Can Dogs Eat Apples?

Hector Joy, DVM
Jun 30, 2020
   |   3 min read
Image: Photo Grapher / via Image Bank

 

For dogs, an apple a day can keep the veterinarian away. That’s right: Dogs can eat apples. I recommend apples as a nutritious snack for dogs.

Apples provide an excellent source of vitamin C, which is necessary for proper immune function. They’re also loaded with carbohydrates, the ultimate energy source, and are high in fiber, which plays a role in digestion, weight, and blood sugar regulation.

Here are the benefits and risks of feeding apples to dogs.

Can Dogs Have Apples?

Yes, all dogs can eat apples, from Great Danes to Chihuahuas, Yorkies, or Pomeranians.

Red Delicious, Honeycrisp, Gala and Granny Smith—basically all varieties of apples that you’d commonly find at your neighborhood grocery store—are safe for dogs to eat.

I recommend feeding fresh apple slices, including the skins. Do not feed your dog apple cores, as they can become a choking hazard.

Can Puppies Eat Apples?

Yes, puppies can eat apples, just like adult dogs.

Are Apple Seeds Poisonous to Dogs?

Apple seeds are poisonous to dogs and people alike. Apple seeds contain cyanide, a chemical that can cause hypoxia or lack of oxygen delivery to the body. Some symptoms include:

  • Brick-red mucus membranes
  • Dilated pupils
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Panting
  • Shock

Accidental consumption of small amounts of apple seeds shouldn’t cause cyanide poisoning. But eating large amounts of seeds or consuming a small amount regularly over time can cause cyanide poisoning.

Are Apples Good for Dogs?

Yes, apples are good for dogs as nutritious snacks, in moderation, but not as a full meal.

Dogs need several different nutrients to thrive, including proteins, fatty acids, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, and water. Apples provide an excellent source of vitamin C and carbohydrates, and are high in fiber. However, they lack protein and fatty acids.

Are Apples Bad for a Dog’s Teeth?

Some people might ask if the sugars found in apples rot their dog's teeth. The answer: It’s unlikely.

The water content in an apple will help wash away the sugar from inside the mouth, making apples relatively safe for teeth. The apple skins are a bonus, as they act like a toothbrush. 

Can Dogs Have Apple Juice, Applesauce, or Apple Chips?

Other foods made from apples, like apple chips, applesauce, and apple juice, are less nutritious forms of apples and more problematic for teeth.

Apple chips are dehydrated, have added sugar, and have no fiber. Apple juice and applesauce may have the water content, but they also have added sugar and no fiber.

These combinations can lead to enamel decay, weight gain, and diabetes.

Are Some Dogs Allergic to Apples?

Dogs are primarily allergic to proteins in food. Apples have negligible amounts of protein. Therefore, although it is possible, dogs do not typically have allergies to apples.

Featured Image: iStock.com/noonika

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