About bananas

The banana was first cultivated in South East Asia more than 5,000 years ago. Botanically speaking and rather surprisingly perhaps, the banana is in fact a berry. It’s a stoneless fleshy fruit produced from a single flower containing just one ovary which apparently qualifies it as a berry.

Benefits of bananas

Bananas have a multitude of uses and a wide range of benefits for both human beings and dogs.

They are a good source of vitamin C and various B vitamins, particularly vitamin B6. They’re also a good source of iron, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc and vitamin B9. Vitamin B9 is also known as folate or naturally occurring folic acid of course.

The antioxidants in bananas can help your dog’s skin and coat, while their soluble carbohydrates can boost energy levels. (That’s why tennis players snack on them throughout a tennis match).

And, because bananas are high in fibre, their natural enzymes can help soothe the irritation associated with bowel problems. High in fibre and low in sodium, cholesterol and fat, many vets actually recommend giving dogs bananas. Particularly as an alternative to more fatty, salty, unhealthy treats.

More than that, did you know that bananas have cancer fighting benefits for dogs? According to the American Association of Cancer Research, bananas can help reduce and even prevent the incidence of cancer by up to 60%. The one caveat there is that they must be green, unripened bananas which are lower in sugar, higher in fibre and brim full of beneficial probiotics.

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Preparing & serving

Peeled first, your dog’s bananas can be fed raw (mashed, sliced or diced), or cooked as part of a meal or a treat. Remember, green unripened bananas are best for dogs.

  • Small breeds – 1/4 banana a day
  • Medium to large breeds – 1/2 banana a day
  • Giant breeds – 1 banana a day

And remember, we’re talking about green bananas for dogs here!

Notes

While bananas are good for your dog, bear in mind that ripe bananas are high in sugar and calories. So ripe bananas should ideally be fed as an occasional treat, although their high carb content make them an ideal treat for more active dogs.

Gerald Pepin

Gerald Pepin

Canine Nutritionist

Gerald Pepin is a qualified canine nutritionist, writer, speaker and homemade dog food advocate. Gerald believes that good nutrition can improve or cure most canine health problems and that the natural way is always the best way when it comes to healing man's best friend. A life-long lover of German Shepherds, Gerald and his wife The Dog Chef have two GSDs and live in rural Somerset.

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