Can Dogs Eat Apples?
There’s an old saying – an apple a day keeps the doctor away.
With this in mind, many of us humans try to integrate this delicious fruit into our ongoing diets, either as a quick snack, served in assorted salads, or even in a selection of dessert favourites, like apple pie or apple peanut butter cookies.
But with all this nutritious goodness, pet owners have to ask, ‘can dogs eat apples?’
Our pups are integral members of the family, so naturally, we are invested in their health and well-being, always looking for new ways to improve their diets. With a different biological makeup, however, we need to be mindful that the foods we eat on a daily basis might actually cause them harm.
To put your mind at ease, this article will explore whether dogs can eat apples, the potential nutritional benefits, as well as different ways to safely feed apples to your pup.
Are Apples Good for Dogs?
So, can dogs have green apples, red apples, and everything in between?
The answer is yes! Unlike other dangerous fruits, such as grapes, apples are a low-calorie snack containing a full variety of essential vitamins and minerals, leaving them a terrific option for your dogs. They are a great source of fibre, vitamin C, potassium and carbohydrates, which all contribute to a healthy diet for your furry friend, helping with everything from immune response, to smoother digestion, to fuelling their energy throughout the day.
Although healthy, apples contain quite a bit of sugar, and you should be mindful of how much apple you feed them to avoid dental decay. To keep your dog healthy, they should eat fruits like apples and bananas alongside well-balanced dog food, ensuring optimal nutrition.
Eating apples that are raw or cooked is the best option, as when dogs eat apple pie, commercial applesauce, roasted apple chips, and other apple-flavoured treats, they are often exposed to far too many added sugars and preservatives that aren’t nutritionally beneficial and leave them with an upset stomach.
Nutritional Benefits of Apples for Dogs
Incorporating organic apples into your dog’s diet can provide various health benefits, including:
- Potassium: Crucial for heart health, maintaining electrolyte balance, and keeping muscles functioning properly.
- High Fibre: Essential in regulating digestion and promoting a healthy gut microbiome.
- Vitamin A: Vitamin A is also vital for the growth and development of cells, bones, and tissues.Supports healthy vision, promote.s a robust immune system, and helps maintain healthy skin and coat.
- Vitamin C: Promotes a healthy immune system and helps protect against cellular damage. Vitamin C is also a potent antioxidant that helps neutralise harmful free radicals in the body.
- Vitamin K: Vitamin K helps with blood clotting, supports healthy bones, and works to regulate calcium levels in the body.
How to Incorporate Apples into Your Dog’s Diet
There are several ways to include apples in your dog’s diet, including:
Prepare Apple Treats & Apple Slices as a Snack
One of the simplest ways to give your dog apples is as a snack or sweet treat. Take a fresh apple and wash it thoroughly to remove any lingering traces of pesticides or other contaminants. You can then cut the apples into small, bite-sized slices and either hand-feed each apple slice to your dog or place them in their bowl.
Dogs eat apples with the skin, but be sure to always cut apples small enough to avoid your dog trying to swallow them whole and potentially choking.
This is a great option for dogs who love crunchy foods, as well as a convenient way to give your dog a healthy treat on the go or as a reward for good behaviour.
Homemade Applesauce or Mash
Another popular option is to make homemade, unsweetened applesauce or mash for your dog. You can easily add these to your pup’s existing meals as a tasty topping, or even on their own, becoming an excellent option for dogs who prefer softer foods.
If you want to try this, avoid any added sugar or preservatives. Unlike applesauce made for human consumption, healthy dogs eat applesauce with just apples alone, as any new ingredients could contribute to unnecessary weight gain and stress on their digestive system, leading to attributable conditions like diabetes and high blood pressure.
When the hotter days of the year creep around, it can be difficult for your dog to cool themselves down. You can give them a trim or sit them near a fan, but it also helps to offer them a chilled, delicious treat that can cool them down internally.
Frozen apples can provide a different texture and temperature for your dog to enjoy, especially in the summer months. Simply cut the apples into bite-sized pieces to avoid choking, freeze them, and take them out whenever needed. You can even freeze applesauce in ice cube trays!
Be Sure to Remove Apple Seeds & Core
We’ve spoken about the potential health benefits and how to prepare apples, but are the apple cores bad for dogs? Well, the majority of humans enjoy everything but the apple core, and the same should apply to dogs’ diets.
The apple seeds themselves contain a small amount of cyanide, which can prove extremely poisonous. It would take several seeds to create a real risk of toxicity, so if your dogs eat apple seeds by accident, it may not be a cause for concern. Still, it is not worth taking the risk, and you should contact a vet immediately.
The stems may also be poisonous or upset your dog’s stomach once ingested.
Moreover, the cores themselves can be too firm for your dog’s teeth to chew, making it difficult to swallow and posing a potential choking hazard or risk for gastrointestinal blockages.
Can My Dog Be Allergic to Apples?
As with all foods, there is a chance that your dog could prove allergic to apples. Generally, canines are more prone to specific allergies with proteins, but if your dog shows signs of an allergy, such as excessive itching, GI issues, or excessive licking, it is best to consult with a veterinarian.
A professional can help determine if your dog is having an allergic reaction to apples and can provide recommendations for alternative snacks.
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