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Can Dogs Eat Apples?

Can dogs eat apples? Many pet owners love sharing a tasty snack with furry friends. Apples are one of the most common fruits in homes everywhere. Naturally, many dog owners wonder if their canine pals can safely consume apples.

Read on to find out all you need to know before slicing up an apple and sharing a plate with your pup!

Closeup of large brown dog with an apple between its paws.  As a dog owner, you may wonder "Can dogs eat apples?"

Health Benefits of Apples For Dogs

Eating apples has many potential health benefits for dogs as well as humans. Evidence suggests that regularly eating apples may cut a dog’s risk of suffering from strokes in half. Being over 85 percent water, apples are a great way to help keep your dog hydrated.

In addition, apples contain lots of dietary fiber that can help regularize dogs’ bowel movements. They come packed with vitamins A and C, antioxidants, and can help your dog clean their teeth.

Since they’re low in calories and protein, apples make a healthy addition to a dog’s regular diet. 

Can Eating Apples Harm My Dog?

Apples are generally a safe treat for dogs. Most pet owners find they can feed their dogs apples without issue. That said, dogs can have too much of a good thing, and not every part of an apple is necessarily good for them to eat.

Keep apples to less than 10 percent of your dog’s calorie intake. Otherwise, you risk creating potential health issues in your pet like excess weight gain and nutritional imbalances. Dogs with diabetes can also become sick from the sugar content in an apple. 

How To Get Your Dog To Eat Apples

Closeup of a man feeding pieces of apple to a dog.  Now that you know the answer to "Can dogs eat apples" is "Yes," you may wonder how you can get your dog to try an apple.
Knowing the answer to “Can dogs eat apples” is “Yes,” you may wonder how to get your dog to eat apples.

Many dogs take to apples all on their own, to their owners’ surprise. Despite how often dogs like apples, there still seems to be a prevalent misconception that dogs don’t enjoy fruit. You may have no trouble at all getting your dog to eat apples. (You may have trouble convincing them to stop!)

Dogs enjoy big chunks and slices of apple to chew on. You can cut an apple into halves or quarters to make them easier to bite down on and reduce the risk of choking. Just as your dog probably enjoys chew toys, bones, or rawhides, they will likely take pleasure in ripping an apple up themselves.

That said, your dog would almost certainly have no objections to smaller bits of apple either alone or mixed in its usual food.

Are Apple Seeds Poisonous For My Dog?

An old adage comes in handy: the dose makes the poison. Apple seeds do contain a cyanide compound that can be poisonous to dogs at high enough doses. What that dose is depends on your dog’s size.

The safest bet is to remove seeds or even the whole apple core before sharing with your furry friend. This is a good idea anyway, since apple cores and seeds pose a choking hazard. Nevertheless, cyanide poisoning from apple seeds or an apple core is exceedingly rare. 

As with other physiological toxins, the liver is able to process normal amounts of cyanide. If a pet has poor liver function, this could be a matter of particular concern.

Otherwise, the average dog can have the periodic apple core without serious consequence. Cyanide levels in apples are quite low, even in the core and seeds. This means that your dog’s body can quickly metabolize the low levels of cyanide compound potentially present in its diet.

Can My Dog Drink Apple Juice?

Giving your dog some apple juice might seem like a harmless treat, but it’s not the best idea. Apple juice is high in sugar and lacks the dietary fiber of a whole apple. Whereas the average apple has about 19 grams of sugar, a single 12 ounce serving of the average apple juice can contain over 35 grams of sugar

A single whole apple may already be a bit too much for your dog. Apple fruit juice is highly unhealthy in comparison, especially for smaller dogs or those with conditions like diabetes. Apple juice is a treat or supplementary drink for humans. Dogs should receive far less than a human serving, especially considering how much more susceptible they can be to dietary sugars.

Can Dogs Eat Apple Skin?

Closeup of a yellow Labrador chewing up an apple.  Apples can be healthy for a dog's teeth as well as their digestion.

Yes, your dog can safely eat apple skins. In fact, the skin is the part of the apple with the most dietary fiber. You can feel confident in letting your dog eat apple skins. This makes an especially healthy component in your dog’s treat. Like with humans, dogs’ digestive tracts benefit from the added vitamins, minerals, and fiber that come along with apple peels.

Five Ways To Add Apples To Your Dogs Diet 

There are many ways to add apples to your dog’s diet, and you can get as creative or simple as you please. Here are a few ideas for how to add this nutritious treat in your dog’s meals.

Standalone Treat

There is no reason why you can’t toss your dog a few apple slices on their own! Just make sure that you cut them up into easy-to-chew pieces, especially if your dog is a smaller breed. Dogs can choke on large pieces of fruit. 

Homemade Treats For Dogs

There are recipes galore for homemade dog treats that include apples! You can find them combined with ingredients like peanut butter, pumpkin, blueberries, and much more. Try your hand at making these apple and peanut butter dog biscuits, these apple oat dog treats, or some crunchy apple carrot biscuits

Mixed With Kibble 

Feel free to drop a few small pieces of apple in with your dog’s regular kibble as a special treat. If you want to incorporate it more thoroughly, you can grate the apple and mix the pieces into the kibble or wet food.

Give As Applesauce 

Applesauce can be a good way to add some apples to your dog’s diet, especially if you have an older dog who has difficulty chewing. Just make sure that you use sugar-free applesauce rather than a kind with extra sweeteners.

Freeze

In the hotter months of the year, there is nothing more refreshing than a cold popsicle! You can make a simple dog-friendly version by slicing up some apples and putting them in the freezer. Your dog will love this delicious “pup-sicle”. 

FAQ

German Shepherd dog lying down next to a pile of picked apples.

How Much Apple Can I Give My Dog? 

The amount of apples your dog should regularly consume depends on their size. Smaller dogs should have smaller portions than large breeds. Smaller breeds may be more susceptible to digestive upset after eating much fruit.

Nevertheless, apples are generally a healthy treat with little to no downsides when fed to dogs in moderation. Reasonable servings of apples constitute a healthy snack for overweight dogs, dogs on low-calorie diets, and dogs needing to improve dental hygiene.

Do Apples Give Dogs Diarrhea? 

It’s possible that your dog could have diarrhea or loose bowel movements after eating apples. This is usually mild and most often occurs if dogs eat too many apples in a sitting.

The best preventative is to ensure your dog eats a sensible amount of apples in a single sitting for its size. As long as apples are part of a dog’s overall balanced diet, they will usually be quickly digested and metabolized without significant issue.

Are Apples Bad For Dogs’ Teeth?

Some pet owners are concerned that too many apples could negatively impact their dog’s dental health. While too much sugar can be a concern, apples tend to actually help dogs keep their teeth clean. That’s because apple peels and flesh tend to remove plaque and tartar from tooth surfaces. This can help prevent cavity formation over time. 

Conclusion 

So, can dogs eat apples? For the most part, yes! Outside the considerations above, apples are a safe, healthy, delicious treat for your dog. As long as you’re sure to provide healthy portions, apples may become one of your pet’s favorite treats. If you have any questions or concerns, be sure to check with your vet before adding apples to your dog’s diet.

Do your dogs like eating apples? Comment below to let us know! 

Wondering what other fruits may or may not be safe for your dog to eat? Click here to read our other articles about fruits and dogs. (And if you also have a cat, click here to learn about fruit safety for your kitty.)