Can Dogs Eat Bananas?
Not all fruit and vegetables are good for our pets. For example onions are very bad for cats and dogs. But bananas on the other hand, are a fabulous source of numerous nutrients, with loads of calories.
The emaciated, starving stray dog that adopted us a couple of years ago gobbled up 7 peeled bananas in half an hour, he was so hungry. Emergency rations! Then he slept for a few hours and ate another 6. That was just what he needed, but your average well fed pampered pooch would rapidly become obese eating that many calories.
All Over The World Dogs Are Eating Bananas
In common with most fruits, the sugars in unripe bananas are stored as starch which gradually converts into simple sugars as the banana ripens. All over the tropical belt of the world, bananas are eaten by people and their pets at all stages of ripeness, the unripe ones usually being cooked. The indigestible portion of the starch, known as resistant starch, is a form of soluble fibre and forms a large part of the unripe banana. This acts as an important prebiotic, nourishing the probiotic bacteria in the colon.
Did you know? A banana is about 75% water!
Bananas supply a surprising amount of fibre which slows down the rate of absorption of the sugars into the blood, meaning that even ripe bananas have a relatively low Glycaemic Index (variously quoted as between 42 and 58). It is important to peel them because they are sprayed with insecticides from the air many times during their development. The peel gives the fruit reasonable protection from this chemical assault.
Another surprising fact about bananas is their water content. They don’t feel juicy and hydrating, but a ripe banana actually contains an average of 75% water.
Bananas Are A Rich Source of Vitamins And Minerals
Fruit of all descriptions is a rich source of vitamins, antioxidants and minerals. Bananas are no exception supplying a plentiful supply of the whole range, most notably vitamin C, vitamin B6 and potassium.
Most dogs love bananas as a snack or treat, but if your dog doesn’t, that’s fine! There is no need to try and disguise bananas in something else to try and make your furry friend eat them.
The main source of calories and nutrients for dogs is protein and fat. Bananas contain very little of either. However dogs are very adaptable scavengers and can digest most food sources. So if the choice is banana or starve, they will choose banana every time.