Care

Can Dogs Eat Bananas? Are Bananas Safe For Dogs to Eat?

Trying to figure out if bananas are safe for dogs, and if they make a decent snack for your pup? Veterinarian Joanna Woodnutt looks at the health benefits as well as the risks that come with feeding raw bananas as a treat.

Jo Woodnut Veterinarian Profile Image

Last Updated: March 31, 2021 | 5 min read

Dog Eating Banana From Hand

This article was written by a veterinarian, but it should not substitute as contact with a trained professional. If your dog ate bananas and is reacting adversely, contact your local veterinarian immediately.

Trying to figure out if you can feed your dog bananas? We all know bananas are a great source of nutrition for us but are they safe for canine consumption? The short answer is yes. Bananas, if they are fed in the right way, can be safe to eat. There are also some dangers you need to be aware of. 

Many fruits are safe for canine consumption. Blueberries, Pineapples, Peaches, and Papaya are just a few. But it’s important to remember that not all fruits are safe for your dog to eat. Some, such as grapes, can cause serious illness even in small amounts. 

It’s advised to check with your veterinarian before feeding anything different to your dog. Never assume what is safe for us is safe for them. Let’s dig in and take a look at dogs and bananas to see if they are compatible, and how much is acceptable for your pup to eat.

Are Bananas Safe For Dogs?

large number of bananas
Bananas are typically okay for dogs to eat, as long as they are peeled.


Without the peel, raw banana is non-toxic and safe to give your dog in small amounts as a treat. Treats should not be intended as a substitute or supplement for a balanced diet, but as pet parents, treating your pup to a delicious snack is all part of the joy. Remember, don’t do overboard with treats, including those that were made by nature.

Bananas might be safe, but are they beneficial?

Bananas are packed full of vitamins and minerals such as potassium, magnesium, and antioxidants such as vitamin c and lectin. They are also a great source of fiber and energy. As well as supporting a healthy immune system, having enough of these essential nutrients reduces the risk of:

  • Heart Disease
  • Diabetes   
  • Cancer
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Gut Problems

However, a dog would have to eat many bananas to get any health benefits, so they are not recommended as a nutritional supplement. A healthy balanced diet that caters to all your dog’s needs is a better way of ensuring they receive all the essential nutrients required to keep them healthy. 

Are Bananas Bad For Dogs?

Tan Chow Dog Safely Eating Peeled Banana
Bananas may be harmful based on the quantity fed, how they are prepared, and existing health issues.

Although may bananas sound like a superfood, sometimes they may actually cause harm. Make sure you know all the possible dangers before you feed bananas to your pup. Some potential consequences of feeding your dog bananas could be:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Gas
  • Choking
  • Gut Blockage
  • Weight Gain
  • Allergic Reaction

These consequences can depend on:

  • Quantity Consumed
  • Preparation (Ex. cooked, dried)
  • Underlying Health Issues

Quantity

As with any new foods, a banana can cause an upset stomach. Some dogs may develop vomiting or diarrhea even if fed only a small serving of bananas. In large quantities, bananas can give any dog gut problems, including excess gas or constipation.

The high natural sugar content of bananas can also cause problems if fed in excess. Too much sugar can cause excess weight gain. Too much sugar also puts your pup at risk of developing diabetes, heart disease, and other weight-related illnesses such as arthritis. Very ripe bananas have higher sugar content, but unripe bananas are higher in starch, which could be difficult for your dog’s gut to digest.

Rarely, some dogs can be allergic to bananas. If it’s the first time they have tried bananas, only give them a tiny amount. Signs of anaphylaxis can be itchy or bumpy skin, swelling around the face and eyes, and breathing problems. If your pup has any of these symptoms, contact your veterinarian right away.

Preparation

Golden Retriever Puppy Eating PIeces From Food Bowl
The best way to prepare a banana for canine consumption is to peel it and then cut it into small chunks or mash it.

Raw bananas should be peeled and fed in small chunks or mashed. You can also freeze bananas but be careful not to make the pieces the wrong size as they could become a choking hazard. 

Some banana preparations could be unhealthy and, therefore, should be avoided. If you want to feed your dog these types of bananas, you should make sure you speak to your veterinarian first. The types of banana products that could be dangerous to dogs are:

  • Banana Peels
  • Banana Bread
  • Banana Chips
  • Other Banana Based Treats
  • Banana-flavored Snacks

Banana Peels

Although banana peel isn’t toxic, it won’t digest or pass easily through your dog’s gut and could cause a blockage (bowel obstruction). Some dogs may also get an upset tummy, constipation, or have an allergic reaction. So, make sure to throw away your banana peel where your pup cannot retrieve it! If your dog has eaten banana peel, especially if whole, call your veterinarian for advice. 

Banana Chips

Banana chips are not toxic, but they are not the best snack for canines. Some commercial preparations of banana chips are deep-fried, while others contain palm oil. Both can cause an upset tummy and make them put on weight if fed too often. Banana chips are also a potential choking hazard in small dogs or puppies.

Banana Bread or Banana-based Treats

The banana in banana bread or banana-based dog treats isn’t what could harm your dog, it’s the other ingredients often added — such as peanut butter, chocolate, or raisins — that are the danger. Your pup may not like the taste of raw bananas, and it’s tempting to make tasty treats, but before adding other ingredients, check that they are safe for canine consumption.

While peanut butter can be ok in small amounts, you must check that it does not contain xylitol, an artificial sweetener. Xylitol causes blood sugar to drop to dangerous levels in canines resulting in lethargy, seizures, or comas, and can be fatal. 

Another common addition to banana snacks is chocolate. Chocolate must never be given to dogs in any quantity. Dark chocolate is worse than milk chocolate, but both can cause vomiting, diarrhea, heart problems, seizures, and death.

Raisins can be fatal if eaten by your dog in any amount and no matter the dog’s size. They can cause very sudden and severe kidney failure, so they must never be fed to your dog.

If your pup has eaten anything containing these ingredients, contact your veterinarian urgently for advice.

As well as potentially fatal ingredients, the high sugar content of most treats (especially human ones) puts your pup at risk of weight gain and the diseases associated with it, such as diabetes and heart disease. Sugary, fatty foods will also upset your pup’s tummy. 

Banana-flavored Snacks

Food or drink artificially flavored with banana provides no nutritional benefits. Since it’s usually added to unhealthy treats, you shouldn’t feed them to your dog. For example, drinks such as banana milkshake are high in sugar, fats, and lactose. They may cause vomiting, diarrhea, tummy aches, bloating, and obesity if given regularly.   

Health Issues

Always consult your veterinarian if your pup is receiving treatment for a health problem before feeding them bananas. Diseases such as obesity, diabetes, kidney disease, heart problems, allergies, and gut issues often require strictly controlled diets as part of their treatment.

So, feeding your dog banana could worsen its condition. Your veterinarian knows their illness and will be able to tell you if it is safe to give your pup bananas, how much, and when.  

Can I Feed My Dog Bananas?

Banana Peels Made Into Dog Shapes
As long as you properly prepare the banana, it is safe for your dog to eat.

Yes, you can feed bananas to your dog. Just be sure to prepare it safely. Banana should be fed raw, without additives, without the peel, and in small, manageable pieces. Feed as a treat only, in moderation, and not in place of a healthy balanced diet. Remember to introduce all-new foods slowly to reduce the chance of stomach upset.

Speak to your veterinarian before feeding bananas to your dog, especially if they already have health problems. If your pup is unwell after eating bananas, banana peel, or banana-based treats, contact your veterinarian immediately. 

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Can bananas give dogs diarrhea?

    Yes, bananas have high sugar and fiber content and can give your dog diarrhea if fed in large quantities. Bananas can also cause your dog to vomit. Some dogs will have an upset stomach even if they eat small amounts, especially if eating bananas for the first time.

  • Can bananas hurt dogs?

    Bananas in certain preparations, such as human snacks or banana chips, may harm your dog. Don’t give banana peel to your dog, as this can cause a blockage in your dog’s gut. If your dog has an underlying illness, speak to your veterinarian before feeding bananas as you could make your dog’s condition worse.

  • Are banana peels poisonous?

    No, banana peels are not poisonous, but they can still harm your dog. Peels eaten whole or in large pieces can get stuck in your dog’s gut and cause a blockage. If your dog has eaten a banana peel, call your veterinarian for advice.

  • Will banana settle a dog's stomach?

    Although bananas are high in fiber, which is known to improve gut health, the small amount a dog can safely eat probably won’t settle your dog’s stomach issue. If your dog has an upset stomach, call your veterinarian for advice, as there may be a more appropriate treatment for your dog’s condition.

Final Thoughts

In short, bananas are safe for canine consumption as long as they are eaten in moderation. While bananas aren’t included in many dog foods as an ingredient, they are safe to use as the occasional food topper or training treat. We always recommend consulting with your local veterinarian before feeding your pup anything new. If your dog is reacting adversely after eating a banana, call your local vet right away.

Leave a Comment