If not, there are many other safe fruits to explore.

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