Yes, dogs can eat plantains. Since plantains are packed with nutrients, they are highly beneficial for your dog’s health. Consuming plantains helps pups with sensitive digestion. You can safely feed an entirely black ripen or cooked plantain to your puppy in moderation.
What are plantains?
Plantains are fruits that belong to the banana family. Unlike bananas, they look a little bigger. When plantains are unripe, they are hard, difficult to peel, and are found in green or yellow colors. In contrast, fully ripe fruit appears black, delicate, and has a starchy flavor. Although plantains are banana-like fruits, they cannot be eaten raw. Hence, they are generally cooked and consumed like a vegetable. Plantains are available in two types, they include:
French plantain: These plantains have more enormous bunches and yield more fruits.
Horn plantain: On the contrary, these plantains have smaller bunches and yields fewer fruits.
Plantains originated in Papua New Guinea, where they were domesticated between 5,000 and 8,000 B.C. Due to trade ties, these fruits spread to the rest of Asia and the world. World Plantain Day is celebrated on the 5th of June every year. This day is celebrated by uniting plantain lovers from all over the globe. The festival’s activities include Health Talks, Agribusiness Talks, Cooking Competitions, and Eating Competitions. National Plantain Day is an annual festival celebrated in mid-October every year. This yearly festivity involves crafts, paintings, agricultural products, exhibitions, and the sale of plantain dishes; Nueva Trova music and folk ballet are performed.
Nutritional Value of Plantains
Plantains contain carbohydrates, amino acids, healthy fats, dietary fiber, vitamins, and minerals. They are also rich in vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B2, and vitamin B6.
One cup (137g) of boiled green plantains contains the following nutrients as per the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)
Are plantains safe?
Although plantains are non-toxic, feeding them raw to your dog can upset his stomach because plantains contain too much fiber and starch contents. Moreover, raw plantains are very tough and not tasty until you cook them. Hence, cooked plantains are entirely safe for your dog’s consumption.
Why is plantain good for dogs?
Plantains have the following properties, which help in promoting various health aspects of dogs. They include:
- Anti-inflammatory: This property helps reduce inflammation in the throat, bladder, kidney, and urinary tract. Additionally, this fruit soothes the inflammation of the bronchial passages and helps to heal kennel cough. Further, the application of raw plantain paste to wounds helps reduce swelling. In addition, plantains improve the functioning of the cardiovascular system, immune system, digestive system, and skin and coat health in your dog.
- Anti-bacterial: This property promotes dental health in dogs by reducing the bacteria associated with gingivitis and periodontal disease. Plantain also protects against typical food-borne bacteria and strengthens the digestive system.
- Lubricating herb: Plantain helps quickly cure ulcerations, inflammations, or infections and boosts healing by lubricating the digestive tract. For minor skin irritations in your dog, rub fresh plantain leaves on the affected area.
- Dietary fiber: The fiber of this fruit pass through your pet pal’s digestive tract and absorbs excess liquids making his poop firmer, thereby preventing diarrhea. Since these contents also coat the digestive tract, it facilitates food movement, which prevents constipation. Plantain helps diabetic dogs by stimulating the secretion of insulin and regulates blood sugar levels. Also, it helps in enriching their cardiac health.
- Minerals: Plantains are rich in potassium, magnesium, and sodium. These minerals aid in muscle contractions, cell signaling, and nerve impulse transmissions.
- Plantains help in eliminating waste from the body allowing nutrients to remain longer and promotes absorption. As it fosters nutrient absorption, this fruit works as an effective immuno-modulator.
Why is plantain bad for your dog?
The smell of raw plantain will make your dog get away from it. On the other hand, when your naughty pets sneak around and take that extra bite of cooked plantain, it causes the following symptoms in your dogs:
- An upset stomach
- Excessive urination.
If you notice these symptoms, ensure to keep your pet hydrated which will help stabilize his stomach.
How much of plantain to Feed Your Dog?
The best way to feed plantains to your dog is by boiling or cooking them perfectly. Then, you can serve it as a treat once in a while. A bite of it will suit older or aging puppies, while half a plantain will suffice medium or small puppies.
How to Serve Plantains to Your Dog?
You can serve plantain to your dogs in ways that are easy for them to digest. They include:
- Cooked Plantains: To prepare this version you may either dry these fruits under the sun or in the oven at a temperature not greater than 105 degrees Fahrenheit.
- As a dried version of a fully ripe fruit
- Boiled or steamed: Boil or cook the plantains and serve it mashed.
If you wish to ripen the fruit thoroughly, then you have to wait for three to five weeks until it is ready for consumption. However, there are certain tips which you may follow to reduce this time. They include:
- Place the plantain inside a large paper bag with enough space.
- Add an apple to the paper bag but don’t completely close the bag to space.
- Apples release a gas called ethylene which helps in naturally speeding up the ripening process.
- Check the status of the fruit daily by taking the bag to a warm place. The fruit will turn deep yellow in about six to nine days maintaining an unripe level.
- To get a black and soft fruit ready for consumption, you need to wait for another ten to fifteen days.
- After that, you may take them out of the bag and peel the skin.
How To Cook Plantains for Your Dog?
There are many ways to cook plantains for your dogs. But generally, avoid adding any spices or sugars to cooked plantains and serve them bland.
Firstly, peel off the plantains and chop them off into smaller pieces. You may then boil or even steam them. Cooking this way dissolves the starch and preserves the nutritional ingredients. Once the cooked pieces are cooled, you may serve it plain to your pet or add only a pinch of ground cinnamon. You can serve this recipe periodically.
If your canine had an upset gut, you may mash the cooked plantains and serve as a good recovery meal.
Here is a homemade plantain chips recipe you can try for your dog.
• 3 ripe plantains (dark yellow with black spots)
• 3 tablespoons olive oil or melted coconut oil
• 1 teaspoon salt
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
- Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Peel and slice plantains between 1/4- to 1/3-inch thick
- Toss plantain pieces in salt and olive oil
- Bake the plantains for 10 minutes, flip and bake for another 10 minutes.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool before serving warm.
Other ways to serve plantain to your dog
Plantain leaves and seeds can also be served to your pet either in fresh or dried form in the following ways:
Plantain Juice: Take the entire plant and run it through the blender with a little warm water. Use as it is, or strain the liquid and store it in the refrigerator for a couple of weeks. You can add this to your dog’s dinner as needed. Further, you can also use it to relieve constipation or diarrhea.
Tea: Add some plantain leaves to water and allow them to boil to a simmer. You can feed this tea directly to your dog, or it can be added to his dinner as needed.
Fresh Leaves with Food: You can pluck younger leaves of the plantain plant, cut and add them to your dog’s dinner. The frequency can be a teaspoon for every 20 pounds of body weight.
Wet Seeds and Stems: Collect a handful of plantain seeds and stems and soak in 8 oz of warm water. You can even boil them for 10-20 minutes until a gel is formed. Feed a teaspoon of this for every 20 pounds of body weight. Also, you can add this to your dog’s broth.
Dry Seeds and Stems: Add 1 teaspoon dried plantain seeds and stems per 20 pounds of body weight to your dog’s food.
Apart from the above recipes, you may also feed commercially available plantain supplements from the health stores or pharmacies in the form of capsules, liquid extracts, a tincture, or a tea.
What if my dog ate plantain?
Although plantains are healthy for your pet, they should be fed in moderation as excessive consumption can be hazardous to your dog’s health in the following ways:
- Increases the cholesterol levels: Plantains can increase your dog’s cholesterol levels when fed excessively, leading to congestion of arteries and adversely impacting the heart.
- Weight gain: An excessive intake of plantain can add more weight to your fido. Further, this may lead to other complications like obesity or heart diseases.
- Loose Motions: Disturbs the gastrointestinal tract leading to vomiting and loose stools.
- Irritability: As a result of an upset stomach, your buddy may begin to throw a lot of tantrums.
- Tremors: An excessive amount of plantain may result in vomiting, excessive urination, or even tremors before sleep.
If you notice any of the symptoms mentioned above, keep your pet hydrated or give him a good pat on his back.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can dogs eat plantain chips?
Yes, dogs can be fed plantain chips in moderation, provided they are homemade. Store bought plantain chips are prepared by frying chopped pieces of plantains in oil. Since these contain high fat and sodium content, they are unsuitable for your canine’s consumption. Moreover, too much of sodium can cause bloating or even sodium poisoning while a higher fat content may lead to inflammation of the pancreas.
Thus, a homemade recipe helps to cut down on salt and calories from fat, commonly found in commercial plantain chips.
Can Dogs Eat Raw Plantains?
No, Dogs cannot eat raw plantains. They contain too much starch and fiber content, making them difficult to digest for your dog’s gut.
Can dogs eat plantains cooked in coconut oil?
Yes, dogs can eat plantains cooked in coconut oil as coconut oil is beneficial for your dog’s health.
Can Dogs Eat Green Plantains?
No, dogs cannot eat green plantains because they are unripe when green in color.
Can Dogs Eat Yellow Plantains?
Yes, dogs can eat yellow plantains as they are ripe fruits.
Can Dogs Eat Plantain Peel?
No, dogs cannot eat plantain peel because they contain too much fiber, which may be difficult to digest.
Can Dogs Eat Fried Plantains?
No, dogs should not eat fried plantains as they contain too much oil.
Can Dogs Eat Plantain Lily?
No, dogs should not eat plantain lily. Plantain lilies do not belong to the plantain family, and they are toxic to dogs.
Can Dogs Eat Plantain Weed?
No, dogs cannot eat plantain weed because they contain too much fiber, which may be difficult to digest.
Plantains are a rich source of essential nutrients. However, you may feed them occasionally as a treat to your dogs in moderation to reap its benefits wholly and prevent your pet from developing any issues.