Are Plantains Good For Dogs?
They look like bananas but are not bananas - what are plantains? Plantains are edible, staple fruits believed to have originated in Southeast Asia and belong to the banana family of plants. Apart from physical appearance, they are very nutritional, like bananas, but they are larger, harder to peel, and they taste differently. Plantains are not eaten raw. They are usually cooked, baked, fried, or boiled. The longer they are cooked, the sweeter they are.
Can dogs eat plantains?
Yes! Plantains are great for dogs. They are full of antioxidants, minerals, and various nutrients (vitamins A, C, and K, zinc, potassium, magnesium, beta-carotene, etc.) and boost the immune system.
What are the benefits of giving your dog plantains?
Besides being full of antioxidants and nutrients, plantains have anti-inflammatory properties and reduce inflammation of the kidney, bladder, bowel, and urinary tract. They are great to help if there is throat inflammation, also.
Plantain seeds have antiseptic and antibacterial properties and will prevent your dog from getting infected with bacteria like Staphylococcus aureus. These antibacterial properties are also great for your dog's dental health.
Rubbing blended plantain leaves and seeds on your dog's gums will reduce his mouth's bacteria level and help prevent the development of gingivitis and periodontal disease.
Another great thing about plantains is that they help with both constipation and diarrhea. If your dog is suffering from constipation, you can give him soaked plantain seeds. Soaked plantain seeds will help soften your dog's poop.
On the other hand, if your dog has diarrhea, try giving him dry plantain seeds. Plantain seeds have dietary fibers that greatly help when there are intestinal problems in question. Dry plantain seeds absorb moisture and liquid, making your dog's poop firmer.
Soaked plantain seeds are also great in regulating your dog's blood sugar and can be a great preventative measure to avoid the development of diabetes.
Last but not least, plantains are great for injuries. Applying plantain extract to wounds will reduce swelling, relieve pain and help the wound heal faster. Also, it will kill any potential infection. Because of this property, plantain is known as the band-aid plant.
Are there any dangers connected to dogs that eat plantains?
If you are feeding your dog plantains, there are some potential health risks you should know about. If given to the dog in large amounts, plantains can cause certain problems, such as diarrhea (because of too much fiber).
Plantains are great and healthy if prepared and served properly and in the appropriate amount. However, if your dog is given a plantain chip (fried), it can cause gastrointestinal problems. The oil and seasoning in fried plantain chips will most likely cause stomach upset and sometimes even vomiting and diarrhea.
Another risk you should be aware of is pancreatitis which can occur if your dog is not spending his energy the right way. After eating a plantain, a lot of carbs carbohydrates are converted into glucose. Accumulation of glucose that is not converted into energy and then consumed will create a problem because that glucose will turn into fat and can lead to obesity and could cause pancreatitis.
Another risk is the possibility of choking. This is why you should never give your dog uncooked, raw plantains. Always cook the plantains and give them to your dog in small pieces.
Although plantains have a lot of benefits for your dog's health, some dogs can be allergic to them, so keep that in mind. We recommend that before giving the plantain to your dog to eat, rub a little piece of it on your dog's skin and make sure there is no reaction.
How to prepare plantain for your dog?
Always cook, boil or steam plantains before giving them to your dog. Raw plantains are difficult to eat, and they don't taste good. Also, they are hard to digest. Uncooked plantain can be useful only for external injuries. Fresh plantain leaves (crushed) have healing powers, as we said earlier. Plantain seeds can also be used fresh (soaked or dry) in order to calm gastrointestinal problems.
The best is to boil plantains because this way, they keep all of their nutritional value. Needless to say, don't use any seasoning while preparing plantains for your dog to eat.
Can dogs eat plantain chips?
Plantain chips can be given to dogs to eat but in moderation and without any spices, added seasoning, and/or added salt. 2-3 pieces of chips every once in a while is OK, especially if it is homemade.
However, always avoid giving your dog fried plantains. Fried plantains have lower nutritional value and are high in calories and sugar, which can cause serious problems, such as pancreatitis.
World Dog Finder team