Apples are a delicious and bountiful treat, perfectly sweet, juicy and healthy! Thinking of sharing your treat with your furry friend? Well good news, you can - with a slight exception.
Read on to make sure you know the best ways to prepare your apples so that they're safe for dogs to eat!
The Bad Side to Apples
Seeds, Cores and Stems
The short answer is - apple seeds and cores. Apple seeds contain trace amounts of cyanide, which is a chemical that is extremely toxic, although there are a number of reasons why you should limit the amount of times your dogs eat apples.
Whilst a few apple seeds are not likely to cause your dog any harm, when you feed apples to your dog you should ensure they are properly prepared to reduce the risks. If your dog eats too many seeds the large doses of cyanide can actually cause cyanide poisoning, so you should be very careful to ensure these seeds are kept far away from your pooch when you're feeding apples.
It is best to core the apples completely to ensure these seeds have been safely removed. Apple core can actually pose a choking hazard to your dogs alongside containing the potentially harmful seeds, so the removal of the apple core is key before your dogs eat and safely enjoy an apple treat. You should never feed your dog whole apple.
It is suggested that apple stem may also be dangerous, so it is wise to remove this before serving.
Any dog owner will know that their dogs love to sniff out their favorite treats, and your dog may love to eat apples, so make sure that they cant get at them when you buy them.
If your dog is hungry and manages to find them in the fridge or cupboard, or raid the shopping bag, they may eat a whole apple in large chunks, which can be dangerous, not only for the seeds which contain toxins, but also the fact that large chunks of apple are very solid and can cause your dog to choke if big enough.
Are you wondering how many apples you can serve to your dog? Whilst apples are good for dogs, and should be considered a healthy snack, you must not forget that apples are sugary fruits, and so you should only serve apples in moderation. The sugar in apples can cause problems for some diabetic dogs, and also some dogs who have cancer. This is why it is important to consult with your vet before feeding apples - or any new foods - to your dogs.
Apples should always be washed before serving, as most fruits are sprayed with pesticides and herbicides. Some fruits are even coated with a chemical to make them shinier on the shelf! It's best to choose organic apples where possible, but even then for your pet's health they should be washed before eating, even if they're from your neighborhood grocery store.
Important to Note
Apple flavored products or products that contain apples should always be inspected carefully, as they will often contain added sugar, artificial flavors, artificial sweeteners, and other chemicals that can be dangerous or harmful for your dogs. There are a myriad of harmful toxins out there, and some products can contain xylitol, which is a sugar substitute. Xylitol is highly toxic and poisonings should be treated as soon as possible otherwise they can be fatal.
If your dog experiences difficulty breathing, coughing, sneezing, hives, swelling, gas, diarrhea or other symptoms of allergies this could mean your dog is having an allergic reaction which could lead to anaphylaxis. You should call your veterinarian immediately as this is an extremely dangerous condition which will require immediate attention.
That's the Bad - But What About the Good? Are Apples Good For Dogs?
There are a number of reasons why you should feed your dog apples. Apples are a healthy treat with a number of benefits for your dog's health, they are healthy fruits and - in moderation - can be included in your dog's diet.
Exactly what it means - Apples are affordable treats for your canine companion to have as an occasional treat.
Low Calorie Treat
You can feed apples to your dog as a low calorie treat, a few chunks of apple make a great refreshing summer snack and a tasty treat all rolled into one!
Apples are a great source of vitamin c, vitamin a and vitamin k, so it's great to let your dogs eat apples in moderation.
Apples contain calcium which is good for bone development.
Apples also contain phosphorous, which works closely with calcium to maintain the integrity of bones and teeth.
Apples are great for your dog's teeth, eating apples is a great way to keep your dog's teeth clean and breath fresh.
How to Include Apples in Your Dog's Diet?
Can dogs eat apples? Yes! If you follow the guidelines above then your dog is sure to enjoy and apple as a treat. But what are some of the best ways to include them in your pet's diet?
Apples should be washed thoroughly before serving to remove any pesticides or harmful chemicals that have been sprayed onto them.
After washing, core the apples to remove the hard cores, most of the seeds and the apple stem, all of which may be dangerous to your dog.
Avoid Choking Hazards
While dogs can eat apples, you should ensure to cut them before serving. Apples are hard fruits and served in large chunks or even whole can be extremely dangerous to your dogs. Dogs can choke on these pieces, so dog owners should always err on the side of caution when cutting them up. Small apple chunks are great to serve as they are easy for your dog to eat, which is especially important for small breeds.
If eaten whole, large chunks can cause gastrointestinal blockages and problems in the digestive system.
A Note About Nutmeg
Spiced apples such as apple slices in apple pies and similar foods should be avoided, as dogs are susceptible to poisoning from myristicin, which is a toxin found in nutmeg.
In small doses this can cause mild gastrointestinal distress, and in large doses can cause high blood pressure, hallucinations and seizures. If you suspect your dog has eaten anything containing nutmeg, or your dog begins experiencing any of these symptoms then you should call your vet immediately.
Your dog should eat fruits like apples in moderation, as, like with human food, too many apples can cause stomach upset. only serve small portions.
Other Ways to Eat Apple
Can dogs eat applesauce? Yes! Applesauce is one of the human foods that dogs can eat, just make sure there are no added sugars or sweeteners that can be dangerous for your dog.
There are many human foods like fruits that you can include in your dog food, you can let your dogs eat blueberries, sweet potatoes (cooked not raw), or even let your dogs eat bananas.
There are also fruits that your dog cannot eat - under no circumstances should you let your dogs eat grapes, they are highly toxic to dogs and can cause a lot more than an upset stomach, they can be fatal for your dog to ingest.
Your Dogs and Apple
Always remember, when introducing new foods to your dog it is important that you monitor them for any reaction. If your dog exhibits symptoms such as an upset stomach or vomiting, seek medical help. You should always ask your vet before feeding your dog new foods, and consult them if you are ever unsure.
The good news is that your dogs will probably love apples, just as dogs love treats in general! But as with all treats, you should feed sparingly and in moderation. Before you serve apples to your dog, make sure that you follow the guidance properly. While a small amount of seeds shouldn't cause any problems, you should keep them away from your dog anyway, just to ensure that you don't accidentally make your dog ill.
If you follow the appropriate guidance on preparation and serving, you can feed your dogs apples as an occasional healthy treat.