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Bananas are great for dogs

Updated: Jan 16, 2023

Bananas are a very versatile and easily accessible fruit, rich in vitamin B and a whole host of other valuable nutrients beneficial to our pets’ health. For example, they contain manganese which plays an important role in activating antioxidant enzymes and the synthesis of proteins, carbohydrates and fats making them a great nutritional treat for our dogs. The ripe flesh of a banana is very palatable to many dogs and is very easy to ‘break down’ and use. For example, ripe banana flesh squashes nicely into a lickimat™ or kong™ type toy which can then be used to alleviate boredom or provide rewarding distraction. It is important to note that although it’s safe to feed the soft flesh, the peel should be safely discarded as this is not digestible by pets and may create an intestinal blockage.

Bananas for diarrhea & other tummy issues

Bananas top the list as a treatment for diarrhea and other digestive issues in pets not only because of their convenience but because they are incredibly effective in restoring healthy digestion both quickly and naturally. The pectin in bananas is effective in quickly resolving the unpleasant symptoms, drawing excess water out of the stools which leaves a firmer product to be expelled. Dehydration is a major risk for any pet suffering from a bout of diarrhea, the potassium content of bananas in addition to the Pectin aids in maintaining the fluid balance within the body. Effectively restoring healthy digestion relies on not only treating the symptoms but also on restoring a healthy gut biome. Bananas are a prebiotic which means they feed the many different forms of beneficial bacteria which make up the gut biome, increasing both the activity and volume of the beneficial bacteria present.[i]

How much to feed

The carbohydrates in bananas change from resistant starch which is undigestible to sugars such as glucose, fructose and sucrose during the ripening process so only well ripened bananas should be included in the diet. Due to the high carbohydrate content, you are feeding a fruit with a very high sugar content, so portion control is important to avoid unwanted weight gain, fortunately lickimats™ and kongs™ make a little ripe banana go a very long way. As a guide consider a whole banana as a suitable serving for a 60kg human and scale it down appropriately, for example a 15kg dog might get a ¼ of a banana.

What about picky pets?

It’s handy to get your pet used to healthy treats like bananas before you have an urgent situation such as a bout of diarrhea to deal with as appetite is often reduced at these times. Fortunately, bananas are very easy to mash and mix with other palatable items, a little unsweetened Greek yoghurt is great for those that like milky treats and has the added benefit of being a probiotic to aid getting that digestive system back on track.


[i] Deng, P., & Swanson, K.S., 2015. Gut microbiota of humans, dogs and cats: current knowledge and future opportunities and challenges. British journal of Nutrition, 113, S6-S17

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