Bananas are safe for dogs and most dogs enjoy the natural sweetness of bananas. These fruits can help boost their immune system and replenish their electrolytes. Don’t be afraid about giving this fruit to your own dog because it contains good amounts of vitamins and minerals.
But what about banana chips? Are these deep-fried slices of ripe bananas okay for canines? Keep reading to find out.
What’s In Your Banana Chips?
Let’s start with the main ingredient – the bananas and their health benefits. This fruit is best known for its high potassium content. A small banana weighing around 101 grams already contains as much as 361.6 mg of potassium.
A 30-pounder canine needs one gram of potassium per day. Given that, a cup of sliced banana should be enough to meet their daily potassium requirement.
These fruits have an impressive amount of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, with 31.9 mg and 54.3 mg per medium-sized respectively. These essential fatty acids are important for a dog’s healthy skin and hair coat. These fatty acids are also helpful in dealing with canine allergy and heart disease.
Meanwhile, banana chips are done by deep-frying under-ripe bananas. The fruit is covered in either sugar or honey beforehand. Both sugar and honey are acceptable for canines in very minimal amounts.
Take note that while sugar and honey are non-toxic to canines, they can still have adverse effects on your dog’s health. In the book “The Good Behavior Book for Dogs: The Most Annoying Dog Behaviors … Solved!”, writer Colleen Paige stressed that dogs may get a sugar high that could make them unfocused and hyper.
Dogs normally experience lethargy after a sugar high. Like humans, their bodies react to high levels of sugar by releasing insulin from the pancreas. This is the reason why they also become weak and sleepy after consuming sweets.
Bananas themselves are surprisingly loaded with sugar. This is the reason why many dog owners only relegate banana as a treat and not as a regular part of their pet’s daily diet.
A medium-sized banana contains around 14 grams of sugar. This amount, while acceptable for humans, can be a lot of a dog. A canine’s body cannot deal with large amounts of sugar.
In moderation, banana can be your dog’s source of potassium and magnesium. Let us add the fact that this fruit offers a hefty amount of vitamins and minerals.
The real question here is if banana retains it nutrients after being deep-fried. The Shape Magazine’s comparison revealed that a handful of banana chips have more calories than two medium-sized bananas.
Two medium bananas only have one gram of fat, while a handful of banana chips have a whopping 14 grams of fat. If your dog is already suffering from obesity and weight problems, giving him fatty foods could only worsen his situation.
Can Dogs Have Banana Chips As Treats?
Yes, they can. But be careful about giving banana chips to dogs as your pet might suffer from diarrhea if he consumed too many of them. The fiber in banana could give him a mild stomach upset.
If you are eager to feed him banana chips, better consider the dehydrated or baked varieties. These can be bought in specialty outlets or health food stores. Baked banana chips are healthier because they do not have as much oil as the deep-fried kind.
Baked banana chips are also a more wholesome option not just for your dog but also for you. Deep-fried foods soak up more of the oil and the grease.
Risks in Giving Banana Chips to Dogs
Aside from the fact that bananas contains sugar, their fiber content could also cause a stomach upset in dogs. If your dog is suffering from gastrointestinal problems, it is better to offer him fresh banana than banana chips. This way he truly gets the fiber without the unnecessary amounts of sugar.
The fruits are either dried or deep-fried when making banana chips. Dried fruits have a reputation for causing diarrhea on dogs. Most dried fruits contain high amounts of sugar. On the other hand, anything deep-fried is not a wholesome meal for canines because this type of food can be too oily.
Be careful when giving store-bought banana chips to your pet, especially the flavored ones. They might contain spices that are toxic to dogs.
Such an example is nutmeg, which is often used in flavoring the chips. Nutmeg as a toxic spice for dogs because of its compound called myristicin.
Veterinarian Charlotte Flint, DVM highlighted that it would take a large amount of nutmeg before a dog could experience myristicin toxicity characterized by hallucinations and an increased heart rate. If a dog ingested even small amounts of nutmeg he could suffer from a mild stomach upset.
How to Make Healthy Banana Chips for Dogs
Dehydrating the bananas involve dipping them in lemon juice to preserve their color. The lemon juice also helps firm the banana as you cook it. If you are not comfortable with using lemon juice since it can be harmful to dogs, you may use pineapple juice as an alternative.
Here are the steps in making banana chips using pineapple juice as the dip:
- Preheat the oven to 200F.
- Slice the bananas thinly. The slices should be 1/8 or ¼ inches thick.
- Line the baking pan with aluminum foil.
- Grease with the foil with a bit of cooking spray to prevent it from sticking to the pan.
- Toss the bananas in the pineapple dip prepared from one part water and one part pineapple juice.
- Set out the bananas on the baking sheet.
- Bake for two hours or until you get your desired brittleness.
- Let them cool on the wire rack before transferring the chips in an airtight jar.
When making baked banana chips, you really have to wait for at least an hour in order to obtain crispy chips. Some recipes even require baking the banana slices for up to three hours to achieve a certain firmness.
Take note that you can create your banana chips without the pre-treatment or without dehydrating them with an acidic solution. You will have brown bananas, but that should not be a big deal if you are just making some chips for your pup.
Banana chips are not toxic to dogs but they are not an ideal treat for them either. If you want your dog to reap the health benefits of banana, give him the fresh fruit instead.
If you are truly interested in adding banana to your dog’s diet, simply mash it and add it to his food. It tastes best with peanut butter and yogurt. Most dog owners simply freeze the banana and slice it. It can be as simple as that!
When your intention is to give puppy banana chips as a treat, make sure he only eats a small amount. To make sure they are free from sugar and oil, make your own banana chips for dogs. The best banana chips you can offer to your pet are the home-made ones.