Many people love apples, and for good reasons – they are healthy, juicy, crunchy, and delicious. As a dog owner, you have probably wondered if apples are safe for dogs and what would happen if you share a slice with your pooch.
So, can dogs eat apples? Yes, dogs can eat apples as treats. Besides being crunchy and fun to eat, apples contain vitamins and minerals your dog needs. When fed moderately, apples can improve your dog’s digestion and boost his immune system. But, don’t overdo it, eating too many apples can cause an upset stomach in dogs.
In this article, we’ll tell you how dogs can benefit from eating apples, what are the best ways to serve apples, and the potential risks of feeding apples to dogs. Continue reading to find out more!
Are Apples Good for Dogs?
When offered occasionally as a tasty reward or a treat, apples are great for dogs. Like other fruits and veggies, apples contain certain vitamins and minerals that can improve your dog’s overall health.
The great thing about apples is that they are low in calories and fatty acids, but high in fiber. Apples are also low in protein, which makes them a great treat option for dogs who have kidney disease and must eat a low-protein diet.
Quite affordable and available all year round, apples can be an excellent addition to your dog’s diet when fed moderately. To take the full advantage of everything apples can offer to your dog, serve them as treats.
What Kind of Apples Can Dogs Eat?
Red Delicious, Granny Smith, Gala, and McIntosh are just a few of many varieties of apples available at grocery stores (source). But, the important thing is, that all apples are safe for dogs to eat.
Most dogs love apples of any kind, but if your pooch is a picky eater, try offering several different varieties and let him decide on the favorite one. And if you have a favorite apple variety, offer it to your dog, he might enjoy it as much as you do!
Benefits of Apples for Dogs
Feeding apples to your dog can have significant benefits to his immune system and overall health. Just remember, no matter how nutritious and healthy apples are, they aren’t a substitute for a complete and balanced diet.
So make sure that your dog’s food contains all the essential nutrients he needs to have a happy and healthy life.
The biggest benefits of feeding apples to your dog are:
1. Apples for A Strong Immune System
Apples are an excellent source of vitamin C, a strong antioxidant that can boost your dog’s immune system and reduce the risk of chronic diseases. Vitamin C can also neutralize free radicals and prevent the damage they make, thus lowering the chance of cancer.
2. Apples Support Skin Health
Apples are also a good source of vitamin A which supports skin health and helps keep it hydrated. Furthermore, vitamin A also supports eye health and immune function, thus ensuring that your pooch is healthy and strong.
3. Apples Are Good for Digestive Health
Naturally high in fiber, apples support proper digestion and will also give your dog a sense of being full for longer. Fiber-rich foods are beneficial for dogs who experience bouts of diarrhea, constipation, or other stomach problems (source).
4. Apples Support Bone Health
Apples are also a source of vitamin K, that makes proteins for strong bones and normal blood clotting. The vitamin K from apples is good for all dogs, but it can be extremely beneficial for larger and active breeds or senior dogs who already have some joint problems.
Besides vitamin K apples also contain potassium which plays a huge role in improving bone health. Combined, these two nutrients will ensure that your dog’s bones are healthy and strong so he can remain a playful and happy pooch for years to come.
5. Apples Are Good for Weight Loss
Low in calories and high in fiber, apples are excellent for weight loss, and can be a great alternative for fatty dog treats. If your pooch needs to lose some weight or if you’re looking for a healthy dog treat, adding apples to his diet is a great choice.
Side Effect of Apples for Dogs
There’s no doubt that apples are one of the healthiest human foods your dog can eat, but that’s only if you don’t go overboard. Feeding large amounts of apples to a dog is never a good idea and can cause problems.
Downsides of eating too many apples are:
1. Apples Contain Sugar
A medium-sized apple contains around 19 grams of sugar, which can lead to obesity, diabetes, and stomach upset in dogs (source). However, it’s highly unlikely that your dog will develop any of these issues if he is only eating apples occasionally as treats.
But, if you feed your dog apples every single day, there is a big chance that he will develop a health problem due to all the extra sugar he is consuming.
Keep in mind that many apple products such as applesauce or apple chips contain added sugars, which means that they aren’t good for dogs. Therefore, stick to fresh apples and only feed them moderately to your pooch.
2. Cyanide Poisoning
Apple seeds contain trace amounts of cyanide, which is toxic to dogs and people if consumed in large amounts or over a longer period of time. However, it’s highly unlikely that anything bad will happen if your dog accidentally swallows a small amount of apple seeds.
While the chance of cyanide poisoning is very small, there’s no reason to put your dog at risk. So, before you feed apples to your dog, make sure to core the apple and remove all the seeds.
3. Digestive Upset
Eating too many apples in one sitting can cause vomiting and diarrhea, even in completely healthy dogs. If this happens, stop giving apples to your dog right away and contact your vet if digestive issues last more than a day.
How Much Apple Can I Give to My Dog?
Always consult your vet before you start feeding your dog with any kind of human food. While apples are healthy, they can exacerbate certain health problems, so it’s always a good idea to get your vet’s opinion on the matter.
Your vet will also tell you how many apples you can give to your dog based on his size, weight, and nutritional needs. Generally, dogs can eat a slice or two of apple as a delicious and crunchy treat.
Remember, treats should make up 10% of your dog’s daily calorie intake and the rest should come from food. So, as long as you follow this rule you don’t have to worry about giving too much apple to your pooch.
Can Dogs Eat Apple Skin?
If you are feeding only a few slices of apple to your dog, the peel shouldn’t be a problem. In fact, apple skin acts like a toothbrush and will help clean your dog’s teeth and improve his dental health.
On the other hand, you’ll need to remove the core, stem, and seeds from an apple before giving it to your dog to eat. You already know that apple seeds are toxic, but stems and cores are a potential choking hazard, so remove everything before feeding apples to your pooch.
How to Feed Apples to Your Dog?
There are several ways you can feed apples to your dog, just don’t forget to wash them and remove the stems, seeds, and cores first. Depending on your dog’s preferences, you can cut apples into bite-sized cubes or slices.
Popular ways to feed apples to dogs are:
- Cut the fresh apple in slices or cubes
- Freeze apple slices and offer them as a cool treat
- Mix fresh slices of apple with your dog’s food
- Cook homemade applesauce without adding sugar
- Mash the apple and mix it with your dog’s food
- Make a homemade dog treat using apples and peanut butter
Feeding apples to your dog is a great way to spice up his regular meals and include valuable nutrients into his diet. While apples are very healthy, you should feed them moderately to your dog, and basically use them as tasty treats.
Like all other fruits, apples contain sugar which is unhealthy and can cause serious health problems if consumed in large amounts. But, if your dog eats a slice of an apple once in a while, he will ingest all the healthy and valuable nutrients without getting a sugar high.