Banana chips are made from bananas (obvious rocket science), which are much safer for your pooch to consume than other popular fruits containing toxic components. Dogs love bananas, and as sweet dog treats, they love banana chips even more.
So, the million-dollar question becomes: can dogs eat banana chips, and how safe is it?
The short answer is: Yes! But to what degree?
That depends on the quantity and the variant of banana chips you feed your furry friend. If done in moderation, bananas can be your dog’s go-to healthy snack.
In this guide, we will go through what to expect with different banana chips variants. But first, let’s discuss the contents of banana chips and their benefits.
Health Benefits of Banana Chips for Your Dogs
Depending on the method of preparation, banana chips contain some, if not all of the nutrients of a banana. Here are some of the most important:
Potassium helps your pet improve and control brain functioning, muscle activity, nerve impulses, and the dog’s heart functions. Replenishing potassium is essential because it is the most abundant element in your dog’s cells.
Omega 3 Fatty Acids
Omega 3’s are beneficial to your dog’s health because they help manage inflammation, enhance vision, brain development, and overall functioning of the central nervous system.
Omega 6 Fatty Acids
Omega 6’s specializes in cell membrane structuring as well as cellular functioning. Ultimately, they’ll help your dog get a healthier coat and skin and boost the immune system. They are also important in reproduction.
Banana chips contain prebiotic fiber content which helps promote thriving healthy gut bacteria and reduce bloating. Fiber helps to regulate digestive tract health as well.
After potassium, magnesium is the next most abundant element in your dog’s cells. Magnesium is essential for enzyme activation, and it is necessary for many metabolic reactions. Magnesium also controls the movement of calcium into the muscle cells.
An increased supply of iron results in a boosted formation of red blood cells and hemoglobin, conveying nutrients and oxygen from one part of the body to another. It’s also required for proper enzyme functioning.
Vitamin A helps your dog in muscle and neurological development. It also promotes healthy skin and coats, and it is particularly important to female dogs during pregnancy because it favors proper growth.
Vitamin B6 helps to improve your dog’s cognitive functions, ensuring your dog keeps a sharp mind. It also helps in regulating blood flow.
Vitamin C helps to boost your dog’s immunity, ensuring your pet is less prone to falling sick.
Can Dogs Eat Banana Chips? The Variants
Dried Banana Chips
Banana slices are flash-frozen and then exposed to a vacuum, hence they’re referred to as freeze-dried. So can dogs eat banana chips that have been dried? Yes! Because they only lose all the water within them but still contain the same nutrients they did before processing.
However, due to the specialized machinery involved in its production, you can not dry banana chips on your own. When buying from the store, you need to be certain of the ingredients inside. Some of the ingredients added to augment flavor and prolong viability could be harmful to your dog’s health.
Dehydrated Banana Chips
Unlike dried chips, dehydrated chips are made using hot temperatures to remove water content. With this method, the banana loses about 50% of its original nutrient components. Your dog will be gaining predominantly more dietary fiber content.
Also, they can be a lot chewier for your dog than dried chips, and they don’t require special machinery. This means you can prepare them on your own and control the quality of the ingredients used.
Unsweetened vs Sweetened Banana Chips
Sweetened banana chips contain additional ingredients like salt, spices, sugar, artificial sweeteners, or different flavor enhancers. On the other hand, unsweetened banana chips are simply bland and don’t contain all that.
The additional ingredients of sweet chips are much tastier to the palate but unfortunately, they override the beneficial nutrients that your dog could make use of.
When buying your banana chips of any kind (either organic, baked, or green banana chips) you should always be on the lookout for the unsweetened alternative, as it will pose the least health risk to your dog.
Deep-fried Banana Chips
Deep-fried foods are generally unhealthy and banana chips are no exception. When it comes to feeding your dog healthy snacks, deep-fried banana chips should be avoided.
They mainly contain high sugar content and heavy calories because they’re normally dipped/ coated with honey or sugar before frying. Usage of oil to fry also adds to the already high-fat content of bananas.
Can dogs eat banana chips that have been deep-fried?
Well yes, but should they? Absolutely not!
How Are Banana Chips Bad for Your Dogs
Though the ingredients inside banana chips are not toxic for your dog, moderation is key when feeding your pooch, as excessive consumption could pose some health risks.
It’s also important to know if your dog is allergic to bananas or any other ingredients included in banana chips.
When ingested in high quantities, dog treats made from fruits that have a high source of fiber content like banana chips could result in nutrient deficiency, a lack of protein, and other nutrients that your dog does not assimilate from their food. High fiber can also result in digestive issues like indigestion, stomach upset, and vomiting.
Incessantly feeding your dog banana can be very unhealthy over time: 1cup (72 grams) of banana chips contains 42 grams of carbs and 21 grams of saturated fat. This will ultimately result in bloating and weight gain due to high sugar levels and fat content.
If you’re the type that would love to make banana chips yourself, you should be careful with the banana peels around your dogs. Though they are not toxic, dogs may find it very difficult to digest. Consumption of banana skin could result in sickness, intestinal blockage, and digestive complications.
So can dogs eat banana chips? Well, by now you know the answer to that.
However, as with every good thing in life, moderation and discipline are vital. It’s advisable to use banana chips as treats only and not as the main source of food. But even as an occasional treat, its use needs to be regulated to avoid visiting a veterinarian for digestive tract-related issues.