Can Dogs Eat Apples?

By Kevin Myers | 2020 Update

When I brought my first dog home, I was clueless about what I should feed them. Among other food items, one question that I’d heard people ask was, “Can dogs eat apples safely?” It’s taken a lot of searching to find the answer, but today I can finally share it with you!

So, can dogs eat apples? The simple answer is yes, dogs can eat apples, and they can be quite beneficial for them. However, as with anything, precaution needs to be taken, and some guidelines followed. 

It is no secret that a dog is a man’s best friend, so, naturally, we would want to take care of them. All you need to do is keep reading this article, and you’ll soon know how to include apples into your dog’s diet safely.

Can Dogs Eat Apples? Can Puppies Eat Apples? Are Apple Seeds Ok Too?

Should Dogs Eat Apples?

So, we’ve already established that it’s safe for dogs to eat apples; but should they? That is to say, is there any real benefit of feeding apples to your dog? The answer to that is also yes! Apples are a great source of nutrition for your dog, and as if that wasn’t enough, it’s a treat that they’ll love to devour! All dogs are different, though, and each has its own requirements. 

Here’s a breakdown of all the benefits that your dog can get from eating apples:

Good Digestive Health

Since apples are a rich source of fiber at roughly 4.4 grams in a medium-sized fruit, they are an excellent dietary ingredient for dogs that need to improve their digestive habits. Add to this the fact that they barely have any protein – less than a gram apiece – and you have the perfect dietary snack on your hands!

Keeps Cancer at Bay

Dogs suffering from cancer have a vastly different diet than the usual furry play pal. Typically, these ailing canines require foods that have a low glycemic count and lower glucose carbohydrates; and apples fit into both of these categories. Apples are also low in protein, depriving cancer of the protein it needs to spread. 

Reduces Joint Disease

Apples are an excellent source of vitamins A, C, and K. they’re also full of calcium, making them an excellent pick for ensuring that your dog experiences good bone health. Apples are bursting with antioxidants and phosphorous, both of which are known deterrents of joint disease, which makes apples a particularly good source of nutrition for older dogs. 

Good Dental Health

Apples also improve dogs’ dental health. The fruit is teeth cleaning as it stimulates the production of alkaline saliva that balances out the acidic production that other dietary items typically bring about. As a result, your canine friend is also likely to experience fresher and better-smelling breath. 

Now that we know that not only is it safe for dogs to eat apples but that it is also beneficial for them, it is time to dive into the details of how to include it into your dog’s diet. 

How Much Apple Can a Dog Eat?

On average, apples should make up less than ten percent of your dog’s daily calorie intake. In essence, this adds up to one or two slices per day. However, if your dog is particularly fond of apples, then you can try and incorporate it into a full meal, but only occasionally. Since a whole apple contains about 25 grams of sugar, a whole fruit might be too much for your canine friend as their bodies are not meant to consume that much sugar. Eating apples in excess can result in your dog developing a bellyache or diarrhea. 

Ideal serving suggestions include a couple of slices, small cubes of raw apples or baked treats such as dog-friendly apple pies or muffins. 

What Kind of Apples Can Dogs Eat?

Dogs can eat a large variety of apple types. Usually, any apple you can find at the local grocery store or can grow in your backyard is safe for your dog’s consumption. 

These include:

  • Red Delicious
  • Gala
  • Honeycrisp
  • Granny Smith
  • Fuji
  • Pink Lady
  • Golden Delicious
  • And many more!

Can Dogs Eat Apple Sauce

While dogs can generally eat apple sauce, be careful about the kind of apple sauce that you give to your furry friends. As a standard rule, sugar is not suitable for dogs, and apple sauce usually has added sugar – even the homemade kind. Too much sugar can result in enamel decay, diabetes, and weight gain in dogs. To sum it up, applesauce gives your dog all the bad parts of the apple (read: sugar) while taking away the healthy fiber. 

Still, your dog can occasionally have applesauce, but it is best to give them a fresh, homemade batch with no added sugar. One of our favorite recipes for dogs that use applesauce is simple three-ingredient apple pretzels.

Here’s an easy to follow recipe:

Ingredients

  • 3 Cups Almond Flour
  •  1 Egg
  •  1 Cup Unsweetened Apple Sauce 

Method

  • Heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and grease and line a baking tray with baking paper. 
  • Combine the applesauce, flour, and beaten eggs in a bowl and mix until it takes the form of a dough. 
  • Take a small piece of dough and shape into a pretzel, placing them onto the lined tray with some gap in between. 
  • Brush the made pretzels with an egg mixture and put them to bake for an approximate of thirty minutes. 
  • Cool before giving to your dog to enjoy!

What are the Best Apple Treat Recipes for Your Dog?

Since we’re on the subject of apple recipes that your dog will love, here are a few more to treat your dog with:

  1. Apple Peanut Butter Dog Biscuits

Ingredients

  • 4 Cups Oat Flour
  • 2/3 Cup Unsweetened Apple Sauce
  • ½ Cup Natural Peanut Butter
  • 2 Large Eggs

Method

  • Heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and grease and line a baking tray with baking paper
  • Combine the peanut butter, eggs, flout, and apple sauce until mixed thoroughly.
  •  Shift the dough to a countertop and roll with a rolling pin until you have a ¼ inch thick sheet. Then use a cookie cutter to cut out cookie shapes and place onto the lined baking sheet.
  •  Proceed to bake for about twenty minutes and cool before giving them to your dog.
  1. Apple Pie Bites

Ingredients

  • 2 Cored Apples (Diced)
  • 1 tbsp Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1 tbsp Honey
  • 1 tbsp Coconut Oil
  • 2 Cups Almond Flour
  • 1 ½ tsp Baking Powder
  • ¼ Cup Milk
  • 1 Egg
  • ¼ Cup Grated Cheddar

Method

  • Heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and grease and line a baking tray with baking paper.
  • Combine the diced apples with honey, cinnamon, vanilla extract, and coconut oil and then add this mixture to the almond flour and baking powder, mixing thoroughly.
  • Add egg and milk to these ingredients and heap spoonfuls onto the arranged sheets, pressing them and making sure to keep an adequate gap between them.
  •  Bake for twenty minutes and cool before serving to your dog to enjoy.
Apple Pie Bites for Dogs... and People! | Kiki's Canine Kitchen | Rover.com

Can Dogs Eat Apple Skin?

The skin of the apple is perhaps its most nutritious part. Not only does it contain vitamins and minerals, but it is where most of the apple’s fiber is stored, which makes it an excellent snack for dogs as they require all of these composite ingredients to live a healthy life. 

What’s more, apple peel also packs in antioxidants, which helps dogs fight off diseases. Apple skin has a layer of phytonutrients, which is a plant chemical that wards off a range of cancers. 

Can Dogs Eat Apple Seeds or Apple Core?

While apples themselves are safe for dogs to consume, apple seeds and apple core are not. 

Apple seeds contain a chemical called cyanide that is poisonous to both people and dogs. Cyanide consumption can result in insufficient oxygen levels, a condition that is known as hypoxia. Symptoms of hypoxia include:

  • Dilated pupils
  • Panting
  • Shock
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Brick red mucus membranes

However, if your dog accidentally swallows a couple of seeds, then there is no need to freak out as it would require a sizeable portion of seeds to cause any real damage. 

The stem and core of the apple are also dangerous for your dog. The core of the apple is not easy to chew, and it can prove to be a choking hazard for your dog, so it is best to keep it away. Similarly, if your dog somehow manages to swallow the core, then it could lead to gastrointestinal blockage. 

Are Apples Good for Puppies?

Just like dogs, puppies can also safely eat apples. Given in moderation and with proper care, then apples can prove to be good for them. After all, apples serve as an excellent source of vitamins, minerals, and fiber, all while being low on protein, carbohydrates, and fats. Of course, puppy-sized bodies require smaller puppy-sized portions. Be sure to cut up the apple into small chunks to prevent your puppy from choking on them. 

As with dogs, you should make sure that your puppy doesn’t consume any seeds as this can easily poison them due to the cyanide that they contain. The same goes for the stem and core, so it’s best to keep those far away from your puppy as well. 

Related Questions

Can Dogs Be Allergic to Apples?

The most common component that dogs are allergic to in food is protein, and since apples have next to no protein, it is rare for dogs to develop an allergy to them. Still, it is not impossible, and it is always a good idea to consult your dog’s veterinarian before introducing your canine friend to any ‘human’ foods.

In some rare cases, dogs can develop a severe, life-threatening allergic reaction to apples that results in anaphylaxis. Tell-tale signs to look out for include coughing, swelling, sneezing, hives breakout, and difficulty in breathing. If you see one or more of these symptoms, then you should take your dog to a vet urgently. 

Can Apples Be Bad for Your Dog?

Although apples are generally seen as a nutritious part of your dog’s diet, they are not without some potentially harmful effects. Overconsumption of apples can lead to belly aches and diarrhea, as well as tooth decay because of the sugar that they contain. 

Similarly, rotten apples are hazardous for dogs’ health as they can cause alcohol poisoning, symptoms of which include vomiting and dehydration. One thing to look out for when giving apples to your dog is whether or not they are organic as non-organic apples are treated with chemicals and pesticides, which can prove dangerous to your dog’s health. 

What are Other Human Foods Safe for Your Dog’s Consumption?

So, we’ve determined that apples are safe and healthy for your dog’s consumption, but what other ‘human’ foods can they eat?

Dogs can eat a variety of fruits and vegetables, including:

  • Bananas
  • Strawberries
  • Blueberries
  • Tomatoes
  • Oranges
  • Pineapples
  • Watermelon
  • Baby carrots
  • Pumpkin
  • Green beans
  • Garlic 

But fruits and vegetables aren’t all that dogs are restricted to, they can also enjoy the following ‘human’ foods, including: 

  • Peanut Butter
  • Cheese
  • Eggs
  • Oatmeal
  • Yogurt
  • Cooked Chicken
  • Fish such as sardines, anchovies, salmon, and mackerel 
  • Flax Seed
  • Brewer’s Yeast 

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