Can dogs eat plantains? What about plantain chips? What’s the difference anyway? Learn all about the nutrition of plantains that your furry friends can get, when things have gone too far, and ways to cook plantain so that it’s actually safe and healthy.
So you’re the avid plantain eater and are thinking of letting Buster have a serving to himself. While most of the time it’s okay, if you are a long-time dog owner you know introducing new foods can be tricky. If you are a fruit lover, be sure to check out why you shouldn’t give your dog acai and guidelines for feeding them papaya.
Know that most of the time plantains are actually pretty safe for dogs in a cooked form but you always want to proceed with caution. We are diving deep into the banana’s cousin, giving you all of the details below.
What Are Plantains?
Plantains look like bananas, except they are larger and usually green when you see them in local markets (as they ripen they look more like big bananas). Technically they are tropical fruits but are cooked and eaten as if they are vegetables.
Plantains are harder to peel than bananas, particularly when green, and cannot be eaten raw. They are an important part of South and Central American, African, Caribbean, and Southeast Asia cuisines.
Plantains can benefit a dog’s health if properly prepared and given in moderation. They are made up of many beneficial vitamins and minerals, which can provide significant health benefits.
Plantains offer a ton of nutrients to dogs. Below are some of the most valuable vitamins and minerals;
Vitamin A is necessary for your dog’s reproductive health, immune system, and eyesight. It also helps in the prevention and treatment of skin conditions. If a dog is deficient in this vitamin, it can cause skin conditions and poor eyesight. Lack of vitamin A often causes dandruff, skin irritation, and itchy patches. You also don’t want to give your pooch too much vitamin A as it can result in hypervitaminosis.
A pup needs vitamin C to stay healthy. This vitamin keeps the immune system functioning correctly and helps with the growth and development of bones and muscles. Furthermore, vitamin C is an antioxidant, and it not only protects cells from damage by free radicals but also helps reduce inflammation in dogs.
Vitamin B6 helps with the canine’s nervous system health. It helps keep the nerve cells and the brain functioning properly. Vitamin B6 also aids in the prevention and treatment of seizures. Lack of vitamin B6 can cause neurological problems in dogs.
Every ten slices of plantain offer 43 milligrams of magnesium. Magnesium is important for your dog’s muscles and overall health. It’s necessary for many biochemical processes and helps keep the dog’s body functioning properly. Lack of magnesium causes seizures, muscle cramps, and weakness.
Iron is an essential element in a dog’s body. It helps in the formation of red blood cells and the supply of oxygen throughout the body. Lack of iron causes anemia, leading to tiredness, weakness, and shortness of breath.
Potassium is important for the heart and ensures healthy fluid balance. Furthermore, it improves muscles and nerve functioning. Lack of potassium can result in an irregular heartbeat and general weaknesses.
Plantains contain a lot of dietary fiber. Just a small amount of fiber has been shown to help with digestive issues and prevent diarrhea and constipation.
Anti-Inflammatory and Antibacterial
Plantains have anti-inflammatory properties and antibacterial. This implies that they can fight off diseases and reduce inflammation. This is vital in dogs because they can suffer from recurrent infection or chronic inflammation.
Plantains contain minerals, vitamins, and fiber that help improve your pooch’s coat. They can also add some luster and shine to their fur, which makes it softer and more manageable.
While the banana-like fruit has impressive nutritional benefits, pet owners should make this new food an occasional treat.
Can Dogs Eat Plantains?
Absolutely yes! You can feed your dog a moderate amount of plantains. One or two slices of plantain are perfectly fine for your pup. It’s best not to feed your canine friend plantains in large quantities because they contain high levels of sugar, carbs, and fiber. While fiber is a good thing, too much fiber can cause an upset stomach and diarrhea.
Definitely consider cooking the plantains before feeding them to your pooch. Raw plantains are difficult to eat and digest.
Because fruit is not a natural component of a dog’s diet, veterinarians do not recommend feeding them table scraps every day. So serve up cooked plantain when they have been extra nice or on special occasions.
Over time, too much of any human food may lead to health issues such as weight gain, spiked blood sugar levels, heart disease, and stomach upset.
If you have a pooch with systemic health problems such as diabetes or food allergies, always check with your vet first. Even small amounts can disrupt their glucose levels or initiate a reaction in your dog’s immune system resulting in skin irritations.
Are Plantain Chips Safe For Dogs?
Plantain chips are safe for dogs to eat when they are NOT raw, fried, or dehydrated.
The best cooking methods to retain the nutritional profile and keep the chips a healthy snack is by baking or grilling.
Fried food is just as bad for dogs as it is for humans. As far as dehydrating goes, the fruit chips get smaller but the sugar content is higher because the water is being pulled out, but the sugar remains. Then since the chips are smaller, what do you do? Feed them more, in return, they are intaking more sugar than they should.
You should also avoid adding any spicy ingredients, sweeteners, or excessive salt when giving plantain chips to your dog.
As mentioned, raw plantain is basically not edible, so steer clear and bake or grill it instead.
Also, if your dog has dental issues or you need a recovery meal for whatever reason, after you cook them, mash them up (like mashed potatoes) so they are easier for your fur baby to eat.
Can Dogs Eat The Plantain Peel?
No! Dogs should not be eating the peeling from a plantain. Not only are they difficult to chew and digest but can choke your dog and cause intestinal obstruction, which leads to a medical emergency.
Is Broadleaf Plantain Poisonous To Dogs?
First let’s establish that the broadleaf plantain is a weed and is not related to plantain, the fruit. Many people get this confused. It’s also not toxic for dogs to eat in. Some holistic vets may even recommend it for internal issues or as a topical solution.
Final Thoughts: Plantains are totally safe for dogs
In the majority of cases, plantains are safe for your four-legged friends once they have been cooked, preferably baked or grilled (that means no deep-frying).
When in doubt, always ask your vet directly, as they know more about your pup’s medical history than we do.
Avoid feeding your dog dehydrated plantain chips or those that have been sweetened or seasoned to be made spicy.
Do not give them the peel or feed plantains to them raw, it’s hard to digest and the peeling could cause choking and/or intestinal trauma.
Start slowly when feeding to make sure it doesn’t upset their tummies and there isn’t an allergic reaction.
Plantains are really nutritious (filled with antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and a great source of fiber) and can serve as a healthy snack or treat for your pooch, just remember moderation and don’t go overboard with daily fruits.