Yes, dogs can eat apples. If you’re trying to come up with healthy treats for your dog as an alternative to store-bought, commercially-processed products, then one of the best foods you can give to your pet is fresh fruit, such as apples or fresh applesauce. Whether they’re Granny Smith (green), McIntosh, Gala, Fuji, or red apples, all kinds are good for dogs to have. However, apple seeds, leaves and tree stems are bad for dogs because they contain cyanide.
Although ingesting a few apple seeds here and there will most likely be OK for your dog, you shouldn’t take the risk. This is also why dogs can’t eat apple cores because they contain the poisonous seeds. Similarly, never give dogs whole apples as they can be chocking hazards. Ultimately, you’ll want to feed your canine apple slices with the skin. Below, we will discuss the benefits of apples for dogs, the potential side effects (e.g. diarrhea), and how to safely feed them to your dog.
Health Benefits of Apples For Dogs
Apples are loaded with nutrients that are necessary for both humans and dogs. Just one medium-sized apple contains 4.4 grams of fiber, about 14 percent of the daily recommended amount of vitamin C, and 5 percent of the recommended amounts of vitamin B6 and potassium. However, keep in mind that apples are also high in sugar (19 grams per medium-sized apple), making them a good treat only in moderation. Furthermore, apples with the skin or peel on are full of plant chemicals thought to be good for cancer prevention in humans.
Some of the many health benefits of apples for dogs include:
- Heart Health – Potassium is necessary for good heart health, and apples are a great source of potassium. A few slices of apples can help keep your dog’s heart healthy.
- Fiber – Apples are rich in high-soluble fiber, which helps to lower cholesterol, also adding to good heart health by keeping the blood flowing freely through the veins.
- Aging – Vitamin C in apples is beneficial for older dogs. Dogs produce their own vitamin C, but this production decreases as they age. Vitamin C also helps to prevent many diseases, including certain types of cancer.
- Weight Loss – If your dog is overweight, but you still want to give her treats, apples are an excellent option. A medium-sized apple has just 95 calories, and is high in protein, so it’s a healthy treat for overweight dogs. Just a few slices is plenty, as apples are high in sugar.
- Dental Health – Eating apples can help keep your dog’s teeth clean which will slow down any tooth decay. They have a texture that is similar to a soft toothbrush so biting into apples can help remove plaque. Apples are also a natural breath freshener, so your dog will have fresher breath.
Side Effects of Apples For Dogs
Even though apples are usually a healthy treat for dogs, there are some things that you do need to be aware of. For instance, too much apple can lead to stomach pains, constipation, or diarrhea. Moreover, apples contain a lot of natural sugar, which your dog may not need in her diet. As with most treats, your dog should only have apples in moderation.
Apple Treats For Dogs
While you can always just give your pet apple slices with the peel or applesauce with a drizzle of honey, maybe you’d like to cook a special treat for your pup. Here’s a delicious and easy apple treats recipe!
- 1 large apple (or apple sauce)
- 1/4 cup honey
- ½ cup of water
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- 1 cup oatmeal
- 1 1/2 cups whole-wheat flour (or substitute coconut flour)
- Peanut butter to taste (optional)
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
- Chop up the apple into small pieces (or just use apple sauce).
- Mix all the ingredients (except the flour) in a bowl.
- Slowly mix in the flour until your dough is hard enough to roll out.
- Cut little chunks and then flatten on baking sheet.
- Bake for 30 minutes. Then lightly spread peanut butter over the pieces, if desired.
- Bake an additional 30 minutes and let cool.
If you plan on giving your canine the apple treat over the next couple days, you can leave it out on the counter. Otherwise, keep them in the refrigerator or freezer to last longer.
Yes, Dogs Can Eat Apples in Moderation
Before introducing any new food to your dog’s diets, make sure that you discuss it with your veterinarian so you know it’s going to be a safe and healthy choice. In most cases, a few slices of apple, once in a while as a treat, will be safe for your dog and also provide numerous health benefits. Don’t forget to ask your vet about other healthy fruits and vegetables that are good for dogs.