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Banana bread- the ultimate baking treat. So many variations exist, all of them equally delicious. It is so versatile, that it can even become a healthy snack, with just a few modifications in the recipe.
Surely finding someone to not like banana bread will prove to be a difficult task. It is natural to wonder, is it possible for dogs to enjoy it as well? Read on to find out!
Can My Dog Eat Banana Bread?
The short answer is maybe. Bananas by themselves are not a threat to dogs. Banana bread in moderation should be safe for a dog to eat. Whether your pup would enjoy it, that is a different question. Our personal research with our own dogs has gathered robust evidence that dogs are very easy to please and not the pickiest eaters!
Two ingredients in banana bread are especially worrisome for the safety of your pup. Sugar is the one. Dogs should not be given sugar. It can lead to various health problems down the way. Of course, a minimal amount will not hurt. Hence, the term moderation. Just a small bite of banana bread will not cause any harm to your dog.
Raisins, on the other hand, the second thing you should look out for if are giving banana bread to your dog, are toxic. Dogs do not tolerate raisins, at all. They are not just toxic, but fatally toxic. Dogs who consume raisins should be taken to a vet immediately.
So if the banana bread you are buying or making has raisins, not even try giving it to your pup. There is a zero-tolerance policy on that subject.
Nutritional Value of Banana Bread
Is banana bread healthy?
Well, if you consider that an average slice of banana bread (90 gr) has about 250 calories, and about 20 gr (4 teaspoons) of sugar, it seems accurate to say that there is nothing healthy about it. The healthiest part is of course the bananas, being a fruit.
However, you would be way better off having a plain banana, instead of banana bread. A large amount of calories and sugar is not a trade-off you should be willing to make for the nutritional benefits that bananas have.
Bananas are one of the most popular fruits and for a good reason. They are very nutrient-dense, but not caloric dense. They provide a good amount of carbs, with enough fiber. The result is a great slow-acting energy source. A medium banana has:
- About 10% (10 mg) of the recommended daily intake of vitamin C,
- About 10% of the recommended daily intake of Copper, Magnesium, Manganese, and Potassium. Bananas are a minerals powerhouse- nature’s own electrolytes replenisher!
- They only carry 105 calories on average and zero amount of fat. You really can’t go wrong with a banana. They are a good snack, good for breakfast, and you can have them after exercise as well.
Also, you will be pleased to know that these benefits have a carryover to your dog as well! If you can get your pup to eat one of course that is, our efforts at home have failed so far!
Sadly, banana bread is not even close to a banana!
Banana bread is the exact opposite of the fruit. It is very calorically dense, with low nutrients content. It is basically a cake, with bananas instead of flour. Which is a good thing, but that is basically the end of the story. Comparing 100 calories of banana bread with the 100 calories of a whole banana from before, we see that:
- Banana cake has less than half the nutrients of a banana. In some cases like that of vitamin C, that amount goes as low as one-tenth!
- Banana cakes have 0.7g of fiber, not even one gram, while a banana has almost 4 grams of fiber!
It also has some saturated fat, ranging from a few to several grams depending on the recipe, and do not forget the artificial sugars added. Unfortunately, banana bread is not nearly as healthy as a banana. It does taste a lot better though! (This article would probably not exist otherwise.)
Is Banana Bread Bad for Dogs?
A few bites of banana bread will not cause any harm to your dog, provided that there are no health problems. Some dogs have health conditions that prohibit them from consuming any sugar. Make sure of that before you take any risks. However, you should typically avoid giving your dog banana bread, whether it’s regularly or infrequently.
Too many calories are not good for your dog
Obesity is a problem for dogs in the same way it is for humans. A continuous excess of calories will make your dog obese in the long run. That will have immediate adverse effects and will also lead to serious health problems down the road. Obese dogs cannot enjoy life in the same way healthy dogs can.
Think about it for a second. What is your dog’s favorite thing to do? Run! Well imagine her running with a heavy backpack attached, would that be the same fun? Obese dogs cannot enjoy the very same activities that make dogs happy, like running in nature, playing with other dogs, chasing balls, and so on.
Not only that, but obesity can cause health problems as dogs grow older. Severe conditions like diabetes, heart and arteries issues, elevated blood pressure the list goes on. It is pretty much the same as with humans.
Sugar is plainly not suited for dogs
Many dogs have a sweet tooth! It is true, our canine companions sometimes are like us in that aspect. They enjoy having sugary treats. If they get used to it, they will even start craving it. Sugar and dogs however is not a good match. First of all, dogs do not brush their teeth. Sugar will cause dental issues, like cavities.
Furthermore, regular sugar intake will, slowly but steadily, disrupt a dog’s metabolic function. This will lead to weight gain and, if the diet is not changed, diabetes. Diabetes is a very serious condition that will shorten your pup’s life span.
Raisins are dangerous for dogs!
Raisins are a very common ingredient in many banana bread recipes. They are extremely toxic for dogs. As ASPCA, the Animal Poison Control Center informs us, although we are not sure which substance inside raisins is responsible for this high toxicity, they can cause kidney failure in dogs.
A dog who eats raisins is in immediate need of professional medical care. That is very crucial, if you suspect that your dog ingested raisins (or grapes for that matter), do not hesitate and take your pup directly to the vet.
Types of Banana Bread and Their Effects on Dogs
Banana bread comes in many forms. Not all of them are equally safe for your pup, however. Some of the ingredients found in common recipes are toxic to your dog- especially raisins.
Homemade is always better
Homemade banana bread is the safest kind. You can be in control of everything that enters the recipe. Things you need to avoid are raisins, chocolate, macadamia nuts, and xylitol. Raisins are the most serious threat. You can even find dog-friendly recipes online if you feel like baking your dog a treat!
Avoid store-bought banana bread
The dough used in-store brought cakes can contain several ingredients that are not suited for your pet. Nuts, sweeteners like xylitol, coconut, alcohol, chocolate, and raisins, these are all things you can find in store-bought banana bread. They are great flavor enhancers for us, but they are not tolerated well by our canine friends.
They can result in mild negative stomach reactions or allergies. Some of them like raisins or chocolate are downright toxic. Always read the label and consider if the ingredients are safe for your dog.
FAQs About Banana Bread and Dogs
Can banana bread kill my dog?
Banana bread can be dangerous to your dog. Death is unlikely, do not take any risks though.
How much can I give my dog?
A few bites will be enough. Avoid giving any more than that.
How often can I give banana bread to my dog?
You should avoid giving banana bread to your dog on a regular basis. If your dog seems to enjoy sweet or baked treats, they are plenty of dog-friendly recipes online to choose from.
Is diet banana bread better?
‘’Healthy’’ banana bread is not always healthier than regular ones, especially for a dog. Sweeteners like xylitol can be toxic for dogs. Dark chocolate is toxic as well. It is best to look at the label or the recipe and avoid anything with unsuitable ingredients.
You do not have to completely restrain from sharing a piece of banana bread with your pup. Our dogs will probably set their sight on it as soon as it comes out the over! However, you have to stay strong and practice moderation since it can cause problems to your dog. You can always offer them tasty alternatives, so they do not feel left out, and keep them healthy at the same time!