Every dog owner has moments like this: you open the fridge door, a pack of chips, a can of food (any kind!), or a cupboard where you keep your favorite snacks. Your doggy friend, who until that very moment was deep in sleep and dreaming peacefully, is suddenly awake and standing two feet away with a pleading expression and a string of drool making its way slowly to the floor…
What do you do? Give in and let them have some? Or do you stand firm and resist those big sad eyes?
Before going ahead, it’s wise to check if it’s safe, as some human foods can be seriously harmful to dogs.
But our mission is to discover, can dogs eat plantains?
And that’s good that you’re here, as it shows that you’re a responsible and caring pet parent. So, let’s move on and discover all there is to know about dogs and plantains!
Can Dogs Eat Plantains?
The quick answer is yes.
However, there are several important rules you need to follow, and we’ll explain these along the way.
Your dog’s diet is your responsibility as they can’t choose what they eat.
That’s why it’s great that you’ve checked out plantains to see if they’re safe for your fur baby!
It’s easy enough to do these days; all you have to do is go online and type, can my dog eat XYZ? It could save you and your pooch a lot of stress, discomfort, trauma, and expense.
Admittedly, you will find conflicting information and advice. The best approach is to go with the majority opinion and to trust your common sense.
On that note, it’s essential to keep plantain peel out of your dog’s reach. The peel is tough and fibrous; if your dog eats this it may cause an upset stomach or even an intestinal blockage.
Aside from the puppy-dog eyes begging for food scenario we mentioned at the start, it may be that your pooch has helped itself to some plantain, and you’re concerned about any possible effects.
At this point, most dog owners frantically Google are plantains bad for dogs while simultaneously calling the vet.
The great news is that, in most cases, plantains aren’t harmful to dogs.
So, before you panic and head off to the vet’s office at 200mph, it’s pretty likely that your furry pal is okay. Aside from the possibility of a mildly upset tummy, there shouldn’t be any lasting harm done.
Now, let’s find out more about these banana-like fruits that are more like vegetables!
Avoiding Confusion: What Is A Plantain?
We’re talking about the cooking banana, originally native to Southeast Asia and now a Caribbean and Central American cuisine staple.
Although it’s unlikely to happen, don’t confuse this with the broadleaf plantain or the plantain lily.
The first one is regarded as a medicinal and culinary herb and is widely found across Europe and Asia, where it has several other names, including waybread. It looks nothing like the cooking banana, so there’s not much chance of getting them mixed up.
However, there’d be little danger if you did: these plants are packed with goodness.
Plantain lilies are also known as Hostas, prized by gardeners for being easy to grow.
Again, they bear little resemblance to the banana-shaped plantain, but it’s best to err on the side of caution as these plants are toxic to dogs. Plantain lilies contain toxins called saponins that cause skin irritations and will severely upset your dog’s stomach if ingested.
Can dogs eat plantains? Yes, but check that it’s the right type!
Can Dogs Eat Cooked Plantains?
As you can tell from their appearance, plantains are related to bananas. However, they don’t have the same flavor as their smaller cousins, and they are packed with starch. In texture, they are something like a raw potato.
A dog’s digestive system can’t handle too much starchy food, giving them an upset stomach.
If your furry companion has munched its way through a raw plantain or two, it may well cause unpleasant short-term digestive issues, but there shouldn’t be any lasting damage.
So, cooked plantain is the way to go to keep our furry friends from getting sick.
Even so, the cooking method matters!
The best way to cook plantains and keep all that goodness inside is to steam or boil them. Boiled plantains are considered a ‘superfood’ by some nutritionists.
As with potatoes, we add flavors and seasoning to plantains as they are pretty bland otherwise. However, it’s best to leave this out when giving your dog some. All spicy foods are toxic to dogs.
Don’t worry about the flavor: dogs don’t taste food the same way we do as they have fewer taste buds. And in any case, most foods hardly touch the sides on their way down!
Can dogs eat plantains? Yes, but it has to be cooked and never raw!
Can Dogs Eat Fried Plantains?
Giving dogs any type of fried food is never a good idea, so that’s a no.
Fried plantain is a favorite snack in many parts of the world, although frying destroys some of the health benefits. They can be fried when green and unripe or yellow or even when completely black.
However, as much as we might enjoy them, it isn’t the best choice for our furry friends.
Aside from being lower nutritional value, fried foods are bad for dogs as they carry the risk of pancreatitis. This condition causes the pancreas to become inflamed and produce toxic enzymes that will damage your dog’s intestines. Although most dogs recover, pancreatitis can be a killer if not detected early.
In addition, fried foods contribute to obesity, heart disease, and diabetes.
While you might get away with feeding your dog fried foods in small quantities without seeing any apparent side effects, it tends to build up over time. You can’t see the damage, but it happens over time, and suddenly your furry pal will get sick. In many cases, by this time, it’s too late.
Can dogs eat plantains? Yes, but not fried!
Can Dogs Eat Green Plantains?
As long as it’s not eaten raw. The unripe green fruit is technically safe for dogs, but only in small amounts and it should always be cooked.
Unripe plantain is very starchy and difficult to digest, which may cause your dog digestive problems. Ripe plantains are sweeter in flavor, which your dog may prefer.
However, you should never add salt or sugar to improve the taste when feeding your dog plantains, as both of these are harmful to your dog’s health.
Generally speaking, it’s always best to wait until the fruit is yellow or almost entirely black as it is then ripe and ready to eat.
Can dogs eat plantains? Yes, but use the ripe yellow ones instead of green.
Can Dogs Eat Plantain Chips?
It all depends on how they’ve been cooked and what you add to them.
If you buy (or make) plain chips that are baked rather than fried, your puppy can enjoy these in moderation.
Also, if you buy from a store, check that the chips are plain and not coated with seasoning. Although dogs need salt, too much in their diet can cause dehydration and sodium ion poisoning, which can be fatal (particularly if the affected animal doesn’t have access to fresh water).
Chips covered with flavoring, like onion or garlic powder, are a no-no. Garlic and onion are highly toxic to dogs and will make them sick.
So, it’s safe for your furry friend to eat a few plantain chips as long as they are baked and served plain.
Even so, they are high in carbs, so avoid feeding your dog too many!
Can dogs eat plantains? Yes, but if they’re in the form of chips, they should be baked and have no seasoning.
Can Dogs Eat Sweet Plantains?
The riper the plantain, the sweeter the taste! Most dogs (and many people) prefer this to unripe plantain, which can taste bitter and is tougher to chew.
Yellow plantains are pretty sweet, but, generally speaking, the blacker they are, the sweeter they’ll be. However, they never get to be as sweet as the dessert banana.
The same rules apply to sweet plantains as any other:
• Avoid feeding your dog raw plantain.
• Don’t fry it.
• Don’t add seasoning.
• Don’t give them large quantities.
If you stick to those guidelines, your pup should be fine.
Can dogs eat plantains? Yes, but it’s better to use sweet, ripe ones.
Are Plantains Good For Dogs?
Yes, in small amounts and when boiled or baked, plantains have many health benefits.
Let’s break down the humble plantain to see what’s inside:
• Vitamin C – is an antioxidant that keeps the immune system in good working order.
• Vitamin A – excellent for healthy organs, keeping the immune system running smoothly, and for good eyesight.
• Dietary fiber – essential for good bowel health and to help avoid constipation. It also keeps the heart functioning properly by lowering cholesterol levels. Many foods that are good for dogs contain fiber, such as artichokes.
• Vitamin B6 – regulates proteins, fats, and sugars to make sure they are used properly in the body. Also good for the brain, skin, nerves, and other parts.
• Magnesium – helps with muscle function, healthy nervous system, and energy production.
• Potassium – metabolizes carbs, helps nerves and muscles work correctly, synthesizes protein, and regulates the heartbeat.
• Protein – plantains provide a small amount of protein that is converted into amino acids, helping to build and repair muscle and bone.
• Fat – plantains are a low-fat food, making them healthier than many other snacks.
• Carbohydrates – contrary to popular opinion, not all carbs are bad! Carbohydrates in processed foods contribute to weight gain, diabetes, obesity, heart disease, and so on. But most carbs in fruits and veg are insulated by fiber, so they are digested slowly. Because of this action, they provide energy over a more extended period rather than an energy spike that sends the glucose and blood sugar levels soaring.
In addition, plantains have antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that can combat several health conditions and diseases.
As you can see, plantains are a good source of essential nutrients, and your furry friend can benefit from them when given in small amounts.
It’s always important to keep in mind that just because a specific food is safe and healthy for us, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s okay for dogs! A dog’s body processes foods differently, making certain foods harmful, and even potentially fatal.
Thankfully, plantains are good for dogs, too, so long as you follow the advice.
In Summary: Can Dogs Eat Plantains?
Let’s finish up with a recap of all the main points pertaining to the question, can dogs eat plantains?
Plantains are healthy for dogs and don’t contain any toxins, but there are several points to bear in mind:
• Small amounts only. Plantains are packed with starch that dogs can’t digest easily. Domesticated dogs have evolved to cope with some starch in their diet, but most dog food already contains high amounts, so adding more may cause problems.
• Always cook the plantain. Raw plantain is too difficult to digest and will give your dog an upset stomach. You can bake, steam, or boil it, but never give fried plantain to your dog. Also, you should avoid using seasoning, especially salt, onion powder, garlic powder, or hot spices.
• Ripe plantain is best. It is sweeter and softer, and your furry pal will be able to enjoy it without any digestive issues. Wait until the fruit is yellow all over or completely black.
If your dog hasn’t eaten plantain before, it’s best to take a cautious approach. New foods should always be introduced gradually in case of any adverse effects.
And although plantain is a superfood, it should never be used in place of your dog’s regular food.
Finally, contact your vet without delay if you have any concerns whatsoever. We can only offer general advice, which can never replace a professional veterinarian’s wealth of knowledge and expertise.
So, armed with your newfound knowledge about plantains, you can safely give your pup one or two slices every once in a while.