We know chocolate, grapes, and onions are off limits; what about bananas?

By Patricia S York
June 04, 2019

Pet owners like to think of their animals as four-legged members of the family, and why not? Pets shower their human families with unconditional love and companionship, and all they ask for in return is a safe place to live, a loving environment, and a steady source of good food. Quite often, dogs are so much a part of our daily routine that they join us at the dinner table, begging for whatever is on our plate. Just because humans eat a food, though, doesn't mean it is safe for dogs. We know the danger of chocolate and grapes, but can dogs eat bananas?

Can Dogs Eat Bananas?

Yes, bananas are safe for dogs to eat, but here are a few things you should know first.

Fruit-loving humans are well aware of the many health benefits of the banana. A natural source of vitamins B6 and C, bananas also contain magnesium which promotes bone growth and aids the body in absorption of protein and vitamins. This popular fruit is also rich in potassium and low in sodium and cholesterol, which makes it a much healthier choice over salty or fatty snacks – that goes for both humans and canines. Bananas are also a good source of fiber, which supports good digestion.

While it is perfectly safe to let your dog have a bit of a banana as an occasional treat, you need to be mindful of a couple of things.

Consider Extra Calories and Fiber

Since bananas contain sugar, dog owners need to be careful about the extra calories: even 1/4 of a medium banana will add about 25 calories. Dogs need fewer calories than humans and an overweight dog has the same health concerns that overweight people may have, including high blood pressure and diabetes. Additionally, while bananas are a good source of fiber, too much fiber can lead to constipation and problems with digestion. The amount of a banana that a dog can safely eat depends on several factors, such as the size and dietary needs of the dog, so play it safe and ask your vet for advice before making a banana a daily treat for your dog.

Steer Clear of Banana Peels

A word of warning: Never feed a banana peel to your dog. They are non-digestible and can cause esophageal, stomach and intestinal obstructions if eaten. If you notice any symptoms of intestinal distress, such as poor appetite, vomiting or other signs that your dog is uncomfortable or in pain, get him to the vet for treatment.

Consult Your Veterinarian

As a rule of thumb, do your research and consult your veterinarian before feeding your dog any "people" food, such as grapes and raisins. Just because it is safe for us does not mean it is safe for dogs. Some foods may cause allergic reactions in your dog, so if you notice signs of a reaction, such as swelling, difficulty breathing, swelling, sneezing, or other symptoms, stop feeding your dog human food and contact your vet immediately.