Sliced and whole bananas

Bananas are the perfect go-to snack. They’re sweet, provide energy and come in their own convenient wrapper. Can dogs eat bananas though? Purina experts say yes—bananas are a great treat for your pooch.

Unlike other fruits, which may have toxic components, every part of a banana is safe for your dog to eat. That’s not to say there aren’t any risks involved, though. Our experts explain how and when to treat your dog to this fruit without causing digestive upset.

Can Dogs Have Bananas?

Yes, dogs can have bananas. They may not get all the nutritional benefits humans get from this fruit, but bananas make a good—and motivating—treat.

If you’re wondering “Can puppies eat bananas?” check with your veterinarian. Puppies need a specific diet for their growth and development. Added calories from bananas and other fruits could interfere.

Are Bananas Good for Dogs?

Peeled bananas are best for dogs, but if he gobbles one whole, don’t worry. Banana peels aren’t toxic to dogs. “That’s not to say eating a banana whole won’t cause your dog to throw up or have diarrhea,” Purina Senior Nutritionist Jan Dempsey says. “That reaction means his system isn’t accustomed to digesting all the fibre a banana peel contains.” It’s always best to peel this fruit and cut it into appropriate serving sizes.

Despite the low risk (unlike grapes or cherries), bananas aren’t as nutritious as you might think. Because the servings are small, the beneficial nutrients may not make a difference. That’s fine, according to Dempsey. She explains, “Bananas do contain certain nutrients like potassium. But if your dog is on a complete and balanced diet, you’re not relying on the banana to supply anything essential.”

When are Bananas Bad for Dogs?

Like other fruits, bananas contain natural sugar. Too much of any type of sugar can cause weight gain, which can lead to other health issues. To avoid these negative effects, follow the 90/10 rule. Ninety percent of your dog’s daily calories should come from his dog food and the other ten from treats.

Some people think bananas will improve symptoms of digestive upset like diarrhea. According to Dempsey, “Bananas aren’t a cure-all for dogs with diarrhea or constipation.” Instead of feeding your dog more bananas, watch his food intake and reduce the amount to see what he tolerates. If diarrhea and other symptoms don’t resolve within 24 hours, call your veterinarian.  

How to Serve Bananas for Dogs

As mentioned earlier, ask your veterinarian before feeding your dog or puppy any new foods. If you ask your veterinarian 'Can dogs eat bananas?', they can tell you the best serving size based on his age, size and more. To serve your dog a banana, peel it and cut it into an appropriate size and share the treat with your pup.

If your dog doesn’t seem to like fresh bananas, try them frozen. “Freezing a fruit or vegetable is another way of changing its texture to make it interesting. In an animal’s eyes, it probably makes it a different kind of treat, since it’s a different texture and temperature experience,” says Dempsey. Frozen bananas make for an especially tasty and refreshing treat on hot days.

When you follow these recommendations, you can confidently feed your dog special treats like bananas. If you have more questions like “Can dogs eat bananas?” our experts have answered similar questions about other fruits and vegetables. For more information, tips and advice from Purina experts, click here.

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