Updated - Mar 20th, 2023
- Yes, dogs can eat apple but the core and seeds should be removed.
- Apples provide dogs with vitamins A and C, fiber, and a low-fat treat.
- Some dogs might not like the crunchiness or tartness of certain apple varieties.
- Dogs should not consume the apple core and seeds as they contain cyanide.
- Too many apples can lead to upset stomach in dogs due to high sugar.
Apples are one of the foods pup parents wonder if they can give their dogs – probably because the old adage “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” still dances around our minds.
But does the quippy saying apply to dogs? Can you pass Penny the pooch a Granny Smith slice when she gives you that “how can you not share” look?
Are apples safe for dogs to eat?
Yes! Apples are low-calorie, sweet treats that are high in dietary fiber, chock-full of vitamin C, A, and K, and packed with essential minerals like potassium, calcium, and phosphorus that benefit your dog’s health.
However, as with any food, apples should only be given to your dog in moderation. If your sneaky snacker overindulges, they risk having an upset stomach, diarrhea, or worse.
So, the quick answer is that apples are a great snack for your pooch when served in small quantities.
How many apples can dogs eat per day?
While apples can be a healthy snack option for your pup, you should never give them fruit in place of a meal. A couple of apple slices per day is the recommended portion and provides sufficient nutrients to supplement your dog’s food.
Too many apples in a day can cause a stomach ache or diarrhea in dogs, so it’s best to offer the fruit as a snack in moderation only.
Remember, the ideal amount to give your dog will vary based on your pet’s size, age, and health status, so it’s always a good idea to consult your veterinarian if you have questions about portion sizes.
Apples for dogs: Preparation do’s and don’ts
Crunchy, sweet apple slices are ideal dog treats – and a healthy snack to boot! But keep these important preparation tips in mind before serving your pup:
- Don’t ever give your dog an apple whole.
- Do feed apples to your pup only after removing the core and seeds and slicing the fruit into bite-sized portions.
- Do remove the apple skin to aid in digestion – especially for dogs with sensitive stomachs.
If you want to get creative, here are some tasty options that add an extra dose of fun and deliciousness to this healthy snack:
- Add plain yogurt to sliced or grated apples – along with blueberries, bananas, or even pineapple – for a tasty snack. Watermelon, sweet potatoes, or green beans are other healthy treats that pair well with apples.
- Apples with peanut butter is a great, protein-packed snack. Just be sure that the peanut butter doesn’t contain any artificial sweeteners like xylitol, which is very toxic to dogs.
- Frozen apple slices are nutritious chewing treats for teething puppies, but watch for any choking hazards.
- In moderation, mix small pieces of chopped or shredded apples into your dog’s food at mealtimes for some additional nutritional value.
For DIYers, adding apples to a treat or food recipe is just as beneficial as long as you pay attention to the amount you’re including.
Nutritional benefits of apples for dogs
Just like humans, dogs need a diet packed with vitamins and minerals to boost their immune system, assist in cell growth and development, and help keep their organs in tip-top shape.
Eating apples gives your pup the following vitamins and minerals:
- Vitamin C. A powerful antioxidant, vitamin C eliminates free radicals that destroy or alter cells. It helps reduce inflammation and supports your dog’s immune system. There are even studies showing vitamin C can help slow cognitive aging.
- Vitamin A. This vitamin supports growth, cell function, and the immune system. Found in carrots, vitamin A also supports healthy eyes and vision.
- Vitamin K. This vitamin supports the blood’s ability to clot.
- Calcium. This powerhouse mineral not only builds healthy bones and teeth, but also supports muscle contraction. It helps the heart push blood through the body and supports Fido’s muscles as he runs and plays. Calcium also helps support healthy nerve function and blood clotting.
- Phosphorus. This mineral is a structural component of DNA. It combines with calcium to strengthen and shape your dog’s bones.
- Potassium. This important macro-mineral supports your dog’s kidney function and helps the heart, muscles, and digestive system all work efficiently.
- Fiber. Apples contain pectin, a soluble fiber that absorbs water and helps push everything through your dog’s digestive system efficiently. This helps with diarrhea, constipation, and supports gut health and blood sugar regulation. Apple fiber also contributes to the health of your dog’s teeth!
- Protein and fats. Apples are low in protein and fats. The protein they contain is plant-based, lacking the fatty acids needed for a carnivore’s diet – but can be beneficial for dogs that are overweight or have kidney issues.
- Carbohydrates. Carbs are a substantial source of energy. But they turn to sugars in the digestive tract – so if your dog is diabetic or overweight, too much could be harmful.
- Antioxidants. Antioxidants prevent free radicals from damaging important cells in your dog’s body.
Possible risks associated with apples for dogs
While apples are generally a great snack for your pooch, think twice before tossing them a whole apple to gobble up. While most of the fruit is healthy and won’t hurt your dog, there are some things to watch out for:
- Waxes, pesticides, and herbicides. Most store-bought apples have wax added to their surface to make them appear shiny and attractive. These waxes serve no nutritional value for your pup and must be washed off, along with any pesticides or herbicides that may be present on the apple’s surface. If your budget allows and you want to take extra precautions, organic apples are an excellent, pesticide-free choice.
- Seeds and cores. The best way to feed your dog apples is to remove the seeds and core, then slice the fruit into bite-sized pieces. The apple core is hard and can pose a choking hazard or intestinal blockage, especially if your dog is small. Meanwhile, the apple seeds contain a small amount of cyanide, a naturally occurring substance that can cause hypoxia (a lack of oxygen delivery to the body). Cyanide is released when the seeds are cracked or chewed and ingested.
Tip: Accidental ingestion of a few seeds probably won’t harm your dog, but cyanide poisoning can also occur when a few seeds are eaten regularly. Signs of cyanide poisoning include: bright red mucous membranes, watery eyes, difficulty breathing, excessive panting, drooling or vomiting, and paralysis or convulsions. If you suspect your dog got into too many apples or is experiencing cyanide poisoning, see a veterinarian immediately.
- Allergic reactions. The first time you offer your dog apples, watch for symptoms like coughing, sneezing, swelling, hives, or trouble breathing. While apple allergies are rare, these reactions could indicate an intolerance or food allergy in your dog. If your pup exhibits any of these symptoms after eating an apple, seek veterinary advice right away, and don’t offer your dog any more apples.
It looks like the “apple a day” adage applies to you and your pup, after all! When prepared properly and served in moderation, apple slices can help make for happy, healthy dogs – so feel free to reward your pup with a freshly sliced sweet treat from time to time.
Remember: it’s always important to research the health benefits or hazards of fruits and veggies before sharing them with your pooch. Human foods aren’t always safe for dogs, so you have to stay informed about what your pup eats.
Before making changes to your dog’s diet, it’s always a good idea to consult with your veterinarian for personalized advice. Pumpkin Dog Insurance plans can help cover eligible vet bills – so you can get the best care for the best price.
Can I give my pup applesauce, apple chips, or dried apples?
Applesauce, apple chips, and dried apples all contain excess amounts of sugar, which is problematic for your dog’s health. These forms of the fruit can exacerbate dental disease and tooth enamel decay. An overweight or diabetic pup would especially have trouble processing the high sugar content in applesauce and apple juice.
While some vitamins and minerals are still present in apple chips, these snacks have no real fiber and don’t pack the nutritional punch of raw, cut-up apples.
Do apples harm dogs’ teeth?
Apples are one of nature’s best toothbrushes! The water in the fruit rinses the mouth and washes sugar from dogs’ teeth, helping to prevent dental decay. And the skin on the apple bites works much like the bristles of a toothbrush, scraping plaque off teeth.
Keep in mind that apples don’t and shouldn’t replace routine doggy dental care, but they can help!
Can apples be used as a training treat for dogs?
Yes, as long as the total amount of apples you’re giving your dog during the training session doesn’t exceed a slice or two! Apples cut into small bites can be a great and motivational training treat for pups.
What are the potential risks of feeding apples to dogs?
Apple seeds contain traces of cyanide – a substance poisonous to dogs and people. While the ingestion of a few seeds won’t harm your pup, they should be avoided. As long as the core and seeds are removed from the apple and the fruit is cut into bite-sized pieces, it’s a safe snack for dogs.
But be mindful of portion size: too many apples can give your dog an upset stomach or excessively spike their blood sugar levels. An apple slice or two per day is generally the best portion size for pups.
Are there any signs of apple intolerance to look out for in my dog?
While apples are safe for the majority of dogs, some pups have an intolerance to the fruit. Monitor your dog after feeding them an apple slice. Sneezing, coughing, trouble breathing, swelling, hives, or an upset stomach can all indicate an apple allergy or intolerance. If you see these signs, contact your vet for advice.
Safe ways to feed your dog pumpkin
Raw pumpkin: When steamed or roasted and cut into small pieces, raw pumpkin can be a great treat for your dog.
Canned: You can find organic canned pumpkin in the supermarket that only contains fresh pumpkin. Not only is this a healthy addition to your pup’s kibble but is also known to help slow or stop diarrhea in dogs.