It’s well known that bananas are a healthy addition to a human’s diet.
But our pets don’t always get the same benefits from food that we do, in fact, some human foods can be downright dangerous for some pets.
Therefore, it’s always good practise to check whether your pet can eat a certain food before giving it to them.
In the article I’ll explore whether bananas are safe for mice, should you feed bananas to mice, and how much banana a mouse can safely eat.
I’ll also take a look at some of the health benefits and dangers for mice eating bananas.
Mice can eat bananas. But there is a limit to how much banana your mouse should eat. Banana should only be fed in small quantities as an occasional treat, not as part of their regular diet.
Health benefits of mice eating bananas
Bananas, just like many other fruits, have lots of health benefits for your mouse.
Of course, there is a limit to how much banana your mouse should eat, we’ll take a look at that later in the article.
But now, let’s look at what the main beneficial nutrients are in bananas.
Banana is the best source of vitamin B6 of all fruits.
Vitamin B6 helps in the production of red blood cells, maintaining a healthy nervous system and aids in the metabolism of carbohydrates, fat and amino acids.
Bananas are a quick and easy way to deliver this important vitamin into your mouse’s body.
Whilst not quite as abundant as vitamin B6, there’s also plenty of vitamin C in bananas too.
Vitamin C helps to protect the body against cell and tissue damage as well as aiding the body to better absorb iron.
It also helps to produce collagen, which will lead to more healthy skin and bones for your mouse.
Manganese helps to form antioxidants. These, in turn, can help to rid the body of harmful ‘free radicals’.
Free radicals are isolated atoms that bind themselves to cells in the body. The body then treats this cell as an invader and it is damaged or destroyed.
That can lead to a whole host of health issues and even cancer.
Manganese also helps to support good bone health, working with nutrients such as calcium and vitamin D.
Bananas can be very good for controlling high blood pressure due to their large content of potassium.
This helps to maintain a healthy heart and good blood pressure.
Potassium has also been shown to support bone and muscle strength as the body ages.
Fiber is essential for healthy digestion. It has two categories, soluble and insoluble fiber.
Soluble fiber helps to control the blood sugar level of the body and aids in ridding the body of fatty substances such as cholesterol.
Insoluble fiber helps to keep the digestive system moving, it will add weight but also softens to your mouse’s stools which in turn will help the digestive system to work effectively.
Health risks of mice eating bananas
There re lots of great reasons for mice to eat bananas, but there are also risk if they eat too many.
That’s why mice should only be given banana occasionally as a treat and it should never be part of a regular daily diet.
I’ll talk about how much banana I would recommend giving your mouse later in the article.
But first let’s take a look at what some of the negative health impacts might be if your mouse has too much banana.
Just like any fruit, the main reason your mouse will love the taste is because it’s sweet.
That sweetness comes from sugar, it’s a natural sugar but in excessive amounts, it can still be harmful to your mouse.
If your mouse consumes too much sugar then they are probably going to start gaining weight, as the excess sugar is converted into fat.
That’s going to cause all sorts of problems, such as high blood pressure and cardiac stress, your mouse will probably also become less active which will just add to the issues long term.
Fiber is great for the digestive system, but too much fiber can start to cause digestive issues of its own.
An excess of fiber can block up the digestive system guinea rather than helping to keep things moving. This can result in discomfort, constipation or diarrhea.
Some small animals need alot of fiber, but these are usually herbivours like rabbits and guinea pigs.
Mice are omnivorous, meaning they eat both plant and animal based foods, so they don’t need nearly as much fiber as some of their rodent relatives.
Digestive issues are never going to be nice for either your mouse or you! So, try and not overfeed your mouse on fiber-rich treats like bananas.
Avoid green bananas, they aren’t ripe yet
Green bananas are just bananas that haven’t yet become ripe.
Green bananas are difficult to digest as they contain a type of starch that cannot be digested at all.
Your mouse certainly could, and would, eat a green banana and they probably wouldn’t show signs of discomfort.
But over time that’s going to be tough on the little stomach of your mouse, so it’s best to avoid green bananas altogether, especially when you can just give them a ripe one instead.
Once picked bananas can ripen very quickly and you’ll see a green banana turn yellow in just a matter of days.
You can even keep the banana in a warm location to speed this process up.
Can mice eat banana peel (banana skins)
I would recommend not giving your mouse banana skin to eat.
Your mouse will probably eat banana skin if they get it, and it isn’t toxic to them.
But banana peel is extremely difficult to digest and very fibrous.
As a result, banana peel could easily cause blockages in your mouse’s digestive system.
Mice are tough little animals but even they will struggle to fully digest a stringy banana skin, of which around 20% is starch.
If your mouse has just eaten banana peel and you’re worried, then there is no need to panic, it won’t harm them.
But it will be a little tough on their stomach so I wouldn’t recommend you feed them banana peel in the future.
How much banana can a mouse eat
Remember just how little your mouse is, they don’t need much of anything really!
You should consider bananas as a treat for your mouse, only to be fed occasionally and not part of their regular diet.
The high sugar and fiber content can cause harm if they are fed too much banana.
I would recommend you only feed your mouse a couple of slices of banana per week, assuming they aren’t having lots of other treats too.
As a tip for the pet owner. Don’t give your mouse banana int heir cage, it can get all mushy and tangled in their bedding which is a bit of a pain.
It’s best to give it to your mouse banana as a treat when they are outside of their cage, then you can keep an eye on how much they eat and it won’t cause a mess in their cage.
Treating your mouse outside of its cage is also a great way to build a positive relationship with your mouse when you first get them.
In the beginning, mice can (understandably) be a little nervous to be picked up and moved from their safe cage, so treating them will help them understand that being outside of their cage can actually be fun!
Final note – Every mouse is different
Mice will often eat most foods without much of an issue, even if they perhaps shouldn’t.
They are omnivorous and are well adapted to eating a wide range of different foods.
However, some mice may just struggle with certain foods, it may be an allergy, intolerance or it might just be their age.
Some may struggle to digest food with high fiber more than others will.
This could be especially true for older mice, they can age so quickly that it can be easy to forget that a 2-year-old mouse might have more digestion difficulties than a 6 month old one.
So, whenever you feed your mouse a new food you should monitor them for a few days, issues can be hard to spot in mice but look for signs of decreased activity or unusual, runny stools.
If you see anything that concerns you then don’t feed them any more bananas as it just might not agree with their stomach.
If the symptoms persist and don’t seem to be fading then you may want to consult with your vet.