Can Dogs Eat Plantains? Are Plantains Safe For Dogs?


As a dog enthusiast and owner, I always wonder if some foods that I eat are suitable for my furry friends. That’s why I research it and create articles like these, so you can also know what is useful and what’s not for our beloved doggies. What about the plantains now?

After some research, the answer is:

Yes, dogs can eat plantains; they are a pretty healthy fruit if you feed them properly and help them maintain robust health. You could give plantains to your pup daily but in moderation. Plantains can also help your dog if it has digestive problems. Dogs can also have homemade or bought plantain chips as an alternative to the classic potato chips, which are unhealthy for dogs’ nutrition. There are a lot of benefits for dogs, which we will analyze below.

My Dog Ate Plantains – What Should I Do?

According to ASPCA, plantains and bananas are not toxic to dogs at all. You shouldn’t worry at all if your dog eats plantain. Even unripe plantain isn’t harmful; it will just digest it slower than average because of its starch. There is another plant called plantain lily, and this is a very toxic plant for dogs, but there is no way to give it to your dog because it does not bear fruits. It also doesn’t look like the banana tree on which the plantain fruits are growing. It is an entirely different plant; we will talk a little bit more about it afterward. On the other hand, fully ripe or cooked plantain fruit is very nutritious for your pup but let’s go a little deeper into this!

What are Plantains?

Plantains (banana-like fruits) belong to the banana family. They are almost like bananas but a little bigger. They can be found in various colors like green, yellow or brown, and sometimes black. It is said that you or your dog can’t eat raw plantains immediately when you buy them because of the starch they contain when they are green and yellow. You can either wait for thirty to forty days, until the plantains are totally black and fully ripe, or you can cook them. Your dog can eat plantains safely, too, if you follow one of these two processes, always in moderation.

Can Dogs Have Plantains? Are Plantains Safe for Dogs?

There is no doubt that plantains are 100% safe for your dog to have as a treat. In general, there is nothing that you should be afraid of if your dog eats plantains. They are not like other fruits that can harm your dogs, such as grapes and raisins. They actually can be used as a treat for your dog’s upset stomach. If your dog seems to be in a bad mood from his stomach, you could give him mashed entirely black ripe or cooked plantains (better boiled or baked), and it will help your pet to get through this faster and be happy again.

How Is Plantain Good For Dogs: Nutrition Facts and Benefits

Plantain Nutrition Data

Calories 232 (971 kJ)
Water 135 g
Calcium 4.0 mg
Iron 1.2 mg
Magnesium 64.0 mg
Phosphorus 56.0 mg
Potassium 930 mg
Sodium 10.0 mg
Total Omega-3 fatty acids 24.0 mg
Total Omega-6 fatty acids 42.0 mg
Vitamin C 21.8 mg
Vitamin B6 0.5 mg
Vitamin A 1818 IU
Fiber 4.6 g

Benefits

As you can see at the table above, even if plantain is not a common fruit, it contains vital nutrients to help your dog be more healthy. The macronutrient side contains primarily carbohydrates, which are sugars (fructose), some good amino acids, and a tiny amount of healthy fats. 

Now, what about the micronutrients? Plantains contain many of the vitamins and minerals that canines need. There are 232 calories, 4.6 grams of healthy fiber, and a broad number of vitamins and nutrients. 

These 200 grams of cooked, mashed plantain include vitamin A, vitamin B6, vitamin C, magnesium phosphorus, and potassium.

As we have already mentioned, plantains are an excellent source of dietary fiber, which can improve your dog’s digestive process and can help things to be “well regulated” in terms of excretion.

This amazing fruit has been proved to have some anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. Recent studies have also shown that it can help a lot with the kennel cough.

Plantains can also help with inflammation in the digestive system, and they can protect against pathogens like Staphylococcus aureus and Bacillus subtilis (food-borne illnesses).

Minerals

Minerals are essential for maintaining dogs health as long as for the growth and the development of a puppy. Many pet owners supplement their dogs with these minerals when they understand that there is a deficiency. 

In addition to a balanced diet, feeding your dog plantains will help you provide your pup with the right amount of calories needed and avoid any mineral or vitamin deficiency.

That way, you will stay away from the listed medical conditions below, and you will save your lovely dog.

Potassium, Sodium, and Magnesium

Dogs need these minerals so their body can successfully do the following actions: Muscle contraction, cell signaling, and nerve impulse transmission. According to some research, your dog must not consume lower than 1 gram of potassium, 100mg of sodium, and 150 mg of magnesium daily.

Do Plantains Affect Blood Sugar On Dogs?

 One of the significant factors you should examine is the blood sugar and how much it will be affected if your dog eats plantains. If your dog is healthy and has no metabolic disorders, it should be fine. However, if your dog is diabetic, then things change a little bit.

Raw plantains have high amounts of starch, and because of that, the glycemic index of your furry friend will go higher than it should. That’s why you should cook the plantains. Cooking reduces the amount of starch that has to be dissolved from a dog’s body.

Hence, your dog can eat cooked plantains (fried plantains with coconut oil, baked or boiled) without worrying about his blood sugar levels; there won’t be any insulin spikes in the blood, so no problem at all.

Can Dogs Eat Raw Plantains?

Another way for the plantains to be safe for dogs to eat, even if they are raw, is when they are ripe, like… totally ripe. The secret here is to let them ripe for good for three to five weeks until they are almost entirely black! Yes, you read right!

When they are black and yield to pressure, plantains are ready and safe for dogs (and humans) to eat raw. And guess what? The taste is even sweeter than a ripe banana.

Watch this video for more information on this subject. Andrew talks about humans, but you can apply it to your dog too.

When you let plantains fully ripe, the starch they contain will convert into more simple sugars (fructose), and as a result, dogs can eat them too, without any digestive or blood sugar issues. Since they are sold unripe most of the time, plantains can be consumed neither from dogs nor from us in that green form. 

Here is a trick to ripen the plantains faster for your doggy (or even for you):

  • Place your plantains or bananas in a large enough paper bag, so they are comfortable inside. 
  • Add an apple inside the bag, and it will release a gas called ethylene. Ethylene is used to ripen fruits faster. 
  • Close the bag loosely but not completely. 
  • Put the bag in a warm place and check the plantains daily; you will see them turn deep yellow in six to nine days.
  • As we mentioned above, wait for another ten to fifteen days, so they start getting black and soft.
  • When they are black, they are ready, and you can peel them off very easily. Give them to your dog in moderation and watch if he likes them.

DOGS MUST NOT EAT GREEN – UNRIPE PLANTAINS RAW UNLESS THEY ARE TOTALLY RIPE ( ALMOST BLACK)!

I want to emphasize that dogs cannot eat raw plantains if they are unripe. A green and a yellow plantain is still unripe. Plantains must be wholly black and soft (so that you can squeeze them a little bit). 

That is the only way dogs can eat plantains raw. If a pup eats unripe raw plantain, it will not harm its health, but it may affect your dog’s digestion and make it slower because of the starch and the fiber unripe (green and yellow) plantains have when.

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How To Prepare Plantains for Dogs? What Is The Healthiest Way?

What Should You Avoid Before Cooking?

First of all, don’t buy a lot of plantains if you haven’t tried them before. You don’t know if your dog will like them, and it would be a pity to toss them away if you don’t eat them as well.

Whatever way you’re going to choose, it would be better if you cut and dice the plantains into small pieces. That way, they will be cooked faster, but you must slice them for a more important reason. The majority of the dogs sometimes eat greedily and quickly, and there is a great danger of choking, even if it is a large or a small dog breed. I have seen it many times with my Greek shepherd and German shepherd dogs. 

How To Cook Plantains For Your Dog (or even you)?

I will explain how you can prepare and cook the plantains for your couch, from the healthiest to the least healthy one. First, peel off the plantains and cut them into small pieces as we have already mentioned, and you are ready to apply one of the ways below:

  • The first and healthiest way to cook plantains for your dog is to boil them or, even better, to steam them. That way, plantains will be soft, and starch will be dissolved. Besides, many of the nutritional ingredients will be preserved and will not be destroyed.
  • Secondly, you can bake the plantains in the oven until they change color to a caramel-brown one like these below. Although plantains are yummy when you bake them, they lose most of their healthy ingredients. Also, they may be a little difficult for your dog to digest if he eats a lot.
  • The third way to cook the plantains is to fry them, but it isn’t so healthy. The trans fats that are created during the frying of the plantain in the oil are hazardous for dogs’ health. They are also bad for our health, so you should really avoid fried stuff in general.

When you get them ready, let them get cold for a while to get the room’s temperature because it wouldn’t be wise to give them hot to your pup. Don’t use any spices or salt; feed the plantains plain and straightforward. The only seasoning you could use is ground cinnamon but just a pinch of it.

Then show them to your dog and let him sniff them. If it likes the smell and it wants to eat them, it is ok, and you can give him.

But if he doesn’t like the smell, he will probably not eat at all. It would be best if you didn’t push your dog to eat plantains or anything else he doesn’t like.

My dog Doesn’t Like Cooked Plantains – What Should I Do?

You shouldn’t worry about it at all! Like you and me, dogs don’t like and don’t want to eat some foods, and that’s ok. 

You could try to give your pup to eat raw but fully ripe plantains when they are totally black and soft, and he may eat them. Some dogs prefer to eat naturally raw foods instead of cooked, and there is no problem with that either. Alternately, you could feed him other fruits and vegetables that he likes more.

Frequently Asked Questions About Dogs Eating Plantains

Q: How many plantains can dogs eat?

A: Moderation is the best way to go with almost everything in a dog’s diet.

If your dog is still a puppy, you could give it some slices of cooked plantain or some baked plantain chips once a week. 

If your dog is an adult, you could give him more, about a half plantain, according to his size, once or twice per week. However, if you ripen fully and adequately the plantains, it is ok to give them more often, but again, do not overdo it with the quantity and never push your pup to eat more if he doesn’t want to. Keep it moderate and simple. Once a week, half of a plantain, cooked or fully ripe, would be ideal for aging dogs.

Q: Can Plantains Give A Dog Diarrhea?

A: Yes, but only if your dog eats large quantities of cooked or raw unripe plantains. On the contrary, a portion of fully ripe raw or steamed, mashed plantains can help dogs with an upset stomach.

Q: Are plantains dangerous for dogs?

A: No, they are not. As long as plantains are fully ripe or cooked, there is no problem. It would help if you always peeled them off before you give them to your pup.

I wouldn’t say that it is dangerous, but it is not recommended to give them in large quantities like many other foods after all.

Q: Can my dog eat plantain rind?

A: That’s a big no. You must always peel the plantains off before giving them to your dog (never unripe) and toss the rinds for composting. The rind will likely cause your dog to choke, whether it is a large dog or a small one.

Q: Can dogs eat green banana?

A: No. Whether it is an unripe green banana or an unripe green plantain, dogs must not eat it. They must be either fully ripe or at least cooked (boiled or steamed).

Q: Can dogs eat plantain chips?

A: Yes, dogs can eat plantain chips. Some homemade baked plantain chips would be a tasty treat for dogs. Nevertheless, you should avoid buying the fried plantain chips from the shops because the quantity of fats they contain is high. The best you can do is to make them yourself; it is pretty easy to do. Please take a look here at how to do it.

Q: Can dogs eat fried plantain?

As we have already mentioned, dogs shouldn’t eat fried plantains or anything fried in general. I admit that all fried foods have a great taste, but they are not healthy at all, and I will explain to you why. They contain a high amount of bad quality fats, and they can cause liver problems to any healthy dog, and you will not even notice. Hence, it is better to stay away from fried foods, both you and your pup. Furthermore, it would be best to always ask your vet about the appropriate amount of fatty acids your dog can consume without any risk. 

Q: Can dogs eat dried plantain?

A: Yes indeed, dogs can eat dried plantains, as long as they are fully ripe before dehydration. Dried plantains are one of the healthiest choices for cooked plantains for dogs and humans, even though if they are dried naturally in the sun or with a food dehydrator, they have a temperature of no more than 105 Fahrenheit degrees are considered raw and not cooked. Dried plantains are perfect for dogs to have as a snack.

Q: Can dogs eat Plantains Lily?

A: Never! Plantain Lily is a very toxic plant for dogs, cats, and other pets.

It is a whole different plant, it does not bear fruit, and it has nothing to do with the fruit “Bananas’ cousin” plantain.

Can dogs eat plantains Lily

If you suspect your pet may have ingested a potentially toxic substance, call the APCC at (888) 426-4435 or contact your local veterinarian as soon as possible.*

In Conclusion: Can Dogs Have Plantains?

The final answer to if dogs can eat plantains is yes, they can but only in moderation. Plantains have many health benefits if you prepare them right before you give them to your pup.

To sum up, I will give you a shortlist of the benefits plantains have, but also I will mention some issues that may appear if you don’t keep the right amount and feed the plantains to your dog in large quantities. 

Plantains can help your dog maintain the proper weight because it is a low-calorie snack. They are also a good source of fiber, which assists dogs’ digestive systems. They improve health and vitality and can help with digestive inflammations. We can’t neglect their antibacterial qualities and the immune boost that plantains provide because of their vitamins. Plantains also can help a lot with your dog’s coat. The minerals and the vitamins in plantains will bring a shiny and clear coat.

On the other hand, if you give plantains to your dog without moderation, then the following issues may occur as time passes by:

Weight gain: All the foods will bring extra weight to dogs if we feed them without moderation.

Loose Motions: A dog’s stomach can be susceptible sometimes, and the excessive amount of food with high dietary fiber as plantains will harm it, and your dog’s mood will make you anxious.

Vomiting: A sour stomach will lead to vomiting and anxiety.

In conclusion, you must watch over the quantity of plantains that you will give to your dog. The preparation of plantains is also a very crucial factor. If plantains are fully ripe ( total black ), you can give them raw. If they are green or yellow with black spots, you should cook them to remove the starch. Dogs can eat plantains, ripe raw, or cooked, but in moderation, the micronutrients and the vitamins will help your overall pet’s health to the fullest.

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