- Apples are a safe snack for your dog, in moderation — Give your pup one or two slices at a time to avoid any possible health risks.
- They’re a great treat alternative for overweight dogs — You can satisfy their sweet tooth and help them get back to a healthy weight.
- Apples have many health benefits — They contain vitamins C, A, and K. They’re also rich in fiber and antioxidants.
Can my dog have apples?
Yes, absolutely! Not only are they crunchy, sweet, and delicious, they’re full of fiber and important vitamins your dog needs to maintain a healthy weight and immune system. All types of apples are safe to share with your pup, but green apples, like Granny Smith, are lower in carbohydrates and higher in vitamin A.
Are apples good for dogs?
Apples can be an affordable, low-calorie snack or reward during training. The antioxidant-rich, vitamin-packed fruit also has helpful digestive aids like fiber and prebiotics, making it a (nearly) perfect treat for most dogs when served in small pieces.
They are an abundant source of vitamins A, C, and K as well as essential minerals like calcium and phosphorus. The chewing of an apple can even help keep your dog’s teeth clean, though it should not take the place of regular dental care.
Protein and fiber in apples
Protein, while essential for humans, isn’t recommended in large quantities for your dog’s diet (though this topic is often debated). Dogs do need some of the amino acids found in protein, but they’re not strictly carnivores, so it’s a good idea to stick to small quantities.
Fiber has many of the same benefits for dogs and humans alike. For the one-third of pups considered obese, dietary fiber is great for regulating the digestive system and is the perfect snack option as part of a more restrictive diet.
Risks of feeding apples to dogs
Apples can be a safe snack when washed and peeled, but you’ll want to exercise caution around the core, stem, and seeds.
- Core. The core of the apple is firm and should not be given to your dog. Apple cores pose a choking hazard and, if swallowed, can lead to a gastrointestinal (GI) blockage that would require emergency surgery.
- Stem. Apple stems aren’t as brittle as you’d think and can get stuck between teeth or even lodged in the throat.
- Seeds. Apple seeds contain trace amounts of cyanide. It would take a lot of seeds to cause cyanide poisoning from the toxic chemical, but it’s best to remove them before feeding your dog.
How to safely feed apples to your dog
There are several ways to safely feed apples to your dog once you’ve gotten the all-clear from your veterinarian. Wash the apple thoroughly to remove any wax, pesticides, or other contaminants from the skin. Then remove the peel, stem, seeds, and core and cut the apple into small slices. Be especially careful feeling them to smaller dogs!
👉Apples contain sugar, so serve them in moderation, especially to dogs with certain medical conditions such as diabetes. Too many apples can cause an upset stomach or diarrhea, even in healthy dogs.
Add the apple slices directly into your dog’s food or pop the slices into the freezer for a refreshing summer snack. Use plain, unsweetened applesauce to create a soft snack perfect for your senior dog.
🚨 If your dog has eaten a whole apple and you notice difficulty breathing, vomiting, low energy, and decreased appetite, take your dog to the nearest emergency hospital as the apple core may be causing an obstruction.
Other healthy fruits for dogs
Whether you freeze, mix, blend, smash, or dry them, apples are a great option when you’re looking to reward your dog with a healthy snack. But they aren’t your only option. Here are some other fruits your pup can safely indulge in.
- Bananas. Bananas, like apples, are rich in vitamin C, fiber, and belly-calming potassium with an added benefit of protein. They are high in sugar, though, so serve in small quantities.
- Blueberries. Freezable, portable, and tossable, blueberries are brimming with healthy vitamins and make a great on-the-go snack for active pups.
- Mangos. Whipping up your favorite summer smoothie? Share a few slices of peeled and pitted mango with your four-legged bestie. Mangos boost the immune system, support eye health, and are a great source of antioxidants.
- Strawberries. Like many of the other fruits on this list, strawberries are rich in fiber and vitamin C. They also contain an enzyme that can whiten your dog’s teeth.
- Peaches. Peaches are safe to share, rich in fiber and vitamin A, and can help your pup fight infections. Like an apple’s core, the pit of the peach contains cyanide, which can be a choking hazard and risk for GI obstruction, so stick to the fleshy part.
- Watermelon. Watermelons are roughly 92% water, so a few cubes (without the rind or seeds) can give your pup a hydration boost. They’re also high in vitamin C, low in calories, and contain beneficial amino acids and antioxidants.
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Frequently asked questions
How many apples can I give my dog?
Because apples are relatively high in sugar content, it’s best to stick to a small amount. Just a few slices or cubes of a stemmed, cored, peeled, and seeded apple are recommended.
Can dogs have apples with skin?
Avoid giving your dog apple peels since they come into contact with pesticides and other contaminants. The peel can also get stuck between a dog’s teeth, so it’s best to remove it before feeding it to your pup.
Why should dogs not eat apples?
As we mentioned above, the fleshy part of the apple is safe, but dogs shouldn’t eat the stem, seeds, peel, or core. Additionally, pups with certain conditions like diabetes should avoid apples as they’re pretty high in sugar. As with most things, check with your vet to make sure apples are a safe treat for your canine companion.
What fruits can dogs not eat?
Luckily, there are more fruits that are safe for your dog to eat than not. The most common fruits to avoid are grapes, raisins, avocados, tomatoes, and cherries. All of these contain toxins that can cause a variety of troublesome conditions ranging from diarrhea and upset stomach to acute kidney failure. For more foods that are safe for dogs to eat, check out this comprehensive list we’ve created for you.