Dog owners treat their dogs as part of the family. In doing that there is the temptation to share your treats with your canine companion. Unfortunately not everything we eat is good for your dog. But with a little research, you will see that there are several fruits your dog can enjoy.
Certain fruits and vegetables can be bad for your dog to eat, and some just need to be eaten in moderation — with banana being one of them.
Let’s take a look at the benefits and risks of bananas and other fruits for your furry friend as well as other healthy ingredients that should be put into their regular dog food diet.
The Pros and Cons of Bananas for Dogs
Fruits have valuable vitamins and minerals for your dog's health, and one fruit that’s safe for your canine is the banana. Of course, moderation is key.
As a general rule, bananas are a safe treat for your pup. They are high in potassium, fiber, and vitamin B6, which makes them a nutritious treat!
Unfortunately, they are also high in sugar and can be hard on the stomach. A safe serving of a banana for a large dog is only about half of a banana and small to medium dogs should get no more than a couple of slices.
The banana peel, while not poisonous, poses its own set of dangers. It is hard for a dog to digest, which can cause stomach upset and vomiting. Not to mention, it poses a choking hazard.
Banana Snacks for Dogs
Besides just feeding your dog a treat of a sliced banana, you can mix it with other healthy fruits and make it in advance so you can give it to your dog whenever you want.
One combination that would make a refreshing treat for your pup could be bananas and blueberries. Simply mash up the banana, mix in some blueberries, then portion it out into a silicone ice cube tray. You can then freeze them or just refrigerate them as a delicious, nutritious, convenient ice cream substitute!
Another easy-to-make, three-ingredient treat is bananas, oats, and peanut butter. This combination would be a very satisfying special treat for your canine. Just like any other treat, they can be made in advance, and served either frozen or fresh!
Of course, there are many combinations that can be made with bananas. Just take a few minutes to look up the other ingredients to make sure they are safe, and mix away!
What Other Fruits Are Safe for Dogs?
There are several good fruits for your dog, but you must remember that quantity is an important factor. Even foods that are safe can make your pup sick if given to them over the recommended daily serving.
- Cantaloupe is a great source of vitamin C, folate, and potassium for your dog. Just a few bites will refresh your dog while giving them a healthy dose of fiber and helping with hydration!
- Oranges offer a high volume of vitamin C, but the downfall is that they are high in sugar, making them dangerous for dogs with diabetes.
- Watermelon is a super hydrating treat for a dog on a hot day. Made mostly of water, your dog will be able to cool off while getting a healthy dose of vitamin C! Just make sure you remove the rind and seeds.
Fruits To Keep Away From Your Dog
While we did see that bananas are okay as a special treat, there are some fruits that can cause sickness or even death if your dog eats them.
- Grapes and raisins are at the top of the list of the most dangerous fruits for a dog to eat. These are so poisonous that if your dog eats even one, you should get your dog to the vet or the emergency room. Besides just stomach issues and lethargy, ingesting any grapes or raisins can cause kidney failure and seizures, putting your dog’s life in jeopardy. It is thought that the tartaric acid in them is what causes the toxicity. Even cooked raisins like in an oatmeal raisin cookie is dangerous.
- Tomatoes also can be dangerous. In limited amounts without any of the plant attached to the treat, it is generally safe — however, the plant parts (anything green) contain a toxin called solanine, which can be poisonous to your furry friend.
What To Do If Your Dog Eats a Toxic Fruit
Many calls go into the Pet Poison Control Hotline (855-213-6680) each year because a pet got into something that could be toxic to them. It is the most common cause of pet emergency room visits.
If this happens to you, the first thing you should do is remove the substance and remove your dog from other pets and people. Keep an eye on your dog for unusual behavior such as vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, lethargy, or confusion.
Now, call your vet or poison control. In most cases, the faster the dog is under a vet's care, the better their chances are, so it’s likely you’ll bring your pup to the nearest emergency animal clinic, where they will usually induce vomiting if the ingestion has been within the past hour or two.
The one thing you should never do is ignore the situation. Never assume your dog will just be okay, even if they’re acting okay at the moment. In some cases, it may be too late by the time your dog starts showing actual symptoms of poisoning.
How Else Can I Support My Pup’s Diet?
When finding the right dog food for your canine companion, you have to look at the list of ingredients.
Make sure you select a premium dog food that is not made with chicken or poultry by-product meals. Real meat should be the first ingredient. Ingredients go on the list in the order of quantity in the food from most to least. It is very important that the protein be the first item.
The highest quality dog foods also use only natural ingredients and the right kinds of grains. With the proper ingredients, you’ll get a healthy balance of vitamins and minerals that can support your dog's immune health so you can enjoy each other for many years to come.
It is also important to make sure that the food you use does not use common allergens like soy and corn. These fillers have nothing good to offer your dog but are unfortunately commonly found in commercial foods because they’re inexpensive to use.
Optimeal® checks all of the boxes above, offering premium food for dogs and cats alike that is age, size, and dietary need-specific. While we don’t include bananas in our formula, we still have plenty of antioxidant and vitamin-rich fruits like blueberry and cranberry.
We all love our dogs and want only the best for them. The temptation is always there to share a piece of our food or snacks with our little friends.
Unfortunately, this is not always in the dog's interest. Instead of being a special treat, it can end up putting your pup in a life-threatening situation.
Bananas are safe for dogs in moderation as an occasional treat — to ensure your pup is getting the nutrients they need, give them naturally-made, premium dog food.
Optimeal® puts only the best ingredients in your pup’s bowl. It comes in wet and dry varieties made for specific breed types, ages, and dietary needs, so your best friend is getting the exact nutrients they need.