Some dogs just adore watching you in the kitchen, and you might be tempted to throw your dog a treat. If you’re snacking on banana chips or making something containing these sweet little slices, you might be tempted to give some to your dog. But is this a good idea or not? In brief, banana chips are safe for your dog to eat as an occasional treat.
Bananas are a good source of fiber and contain a wide range of vitamins and minerals. Some types of banana chips are healthier for dogs than others, so we’ll take you through the various options.
What’s good about banana chips?
Banana chips are an excellent source of potassium, fiber, and vitamins, including C and B6. They can provide a quick boost of energy without too many calories, and some owners suggest that they may help settle a dog’s stomach.
It also contains calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium, and a range of other vitamins and minerals.
It also has the same blend of vitamins and minerals.
What’s bad about banana chips?
Bananas contain saturated fat. If you feed your dog too many banana chips in one go, your dog may suffer from diarrhea or other digestive issues. This is because the high fiber and sugar may be too much for their digestive system to cope with.
Make sure you give your dog only one banana chip at a time, and monitor them closely for any digestive issues. If your dog’s poop seems different or your dog appears uncomfortable, then we’d recommend skipping the banana chips for now. You can always ask your veterinarian for advice if you’re unsure.
As a rough guide, you should be able to feed the equivalent of half a banana’s worth of chips to a large dog and reduce this down for smaller breeds. Bear in mind that bananas do contain carbohydrates, fats, and sugars, so if your dog is on a calorie-controlled diet or follows any other kind of specialized diet, we’d recommend checking with your vet if banana chips are something that you should be feeding them.
What sort of banana chips are best?
Fried banana chips are made by deep-frying slices of under-ripened bananas in coconut or sunflower oil. Once cooked and dried, these can be snapped apart like a potato chip. Sometimes these banana chips are coated in sugar, salt, or spices. Occasionally, banana flavoring is even added! You never want to feed your dog fried banana chips with anything added to them.
Some banana chips are made by dehydrating slices of ripe bananas. These taste more naturally sweet than fried banana chips, as well as have a stronger banana taste. Rather than being crunchy, these chips are softer and chewier.
The last kind of banana chip you’ll find is baked banana chips. Taste- and texture-wise, these sit somewhere between fried and dehydrated banana chips. They’re less sweet than dehydrated chips but are not as crunchy as fried. These are also the easiest type of banana chip to make at home.
The best types of banana chips to feed your dog are dehydrated or baked ones, as these won’t have any oils or flavorings added.
Making your own banana chips
If you’d rather make your own banana chips for your dog, that’s totally possible! All you need to do is take fresh, ripe bananas, peel them, and cut them into slices about ¼-inch thickness. Place these into a bowl, and coat with lemon juice to prevent them from going brown.
Place them in your oven at a low temperature, around 250 degrees Fahrenheit. Bake for an hour, then turn the slices over. Bake for at least another hour, possibly more. You can sprinkle cinnamon on the chips if that’s a flavor that your dog enjoys. Allow the chips to cool completely, and then see what your dog thinks! These can be stored in an airtight container for a week or so, or you can pop them in the freezer and take them out as needed. Baked banana chips have a softer and chewier texture than store-bought fried banana chips, but we bet that your dog will still be a fan!
Homemade banana chips can be a better treat option than commercial treats that are high in calories and preservatives.
What about fresh bananas?
Fresh bananas share the same benefits as banana chips, and some dogs may prefer the texture. Again, moderation is key, so start with small amounts, then increase to half a banana once a week or so for a large dog. Smaller dogs should only have a couple of slices.
What about banana peel?
It’s not recommended to feed dogs the banana peel, even if they seem keen to eat it! It’s extremely fibrous, which makes it almost impossible to digest and could cause a blockage in your dog’s gastrointestinal system if they swallow a large piece.
Wrapping it up
Banana chips can make a healthy occasional treat for dogs that aren’t on calorie-controlled or restricted diets. You can buy banana chips, but we recommend avoiding those that have been fried in oil. Baked or dehydrated banana chips are best, and it’s also easy to make these at home.
Make sure you start feeding only a small amount of banana at first to check that your dog’s digestive system can cope. You can then build this up slowly, but a maximum of half a banana per week (in chip form) is probably the most that you’d want to feed.
Bananas are healthy and contain plenty of beneficial nutrients, but they’re also relatively high in carbohydrates, fats, and sugars. They can help provide a boost of energy, as well as settle some dogs’ stomachs.
Does your dog love banana chips? Do you make homemade banana chips to use as treats? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below!
Featured Image: Shawn Hempel, Shutterstock