Can Dogs Eat Bananas? A Must-See List of Good and Bad Food for Fido

Dec 02 , 2020

Can Dogs Eat Bananas? A Must-See List of Good and Bad Food for Fido

Photo by Karsten Winegeart on Unsplash

Every year, just before National Animal Poison Prevention Week in March, the ASPCA releases its Top 10 list of pet poison culprits. Last year they helped over 230,000 pets and their reports are essential reading for smart doggie moms and dads everywhere.

What’s interesting is that for the past several years the number three and four reported cases of poisoning came from food sources – with chocolate being in a category all of its own at number four! Now that’s something to pay attention to. 

an dogs eat bananas? Graphic showing the ASPCA 2019 Top 10 poisons for dogs.

With the Holidays around the corner, we’ll all be thinking about and making our favorite foods. This year particularly, with the pandemic overshadowing our lives, taking comfort from the Holidays, and all the yummy dishes that go with it, will be very important for us all.

While we satisfy our culinary dreams and desires we’ll be thinking of treats for our pooches, too. We want them to have the best as well.

But just because we love certain foods, it doesn’t mean that it’s ok and safe for our dogs to eat them. We can spoil them, yes, but what we spoil them with matters.

“Why can’t we feed our pets people food?” “Are there any foods we can give them?” “What should we avoid?” “Can dogs eat bananas? ” “Can dogs eat apples? ” “Can dogs eat watermelon?”

These are great questions that are always being asked. While we all probably know that chocolate is a no-no, is it ok to feed foods such as fruits and vegetables that are so good for us?

Of course, it’s not a straightforward answer so let’s delve a little deeper…

What Should We Feed Our Dogs?

Dogs evolved from wolves and as carnivores they are designed to eat meat, meat, and more meat! Wild carnivores also eat the raw, meaty bones that come with what they caught to kill, and they eat a few seasonal fruits and veggies. And that’s it!

When domestication of wolves into dogs began, as far back as 14,000 years ago, dogs and humans typically ate the same things. As humans evolved, however, they began to eat more farm foods. It was often more reliable to grow food than chance a successful hunt.

As domesticated dogs ate what their humans gave them they slowly began to learn how to digest starches and people food and became omnivores. Although our dogs still remember the wolf inside them, they’ve evolved to eat what we feed them because they had to!

This doesn't mean that all people food is right for our dogs, though. Far from it. Let’s go back to the wolf…they ate meat (including the bones and fat) and seasonal, selective fruits and veggies.

Commercially made dog food (dry, canned, pouched, frozen, dehydrated, freeze-dried) should have similar ingredients so they are complete and balanced and give our dogs what they need to thrive.

Can dogs eat apples? Woman eats healthy breakfast while dog looks at fruit longingly.
Food photo created by freepik -

Most of us feed this food to our babies because it’s convenient. A few of us make homemade meals for our dogs but it takes a lot of time, energy, and know-how.
So long as the food you feed your dog follows the AAFCO (Association of American Feed Control Officials) guidelines for nutritional standards you are usually fine.

As a general rule of thumb, feed your baby the best food you can provide. Quality counts. There are many to choose from so it can be a bit of a minefield. Chloe says we might cover food in further blog posts as it’s super important.

If you need help with research, check out the Dog Food Advisor website, and Veterinarian Dr. Karen Becker is up-to-date on food. Her YouTube videos are very informative.

Chloe loves her dog food but wonders if her mom and dad wanted to give her a human-food treat what would be the safest thing for her to eat?

Eat This Not That…

Let’s take a look at some foods that are safe for our pups to eat and some that are not. The last thing we need during the Holidays is a trip to the emergency vet!

We know that meat is a winner – keep the cuts lean and never serve the fatty pieces we leave behind. Fatty foods can lead to pancreatitis.

Cartoon drawing of dog eating steak out of a dog bowl.Fish, especially wild-caught salmon and sardines (crush the soft bones), is also great. Small amounts of tuna are ok, and fully cooked shrimp and eggs are good to go!

Plain yogurt, if your dog isn’t lactose intolerant, provides probiotics that are good for gut health. Cottage cheese is also ok.

But while some fruits and veggies are healthy for us, looks can be very deceiving and harmful if you unknowingly poison your pet simply by sharing your food.

Always feed fruits and veggies in moderation. Lightly steaming or boiling vegetables can improve digestion.

So…Can Dogs Eat Bananas?

A resounding “Yes” but feed occasionally as they are packed full of sugar. Can dogs eat banana peels? Not recommended.

Can Dogs Eat Grapes?

Who doesn’t love a ripe and juicy grape? But while we indulge in them we mustn’t be tempted to toss one over to our pups. Grapes have been associated with kidney failure in many dogs. They can cause symptoms such as a lack of energy, diarrhea, and vomiting within 12 hours of ingestion. Raisins, sultanas, and currants are in the same family.

What else?

Can Dogs Eat Apples?

Well yes, they can! Very healthy for dogs but do remove the core and seeds…and if at all possible organic is best. As with all the food we feed ourselves and our babies! Peel the skin off if the apple is not organic.

Can Dogs Eat Strawberries?

an dogs eat strawberries? Simple illustration of a big red strawberry.
Yes but absolutely must be organic as strawberries are number one on the so-called Dirty Dozen list of foods sprayed with the most pesticides. To see that list please click here! It is created yearly by the Environment Working Group (EWG) and is vital viewing for us all. Oh yes, they have a Clean Fifteen list, too. Wanna see it? Click here!

What Other Fruits Can Dogs Eat?

  • Apricots – flesh only
  • Blueberries – berries are full of antioxidants
  • Blackberries
  • Raspberries
  • Cantaloupe – like bananas high in sugar so use sparingly
  • Cranberries
  • Mango – flesh only
  • Oranges – peeled and seeds removed, avoid lemons and limes
  • Peaches – flesh only
  • Pears – flesh only
  • Coconut and coconut oil
  • Pineapple – flesh only – high in sugar so small amounts only
  • Watermelon – no seeds or rind

Dog-Friendly Vegetables

Simple illustration of a variety of fresh vegetables.
  • Brussels sprouts – very healthy but can cause gas – cooked is best!
  • Carrots –yes! Full of vitamins and fiber
  • Celery – healthy and low calorie
  • Cucumber – healthy and low calorie
  • Green beans – fresh not canned (salt)
  • Potato – stick to the sweet variety
  • Pumpkin – absolutely. Add a teaspoonful to their meals to help with loose stool or constipation
  • Squash
  • Peas
  • Asparagus 
  • Lettuce
  • Avocado – flesh only – this is a fatty food so small amounts only

Foods To Watch Out For…

Illustration of heart-shaped box of chocolates tied with a red bow.

According to Live Science, an online research science magazine, the foods that cause the most pet deaths are:

  1. Chocolate and chocolate-based products – never, never, never. If you think your dog has eaten chocolate call a vet or a poison control center immediately – phone numbers below. 
  2. Onions, garlic, leeks, and chives – all in the same family
  3. Macadamia nuts are the most toxic nuts to dogs but avoid all salted nuts. Avoid almonds, too. A few unsalted cashews are ok. 
  4. Alcohol and unbaked bread dough. Cooked bread is ok but has no nutritional value so other foods would be preferable.
  5. Foods sweetened with xylitol – such as baked good, sugar-free gum, toothpaste, and the most dangerous of all peanut butter…we’ve been giving our babies a little of this for many years and it’s always been safe in small portions. However, some companies now sweeten their peanut butter with xylitol and this is deadly to our pups. Shame on them! Here are the culprits: Krush Nutrition’s Nutty By Nature, Go Nuts, Co Peanut Butter, Nut’s N More, and P28 High Protein Peanut Spread. For further information on this please go to the Doglab website and read this awesome article on good and bad peanut butters.

The Pet Poison Hotline tells us that if a ten-pound dog was to eat just one piece of sugar-free gum sweetened with xylitol that amount could kill it. Their website is a must-see as it features an alphabetical list of things that can poison your dog, a top-ten list, and a seasonal list. Everyone should have their number handy for emergencies. Their website and phone number appear below along with that of the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center.

Avoid These Foods, Too

Cartoon drawing of a brown dog sitting in front of a white bone.
  • Milk – can cause diarrhea and problems for lactose-intolerant dogs
  • Caffeine
  • Dogs love cheese (don’t we all!) and although it’s not poisonous to them it can be very high in fat and lead to diarrhea and even pancreatitis
  • Corn – dogs cannot digest it
  • Ice cream – unless it is specifically made for our pups
  • Wheat and grains are ok for our dogs to eat but can cause allergies for many of them
  • Hops
  • Mushrooms – some are ok, some are deadly…better to keep away
  • Cherries – although the flesh is ok the rest of the plant is poisonous so best to steer clear
  • Citrus fruits – acidic and high in sugar

In conclusion, while we enjoy the delights of Holiday food and festivities, we must be careful that our dogs eat only what’s right for them. Remember, our pets are opportunistic eaters! They don't just eat what we give them. They will eat anything that is left lying around. Be vigilant! Inform children of the dangers, too.

The following websites and phone numbers are worth writing down just in case an accident happens. Speed is of the essence in any poisoning case and having these numbers at hand can save your pup's life.

Pet Poison Helpline: 855-764-7661
ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center: 888-426-4435

Chloe would love you to comment on this blog post on "Can dogs eat bananas?" Let’s get a conversation going on food! For example, she would love to know what dog food you feed your little love and why? Is there a certain fruit or veggie that your dog loves? Is there one you have found to be a problem? Comment in the box below, and share this post so others can benefit from it. See you next time!

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published