Food Fact: Are Bananas Safe for Dogs or Cats?
We all know how Bananas have been the super breakfast for us. Be it the rush to catch the school bus just in time, or the shuttle for work — grabbing a Banana has often saved us from an empty belly. Often known as the best friend of the bachelor, should Bananas be given to your pet?
Yes, in limited portions. Bananas are known to have an abundance of protein, dietary fiber, magnesium, and folate. They also contain vitamin C, vitamin B6, potassium, and manganese, all of which have a specific function to serve in your pet’s diet. How your pet’s body reacts to bananas depends on two things, i.e., the constituents of a banana, and how the needs of your pet are fulfilled through this fruit.
So where did Bananas come from?
Botanically, Banana is a berry. Known for being a wild inhabitant of the tropics, the earliest evidence of domestication of this fruit has been found in Southeast Asia, and the lands of Papua New Guinea and Northern Australia. After that, it slowly grew as part of the African culture, and found its place among a lot of tribal delicacies, especially in the Central African Republic and Cameroon. From there, travelers to the Middle East spread it in the West Asian countries of Israel, Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, Turkey, and Iraq.
Are all Bananas the same?
No, many species of Bananas have been found across the world. In fact, some species of bananas are bubblegum pink in color and taste like strawberries when cooked. Some species have also been reported to be green, with orange insides. But the most common variety of Banana, found in Indian households traces its seedless origin to the cross of two varieties called Acuminata and Balbisiana.
So how are Bananas good for my pet?
Known for its rich fiber content, Bananas are great for your dog’s digestion. The vitamin C present in Bananas is great for your pet’s skin and bones. It also helps in the formation of collagen, absorption of iron, strengthening of immune system and maintenance of teeth. It aids in the healing of wounds too. Vitamin B6 is a wonder nutrient that’s present in Banana, which helps improve your pet’s skin, detoxifies his liver, enhancing the health of blood vessels, improves cognitive function, curing anemia and relieving arthritis in senior pets.
Apart from these, Bananas also contain potassium and manganese, which help regulate your pet’s electrolyte levels. Bananas are rich in antioxidants, which is why they are exceptionally great for your senior pet. But the quantities of Bananas need to be limited. This is because Bananas contain a lot of sugar in them, which may lead to obesity. Pet obesity is a real problem, which may lead to pulmonary, cardiac and a variety of other lifestyle diseases. This is why one needs to make sure to limit these portions.
An excess of potassium may cause may cause Hyperkalemia, which may further the risk of heart diseases. That doesn’t mean that bananas are toxic, they just need to be fed in moderation.
Always peel the Banana before feeding it to your dog, and divide it into smaller portions. Don’t give your pet more than half a banana a day if they’re a senior dog. Smaller dogs must be given even smaller portions. Small pieces eliminate the risk of choking. You can include bananas as treats, but they should not be used as a replacement for your pet’s natural diet.
Bananas are a great source of nutrition for your pet. What you need to remember is that you must feed ripe bananas to your pet, peeled, and cut in pieces to avoid the risk of your pet choking on them. It helps to relieve constipation, and the vitamins not only help with skin and bones but also boost the immune system of your pet; great for your Dawgie Sr.
Have a banana recipe you’d like to share? Let us know in the comments below!
FOR INFORMATION ONLY – NOT VETERINARY CARE
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