Can Dogs Eat Apples?

Things to read before you feed your dog apples.

It’s the forbidden fruit that got Adam and Eve into trouble, the original sin.

These days that same fruit, they say, keeps the doctor away.

How the times have changed!

We love them, but. . .

Can dogs eat apples?

two dogs eating apples

They actually make for an amazing, healthy, and affordable dog treat.

Ahead we’ll dive into apples and dogs a little more, shedding light on just how much apples your dog should eat and how they handle things like:

  • green apples
  • red apples
  • crab apples
  • apple seeds
  • apple skin
  • apple sauce
  • (apple pie?)

Check out some more dog friendly apple treats: 10 Homemade Frozen Dog Treats

First, let’s look at what makes apples so great

There are actually a great number of health benefits associated with apples.[1] Which is probably why we keep this wonder fruit around.[2] 🙂

What’s in an (medium-sized) apple?

APPLE_NUTRITIONAL-FACTs

From benefiting senior dogs who have low fat, meaty treats, and high protein restrictions on their diets; to helping young pups grow healthy with joint and gastrointestinal boosting properties. Apples sure do bring a lot of positives to a dogs diet.

Some of the benefits of apples as treats for dogs include:

  • low calories
  • low protein
  • high dietary fiber
  • source of calcium
  • source of phosphorus
  • source of antioxidants
  • source of magnesium
  • source of Vitamin A
  • source of Vitamin B6
  • source of Vitamin C
  • promotes a healthy heart
  • promote oral health (helps clean your dogs teeth!)

Different colors offer different benefits:

  • red apples are known for their antioxidants
  • green and yellow are a great source of quercetin
  • crab apples are high in pectin

Perhaps the number one thing that makes apples so great is that they’re the perfect alternative to satisfying your pups sweet tooth without turning to things like chocolate and other undesirables.

Next, find out how to safely feed apples to your dog

safely feeding your dog apples

Now we know that dogs and apples go paw in paw, but is there a certain way they should eat them?

Yes, there is.

Dogs should be fed apples in a certain manner and not just given a whole apple to chow down on.

Things you need to know:

  • don’t feed the apple seeds to your dog
  • avoid giving your dog the stem if you can
  • avoid giving your dog the apple core
  • don’t let your dog eat too many apples
  • gauge your dogs reaction and stop feeding if you notice their body is not a fan of apples
  • discuss feeding apples with your vet, to eliminate any health conflicts

By keeping the above highlights in mind, you’re on your way to introducing a new favorite snack to your dogs diet. The reason you want to avoid apple seeds in your dogs diet is because they contain cyanide, a toxic substance; it can accumulate in your dogs system if they eat apple seeds regularly.

The reason you want to avoid feeding the apple core is because of the choking hazard it poses to your dog. Throw the apple stem away as well, no need to have your dog ingest such things.

How best to feed an apple to your dog: After keeping all of the above in mind; take out all the seeds, throw out the core, and simply feed your dog pure apple slices (or get creative with our recipe below).

Related: Can dogs eat bananas? Read before you feed.

Keep an eye out for side effects

After reading the above you’re probably mentally half way to the grocery store to pick up some apples for your furry bud, right!? But as great as they are, they don’t come without side effects.

This is really the case for any food you feed your dog, do so in moderation. But especially with fruits.

dog contemplating side effects of eating apple

Feeding too many apples to dogs can cause:

  • tummy aches
  • diarrhea & constipations

As suggested by Dr. Kerri Marshall, DVM and chief veterinary officer over at Trupanion Pet Insurance, you should use apples only to supplement smaller portions of their normal food intake. Introducing fruit (apples) to their diet gradually.

You must keep in mind that every dog is unique, and thus reacts to these generalities differently. Be conscious of how your dog is reacting to the introduction of apples.

Keep in mind that apples contain sugar, which makes a big difference if your dog has cancer or is a diabetic. Monitor and speak with your vet if you notice any anomalies while feeding apples.

Recipe time, a tasty homemade apple treat for your dog

zoes best cinnamon apple dog treats

Name: Zoe’s Best – Cinnamon Apple Homemade Dog Treats

Recipe source: The Kitchen Magpie

Here’s what you’ll need:

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup Unsweetened Applesauce
  • 1 egg yolk only (save the white for later)
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • Coating for cookies
  • 1 egg white
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon

Here’s how to put it all together:

Directions

Step 1

Mix up the egg yolk, honey, applesauce, vanilla extract and the cinnamon. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step 2

Next go ahead and add in the flour and mix it all up pretty thoroughly until it’s all combined.

Step 3

Prepare a surface for dough rolling by flouring it pretty nicely. The dough will be sticky once mixed so you don’t want it sticking to the surface. Go ahead and roll the dough out to about 1/8 inch in thickness, and cut out your desired cookie shapes.

Step 4

Repeat the above step until you use up all the dough (don’t wanna throw food away!)

Step 5

Proceed to thoroughly mix the 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon with the egg white in a small bowl on the side.

Step 6

Take the above mixture and brush the top of each cookie with it before you bake them.

Step 7

Place in the now heated up oven (350 degrees Fahrenheit) and bake for 20 minutes. The way to tell they’re done is when the tops start to get a light brown look.

Step 8

Let them cool down for about 1-2 hours; this is where they become crunchy!

Note: Keep in mind that the bigger the cookies, the more time it takes to fully cook.  Also be sure to check out our handy Dog Food Calculator tool, in case you’ve just been hit with inspiration to make more dog food at home.

No time to cook?

We all lead busy lives, so no one can blame you if you’ve no time to actually stop and cook a tasty apple dog treat. No need to beat yourself up about it, there’s some great alternatives.

These all natural Nutro crunchy dog treats with real apples have saved many dog owners the cooking time needed for treat baking.

Nutro-Crunchy-Apple-Dog-Treats

See it on Amazon

What’s you get with these delicious apple treats for dogs:

  • real apples
  • non-GMO ingredients
  • high-quality protein
  • only 6 calories per treat
  • no chicken by-product meal
  • no artificial flavors or colors
  • no artificial preservatives
  • no corn, wheat, or soy protein
  • made in USA

What ingredients are used:

  • Whole Brown Rice
  • Oatmeal
  • Chicken Meal
  • Cane Molasses
  • Dried Apple
  • Sunflower Oil (preserved with mixed Tocopherols)
  • Natural Flavors
  • Preserved with mixed Tocopherols
  • Rosemary Extract.

Final slice of the apple

Now you know, dogs can in fact eat apples! But you as equally important to know how to feed a dog an apple as it is to know if they can consume it; perhaps even more so. Thus, as discussed, avoid the seeds, avoid the core, throw away the stem, monitor your dogs reaction to the introduction of apples into their diet, and speak with your vet before and even during the feeding.

References: 

  1. Apple Phytochemicals and Their Health Benefits – NIH.gov
  2. An Apple a Day – Health Blog – Harvard.edu

Note: Looking to find the top food selection for your breed? Make sure to check out our comprehensive guides:

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Dog Nutrition

Written by Dog Nutrition

The Dog Nutrition team is here to help you navigate the stormy ocean waters that are the dog products industry. With over 10+ years experience in dealing with dog products and caring dog owners, we look beneath the surface to uncover hidden features, deals, and some of the most popular, best selling and highest reviewed dog products you can purchase.

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