Originating from South East Asia, plantains belong to the banana family and are slightly larger, tougher, and different in flavor. As plantains are to their decent taste and nutrition, you might be wondering if your dog can also have some.
But can dogs eat plantains in the first place? What are the attached pros and cons? We will find out below.
Can Dogs Eat Plantains?
Briefly, yes – dogs can eat plantains. Plantains are safe to be consumed by dogs, but they will create problems if eaten in excess.
Plantains are non-toxic and are, as a matter of fact, a perfect savory, as most dogs like the sweet and starchy flavor this fruit offers. However, it contains some dietary components you need to be wary of to avoid any mishap.
Let us explain in detail below.
Benefits of Dogs Eating Plantains
Dogs can derive benefits from eating plantains because of the nutrients present in them. Let us break down the nutritional value of the fruit before discussing its advantage:
The Nutrition Facts of One Cup of Plantains
|Vitamin C||23 mg|
|Vitamin A||63 μg|
|Vitamin B-6||0.29 mg|
Fiber – Good Digestive System
Dietary fibers are complex carbohydrates known to be an excellent resource for a good canine digestive tract and are, therefore, an essential part of many dog foods. It can work wonders in several ways.
First, consuming fiber may lead to the formation of fatty acids through fermentation that can keep bad bacteria at bay. Secondly, it can also help absorb the excess water and make the poop of your dog bulkier, thus relieving him of constipation.
Lastly, it maintains a healthy pH level in dogs’ digestive system.
Potassium – Better Neural and Muscle Health
Potassium is an electrolyte that aids in the electric charges of nerves, muscles, and the heart. In fact, depriving your dog of this valuable mineral can lead to lethargy, weakness, and other severe health issues.
Besides maintaining nervous health, it can also reduce anxiety while boosting cognitive functions. Likewise, it can help different muscles grow and strengthen and improve motor functioning.
In addition to fiber, potassium can also play a role in maintaining good digestive health by improving nutrient absorption.
Magnesium – Overall Health
Magnesium is essential for maintaining the well-being of dogs. Its benefits can be summarized in the following points:
- It is associated with a lot of useful chemical reactions in a dog’s body.
- It maintains the normal functioning of muscles and nerves.
- It supports a healthy immune system.
- It strengthens the bones.
- It aids in the production of energy at the cellular level.
On the other hand, magnesium deficiency (hypomagnesemia) can lead to different diseases such as chronic diarrhea, diabetes, heart failure, etc.
Vitamin C – Anti-Oxidant
Plantains contain enough amount of vitamin C to help your dog with anti-oxidation as it inhibits the formation of free radicals in the body. In addition, it also scavenges harmful radicals, thus reducing cognitive aging and inflammation.
Vitamin C is also known for various other functions: it helps support immunity in dogs, improves energy by playing a role in metabolic functions, and can potentially relieve dogs of urinary tract infections (UTIs).
Vitamin B-6 – Healthy Body Growth
Vitamin B-6 is helpful when it comes to the overall growth of your pooch. To begin with, it aids in protein synthesis, which is necessary for body and muscle growth. The vitamin also facilitates the absorption of proteins. Likewise, it is required to trigger hormone secretion for various physiological processes. Other growth benefits associated with vitamin B-6 are the production of red blood cells, DNA, and RNA.
Vitamin A – Various Plus Points
Vitamin A is an essential dietary component for better health in dogs. It can benefit your furry friend in the following ways:
- It supports the eyes and skin.
- It assists in the formation of different organs.
- It is good for bone growth.
- It leads to better immunity.
Disadvantages of Dogs Eating Plantains
Along with the benefits discussed above, your dog can experience the following disadvantages if he eats too many plantains:
Your dog’s stomach might not be able to tolerate the excessive amount of plantains – especially the uncooked ones – and can get upset, usually resulting in diarrhea. Other common digestive problems may include bloating, stomach pain, and vomiting.
Though the fiber content slows the blood sugar response, plantains are high in starch and sugar and, thus, can have detrimental effects on dogs suffering from diabetes mellitus. Therefore, it is better to consult a vet before feeding your dog this fruit if he has problems with sugar.
Besides diabetes, high sugar and starch content can also lead to obesity and weight gain.
Plantains can increase the level of cholesterol in your dog’s body, making him vulnerable to blockage in arteries.
How to Serve Your Dog Plantains?
Though plantains can be served raw to your dog, it is better to cook or boil them as the raw ones have too much starch and fiber for your dog to digest easily. Likewise, never feed them the peel – it is too fibrous for any pet to digest.
You can also feed your dog plantain chips, but make sure that they do not have too much and are free of harmful spices, such as chili powder.
Plantains can be yellow or green, depending upon their level of ripeness. While the latter is not fully ripe, feeding it to your dog is absolutely no problem.
| Tip: Never confuse plantain fruit with plantain lily, plantain leaves, or plantain weed. The fruit is okay for dogs to eat, while the rest may or may not be fed.
How Many Plantains Can Dogs Eat?
Owing to the dietary fiber, sugar, and starch content, it is imperative that a dog eats plantains only in moderation. Hence, dogs should never eat this fruit on a daily basis. Therefore, offering your dog this fruit only once or twice a week is more appropriate.
Nevertheless, you should consider giving your dog plantains as a treat rather than incorporating them into his diet.
Since the quantity your dog should eat depends upon his size, consider feeding your pooch plantains according to the following table:
|Dog Size||Quantity of Plantains Serving||Frequency of Plantains Serving|
|Large||Half Fruit||Once or Twice a Week|
|Medium to Small||One-Third of Fruit||Once a Week|
|Aging||Two to Three Slices||Once a Week|
Alternatives to Plantains for Dogs
If your dog is not fond of eating plantains, consider the following substitutes which can compete with them in taste and nutrition:
- Bananas: Bananas are quite akin to plantains. In fact, they are the best low-calorie substitutes. However, they also have a high fiber and sugar content.
- Potato: Potatoes also contain useful nutrients like vitamins A, B6, C, potassium, and magnesium. Nonetheless, note that dogs should never be served raw potatoes.
- Sweet Potato: Sweet potatoes can have various benefits such as better digestion, healthy vision, reduced cancer risk, etc. Like in the case of potatoes, sweet potatoes should also never be fed in raw form.
- Jackfruit: Jackfruits are non-toxic and can be a great alternative to plantains.
What if Your Dog Eats Too Many Plantains?
Dogs usually have a penchant for eating, and they can often end up overeating. Besides, they can attach excessive fondness to a few food items they love. Hence, you must be vigilant about how many plantains your dog eats.
To tell if your dog has eaten a lot, look for the following symptoms in him:
- Excessive Urination
TipIf you notice the symptoms of plantains overeating in your dog, make sure to keep him hydrated, as he might be prone to losing water due to an upset stomach.
If you find that your dog has overeaten the fruit, consult your vet immediately, and do not give him any medication without your vet’s recommendation.
Quite similar to bananas, plantains are an excellent food item. So, can dogs eat plantains? Yes, definitely – besides being safe, they also have a healthy nutrition content that may aid in digestive, neural, muscle, and overall health. Nonetheless, dogs should never be fed plantains daily as the excess amount can lead to an upset tummy, exacerbated diabetes, and obesity. Furthermore, cooked instead of raw plantains are safer.
To sum up, if you adhere to the recommendations, feel free to let your dog have some plantains!