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Can dogs eat apples?

 

One moment, you prepare to bite into a fresh, mouth-watering apple, and the next, your dog appears out of nowhere, demanding to get their share.

And as any protective dog parent would do, you wanted to know if apples are indeed good for dogs and ended up here!

The good news is that apples are not only among the fruits that are safe for dogs to eat but are also packed with antioxidants, fibre, and minerals, which are highly beneficial for your best friend’s digestion and immunity.

If you plan to add apples to your dog’s diet and don’t know where to start, I’ve got you covered!

Let’s go together over the main health benefits of apples, how to feed them to your dog, what apple treats to avoid, and easy dog-friendly apple recipes you need to try.

Are apples good for dogs?

They sure are! Apples are safe and healthy additions to your dog’s diet if fed in moderation. Remember that fruit shouldn’t exceed more than 5% of your dog’s daily meal, roughly what canines would eat in nature.

Most dogs enjoy apples because of their satisfying crunch and fresh taste, but like humans, some dogs aren’t very impressed with them and prefer other fruits to munch on.

Giving your dog a small piece sometimes works when they have never had apples before. Also, sweeter, less sour apples generally work better. My dog Pax loves Honey Crisps, and I do too!

Health benefits of apples for dogs 

Apples are a rich source of antioxidants such as polyphenols and vitamin C, which help fight joint inflammation, boost immunity, support the nervous and cardiovascular systems, and help lower the risk of cancer.

Feeding your dog apples can also help boost digestion and regulate bowel movements thanks to their high fibre content. And with almost 85% water, apples are a go-to hydrating and energizing treat that is perfect to have on hand when going for a walk or a trip with your dog.

Ways to safely feed apples to your dog

One thing to pay attention to before giving your dog apples is that they’re among the most heavily sprayed fruits, also known as the dirty dozen list. This is why I recommend feeding only organic fruit if possible, or you can plant an apple tree in your backyard.

Start by washing the apple thoroughly, then slice it up or dice it while removing the core and seeds. Apple seeds should be avoided because they contain cyanide, which is toxic to dogs, especially in larger amounts.

There is no reason to panic if your dog eats a few apple seeds, but I have seen a few dogs have health issues that went away after their “parent” stopped feeding apple cores with seeds.

If you’re giving your dog apples for the first time, it’s recommended to start with a few slices and notice how their digestive system reacts.

To prevent gastrointestinal issues, always feed apples 1 hour before you give your dog meat or 3 hours after a protein meal. Protein takes longer to digest compared to fruit; thus, mixing the two could result in stomach discomfort for your dog.

Top dog treats you can make with apples

While fresh apples are always the best and healthiest treat for your dog, dried apple chips are a crunchier apple treat you can easily make at home.

Cut apples into round, thin slices and use a dehydrator to dry them or pop them in the oven on low. The ideal temperature for dehydrating apples is around 135°F (57°C), which helps dry the apples while preserving most of their nutritional content and preventing cooking.

Dehydrating at this temperature can take about 6 to 10 hours, depending on the dehydrator you’re using and the thickness of the apple slices.

Apple chip recipe


C
an dogs eat apples - FAQ

●     How many apples can a dog eat?

As with any fruit, the apples you give your dog shouldn’t be more than 5 percent of their daily diet. That could mean one or two slices for a small-sized dog and half an apple for a larger dog.

When introducing new fruits to your dog’s diet, start slowly and make sure their stomach tolerates it. If your dog develops diarrhea, vomiting, itching, hives, and swelling soon after eating apples, contact your veterinarian.

●     Can dogs eat apples with skin?

The apple peel is safe for dogs if the fruit hasn’t been sprayed with toxic pesticides. Peeling the apple before giving it to your dog removes a significant part of the vitamins, minerals, and fibre; that’s why feeding organic fruit is best.

●     Are there any fruits dogs can't eat?

Avoid fruits such as grapes/raisins, black and red currants, and grapefruits, as they’re highly toxic to dogs. If you feed your dog cherries, peaches or apricots, remove the pits first because they contain cyanide.

●     Are apples good for dogs to eat?

Yes, apples are safe for dogs and an excellent source of polyphenols and phytochemicals, such as vitamin C and vitamin K. These antioxidants help maintain optimal brain, joint and cardiovascular health for your canine companion and lower cancer risk. Apples also contain a significant amount of fibre, which helps support healthy bacteria in the gut.

●     Can dogs eat apple seeds?

No, you should remove the apple core and seeds before feeding the fruit to your dog. Apple seeds contain small amounts of cyanide, which is toxic to dogs. However, you shouldn’t worry if your dog has ingested some seeds. They would have to consume a large amount for it to become harmful. 

●     Can dogs eat apple pie?

I would not feed my dog a whole slice of apple pie, but a little piece will be fine as long as it doesn’t have raisins or other toxic ingredients for dogs. If your dog has diarrhea or digestive upset, you know that you must resist the pleading eyes next time.

Also, ideally, don’t give your dog food from the table; always serve food from their regular feeding spot. It may make your and your dog’s life easier if they know that food doesn’t come from the table. It’s also much better if your guests aren’t faced with a begging dog under their feet when they come to your house.

●     Can dogs eat applesauce?

Theoretically, dogs can eat a small amount of applesauce if it doesn’t contain artificial sweeteners. At the same time, sugar and cooked apples are not exactly healthy food, so I wouldn’t recommend feeding applesauce to your dog. 

●     Can dogs have apple cider vinegar?

Yes, apple cider vinegar is safe for dogs and can improve your dog’s digestion, fight bacterial infections and lower blood sugar levels. I have seen many dogs with sensitive stomachs feeling better after getting organic apple cider vinegar. This is one of the reasons why apple cider vinegar is one of the ingredients of our best-selling naturally fermented multivitamin supplement, SoulFood for dogs and SoulFood H+ for people.

 

About the author

Dr. Peter Dobias, DVM is an Integrative veterinarian, nutritionist and creator of natural supplements for dogs and people. Helping you and your dog prevent disease, treat nutritional deficiencies, and enjoy happier, healthier, and longer lives together.

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