Keeping your Labrador safe and healthy is a big part of being a great Labrador parent.  Making sure to find good things to feed your Labrador is a fun part of having a pet.

Labrador retrievers can eat bananas, but it is suggested that giving your Lab bananas is done in small quantities. 

Bananas are a good source of minerals and vitamins that your Labrador Retriever needs to be healthy.  Bananas contain vitamins such as vitamin C and also contains magnesium, potassium, copper, manganese, Vitamin B6, and dietary fiber, which is excellent for their stomach and digestion.

Bananas should not be the only thing that you Labrador eats, and your Labrador needs to have a balanced diet full of nutrition such as vitamins, minerals, and proteins, but they can be used as a tasty snack or a special treat.

The reason that bananas should not be given more than just a treat is that bananas, even though full of great things, also have a lot of carbohydrates and sugars that are not good for your dog.  Even though these are natural sugars, your dog is at risk of becoming overweight if fed too many sweet treats such as bananas and other fruits.

Why is Vitamin C, Magnesium, and Potassium Good for My Lab?

Vitamin C is great for your dog’s immune system because it helps to give the body antioxidants that can help fight off infection.  Vitamin C is also known to help protect the body from damage and to build cartilage.

Magnesium helps the body to have more energy, and it also helps the bones to grow healthier.  If your Labrador is very active, magnesium can help the bones and joints to heal after a long day of activity.

Potassium helps to keep the body and heart in a working balance.  Potassium is full of electrolytes and helps to keep the body fluid in check. Potassium also helps to make sure that the blood vessels are flowing as they should.

Manganese is useful for the body because it helps to keep your Labrador’s blood pressure at reasonable levels.  Manganese is also known to help calm dogs that are very hyper.

Vitamin B6 is great for both dogs and humans because it helps to fight against anemia, and some Labradors are known for being anemic.

Is There a Time I Should Not Give My Labrador Bananas?

If your dog is showing signs of weight gain, the chances are that you should cut out any fresh fruits that you have been giving your dog.  Bananas and other fruits are high in natural sugars that can cause weight gain.

If your Labrador has had bloodwork, and it shows high potassium levels or blood sugar spikes, bananas would not be a good choice for your Lab.  High levels of potassium are called hyperkalemia and can be very bad for your dog’s heart.  Blood sugar spikes can be an underlying symptom of diabetes, and a blood sugar spike also can make it hard for your Labrador to digest the food.

If you want to make sure that your dog will avoid having too much sugar, you can follow the rule called the 90/10 rule.  This rule says that you should give your Labrador 90% of their calories in dog food and then only 10% of their calories from treats.  This will help to make sure that your Labrador is not getting too much sugar.

How Should I Feed My Labrador Bananas?

When you introduce a new food to your Labrador, make sure that your dog does not have any weird reactions such as shortness of breath or rubbing their face on the carpet.  If your dog does not have any weird reaction, the chances are that bananas are safe for him or her to eat.

When you are ready for your Lab to eat a banana, peel it and cut it into small pieces so that they can eat it without choking.  If your Labrador rejects the banana or seems to not like it, you can always try other things such as freezing the banana so that it has a different type of texture.

Sometimes, dogs will not like the texture of the banana, so freezing it can completely change how your Labrador sees the banana.  Also, on summer days, having a frozen banana can make a perfect treat for your Labrador.

Can My Labrador Eat Fruits?

There are many fresh fruits that are good for your Labrador as a special snack or treat.  Fruits are high in many of the minerals and vitamins that your Labrador needs, such as Vitamin C, potassium, and magnesium, to name a few.

Another great thing about giving your dog fresh fruits is that most of them have high fiber content, which can help your dog to have a great digestive tract.

What Fruits are Bad for My Labrador?

Handsome chocolate labrador eating pedigree dog food while owner woman looking and stroking him in house garden.

There are many fruits that are safe for your Labrador, such as:

  • Bananas
  • Oranges
  • Apples
  • Mangos
  • Apricots
  • Blueberries
  • Strawberries
  • Cranberries
  • Watermelon
  • Pears
  • Raspberries

Fruits can be helpful to increase your dog’s immune system and to help them have better skin and a healthy fur coat. 

As a rule of thumb, if you would not eat the pit or the skin, do not feed it to your dog.  Feed the fruit to your dog just as you would eat it to help avoid anything unhealthy for your Labrador.

Even though there are many fruits that are good and safe for your Labrador to enjoy as a special treat, there are also other fruits that are very dangerous and even deadly for your Labrador Retriever.  Some of these fruits include:

  • Limes
  • Lemons
  • Cherries
  • Grapes
  • Raisins
  • Figs
  • Plums

Many of the fruits not only contain poison that is toxic to your pet, but many of the fruits pose a choking hazard for your dog.

How Many Fruits Should I Give My Labrador?

It is important that your Labrador Retriever is on a healthy and balanced diet.  This said, adding fruits to your Labrador’s diet is okay as long as you are only giving it as an occasional snack.  Adding too many large amounts of fruit can cause your Labrador not to have the right amount of calories that he or she needs, and the fruit contains a large amount of sugar that can cause your Labrador to be overweight. 

One great rule of thumb is that if you have a medium or large dog breed, such as a Labrador, that your Lab can eat around a half of a banana, about two times per week.  If your dog does not have any type of adverse reaction, such as constipation, then this is a great amount.  If you see that your Labrador does not seem to be taking as well to the banana, cut it back or remove it from your dog’s menu.

Always ask your vet before giving your Labrador fruits.

How Do I Introduce a New Food to My Labrador?

To make sure that your dog is healthy and safe, it is important that you introduce new foods one at a time.  Introducing a new food one at a time can help you to know if your dog is having any type of allergic reaction to the food that you have brought into their diet. 

Make sure that you pay attention to anything different that your dog might do after trying a portion of new food.  If you think that your Labrador is having any type of allergic reaction, stop giving them that food and wait and see if the symptoms stop. 

When feeding a new food, make sure that you go slow with human food.  Your Labrador’s digestive system is not set up to eat people’s food, and by introducing it too quickly, you can cause your Lab’s stomach to become upset, or you can cause your Lab to have diarrhea.

One way to go slow with new food, such as bananas, is to top off their regular food with just a small amount of the new food.  This can entice your Labrador to try the new food and can give them just a small amount so that you can monitor how well they can handle the food. 

Conclusion

You must make sure that your Labrador Retriever has a healthy and safe diet and that they are eating the right number of calories and fat per day.  Adding fresh fruits, such as bananas to your Labrador’s diet can provide a snack that your dog will love.    

Make sure that when you feed your dog bananas that you are not feeding them more than they should have.  Your Labrador must get most of his or her caloric intake from their dog food and just a small percentage of calories from snacks, such as bananas.

Fruits can add a healthy part to your Labrador Retriever’s diet and can be a tasty treat for your pet.  Make sure that you watch what you are feeding your dog and that the fruit that you choose is not on the “no-no” food list.