Few foods are as good for dogs as they are for humans. Apples happen to be one of those kinds of foods.
As a lifelong dog owner, apples are one of the few treats I’ve consistently given my dog throughout their life. He loves them so much; he comes running every time he hears me slide open the produce drawer in the fridge.
The trick to sharing apples with your pet is knowing exactly how to prepare the fruit. This article will explore if apples are healthy for dogs, how to share them, and some other food safety tips.
Are Apples Healthy For Dogs?
Apples generally are healthy for pups to eat— in fact, most dogs thoroughly enjoy these special treats.
Apples are a fantastic source of several vitamins, including Vitamin A, Vitamin C, fiber, and phosphorus. According to experts, these vitamins help improve your dog’s eyesight, build up their bones, help with their digestive systems, and much more. We do want to point out; most dogs naturally produce Vitamin C in their bodies and don’t need any C-supplements. Be sure to share apples in moderate amounts.
On top of being a great source of nutrients, apples are sweet and can satisfy your dog’s sweet-tooth. (And yes, just like humans, dogs may be inclined to prefer sweets.) If you’re looking for a sweet treat for your pet that won’t leave them with an upset stomach, apples are an excellent, motivating source.
Apples are low in fat and caloric-intake. If you’re using apples as a treat motivator or a special snack for your pet, you can feel confident knowing it won’t weigh your pup down later.
Finally, apples can provide a bit of breath damage-control for your pet. Apples help to clean off dog’s teeth while they chew them gently. We want to point out that just because it helps clean up their teeth doesn’t mean that apples should replace any dental care. You should still aim to brush your dog’s teeth regularly. Apples just help out a bit!
Fortunately, different types of apples— whether it’s Gala, Honeycrisp, Granny, or others— shouldn’t affect your pet any differently. You may find that they prefer sweeter apples or sour ones, but if one apple is safe for them, all types should be acceptable.
Dog Food Allergies
No matter how healthy a type of food is for a dog, there’s still the possibility it may have an allergy to that food. Just like with people, it’s essential to test for allergies in moderate amounts.
To test and see if your dog has an apple allergy, consider slicing off a small portion of your apple and sharing it with your pet. Wait a while to see if your pet begins showing any symptoms of an allergic reaction, which could include one of the following:
- Compulsive licking
- Swelling (particularly around their lips and face)
If your dog shows mild signs of a food allergy, stop giving them the food and talk to your pet’s vet. They will want to determine whether the symptom was a side-effect of allergies or a sign of something more serious.
If your pet begins showing serious signs of an allergic reaction, they may be in anaphylactic shock. Call your vet immediately and prepare to bring your dog to an emergency veterinarian’s office.
How To Prepare An Apple For a Dog
Not every part of the apple is safe for a dog to eat. A dog should never eat the apple core or apple seeds, for example. Every time you prepare an apple, be sure to wash it and thoroughly remove the core, seeds, and stem. Your dog’s digestive system won’t be able to process those item
To prepare an apple for your pet, consider cutting the apple using an apple slicer. These tools will help divide the apple into manageable pieces. Throw the core away. At that point, based on your pet’s size, you can either share some of the pieces in their bowl or cut the apple slices down even further to accommodate small pets.
Fortunately, apples are soft foods. If your dog has all of its teeth, it should be able to bite through the apple’s skin pretty easily. After that, they should be able to mash up the fruit pretty quickly. If your dog has a sensitive stomach or lacks some teeth, consider peeling off the apple skin before giving it to your pet. It’ll make the fruit a bit easier on your dog’s stomach.
For the pets who also adore peanut butter, consider adding some to your apple slices. Be sure to share this in moderate amounts, though, as your pet will likely tear through this particular snack.
Another fun way to prepare apples for your pet is to freeze the fruit. In the dog days of summer, where it feels just too hot to head outside, a frozen snack may be the trick to help your dog cool down. We recommend cutting or slicing the apples into appropriate bite sizes before putting the pieces in the freezer.
Can My Puppy Eat Apples?
Yes, your puppy can try out apples. However, it’s best to keep a close eye on your pet any time they try new foods at all.
Share the apple in small amounts. Keep an eye on your pet to ensure they don’t have an allergic reaction and make sure it doesn’t upset their digestive system. After you’ve tested your puppy and seen whether they like apples or not, you’re safe to keep sharing that fruit.
Keep in mind; most puppies don’t start eating any solid foods until they’re about four weeks old. Even then, they aren’t fully weaned until about six weeks. Furthermore, most vets advise softening puppy food until they’re about eight weeks old. With that in mind, it likely would be best to wait on sharing an apple with your pet until they’re at least two months old at a minimum.
It’s a good idea to introduce healthy food habits to your pet while they’re young. As they grow older, they may be inclined to try that food more often. Apples are safe for elderly dogs to eat, which means it’s a healthier habit to introduce when they’re young too.
Can My Dog Eat Applesauce?
Applesauce becomes a bit trickier for your pet. Unfortunately, most homemade and store-bought applesauce comes with added sugars. That additional sugar is not good on your pet’s body or digestive system and takes away the nutritional value of eating plain apples.
If your pet adores apples but is no longer capable of chewing them, you may be able to incorporate a bit of applesauce into their diet. However, it would help if you were sure that the applesauce you’ve purchased is made entirely of apples (with no added ingredients or sugars) and only use it in moderate amounts.
Even pure applesauce is a pretty high concentration of sugar. Make sure to carefully watch your pet for digestive issues after trying this food out.
Comparing Other Fruits And Vegetables
Beyond apples, there are several other fruits and vegetables that could prove to be worthy additions to your pet’s diet. Consider incorporating bananas, blueberries, cucumbers, pears, strawberries, carrots, celery, or spinach into your dog’s food routine. These fruits and vegetables are excellent sources of vitamins and can be known to help improve your dog’s dental health.
Conversely, there are some fruits and vegetables you should always avoid sharing with your dog. For example, avocado, cherries, grapes, tomatoes, mushrooms, and onions should not be given to your dog. These foods can cause severe, toxic, and even poisonous reactions in your pet. Some of these foods can even result in organ failure or fatalities.
Always double-check with your vet if you’re unsure about sharing a new food with your pet. They’ll be able to help figure out the perfect dietary plan for your pup.
What Should I Do If My Dog Eats Something Questionable?
While apples are generally safe for your pet to eat, if they do get into something questionable, or eat the core, for example, the first step is to call your veterinarian. We recommend keeping your vet’s number in a visible place. That way, if you’re in the middle of an emergency or there’s a pet sitter watching your dog, the number will be easily accessible by anyone in the house.
Keep in mind; if it’s late at night or on the weekend, you may need to reach out to an emergency vet clinic. Again, try and keep that phone number in a visible place.
Finally, you could also try contacting the ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control line. They are staffed 24/7 and have experts and volunteers ready to assist at any time.
Apples are a safe and delicious treat for dogs to enjoy. Be sure to introduce an apple to your dog in small amounts to ensure it agrees with their digestive system and allergies.
Apples are a low-calorie snack that brings vitamins and sweet foods into your dog’s dietary routine. It’s a great motivator for some pets and won’t add extra inches to their waist. While an apple a day may not keep the vet away, it’s undoubtedly a great way to reward your pet and incorporate some fun foods into their diet.