Can dogs eat apples?
Before you give a piece of delicious, crunchy apple to your dog or puppy, do you know whether it is safe for them to eat, or are apples poisonous to dogs?
Apples are a readily available and tasty fruit that we all enjoy. Dogs seem to think so too. You may find your dog stares at you until a chunk falls on the floor! But some fruits and vegetables are not suitable to feed to dogs, and some can be toxic. It’s always a good idea to check first. So, can dogs eat apples?
The answer is yes! Luckily for dogs as they do seem to love apples. However, only feed in moderation and not the seeds or apple core. Apple seeds contain cyanide, which is a toxic substance. Admittedly, each apple only contains a tiny amount, but cyanide poisoning is so severe it’s just not worth taking the risk. Remove the core and seeds before you feed apple pieces to your dog.
Health benefits of dogs eating apples
Although apples are very healthy, they do contain a naturally occurring form of sugar. Canine diabetes is not a condition you would want your dog to develop, and one of the risk factors is much higher if your dog is overweight. It’s best to limit the number of treats dogs consume if they are watching their waistlines.
The many nutrients in apples are all very beneficial to dogs, including vitamins C and A, antioxidants, potassium, and fibre. Antioxidants fight free radicals, the chemicals that cause cellular and molecular damage in dogs. By giving your dog treats rich in antioxidants, you are also helping to reduce brain ageing—an extra benefit for older dogs.
Vitamin C is essential in keeping the immune system healthy and should be part of an omnivore diet. Potassium, which is found naturally in apples, is excellent for nerve and muscle function.
Feeding apples to your dog is also, thanks to their crunchy texture, great for cleaning their teeth and may help to keep their mouth and breath fresher!
How many apples can my dog eat?
Vets and nutritionists always recommend that 90% of your dog’s diet should come from a high-quality, complete feed. The remaining 10% can consist of treats, including fruit or vegetables. Always regard apple chunks as a treat and not an alternative for their regular food.
It’s also worth remembering about the fibre content in apples. You may find they have an upset stomach and diarrhoea if you feed them too many. Never feed dogs cooking apples as it will really upset their digestive system.
What about feeding apples to puppies?
Apples are a great treat for puppies but only feed sparingly. Ensure they are cut into tiny, bite-sized pieces to avoid them becoming a choking hazard.