Bananas are a common food fed to dogs as an added treat or used in dog treat recipes to sweeten and provide fiber and potassium. But you may be wondering about the banana peel and if it is safe for your dog to eat. Some people will cook and grind up banana peels to add to recipes, but this is controversial because there is not enough evidence to support that it is completely safe to do so.
Banana peels are provided as part of a diet for some species of animals on small farms. Animals that can tolerate eating a banana peel include cattle, pigs, rabbits, and monkeys. Let’s see if dogs should be eating banana peels.
Can Dogs Eat Banana Peels?
No, dogs should not eat banana peels, and there are a few reasons for this. Banana peels aren’t toxic, but they are difficult for your dog to digest because they contain a high amount of fiber. You also run the risk of creating a blockage in the bowels if your dog eats a banana peel.
This is the same reason that people don’t eat banana peels, even though it contains plenty of nutrients and fiber is generally a good thing to have in your diet. When a dog eats something, it is digested three times faster compared to a human. This is because they have a small intestine that takes up less total volume within their digestive tract, so food moves through this section at a quicker rate.
What to Do If Your Dog Eats a Banana Peel
There’s no need to panic if your dog accidentally eats a banana peel. Problems are related to how much of the peel your dog ate. Watch your dog for any signs and symptoms that would alert you to a more serious situation. Some dogs may not show any untoward effects from eating a banana peel, but these are usually the ones who have strong stomachs.
Symptoms that can occur after eating a banana peel:
- Crying or whimpering
If your dog vomits, continue to monitor for any continued discomfort. If signs of discomfort continue longer than a few hours, alert your veterinarian.
Signs of an intestinal blockage:
- Continued vomiting
- Loss of appetite
- Hunching the body
- Whining and obvious discomfort
If your dog shows signs of a bowel blockage, you need to contact your veterinarian as soon as possible to prevent an intestinal rupture that can lead to death.
Remember to keep banana peels out of your dog’s reach so they are not accidentally eaten, especially if you feed your dog bananas, because the peel smells like a yummy treat. Your dog may find after nibbling on a peel that they don’t care for the bitter taste. However, some dogs aren’t as picky and will eat almost anything. Keep in mind that puppies are at a higher risk of ingesting something they shouldn’t because they like to eat whatever is within reach.
Don’t let your dog eat banana peels, and try to keep them out of reach when you discard them. Most dogs won’t like the bitter flavor of the peel, but the smell is too enticing for some. Banana peels aren’t toxic, but they can cause abdominal discomfort and lead to a bowel obstruction if too much is consumed.
If your dog happens to eat a banana peel, watch for signs and symptoms or continued discomfort that tells you that it’s time to call your veterinarian. Even though some animals can tolerate eating banana peels, remember that dogs have different digestive systems that can’t digest such a high amount of fiber and break it down effectively, compared to another animal such as a cow or a pig.
Featured image credit: stevepb, Pixabay