Can Dogs Eat Apples? Are Apples Healthy for Your Dog?

Yes, dogs can eat apples. Fruits, like apples, are packed full of antioxidants, fiber, essential fatty acids, and vitamins to support your pet’s whole body health.

They are low in calories and protein, making them a healthy treat for older dogs. But as with all treats and dog food, apples should be given in moderation.

Yorkshire Terrier eating apple

This article discusses how apples are beneficial for your dog’s overall health, including their immune system, skin and coat, digestion, weight management, and dental health.

What are the Benefits of Apples for Dogs?

Apples are a great addition to your dog’s diet. These delicious, nutritious, and juicy treats are just as healthy for your canine companion as they are for you. Here are the benefits of apples for your dog’s health.

1. Antioxidants in apples strengthen a dog’s multiple body system: The antioxidants in apples can help strengthen your pup’s immune system, reduce inflammation and fight harmful disease-causing free radicals. 

The antioxidant power of one apple is equal to more than 1,500 milligrams of vitamin C. The majority of these antioxidants come from flavonoids.

While flavonoids are not essential for a pet’s health, they help with your dog’s bone development, ward off chronic diseases, and improve eyesight.

2. Fiber in apples will aid in your dog’s digestion and weight management: Average-sized apples contain 4 grams of soluble and insoluble fiber. The soluble fiber in apples, known as pectin, helps to slow the rate at which sugar and calories are absorbed into the dog’s bloodstream. This helps your dog with weight management and blood sugar regulation. 

Apple peels in particular will provide your pet with roughage that promotes a healthy gut and digestive system.

While fiber from apples is not an essential nutrient for dogs, and canines do not derive energy from fiber, it is included in most dog foods as it helps to improve colon health and reduces diarrhea and constipation. 

The fiber content in apples can also help reduce the risk of developing diabetes mellitus or type 2 diabetes in dogs.

Apples are also a great snack for pups with diabetes or that are on a diet. Just be careful your dog isn’t eating too much due to the high sugar content.

3. Apples are good for your dog’s dental health: Apple skins work like a toothbrush to keep your dog’s teeth clean. Apples also help to keep your dog’s breath smelling great, while the crunchy texture helps increase blood flow to the gums and reduce tartar build-up.

4. Essential fatty acids in apples keep your dog’s skin healthy: They are a great natural source of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. These essential fatty acids help keep your dog’s skin healthy and their coat shiny. 

5. Apples are healthy homemade dog treats: Apples are low in calories and low in protein. While dogs need protein for their nutritional health, some dogs can’t consume a lot of it due to health reasons. This makes apples a good treat choice for pets on a restricted diet of low protein and low fat.

An apple contains about 50 calories per fruit. This makes apples a good treat for dogs on weight management diets. As a result, they can also be readily given out when training or rewarding your pet.

While dogs need protein for their nutritional health, some dogs can’t consume a lot of it due to health reasons such as kidney disease, liver disease, and some kinds of bladder stones.

This makes apples a good treat choice for pets on a restricted diet of low protein and low fat

Compared to the fancy dog treats available in-store, apples are great for the budget-conscious owner. 

What nutrients in apples are beneficial for dogs?

Apples are a great source of vitamins and minerals for dogs. Here are some of the nutrients that your dog can get from apples.

  • Vitamin C: A 100-gram apple contains 4.6mg of Vitamin C, which helps boost your pet’s immune system. This powerful antioxidant also helps reduce cognitive aging in senior dogs.
  • Vitamin A: Apples also have around 54 IU of Vitamin A, which supports your dog’s skin and coat, the development of muscles, and healthy brain function.
  • Potassium: This fruit is well-known for its low potassium content, which helps keep the dog’s heart, nerves, and muscles functioning optimally. Apples, which contain only 107 mg of potassium, are recommended for dogs with chronic kidney diseases.
  • Vitamin K: One small apple only gives your dog up to 5 micrograms of Vitamin K. Still, we can thank this essential nutrient for a dog’s normal blood clotting.
  • Calcium: Apples also contain 6 mg of Calcium, which can help keep your pet’s bones and teeth strong.
  • Phosphorous: One medium apple has around 10 mg of phosphorus, which is critical for the strong bones, joints, and mobility of your dog.

What are the Health Risks of Apples for Dogs?

Chihuahua mix dog laying with apple
A Chihuahua mix dog laying on the carpet with an apple – Image source

There are a few health risks that apples pose to dogs, especially if not served correctly.

  1. Choking: Due to the hard core and stems of apples not being removed. This can also cause a blockage in your pet’s digestive system.
  2. Cyanide Poisoning: Cyanide, which is found in apple seeds, can cause a lack of oxygen or hypoxia for dogs. Symptoms of this include brick-red mucus membranes, dilated pupils, difficulty breathing, panting, and shock. Eating apple seeds regularly or a large amount at one time can lead to cyanide poisoning. 

What’s in apples that are harmful to dogs?

Apples contain elements that can be harmful to dogs when consumed in high amounts, especially if they have an existing health condition, like diabetes or cancer.

  1. Sugar: A single apple contains about 19 grams of sugar. This alone makes it dangerous for diabetic dogs. If your dog can eat apples, just give a few small pieces as a treat, not the whole fruit.
  2. Fiber: While this is good for most dogs, too much fiber may cause an adverse reaction for some canines. If it does, try feeding pieces of apples without skins.

Can Dogs be Allergic to Apples?

While apples are not a common allergen, there is a risk that your dog may be allergic to any food.

Food allergies in pets, like from consuming apples, can cause itching, swelling, rashes or other skin irritations, coughing, sneezing, difficulty breathing, excessive thirst, or anaphylaxis shock, which is a life-threatening condition.

If your dog exhibits any of these symptoms after eating apples, be sure to take him to the vet immediately. Some pet insurance plans cover the costs of allergy tests if you want to check what your pet may be allergic to.

Are Apples Good for your Dog’s Teeth?

Staffordshire Bull Terrier eating red apple
A Staffordshire Bull Terrier dog eating red apple – Image source

Yes. As apples are hard and crunchy, they work to clean your dog’s teeth, as well as maintain proper blood flow through the gums. They also help improve your pet’s breath as they contain malic acid.

Despite its many benefits, chewing apples alone shouldn’t be done in place of proper dental care.

Does the sugar found in apples rot the dog’s teeth? It’s unlikely because apples naturally contain plenty of water, these sugars are typically washed away.

What Happens If My Dog Eats Too Many Apples?

All fruits, apples included, should only be fed to your pet in moderation. A dog that eats too many apples could show signs of gastric distress.

Also, due to the risks of choking and cyanide poisoning, be sure to keep an eye on fallen apples if you have trees in your garden and pick them up before your dog can get to them.

Can apples upset a dog’s stomach?

Every dog reacts differently to the introduction of new food and apples may cause your dog to get an upset stomach, particularly if they overindulge.

Thus, always consult with your vet before introducing any new food to your dog’s diet, such as apples. Dogs that have health conditions, like diabetes, can get worse by eating apples in high amounts.

Can Puppies Eat Apples?

Puppies, like adult dogs, can eat apples. If you’re introducing apples to your puppy for the very first time, try giving him just a small cube to start with.

Be sure to supervise your puppy when eating and don’t let him consume too much.

You need to make sure your dog doesn’t have an allergic reaction to this new food before overdoing it. If your dog experiences vomiting or diarrhea, stop feeding him apples.

You may even need to contact your vet if your dog has a severe reaction.

Can Old Dogs Eat Apples?

If your old dog can still chew on apples, they can serve as a great treat for older dogs. Many senior pets develop health issues, like kidney failure, requiring less fat and protein.

Thus apples will work well as a tasty treat for these dogs. 

Older pets with bad teeth may struggle to eat raw apples, but you could try steaming them to make them softer for your dog. 

How Should Dogs Eat Apples?

Akita eating apple in the park
Meet Lingo, an Akita dog eating apple in the park – Image source

Apples can be served to your dog raw, or you can add them to a variety of homemade pet-friendly treat recipes. 

You can try making some delicious apple peanut butter cookies at home by combining four cups of ground oat flour, two-thirds of a cup of unsweetened applesauce, a half cup of dog-safe peanut butter without xylitol, and two eggs.

The dough can be cut into shapes and baked in the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for around 20 to 30 minutes.

You can also blend apples with a mix of other dog-safe fruits and vegetables for a tasty topper to your dog’s daily kibble.

When should dogs eat apples?

There is no specific time of the day that is best to feed your dog apples.

If you want to try feeding your dog apples for the first time, why not turn it into a special occasion and give him apples on 21 October, which is National Apple Day!

When should dogs not eat apples?

As mentioned, although rare, some dogs can develop an allergy to apples. If this is the case with your dog, you should stop feeding him apples immediately.

Dogs with certain health conditions, such as diabetes, should also not be fed apples due to the high sugar content in this fruit.

How Should You Prepare Apples for Dogs?

Before giving your dog apples to eat, you should ensure that you have properly washed and scrubbed the fruit.

This will remove any bacteria and germs as well as any herbicides or pesticides that were sprayed on the apple during the farming process. 

Apples should then be cut into smaller cubes or slices to make them easier for your dog to eat, removing the seeds and the core before serving. 

Can dogs eat all parts of an apple?

No, dogs can’t eat all parts of an apple. You should never serve your dog an apple whole. The cores and seeds can be particularly dangerous for your furry friend.

Can dogs eat apple skin?

Yes, dogs can eat apple skins. You do, however, need to be careful of apple peels as they can get stuck in between your dog’s teeth.

Peeling an apple will make it easier for your dog to digest, but you’ll also end up reducing the amount of fiber your dog gets.

Can dogs eat apple cores?

No, dogs cannot eat apple cores. The tough apple core, as well as the stem, serve as choking hazards for your pet.

If you think your dog may have accidentally eaten an apple core be sure to keep a close eye on him for any signs of digestive trouble or blockages.

Can dogs eat apple seeds?

No, dogs cannot eat the seeds of an apple. Apple seeds contain trace amounts of cyanide released when the seeds are broken or chewed and can be poisonous for your pup.

That said, it would take quite a few seeds to cause cyanide poisoning in your pet, so you shouldn’t need to stress if your dog accidentally consumes a few seeds.

Are There Any Types of Apples that are Bad for Dogs?

Aussie Husky mix dog picking fallen apple
An Aussie Husky mix dog loves to pick fallen apples from the neighbor’s tree – Image source

There aren’t any types of consumable apples that dogs can’t eat, so try playing around with tart or sweet varieties to see which one appeals to your pet the most.

You can try feeding your dog all the varieties you would find at your grocery store from Red Delicious to Honeycrisp, Gala, and Granny Smith.

When picking apples for your dog, it’s best to opt for organic apples where possible. These won’t have been coated in substances to make them shinier or enhanced to be rounder or plumper.

What are foods made with apples for dogs?

A variety of human foods include apples as their main ingredient and you might be wondering if these foods are safe for your dog to eat. Keep reading to find out which apple-based foods are okay for your dog and which aren’t so good.

1. Apple Peels

Can dogs eat apple peels? Yes, the peel of an apple has plenty of fiber which is great for your dog’s digestive health.

However, if your dog has a sensitive stomach and struggles with a high fiber diet, you may want to peel the apple before slicing and serving.

2. Apple Bread

Apple bread contains typically added sugar and so shouldn’t be fed to your pet. In addition, many fruit-based loaves of bread include raisins which are highly toxic to dogs. 

Grapes or raisins can cause your dog to show signs of lethargy, have a loss of appetite, vomit or have diarrhea, or even seizures. If your dog shows any of these symptoms, be sure to contact your vet immediately.

3. Apple Chips

Can dogs eat apple chips? Yes, home-baked apple chips make a delicious treat for your dog. To make these, you just need to thinly slice a cored apple and bake it in the oven at 200 degrees Fahrenheit until crispy.

You can also use a dehydrator to make apple chips. Storebought apple chips typically have added sugar and no fiber and should be avoided.

4. Apple Pudding

Apple pudding should not be given to dogs. While delicious for humans, this sweet treat is way too sugary for your dog. Also, most puddings contain artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives which can cause allergies in dogs.

5. Frozen Apples

Frozen apple cubes make a delicious snack for your pet in summer. The new texture and temperature may also encourage dogs to eat apples that normally don’t like them.

6. Apple Muffins

Can dogs eat apple muffins? No, apple muffins should not be fed to your pet. These usually contain sugar and even raisins which, as mentioned, are toxic to dogs.

However, you can try making your dog safe apple, peanut butter, and oatmeal muffins at home!

7. Apple Cake 

If the apple cake doesn’t contain unhealthy ingredients like chocolate, sugar, fats, and wheat it could be okay for your dog.

If you’re going to give your dog a cake for his birthday, make sure it has been made especially for him, with no added sugar, chocolate, or chemicals that are toxic to canines. Don’t let your dog consume commercial cakes.

8. Apple Pie

Dogs shouldn’t eat apple pie because of all the sugar it contains. Also, many apple pies include nutmeg, which can be poisonous to dogs because of a toxin called myristicin.

This can cause gastrointestinal distress in small doses or lead to hallucinations, high blood pressure, and seizures if consumed in large quantities.

9. Applesauce

Dogs can eat plain applesauce. Homemade, unsweetened applesauce is better than store-bought variants, including added sugar, flavors, colors, and preservatives.

If you are looking for a tasty treat for your pet on a hot summer’s day, try freezing some apple sauce in an ice tray.

10. Apple Juice

Can dogs drink apple juice? No, apple juice has plenty of water content but still shouldn’t be given to your dog. This is because it usually has too much added sugar.

Also, many off-the-shelf apple juices contain additional ingredients that may not be good for your dog. 

Are foods made with apples safe for dogs?

Be careful of feeding your pet apple-flavored products made for human consumption. These often are loaded with sugar and artificial flavors, colors, and chemicals.

Some artificial sweeteners, such as xylitol, can be highly toxic for your pet. Also, the high sugar content of these foods can cause tooth decay, weight gain, and even diabetes.

Are dog foods made with apples healthier for dogs?

Apples are a superfood loaded with plenty of benefits for your pet; however, if your dog is eating a balanced diet, there is no reason why you have to give him an apple.

If your dog doesn’t eat fresh apples, you can look for pet food that includes this nutritious ingredient in their formula, although even that isn’t 100% necessary for your dog to lead a healthy life.

What is the Amount of Apples that Dogs Can Consume a Day?

French Bulldog looking at the pile of apples
A French Bulldog amazed at the pile of apples – Image source

A slice or two of apple each day will be more than enough for your furry friend. While most canines love the crunchy texture and juicy flavor of apples, be careful not to let your dog overdo it.

Too much of a good thing can cause your dog to have an upset stomach, bellyache, or diarrhea. 

Your dog’s treats, apples included, should not make up more than 10% of their daily calorie intake.

What are the Dog Treat Recipes that Contain Apples?

There are various delicious apple-based dog treats that you can try making for your pet at home. Check out these recipes if you want to whip up something fun for your dog.

  1. Oat Cinnamon Apple Dog Treats
  2. Homemade Apple and Peanut Butter Dog Treats
  3. Cheddar Apple Dog Treats

What are the dog food products that contain apples?

If your dog loves the taste of apples, you can consider feeding him a pet food that has apples in the recipe. There are plenty of delicious dog-safe recipes online that contain apples.

You can try out a few at home to see which ones take your pup’s fancy. Here are three of our favorite dog foods with apples that you may consider.

  1. Purina Beneful Healthy Weight Dry Dog Food with Farm-Raised Chicken
  2. Acana Singles LID Lamb and Apple Recipe Dog Food
  3. Farmina Wild Boar and Apple Mini Dog Food

If you’re not quite ready to switch over your dog’s daily kibble, you can try looking for a delicious commercial pet treat that includes apples. Here are some great ones that you can check.

  1. Blue Buffalo Health Bars Baked with Apples & Yogurt Dog Treats
  2. Nutro Crunchy with Real Apple Dog Treats
  3. Fruitables Pumpkin & Apple Flavor Crunchy Dog Treats

What Diseases in Dogs Can Apples Help?

As mentioned, apples are packed full of antioxidants which will help your dog to fight numerous diseases. Antioxidants from apples help ward off certain diseases like cancer by combating harmful free radicals.

Because of the high Vitamin C content, they also help with reducing the symptoms of degenerative conditions, like joint disease.

What other Foods that Dogs Can Eat are Similar to Apples?

If your dog isn’t a fan of apples, you can try some other delicious fruits and vegetables that also have a range of health benefits for canines.

You can also try rotating apples with these fruits and vegetables to make training exciting and engaging for your dog. Here are some great alternatives to apples that you can consider for your pup.

  • Bananas, which are packed full of fiber, potassium, Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, and Magnesium
  • Strawberries, which can make a tasty treat for pet’s with a sweet tooth and are particularly great served frozen on a hot summer’s day
  • Blueberries, which are an excellent source of antioxidants, fiber, and Vitamin C. These tiny treats are also low in sugar and calories
  • Cheese, which is a great high-value treat for training your pet
  • Pineapple, another sweet tasty treat that can be served in small chunks as a reward when training your pup
  • Watermelon, a dog-safe, refreshing and hydrating treat that contains plenty of water
  • Peas are an excellent source of protein, vitamins A, B1, B6, C, and K, minerals, and dietary fiber for your dog.
  • Sweet potatoes, which are a fantastic source of vitamin A, fiber, vitamin C and B6, potassium, calcium, and iron
  • Carrots, which are high in fiber, low in calories, and work to clean your dog’s teeth thanks to their crunchy texture

Conclusion: So, Can My Dog Eat Apples?

Poodle eating apple
A Poodle eating apple feed by a fork – Image source

As you can see, there are many benefits of feeding your dog apples. These fruits can help fight disease, aid digestion and weight management, and supply your pet with plenty of nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. 

When feeding your dog apples, or any new food for that matter, it’s best to first consult with your vet. You’ll also want to keep an eye out for any allergies and be sure not to overdo it, as apples do have high sugar content.

Do you feed your dog apples? Does your furry family member enjoy them raw, as a tasty topper to his daily kibble, or mixed into a homemade recipe or commercial dog treat? Let us know in the comments below!

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