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Can Dogs Eat Bananas? Experts Weigh in on Whether This Fruit Is Healthy for Pups

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If you've ever fed your dog table food, you might be wondering what foods are safe to give to your pet and which ones aren't.  One food category that's usually in question is fruit—particularly, bananas. Since most fruits are nutritious but also high in sugar, many pet owners may wonder—and rightfully so. After all, we want the best for our fur babies!

While it's technically something you can ask AI (hey, Alexa, can dogs eat this?), we highly recommend asking a professional. That's why Parade consulted Dr. Gary Richter, veterinarian and founder of Ultimate Pet Nutrition, and Dr. Sara Ochoa, DVM and veterinary consultant for DogLab.com.

"Bananas are loaded with fiber, vitamin B6, and copper," Dr. Richter explains. "They are also a great source of potassium which can help your dog's heart and kidney health."

So, can dogs eat bananas? How often and how should you feed it to them? Keep reading for more vet-approved information on feeding dogs bananas.

Can Dogs Eat Bananas?

As Dr. Richter suggested above, dogs can, in fact, eat bananas. This fruit—which is also known as a significant source of potassium—is generally safe to feed to pets because they are high in many different kinds of vitamins, including the aforementioned fiber, vitamin B6, copper, and potassium. But bananas are also high in magnesium and biotin, too, which also makes them a nutritious choice of food for pets.

"Yes, your dog can safely eat bananas," Dr. Ochoa says. "This is actually my Japanese Chin Bug's favorite fruit to eat."

In fact, dogs can even eat freeze-dried bananas. Just take it from Dr. Ochoa, who even feeds this snack to her own dog!

"My dog also loves freeze-dried bananas," Dr. Ochoa adds. "These are also safe for your dog as long as there is not any added sugars to these fruits."

Related: Why Do Dogs Eat Poop?

How Frequently Should Owners Feed Their Dogs Bananas?

Of course, like most fruit, bananas are naturally high in sugar. In fact, according to the USDA National Nutrient Database, a medium-sized banana has 105 calories and 14 grams of sugar.

"It's true that bananas do have a lot of sugar and are about 100 calories per banana," Dr. Richter explains. "Depending on the size of your pup, feeding them too many bananas could cause weight gain and while they are a great source of fiber, too much fiber could cause digestive problems."

Because of the high sugar content, it's worth noting that bananas should be looked at as a rare treat for dogs rather than a daily staple.

"Since bananas can be high in sugar it's important to regulate the amount you give them," Dr. Richter says. "It can be a fun treat every once in a while, but giving them one every day can cause weight gain."

Dr. Ochoa adds that a full banana is probably too much to feed your pup all at once.

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"I advise only giving your dog a few slices each time," Dr. Ochoa says.

How to Cut up a Banana for Dogs to Eat

As mentioned prior, it's best to limit the number of bananas you feed your dog to once or twice a week. Plus, if your dog is a smaller size, you'll want to only feed them a few slices rather than the whole banana.

"Start by giving your dog small bite-size pieces, then monitor them for a few hours to ensure they don't have any tummy upset," Dr. Richter explains. "If your dog seems to enjoy them, you can smash a banana into your dog's food, freeze little bites for an added crunch, or even give them banana chips."

And remember—don't forget to remove the peel before feeding your pet!

"Always be sure to peel the banana before giving it to your dog as the peel can cause stomach issues," Dr. Richter adds.

Related: Why Dogs Lick—Explained

Do Bananas Give Dogs Diarrhea?

Another reason to limit the number of bananas you feed your dog is the fact that too many bananas can cause stomach upset, which may lead to symptoms like diarrhea.

Why's that? Well, bananas are high in fiber—about three grams of fiber per banana—and too much of that can have the reverse effect. Typically, fiber eases the digestive process, but when fed too much of it—especially in dogs—it can cause loose stools.

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Which Dogs Should Avoid Bananas?

While bananas are generally a healthy—albeit occasional—treat for dogs, certain dogs that may have health issues or predispositions should not have bananas too frequently.

"If your dog has diabetes, it is best to avoid all fruits as they contain natural sugars that can cause your dog's blood sugar levels to become high," Dr. Ochoa explains.

That being said, you will also want to feed your dog the appropriate amount of bananas (in one sitting) based on their size, too.

Dr. Ochoa adds, "Small dogs will only need a few bite-sized pieces whereas larger dogs can easily tolerate a whole banana in one feeding."

Next up, these are 20 foods you should never feed your dog.

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