Can Dogs Eat Apples? A Delicious but Potentially Poisonous Treat
Can dogs eat apples? An apple is a very nutritious fruit, containing lots of vitamins and minerals. You can give your dog an apple as an occasional treat, but there are a few things to be aware of. And as with all things, moderation is key.
Are Apples Good for Dogs?
Feeding your dog apples can be a great way to clean its teeth, especially if your dog is struggling with bad breath. The high fiber content is also a handy tool to assist your dog’s bowl movements.
Apples are considered a super food because of all the daily health benefits the fruit offers. They are rich in vitamins A, C and K, calcium, antioxidants, phosphorous, essential fatty acids and pectin. Apples are also a rich source of fiber.
Health benefits include:
- Prevention of joint and bone diseases
- Can improve a dog’s gastrointestinal system.
- Apples help to fight off free radicals, preventing cancer from forming.
- Can keep your dog’s teeth clean and ensure a fresh breath.
- The essential fatty acids such as Omega 3 and 6 help to prevent skin allergies and keeps your dog’s skin and coat in a good condition.
- The dietary fibers help to improve bowel movement.
- The combo of antioxidants plus Vitamins A and C prevents various illnesses in older dogs. A few studies show that these vitamins can assist with hip dysplasia.
Feeding Apples to Dogs - The Health Benefits
Apples are a great substitute for expensive commercial dog treats. They are high in antioxidants, high in fiber and low in protein. The low protein count is especially good for aging dogs. Younger and more active dogs can benefit from the gastrointestinal help and apples can also fight various degenerative conditions.
Dogs are carnivores, but they should not eat too many meaty treats that are high in saturated fat. This is why apples are such a great alternative. Apples are low in saturated fat, calories and sodium. So you can rest assured that you are feeding your dog a very healthy snack.
Can dogs eat apples? Ideally, yes. The apples they are ingesting is good for their health, as well as the process of chewing on the apple. Instead of wrestling with your dog to brush its teeth, just offer it a little treat to chew on.
Can Apples Be Bad for Dogs?
There’s no doubt that apples can be a healthy treat for your dog, but there are a few limiting factors to be aware of.
Firstly, you need to make sure that your dog does not ingest any of the apple seeds. Rather remove the whole core, as it contain traces of cyanide in the form of a compound called Amygdalin. The amount is small, but taking into consideration the size of your dog’s body, it can be very harmful. If your dog is continuously exposed to the seeds, the build-up of the toxin can be detrimental to your dog’s health.
Also, do not feed your dog dehydrated apples. The nutrients are intact, but the lack of water can be dangerous to your dog’s digestion. Your dog can suffer from an upset tummy when eating these. Even too much normal apples can cause bowl movement problems.
Check with your veterinarian before incorporating apples into your dog’s diet. Feeding apples to dogs suffering from diabetes can be dangerous. The natural sugar content of apples are very high. If your dog is suffering from kidney disease, you should also steer clear of apples. The high levels of Omega 6 fatty acids, calcium and phosphorus can put your dog at risk.
How to Feed Apples to Dogs
Make sure you cut away all the core from the apple pieces you intend to feed your dog. You might be tempted to give your dog a whole apple as a chewy treat, but the apple seeds are very dangerous. If you want to give your dog a whole apple to chew on, make sure to use a high-quality core remover.
The only thing to keep in mind when giving your dog a whole apple to munch on, is the size of the dog. A whole apple can be a choking hazard, so not advisable if you know your dog loves gobbling down its food.
Make sure you wash the apple before slicing it up, removing any potential harmful chemicals from the fruit. Keep the skin of the apple intact, it’s the part of the apple high in fiber as well as nutrients.
Slowly introduce the apple into your dog’s general diet and only give it to the dog in moderation. Remember, dogs are primarily carnivores, so their digestive system is not geared towards processing lots of fruit and vegetables.
If your dog eats too many apple pieces, it can affect the dog’s bowl movements. Keep an eye on your dog’s reaction after feeding it apples for the first time to make sure that it’s good for your dog. Not all dogs will like apples and some dogs have more sensitive constitutions than others.
My Dog Ate Too Many Apples! Now What?
If your dog ate way too much apple, your dog will most likely start vomiting or suffer from diarrhea. This is your dog’s body dealing with the foreign substance that it has ingested. If your dog has ingested lots of apple seeds, then you need to take immediate action as the toxicity levels can become dangerous very quickly.
If your dog only ingested too many pieces of apples, without the seeds, you can just closely monitor it for 24 hours and make sure it has access to lots of water so that the dog does not become dehydrated. Try giving your dog a probiotic to help calm its upset tummy. Your dog’s body should deal with the excessive intake of apples on its own, but if the symptoms persist for longer than 24 hours, you will need to visit the veterinarian.
Conclusion - Can Dogs Eat Apples?
Is it safe for dogs to eat apples? If you only give it to your dog as an occasional treat, apples can be a great addition to your dog’s diet in general. Just make sure you do not feed your dog any apple seeds. Rather remove the whole core. But first check with your veterinarian to find out if apples will be beneficial for your dog in particular.
The high sugar content makes it a risky treat in big quantities, so be careful to not over-feed your dog. Apples can be a great nutritional snack for your dog with many health benefits. Just keep in mind that any fruit or vegetable should be given to your dog in moderation, keeping its carnivore digestive system in mind.
What is your dog’s favorite fruity snack? Have you noticed a change in your dog’s overall health after incorporating fruit and vegetables into its diet?