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Can dogs eat apples?

White poodle with green apples
© Pixabay

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.

By Alice Lang

Updated on the 08/02/2021, 13:53

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.

Is it safe for dogs to 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. And guess what, dogs love to eat apples, so a it's a win-win.

Can puppies eat apples?

Yes, puppies can also eat apples. However, when you give a piece of apple to your puppy, you will have to supervise him, especially if he never had an apple before. Observe carefully your puppy while he eats the slice and see if this causes him any digestive problems. If all is good, then apples could be a great treat for your puppy!

Can dogs eat apple seeds?

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.

Apple seeds contain a small amount of cyanide and this could potentially be poisonous for dogs. Of course, if your dog has eaten one or two seeds, he should be fine. But if your dog has consumed a fair amount of seeds this could be a concern. Indeed, this could lead to cyanide poisoning. The signs of this are the following: tremors, hyperventilation, convulsions, difficulty breathing or the mucus membranes are bright red. If your dog is showing any of these signs, you should go to see your vet immediately!

Can dogs eat apple cores?

The answer to this question is quite simple: no! You shouldn't feed apple cores to your dog, even it the apple seeds have been removed. It is a potential choking hazard and could also lead to digestive issues. The core of an apple contains cyanide, which can build-up in a dog’s body and eventually become toxic - causing panting, difficulty breathing and shock.

Can dogs eat apples with skin?

Your dog can eat apples with skin, but it's best to serve the apple peeled. If your dog ingests too much of apple skin, they could start having an upset stomach. Also, before serving apples to your dog (with the skin) make sure you clean the apple.

Can dogs eat green apples?

It is safe to feed green apple to your dog, and actually it is a tasty treat. With that being said, green apples tend to be a little sourer than red apples, and your dog might not enjoy chowing on that piece of apple as much.

Whatever the variety of the apple, they will have the same nutritional benefits for your pooch. The only thing that will change is the taste. Varieties like the Granny Smith are usually softer and used to bake. Golden Delicious are sweeter than green apples.

Why are apples good 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.

Benefits of apples for dogs

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!

Dietary Fibre

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

How much apple can I give my dog?

When people ask us “can dogs eat apples?” our response tends to be yes, but… you absolutely must be aware of a few things.

A slice of two of apple is a good amount to give to your dog. This portion represents 10 percent of your dog's daily calories. If you have any doubts on the quantity you can give to your dog, you should talk about it with your vet.

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.

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.

Find a vet near you!

Can apples upset a dog's stomach?

One or two slices of apples won't harm your dog, on the contrary it will be beneficial for him. But always give apples to your dog in moderation. Indeed, apples contains sugar and this can cause problems for dogs who suffer from cancer or diabetes. Furthermore, if your dog has too many apples, this will cause upset stomach or diarrhoea, even if your dog is healthy.

Don't feed the core or seeds of an apple to your dog! Indeed, the core of the apple is firm and difficult for dogs to chew. If your dog swallows the core of an apple, he could choke or it could cause gastrointestinal blockage.

If you have any doubts about feeding apples to your dog, and how much you can give to your furry friend, don't hesitate to ask your veterinarian.

Can my diabetic dog eat apples?

When a dog suffers from diabetes it's either because of a deficiency or insensitivity to insulin (it controls blood sugar or glucose that bodies need for energy). Therefore, if your dog is diabetic, he will need to follow a diet low in sugar or glucose. 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.

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!

What fruits can dogs eat?

Dogs are omnivores, this means they eat meat and plant-based food. In most kibbles, there is a combination of meat protein and vegetable, but it's good to enrich your dog's diet by adding extra fruits and/or vegetables into your dog's diet. Before you decide to introduce anything new to your dog's nutritional plan, it's important to discuss this with your vet as your dog might have health problems and the quantity will have to be adapted.

With that being said, your furry friend will enjoy tasting different fruits and will be able to benefit from their nutritional benefits. Here is a list of the healthiest fruits your dog can eat: