As pet parents, we are always looking for tasty, nutritional treats for our dogs, and fruit and vegetables can be a great, low-fat addition to your dog’s diet. However, some fruit and vegetables can be toxic to dogs, for example, onions and grapes. Others make a great snack, so it is important to know which ones are safe. So, can dogs eat bananas? And more specifically, is a banana a good snack for German Shepherds? Let’s find out!
Yes! Bananas can be a healthy treat for adult dogs and provide enrichment and variety in their diet. Some dogs love the sweet, fruity flavor of bananas, whereas others would rather give them a miss, it just depends on the dog!
Bananas can be fed whole (without the skin) or chopped into small pieces and used as training treats for your Shepherd. They are great stuffed in a Kong toy or puzzle feeder allowing your dog to lick and chew to get to the tasty fruit. This not only makes treats last longer and occupies your dog for a while but provides excellent mental and physical stimulation.
Try freezing bananas to give them extra crunch and make them last longer. This also provides your German Shepherd with a fun, safe enrichment activity to keep them cool on a hot summer’s day.
Bananas are packed full of vitamins and minerals to help keep your German Shepherd healthy. Let’s have a look at some of the benefits of this superfood.
A diet that is correctly balanced and contains all the vitamins and minerals your German Shepherd needs is the most important thing. Adding a variety of fruit and vegetables to your dog’s diet can improve gut health by increasing the number and variety of ‘good’ bacteria that live in your dog’s intestines.
Bananas have many important ingredients that can benefit your dog, however, you can have too much of a good thing. Like with most treats, moderation is key! As with most treats, it is not advised to feed large quantities of bananas to your dog, or to feed it every day. Whenever a new food is introduced to your dog, it is best to start slowly, giving the digestive system time to adjust. The majority of your dog’s calories should come from a good quality, nutritionally complete dog food with less than 10% of your dog’s diet being made up of treats.
This helpful article has useful advice on how much to feed a German Shepherd dog How Much Should German Shepherds Eat?
Bananas are generally a very safe food to add to your dog’s diet or to use as a treat or snack. However, like most fruits, they are high in sugar. This could cause problems in large quantities for your German Shepherd and lead to weight gain or digestive upset.
Although it is rare, there is a chance your German Shepherd could be intolerant or allergic to bananas. If they have not eaten this fruit before, then offer a small quantity, to begin with, and monitor for any signs of allergy (such as itching or excessive sneezing or coughing) or intolerance (such as vomiting or diarrhea).
Bananas are high in minerals such as potassium and magnesium. If your dog is on a special diet or has underlying medical conditions, such as kidney disease then check with your veterinarian before feeding.
Finally, avoid feeding banana peel to your dog. Whilst it is not toxic, it is difficult to digest. This could lead to stomach upset and indigestion pain in dogs.
Yes! Puppies can eat bananas but again, in small quantities. Puppies need a carefully balanced diet to ensure the healthy growth of bones and organs, and this should come from a nutritionally complete, balanced dog food. Puppies also have a very sensitive digestive system and may not tolerate lots of different treats, even if this is natural fruit and vegetables. Small amounts of frozen bananas can provide relief from teething pain in puppies and using bananas to stuff food dispensing toys can encourage chewing (on appropriate things, rather than furniture or family members!). Introduce it slowly to your German Shepherd and stop if he or she shows signs of digestive upset.
Many German Shepherds love bananas as an occasional treat. If fed in moderation, they are a safe, healthy snack that is rich in vitamins and minerals to help keep your dog fit and healthy. As a general rule, avoid feeding the peel of bananas to your dog, introduce them to your dog’s diet slowly and feed in moderation. Otherwise, there are many ways for your Shepherd to enjoy this versatile treat.