For us, an apple a day keeps the doctor away... but can dogs eat apples? They’re healthy, nutritious and jam-packed with vitamins - so thankfully, in most cases, they should be okay for your pup.
Fruits and vegetables are an essential part of our diets, but frankly, some of them just don’t agree with dogs. Introduce your pup to the wrong fruits and veggies could jeopardise your dog's health and you could be left with a sick pooch with a very upset tummy.
Thankfully, apples aren’t one of those! This affordable, healthy and yummy treat can easily be added to your dog’s diet. But first, there are a few things you’ll need to know about apples for dogs - let’s get started.
Can dogs eat apples?
You’ll probably be pleased to hear that you’re absolutely fine to give your dogs apples! This human food is a great treat for your dog. You’ll just have to make sure they’re prepared in the right way for dogs (more on that later!) and that they eat the fruit in moderation.
“Check your fruit bowl and pick out the fruit that is slightly overripe, though not rotten or mouldy. Brownish bananas, soft pears, nectarines, berries, peaches, apricots, bruised apples, and melon just on the turn are all good pet food” says Dr Claire Middle in Real Food for Dogs & Cats.
Most vets agree that apples are a fantastic, healthy alternative to heavily-processed dog treats and snacks. They’re a great source of natural, vitamin-packed, low-calorie, low-fat food which beats store-bought commercial products any day of the week! And guess what, dogs love to eat apples, so a it's a win-win.
Why are apples good for dogs?
Benefits of apples for dogs
Never mind “can dogs eat apples?” - the real question here is “why should dogs eat apples?”. Truthfully, the benefits of apples for dogs are almost endless.
Well, firstly, this super dog food contains minimal amounts of sodium and absolutely no saturated fat - it’s a winner already! Plus, the omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids mean apples help to keep dog’s skin and coat in top-notch condition.
Let’s take a closer look at the benefits of apples for dogs:
Vitamins A, C, E & K
Yep, that’s a great source of vitamins - apples are so full of goodness! Vitamin C is essential for your dog’s immune system, digestive system and overall health, vitamin A helps keep skin soft, silky and moisturised while vitamin E is a fantastic antioxidant. Lastly, vitamin K aids bone metabolism and blood clotting - it’s all great stuff!
No one wants their pooch to suffer from constipation, right? Well, one of the easiest ways to prevent and solve this issue is by giving your pup plenty of dietary fibre. Thankfully, apples contain lots of it - meaning you can wave goodbye to those toilet troubles!
Calcium & phosphorus
Apples are chockablock with these minerals, which are both incredibly important to your dog’s long-term health. Calcium and phosphorus are both critical components of a dog’s bone and cartilage development and maintenance. Enough of the sciencey stuff - let these facts convince you just how great apples are for dogs. Apples can:
- Lower the risk of bone and joint diseases
- Improve the function of the digestive system
- Lower the risk of cancer
- Keep dog’s teeth clean and breath fresh
- Improve the condition of the skin and coat
But apples can be bad for dogs, too
When people ask us “can dogs eat apples?” our response tends to be yes, but… you absolutely must be aware of a few things.
Apples are an invaluable addition to a dogs diet, but you need to make sure that your pup doesn’t eat the apple core or apple seeds. Dogs could easily choke on the seeds, so it’s best to eliminate this risk entirely. As for the core, it contains cyanide, which can build-up in a dog’s body and eventually become toxic - causing panting, difficulty breathing and shock.
Dehydrated apples are a no-go too. All the nutrients will have disappeared and they’re likely to cause quite an upset tummy due to the lack of water.
Although apples are nutritious, they’re full to the brim with natural sugars. Therefore, if your dog suffers from diabetes, you should ask your vet before incorporating apples into your dog’s diet.
And even if your dog is as healthy as he can be, you shouldn’t go overboard when it comes to apple. Too many could cause tummy upset even in an otherwise healthy pup. A slice here and there should be fine, but apples shouldn’t be a staple part of the diet.
How to prepare apples for dogs
To avoid the risk of any cyanide entering your dog’s system, apples should be:
- Thoroughly washed
- Cut up into small, easily digestible pieces
- Free of any seeds, stem or core
- Fed in small amounts
Once you’ve done this, the possibilities are endless! You could mix the apple into your dog’s food for a vitamin and fibre-boost, blend them into a delicious applesauce for dogs or freeze slices for a cooling summer snack.
We hope you and your pooch enjoy your apples!