This week series of Healthy Food Healthy Dog Happy Dog, we are going to look at the benefits of bananas for our dogs.
What dog wouldn’t love to eat a banana?
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Bananas are not only a healthy human food, but apparently, they are a healthy food for dogs. In addition, just like avocados they are good for diarrhea and constipation. Go figure with these super foods. They seem to help both ends of the spectrum on poop. (Sorry did I go to far with that?)
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I know not the best of subjects, but we know that bananas have electrolytes in them. That is what is lost most when your dog has a case of the runs. The potassium contained in bananas help replenish the lost electrolytes.
Let’s look at all the nutrients, and benefit bananas can provide.
Bananas are low in fat making this a good treat item.
Potassium – macro mineral required by canines for efficient functioning of muscles, nerves and enzymes
Sodium (one medium banana only contains 1 mg)
Fiber (soluble dietary fiber – this helps with constipation)
Vitamin A we have previously discussed in Dogs Healthy Food Healthy Dog Happy Dog – Carrots
There are a lot of B vitamins in bananas, and we know that B vitamins are good for humans, but they are also great for dogs as well.
B-6 Cats have more of a need for vitamin B-6 than dogs. This vitamin, also known as Pyridoxine is needed for physical and mental health and is needed for most body functions. It is in most dog food, however according to Dr’s Foster & Smith it is damaged during the food processing stage. Sign of deficiencies of B-6 is anemia, poor growth, and skin lesions.
Thiamine B-1 – The functions of thiamine include metabolism of carbohydrates, maintenance of normal growth, and transmission of nerve impulses. This site will also give you the signs of what occurs when there is a deficiency of vitamin B-1.
Riboflavin – Vitamin B-2 helps in the production of red blood cells and antibodies that help fight disease. It can also help in the prevention of cataracts.
Niacin – Vitamin B-3 this is a commonly used ingredient in dog food. It helps with skin and coat health. It is also needed to help the body break down sugars and fats into energy. Deficiency of vitamin B-3 can cause weight loss, inflammation around the mouth and throat, black tongue, bloody diarrhea, and stomach ulcers. Like most things, too much of a good thing can cause issues also.
Folate also known as vitamin B-9, and commonly known as Folic Acid is important for cell replication and growth. There is a lot of information on this vitamin, while doing my research most of it pointed to deficiencies. Further reading can be found at rawtothebone.com
Iron – even in humans we know that iron is needed in the production of red blood cells. This also goes for dogs. Iron also is needed for certain enzymes in the body to function normally.
Vitamin C we discussed in the post Are we killing our dogs and ourselves?
This healthy fruit also is a source of minerals:
- Copper (production of red blood cells)
- Magnesium (bone strengthening)
- Manganese (antioxidant enzyme)
This healthy food for dogs is high in potassium, which helps our dog’s bones from weakening by offsetting any large amounts of sodium in their diet.
Bananas contain FOS; this helps healthy bacteria in the colon that make vitamins and digestive enzymes. This helps our dog’s body to absorb other nutrients.
A good quality dog food provides these nutrients.
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I hope that I did not bore you with all the vitamin information contained in bananas, but how else would you see what a great super food bananas are.
If our dogs enjoy bananas – why not consider them a training treat. It would be nice to dehydrate the bananas and use as training treats, but we have to consider that the dehydrating process means concentrated calories.
The USDA states that drying bananas removes approximately 96% of the water content.
This of course concentrates the calories, however, on the other hand dehydrated bananas are about four times higher in fiber, potassium, carbohydrates, sugar and the calories than when they are serves fresh.
A dog that is into agility, and highly active sports, dehydrated bananas would make a great training treat.
Do be cautious in giving this to a more sedentary dog due to the higher calorie count.
Our sedentary dogs can get pieces of fresh bananas, and
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(I will talk more about high reward treats in another post).
A healthy super food such as bananas, I would not consider this item to add to daily meals, but to be used as a treat. Bananas’ being low fat and high in nutrients makes this a good idea.
I bet your wondering about having banana pieces in our treat pouches. Plastic bags, when I have used cheese, hot dogs, chicken, and pieces of steak. I have always placed a plastic baggy inside my treat pouch. Using bananas I would take a couple of ice cubes in a zip bag on the bottom, the bananas in a separate sandwich bag, and all of this in the treat pouch. This will help to keep the bananas firm as you are piecing them out for treats.
Here is a video from Petfoodia.com “Can Dogs Eat Bananas”
Banana – A Super Food
Bananas have a smooth texture, and sweet taste, this super food has loads of amino acids, electrolytes, minerals, B vitamins, and vitamin C, potassium, fiber, and manganese.
This fruit has a lot of nutritional value. Because of their sugar content, bananas are often used as treats for working, and athletic dogs. If your dog uses a lot of energy, whether he’s your professional companion, or just your sidekick on long hikes, bring a few bananas along to keep him going strong.
If your dog is finicky like mine is, I did find a site that has the 10 Best Recipes For Homemade Dog Breath Treats. Recipe #4 is the Banana Dog Breath Busters. That is not only a treat for your dog, but for you also.
Not that I really want to mention this, but with Christmas just a few months away. What great treats to make for your doggie friends?
A follow-up to our earlier posts on
Currently, Mary is on the green bean and carrots mixed in with her daily food.
As I have mentioned before, introducing new food should be gradual, and due to her age, I am taking my time. It has been almost two weeks now with green beans and carrots, and I have seen no adverse reaction in her. However, I have not seen any remarkable results yet by adding it to her food.
I believe next week, before starting the apple and oatmeal, I will adjust her to the new eating schedule of 3 times per day. I will provide the same daily intake of food, just in 3 meals instead of two.
I believe this will help her digestive system, and help her maintain a more active day, because she will be using food calories more efficiently this way. Only time will tell. I may add some apple here and there just to adjust her to it, but not on a regular basis just yet.
As I have mentioned before, and I will say it again, always check with your vet before introducing new foods to your dog’s diet. I did not get any objections from my vet. I was cautioned not to feed her more food than her daily recommend amount. I explained to him that I had already considered this.
I hope you will offer up a banana to your furry four-legged friend as a treat. I would love to hear how your dog either loves it, or won’t go near it (some dogs are like that). I’d love some pictures too, of your dogs eating bananas, even if the are turning their nose’s up to it.
Until Next Time,
Paws & Wags,
Suzanne Dean, ABCDT
I am also a member of BlogPaws and you will find some awesome people there and make new friend, so in us.
Originally posted and authorized for PGAA re-posting by the The Dog Training Lady Visit the Dog Training Lady’s site for more training information and watch for new training books and E-books. Just who is the The Dog Training Lady? Copyright © 2015