Can Dogs Eat Plantains? 

By Britt Kascjak

Yes! When cooked, your dogs can enjoy plantains. But, these sweet banana-like fruits can be safely prepared for your dog in several ways, but not served raw.  Not only are they tasty, but they also offer some health benefits.

Are Plantains a Safe Treat for Your Dog?

Did your dog eat plantains and you’re concerned if it’s safe or not? While plantains may not be the first thing that comes to mind when treating your dog, that doesn’t stop them! A curious dog can get into anything, whether you are offering it or not.

The good news is that, in most situations, plantains are safe for your dog. But there are a few points that you should consider.

Can Dogs Have Plantains?

Unlike other highly-toxic foods like grapes and chocolate, plantains are dog-friendly. In moderation, they offer some nutritional benefits.

Except, they can make your dog’s stomach ill if they aren’t prepared right.

As with any new food, consult with your veterinarian before feeding plantains. They will be able to assess your dog’s unique health needs and point out any concerns.

Are Plantains Good for Dogs?

There are few dog-safe fruits and vegetables that don’t offer health benefits. But, plantains take this to a higher level.

Packed with nutritional value, they can be very valuable for your dog’s health.

Boosted Immune System:

With a high level of vitamin C, plantains can help strengthen your dog’s immune system.

This important vitamin also helps to reduce inflammation and boost energy levels. This makes it a  great choice for dogs that enjoy active lifestyles.

Improve Digestive Health:

As most dog parents know, fiber is an important dietary need for proper digestion. Plantains have high fiber content.

In fact, the fiber content is so high that you will need to limit how much your dog eats.

Feeding higher-fiber foods will regulate bowel movements, offering a solution to diarrhea.

It will also leave your dog feeling full for longer. This is a great option if you are currently trying to help your dog lose weight.

Strengthen Muscles and Organs:

Magnesium plays many important roles when it comes to your dog’s muscles and organs.

This valuable mineral supports muscle regeneration and helps existing muscles relax. These are both important for strengthening muscle function.

Supporting your muscles in turn will help to maintain good organ health.

Finally, magnesium plays a role in helping your dog absorb other important minerals. This includes calcium, potassium, and zinc.

Potassium plays a role in sending nerve signals and allowing the muscles to contract. 

Anti-inflammatory and Antibacterial:

If your dog is currently fighting off a bug or a disease, plantains may be able to help.

This sweet fruit has both anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. Eating plantains can soothe pain and discomfort from inflammation instantly.

The antibacterial properties are no substitute for taking the necessary antibacterial medications. But, it can help as a piece of the larger puzzle.

Can Dogs Eat Raw Plantains?

Raw plantains contain a high level of starch and fiber. While neither of these is bad in moderation, too much can make your dog sick.

They may not even want to eat them. When plantains are eaten raw they are tough and not particularly tasty.

It’s the cooked plantains that taste delicious!

Are Raw Plantains Bad or Poisonous?

If your dog happens to get ahold of raw plantains, don’t stress. While they aren’t ideal for your dog, they aren’t toxic.

Despite not being poisonous, raw plantains can make your dog very sick.

Your dog’s digestive system will find it difficult to break down the level of fiber and starch. This can cause nausea and diarrhea.

The only exception to this rule is fully ripe plantains that have blackened. Your dog can eat these raw in small quantities. 

Can Puppies Eat Raw Plantains?

Raw plantains aren’t recommended for adult dogs, but they are even worse for puppies.

At a young age, a puppy’s stomach tends to be more sensitive. It’s not uncommon for healthy puppies to suffer a mild upset tummy at some point in their lives.

The high fiber and starch levels in raw plantain will hit a young puppy even harder than an adult dog. 

Can Dogs Eat Boiled Plantains?

Boiling is a great way to cook plantains as a sweet treat for your dog. This will release the sweet taste while making it easier for them to digest.

You can cut the plantain up into pieces, boiling and serving them as is.

Or, if you have a dog that seems put off by the texture mash the boiled plantain. Mix this in with your dog’s regular food to enjoy the benefits without too much change to their meal.

It can also be mixed into other human foods, depending on what your dog enjoys. For example, boiled plantain and rice can help a dog that isn’t feeling well.

When boiling, use minimal salt and avoid adding herbs or spices.

Boiled on their own in this way, this is the safest way that you can feed plantains to your dog.

Can Dogs Eat Plantain Chips?

Whether your dog can eat plantain chips will depend on their preparation.

Are they fried plantains or baked? Are there any spices or flavors added to the chips during the cooking process?

Avoid any fried plantain chips flavored with chili powder, garlic powder, or onion powder. These are ingredients that could make your dog sick.

Only feed your dog plain, baked plantain chips.

Can Dogs Eat Plantain Skin?

Much like the flesh of raw plantains, plantain skin contains high levels of dietary fiber. This means it too can cause digestive problems.

Plantain skins, or peels, can also create a choking hazard for dogs of all sizes.

Regardless of how ripe your plantain or how you plan on cooking it, take the peel off first. Dispose of this in a secured compost bin with a lid to keep your dog out.

Can dogs eat fried plantains?

Dogs shouldn’t eat fried foods, plantains included. Fried plantains are high in unhealthy fats, and often are seasoned with spices that are harmful to pups. Letting your dog eat fried plantains is unhealthy at best.

Can Dogs Eat Green or Yellow Plantains?

Green plantains aren’t a different variety. Like bananas, the color shows that they are still unripe.

If you were to give a green plantain to your dog, it wouldn’t be as soft as a ripe yellow or black plantain. Instead, they are very firm and tough to chew.

An uncooked, unripe plantain has an even higher level of hard-to-digest fibers than a ripe one.

The taste of an unripe plantain is very bland and most dogs will have no interest in it. Those that do could suffer an upset stomach from the fiber content.

When selecting a plantain for your dog, it’s best to stick to a ripe plantain.

Can Dogs Eat Sweet Plantains?

When a plantain ripens and turns yellow, they develop a sweet taste. This is where they get the name “sweet plantains”.

This is the point where the natural sugars in the fruit make them taste great to both people and their dogs.

You may have heard people warn you time and time again to avoid giving your dog sugar. But, the natural sugars in fruit are not as bad for your dog as artificial sugar.

Don’t overfeed plantains to your dog, but sweet plantains are safe for dogs in moderation. 

Can Dogs Eat Plantain Lily?

Despite the name, the plantain lily is not actually the same as a plantain.

In fact, the plantain lily is a popular plant for both gardeners and houseplant lovers. This evergreen perennial has waxy, oval-shaped leaves and tall white or purple flowers and doesn’t bear fruit like the plantain or banana tree.

You might have one hanging around your home right now!

If you do have a plantain lily or are considering one, be cautious. Plantain lilies are toxic to our dogs.

While most causes of plantain lily poisoning are mild, if your dog eats enough it can be serious. In the more severe cases, it can even be fatal.

Symptoms of plantain lily poisoning

Symptoms of plantain lily poisoning include:

  • Redness, swelling, or irritation of the mouth, lips, and tongue
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Loss of appetite
  • Bloat
  • Loss of weight
  • Weakness, listlessness, or loss of coordination
  • Stiff posture
  • Coma

If you suspect that your dog may have ingested any part of a plantain lily, contact your veterinarian. If possible, take note of how much your dog ate.

Your vet will be able to provide recommendations for the best next steps to keep your dog safe.

Can Dogs Eat Plantain Leaves?

All parts of the plantain plant are non-toxic for dogs, including the leaves. But, most people aren’t referring to the plant that grows the plantain fruit.

The reference to plantain leaves is usually directed at a different plant. The broadleaf plantain is a perennial plant that grows as a weed in many areas.

How to recognize plantain leaves

You can recognize broadleaf plantain by its rosette of oval-shaped leaves. In the center, floral spikes extend straight up.

The broadleaf plantain is known for having medicinal properties. It’s often praised by hikers as an easy-to-access herbal remedy for a variety of conditions.

Uses for the broadleaf plantain include:

  • Boosting the immune system
  • Relieving pain from ulcers
  • Treating diarrhea and fatigue
  • Possessing anti-tumor properties
  • Reducing inflammation

The weed can serve an important purpose for humans and animals as an herbal remedy. But, you should discourage your dog from snacking on the leaves when outdoors.

Broadleaf plantain also contains high levels of fiber.

Eating too much of this plant can cause digestive problems like raw plantain. It’s better to avoid feeding it to your dog unless needed for medicinal reasons. 

How Can I Give My Dog Plantains Safely?

If you want to give your dog plantains as a tasty treat, it’s all about how you cook them.

Always remove the peel before cooking your plantains.

If you are making plantain chips, skip any seasonings and make them plain. You can bake them in coconut oil, which also carries health benefits for your dog.

This will give your dog the crispy texture of a plantain chip without the extra ingredients.

When adding plantains to your dog’s food, consider boiling the plantain. When they have softened, you can then mash them with ease.

Boiling will preserve more of the nutritional benefits than baking. It is the safest and most recommended option.

A general rule of thumb for how many plantains your dog can eat safely is:

  • Small to Medium Sized Dogs – 1/3 of a plantain, once per week
  • Large to Giant Sized Dogs – 1/2 of a plantain, once or twice per week
  • Elderly Dogs or Puppies – 2-3 slices of plantain, on occasion, less than once per week

Feeding more than these recommended amounts can cause digestive problems.

Keep in mind that every dog is different.

If you notice that your dog is feeling ill after eating the recommended amount, cut back. Your dog may have a more sensitive stomach than other dogs of the same size.

Furry friends that eat plantains with no issue may be able to tolerate slightly more. Consider upping the amount a little bit and watch for your dog’s response.

Pay attention to what your dog is trying to tell you. They communicate with us more than many dog owners realize!

Final Verdict: Can dogs eat plantains?

Are plantains a safe treat to share with your dog? Can dogs eat plantains? Yes, your dog can enjoy the sweet taste and health benefits in moderation.

Be strategic when feeding plantains to your dog.

Incorporate smaller amounts in your dog’s diet on a weekly basis. The correct amount will depend on your dog’s size or age.

Plantains can be a tasty, nutritional treat in moderation for the average, healthy dog.

Photo of author
Britt Kascjak
Britt Kascjak has been active in the animal rescue community for over 15 years, volunteering, fostering, and advocating for organizations across Canada and the US. Her ‘pack’ includes her husband John, their 3 dogs – Daviana, Indiana, and Lucifer – and their 2 cats – Pippen and Jinx.