Let’s face it; we’ve all been there.
You’re at a party, and someone offers you a banana.
You peel it, take a bite, and then realize that your dog is watching you with those big, hopeful eyes.
So you’re left wondering, can dogs eat banana peels?
So, will banana peels hurt dogs?
While most dogs will be just fine if they accidentally eat a bit of banana peel, there are some exceptions.
Certain breeds, like pugs and bulldogs, are more prone to gastrointestinal issues and could get an upset stomach from eating banana peels.
Other than that, banana peels contain dietary fiber that can help your dog’s digestion, and essential vitamins and minerals like potassium, & vitamin C, which significantly boost your pup’s immunity.
This article will explore everything you need to know about banana peels and dogs.
It will provide insights on the health benefits and risks, plus measures to observe before allowing your pup to consume some. Read on to understand.
Are banana peels safe for my dog?
Banana peels are not only safe but provide your dog with some additional nutrients from the fruit.
They are a recommended healthy treat with essential vitamins and minerals.
The peels are also slightly tougher and, hence, more chewable than the banana fruit.
This allows your dog to spend more time eating it, exercising their gums, and improving blood circulation in their mouth.
Ripe (yellow) banana peels are preferred since they are softer and will provide a more efficient chewing process and digestion.
Don’t give your dog raw (unripe) green banana peels.
These are harder to digest and might cause gastrointestinal irritation and upset stomach.
It’s argued that green banana peels may harbor more antioxidants, excellent for your dog to fight free radicals, but they present a digestion challenge.
Most dogs wouldn’t also prefer to eat the unripe green peels.
What are the health benefits of banana peels for dogs?
Banana peels offer the same nutritional benefits to dogs as they do to humans.
They contain some crucial nutrients that will improve dogs’ health.
These nutrients and their significances are:
Fiber aids in the regulation of your dog’s bowel movement preventing constipation.
It also helps to control cholesterol levels and blood sugar in diabetic dogs.
Fiber will support your dog’s digestion by promoting the growth of healthy gut bacteria.
Potassium is an electrolyte that helps to regulate your dog’s heart function and blood pressure.
It also aids in muscle contraction and nerve impulses transmission.
Potassium will also assist in maintaining fluid balance in your dog’s body, preventing dehydration.
Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that helps boost your dog’s immunity, fight free radicals and inflammation.
It also aids in the absorption of iron essential for the formation of red blood cells.
The peels contain other vitamins and minerals like magnesium, manganese, copper, biotin, and vitamin B6.
These nutrients significantly support your dog’s nervous system, metabolism, and digestion.
What are the risks of feeding my dog banana peels?
Banana peels are not toxic to dogs, but some risks are associated with feeding them.
The peels may be hard for some dogs to digest, especially if they are unripe or green.
This may cause gastrointestinal irritation and upset stomach characterized by vomiting and diarrhea.
The high fiber content in these peels can also lead to digestive issues like constipation and diarrhea.
Some dogs may gulp down the peels without chewing.
This might cause choking, or the peel could get stuck in their throat or intestines causing health complications.
If your dog swallows large pieces of the peel, it might cause an intestinal blockage.
This is a severe health condition that requires prompt medical attention.
How do I feed my dog banana peels safely?
If you decide to feed your dog banana peels, observe the following measures:
- Give them ripe (yellow) peels – These are softer and more digestible.
- Remove the stringy part – This is the toughest part of the peel and might cause choking.
- Cut them into small pieces – This will reduce the risk of choking, making them easier to chew and digest.
- Monitor their stool – After feeding your dog banana peels for the first time, check their stool for any changes. If it’s soft or runny, stop feeding them the peels until they recover.
What should I do if my dog eats too many banana peels?
It’s safe to give your dog one or two banana peels in a day.
If your dog eats more than that, they may experience health problems.
If your dog ate a lot of banana peels and is showing symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, or constipation, stop feeding them the peels.
Closely monitor them for a few hours to see if the symptoms ease.
If the symptoms persist, take them to the vet for medical attention.
Toxic fruit peels that you should never offer your dog
Dogs should not eat the following fruit peels as they are harmful to them:
- Lemon peels – Lemon peels contain a compound called psoralen, toxic to dogs. It can cause photosensitivity (increased sensitivity to sunlight) and stomach upset.
- Grapefruit peels – Grapefruit peel contains a compound called naringenin which is toxic to dogs. It can cause vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, and depression.
- Citrus peels – Citrus fruits have limonene which is toxic to dogs. It can cause vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, and loss of appetite.
- Tangerine peels – Tangerines contain citral, which can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and loss of appetite.
- Avocado peels – These contain a compound called persin, toxic to dogs. Persin will cause vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal discomfort. Persin is highly toxic to dogs and will cause lethargy even in small amounts, while in excess, it could be fatal.
What fruit peels are suitable for my dog?
Other than banana peels being okay for dogs to eat, other fruit peels that they can comfortably eat and which provide some benefits are:
Apple peels – Like bananas, apples are a good source of fiber, vitamins, and minerals. They also contain antioxidants that help boost your dog’s immunity.
Pear peels – Pears are rich in fiber which aids in digestion and prevents constipation. They also contain vitamins C and K, essential for maintaining bone and cardiovascular health.
Orange peels – Oranges are rich in fiber, vitamins C, B9 (folate), and antioxidants. These nutrients help to support your dog’s immune system, metabolism, and digestion.
Banana peels are safe for dogs and offer some health benefits.
However, there are some risks associated with feeding them to your dog; hence you should observe the necessary measures to ensure safety.
When your dog eats banana peels for the first time, monitor them closely for any adverse reactions.
Consult your vet if you feel the need for professional guidance in caring for your dog’s health and nutritional needs.