Giving a pointer a banana can be a fun treat, but it’s always smart to pause and wonder whether or not they’re safe for your pointer. Some human foods are toxic to dogs, and it’s important to know what to avoid when giving your pointer a tasty treat.
Pointers can eat bananas but not banana peels. Bananas are a good source of potassium and various vitamins for your pointer. Too much of this fruit can cause health issues like obesity along with other problems.
All dogs are masters of the adorable “puppy dog” begging eyes. Sometimes it’s impossible to resist that cute face. Before sharing those tasty morsels, it’s important to know all the ins and outs of bananas and in what capacity they’re safe for your pointer.
Pointers and Bananas
Pointers love a treat no matter the occasion. Bananas are just another piece of human food that is safe for your dog to eat. The peel, however, should not be consumed.
Am I the only one that immediately starts spelling whenever I hear the word “bananas”? “This is bananas! B-A-N-A-N-A-S!” (thanks, Gwen Stafani)
That kind of excitement is frequently shown by an eager pointer whenever a tasty treat is out!
Bananas are great sources of:
- vitamin C
- vitamin B6
This does not mean that bananas should become a regular part of your pointer’s diet, but they can serve as a fantastic and more beneficial reward!
Some great ways to incorporate bananas into your pointers life include blending it up with other safe foods, freezing slices, or just giving it to them slice by slice.
Like with any nontraditional food source for your pet, you’ll want to consult your veterinarian before giving any sort of human food to your pointer.
They will be able to test for different food allergies in your dog (yes, they have them too) and recommend serving sizes as well as tell you how often is safe to give your pointer banana.
Pointer owners are typically well versed in the origin of their breed. Pointers were bred to be hunting dogs for birds and small prey like hares. They are naturally hyperactive, athletic, and exuberant.
These traits dictate their need for consistent training throughout their lives. Pointers are very stubborn and only respond well to upbeat and positive reinforcement that comes in the forms of petting, praise, and food treats!
Bananas can be a smashing hit with this breed when used in conjunction with their training. They respond well to treats and can better associate good behavior with certain actions when treats are involved.
Remember to only give treats and encouragement when they perform well or else they will never be able to distinguish what behaviors are good.
Try using raw or frozen slices of banana for these activities.
Another exceptional training tool for pointers is giving them games and toys that allow them to think and problem solve. Pointers need not only to work out their bodies regularly but to work our their minds as well.
Mashing a banana and some peanut butter together and then putting it inside of a Kong dog toy can help to keep them happy, focused, and engaged for a while. For more fun, you can try freezing the toy/mixture combination before giving it to your pointer.
The American Kennel Club also suggests mashing a little bit into your dog’s food every once in a while.
Again, always talk with your veterinarian before introducing new foods into your dog’s diet.
Possible Problems for Pointers
Dogs should never eat the peel of the banana
The banana peel is not toxic for your pointer, but it is known to cause blockages because dogs don’t digest them well. We want to avoid this as much as possible!
Another thing to be wary of is feeding bananas to a pointer who is diabetic. Bananas have a lot of sugar in them and it can be bad for a diabetic pointer to consume too much, if any, of it. The best practice is to avoid any foods not directly given the okay by your vet if your pointer is diabetic.
Bananas can also possibly cause vomiting and diarrhea in your pointer because of the high fiber content. This is always a chance when introducing new foods into your pointer’s diet, but the high amount of fiber in bananas, specifically, can amplify this reaction.
If any of these reactions occur, take your pointer to the vet immediately.
Moderation is Important
Like with everything in life, moderation is key. Things that are safe for dogs to eat can quickly become unsafe when too much is consumed. We all know and are aware of what excess sugar does to our body, so take that and times it by 10 when thinking about sugar and dogs.
Bananas, like peanut butter, contain a lot of sugar. Sugar is okay for dogs in small quantities, but too much can be harmful. Obesity is a common result of too much sugar intake by a dog.
You never want treats to make up more than 10% of your pointers total diet.
Bananas should never become a regular substitute for dog food but rather a treat for special occasions. To keep from having too many problems with bananas as a treat, try alternating it with other healthy treats.
Another characteristic of bananas is its high fiber content. Too much fiber for dogs can cause gastrointestinal pain and other digestion issues.
Be careful about how much human food you give your dog because each has its own consequences. Giving your pointer banana can be good but only if it’s done sparingly.
Be Wary of Excess Sugar and Fiber
As with anything, it’s important never to eat things to excess. When talking about bananas, fiber and sugar can become dangerous if over consumed by pointers.
As has been previously mentioned, sugar is not good for dogs in high quantities. Whenever feeding your dog human food, make sure to avoid added sugar, sugar substitutes, and artificial sweeteners.
You don’t have the same worry for bananas since they are fruits naturally grown with no added sugars. It’s the fruit’s abundance of natural sugars you want to be careful of.
Bananas contain approximately 14 grams of sugar each. That’s quite a bit more sugar than other fruits or vegetables available.
It’s important to keep in mind that too much of a good thing is always going to turn out bad. Monitor your pointer and make sure they’re not showing any signs of an allergic reaction or sickness from too much banana.
Your dog can also start to gain weight when eating bananas too frequently, and, if not checked, they can quickly become obese which brings other health problems with it.
Consult your veterinarian whenever you’re concerned for your pointer’s health. They will be able to accurately tell you how much sugar it’s okay for your pointer to consume each day and if bananas are a good choice for them.
Fiber is really good for dogs in the sense that it helps with digestion. Dog food doesn’t contain a lot of fiber, but it’s definitely included.
Safe levels of fiber in a dog’s diet stay in the 2.5 -4.5% range according to Your Dogs Nutritional Needs: A Science Based Guide for Pet Owners which can be found here.
Too much fiber can do the opposite of its intended purpose. High levels can lead to constipation and less enjoyment of food in general.
To emphasize my point, feed your pointer bananas in moderation. While bananas can help soothe gastrointestinal pain, it can also cause it. Balance is important in everything you do for your pointer.
Consult a veterinarian if you’re concerned or have questions about feeding your pointer bananas.
It’s always a good rule of thumb to make good quality dog food the staple of your pointer’s diet. It is recommended that they eat 2-3 cups of nutritional dog food every day. Split this into two meals, and you’ll be golden. The amount will differ depending on the size of your pointer and their level of activity.
Your veterinarian will be able to guide you in specifics for your individual pointer’s nutritional needs.