Q:

Are bananas good for dogs?

A:

Bananas are fine as an occasional treat, but dogs should not be fed bananas on a daily basis, according to WebMD Pet Health. Bernadine Cruz, DVM, a veterinarian in California, advises that bananas and other "people foods" should not make up more than 10 percent of a dog's total diet.

Canine stomachs are not adapted to break down human foods on a regular basis, and eating too many bananas can cause constipation, excessive potassium levels, and stomach or heart problems in dogs, according to Can I Give My Dog...?, a food database for dog owners. The site recommends giving dogs fresh, unprocessed bananas based on their size, and states that large-breed dogs can tolerate half a banana three times a week, while small dogs can have bite-size pieces of banana.

Bananas contain many healthy elements, including essential amino acids, electrolytes, minerals, vitamins B6 and C, potassium, fiber and manganese, according to Modern Dog Magazine. The nutritional content of bananas makes them a good fruit for active dogs, working dogs or sick dogs, according to Modern Dog Magazine. The magazine recommends mixing bananas, peanut butter and rolled oats to create a tasty, healthy dog treat.

Bernadine Cruz, DVM, stresses the importance of distinguishing between occasional treats and daily food. Dogs who become accustomed to people food or treats may avoid regular meals and hold out for the treats, she warns.


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