Dogs can eat apples, however, dog owners should be very careful how they feed apples to their dogs. It's not advisable to feed your dog apple peels, apple cores, apple seeds, leaves, or stems for reasons that will be discussed below.
While it can be hard denying your dog a piece of whatever you are eating, it may be in their best interest to watch you as you enjoy some foods.
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- How good are they and what are the health benefits?
- Are they safe for my dog to eat?
- How many apples can a dog eat per day?
- When can my dog eat them?
- How to feed apples
- Recipe ideas
Your dog can enjoy notable health benefits from eating apple flesh in small quantities. Apples are high in fiber, which offers digestion benefits.
Apples are also rich in minerals and vitamins such as Vitamin C, Vitamin A, calcium, and phosphorous.
Vitamin C supports bone and muscle health in dogs. Vitamin A supports dog skin/coat health and overall immune system health.
Minerals like calcium help to maintain your dog’s teeth, nails, and bone health.
Calcium also promotes cardiovascular health. Like calcium, phosphorous is also important for supporting bone health.
While apples are a good source of vitamin, fiber and minerals, apple peels, apple stems, apple leaves, apple seeds, and cores pose serious risks to dogs.
When chewed, apple seeds can cause cyanide poisoning. Although apple seeds contain small amounts of cyanide, dogs that feast of many apple cores can be exposed to the poison.
Apple cores harbor apple seeds, which contain a plant compound known as amygdalin, which happens to be harmless when intact. When apple cores are chewed, the amygdalin degenerates to form cyanide resulting in serious health risks.
Apple stems, and leaves introduce choking risks. Your dog can choke on apple stems and leaves. Apple skin also introduces choking risks, among other risks such as gastrointestinal blockage. A dog's digestive system isn't designed to digest apple peels.
Apples also come with other risks, such as weight gain. Since apples have high sugar content, overfeeding can result in weight gain, especially among dogs susceptible to weight problems. Apples can also worsen pre-existing conditions in dogs. If your dog has diabetes, cancer, or any other chronic condition, it is advisable to consult your veterinarian before giving them apples.
Apples can also cause digestive system problems like diarrhea and upset stomachs even among healthy dogs. This problem is common when dogs eat too many apples. Apple products with artificial additives also cause digestive system problems. Artificial sweeteners, spices, herbs, among other ingredients in apple products sold in grocery shops today, pose serious risks to your dog's health.
Pesticides and herbicides used to grow fruits like apples can cause allergic reactions. It is better to feed your dog organic apples or treats made with organic apples just to be sure they don't contain harmful chemicals. Dogs can suffer potentially life-threatening allergic conditions like anaphylaxis because of chemicals and additives in the food they eat. Some notable signs of allergies in dogs include hives, swelling, sneezing, coughing, difficulty breathing, and weakness.
If you’re hoping to share a healthy treat with your dog, it’s best to do so in moderation. It’s recommended that you only feed your dog a few slices of apple at a time, but is an apple a day really all that bad?
In most cases, no. Your dog should be just fine if you choose to feed them a small apple in a day (sliced and without seeds or core, of course!). However, apples should be considered a treat and only take up about 10% of their total food per day, meaning it’s better to keep that delicious treat for special occasions and not to feed in large amounts.
If you are considering feeding your dog an apple a day, stick to feeding them a few slices of apple per day instead of giving them a whole sliced apple to themselves. This way you can control how much sugar they’re consuming and keep them from gaining weight from overfeeding them treats.
The appropriate time or circumstance for dogs to eat apples is determined by several factors. If the necessary precautions are taken, there are no reasons why dogs shouldn't enjoy apples.
Apples are safe for dogs when:
1. Peeled and sliced: Apple peels can choke both small and large dogs. Giving your dog a whole apple (with the leaves and stem) can also cause choking and digestive system problems like blockages and stomach upset.
2. Served in small slices/pieces: Dogs can choke on large chunks of apples.
3. Served minus the apple core: Apple cores contain apple seeds, which can cause stomach upsets and cyanide poisoning.
4. Served in moderation: Apples should be an occasional sweet treat for your dog. You shouldn't substitute dog food with apples. As discussed above, apples are rich in sugar, which can cause weight gain.
5. They are organic: Apples that have been grown using pesticides, and herbicides can introduce chemicals that cause serious allergies in dogs.
There are many ways of feeding your dog apples. You can feed your dog raw or cooked apples.
You can also consider tasty apple recipes like apple sauce provided you follow some guidelines.
Feeding Your Dog Raw Apples
You can simply peel and feed your dog slices of raw apples. You can also freeze peeled apple slices and offer them as a cool summer treat.
If you have some time and are up for a challenge, you can create apple popsicles from your canine friend.
Feeding Your Dog Cooked Apples
Dogs also love cooked apples and will feast on applesauce, among other cooked apple recipes. If you decided to give your dog cooked apples, make sure you avoid recipes that contain harmful ingredients.
Dogs shouldn't be fed salty or sugary apple treats with spices, herbs, and other artificial ingredients common in human foods.
You can introduce apples to your dog’s diet alone or alongside other ingredients. It’s always advisable to avoid artificial additives. The apples should also be organic.
Here are some homemade apple recipes your dog will love.
I. Apple Peanut Butter And Oat Treat
You’ll need two apples, one whole egg, one cup of whole oat flour, and a teaspoon of xylitol-free peanut butter.
Step 1: Preheat your oven (180 degrees Celsius)
Step 2: Wash, peel and slice your organic apples
Step 3: Mix your apples, egg, oat flour and peanut butter together
Step 4: Mix until the dough is thick but doesn’t stick on your hands
Step 5: Flatten the dough to 0.25 inch thickness. Cut the dough into desired shapes
Step 6: Bake for approximately 25 minutes or until dry.
This recipe is enough for three to five dog treat servings. Remember, dog treats should be given in moderation, especially when they pose weight gain risks.
II. Apple Pie Bites
You’ll need two apples, a tablespoon of honey, a cup of oat flour, 0.25 cups of milk, one egg, a tablespoon of baking powder, cheese, and coconut oil.
Step 1: Preheat oven (180 degrees Celsius)
Step 2: Wash, peel and slice your apples
Step 3: Mix your flour and baking powder together and add your apples
Step 4: Proceed by adding the milk, 0.25 cups grated cheese, egg, and honey
Step 5: Mix your ingredients thoroughly. Don’t be alarmed if the dough looked crumbled.
Step 6: Shape spoonfuls of dough into “cookies” and place on a cookie sheet. You can press down the dough to fasten this process
Step 7: Bake for 20 – 30 minutes or until your “cookies” turn golden.
There are many other ways of serving apples to dogs. You can freeze apples and serve them as refreshing summer snacks. You can also smash apples and add them to dog food. You can also make some homemade applesauce with fresh organic apples.
A fruit smoothie can also go a long way in quenching your dog’s thirst during a hot summer afternoon. You can use peeled bananas and apples to make a tasty dog smoothie.
The internet is packed with dog treat recipes that you can explore and modify to make tasty apple snacks for your dog. Just make sure they are free of foods or ingredients proven to be toxic to dogs.
Important Precautions And Considerations
People love giving dogs human foods. While the intention may be good, most human foods pose risks to dogs. Letting everyone in your household know what they shouldn't feed to your dog will go a long way in preventing health risks.
What's more, there are many other apple recipes you can consider that aren't discussed above. The most important factor is ensuring you don't use any spices, salt, artificial sweeteners, and herbs, among other additives that dogs shouldn't eat.
If you aren't sure about a recipe, consult your vet. Ideally, you shouldn't be tempted to give your dog human foods since common additives like salt and added sugar aren't good for dogs. What's more, apples can worsen certain pre-existing conditions in dogs.
Your vet is the best placed professional to advise you on what your dog should or shouldn't eat.
Your dog can eat apples but should do so sparingly. You can peel an apple and give your dog a slice, but remove the core and peels away from your dogs reach.
The core harbors poisonous apple seeds that your dog can crush easily. If everyone in your household feeds the dog apple cores, you may have a serious case of cyanide poisoning in a short time.
Apple peels can be a choking hazard. If your purpose to peel apples and get rid of the core and stem, there should be no cause for alarm. The same should be done by the entire household and communicated to house guests.
What's more, the importance of buying organic apples only can't be overlooked. Both humans and animals are susceptible to health risks introduced by conventional farming methods.
The information on this page is not a substitute for veterinary help. Please contact a vet for help with any concerns that you have.