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So, you’re biting into a delicious, juicy apple and find two big eyes staring at you with every bite - which makes you wonder, ‘can dogs eat apples?’. Well, the simple answer is, yes. Dogs can eat apples (without the seeds), but there are a few things you need to know before you start chopping up slices for them every day.
These green and red fruits are packed with vital nutrients that can benefit your dog’s health in more ways and one, but apples also come with natural choking hazards; a core, stalk, and seeds.
An apple a day may keep the doctor away, but it can require a visit to the vet!
As long as you’re careful and give an apple to your pup safely, they can be a tasty and refreshing healthy treat!
Take a look at the few tips and tricks you need to know when it comes to feeding apples to your fur baby...
One of the best things about feeding your dog apples is that they’re a snack that won’t break the bank. They are the perfect low-calorie, affordable treat that will offer a multitude of nutrients, vitamins, and minerals such as calcium, phosphorus, and vitamins A, C & K, which are all great for your pup. However, just like everything, moderation is key.
Apples are actually great for digestion, too! They’re naturally low in protein and high in fiber, which means they’re a great treat alternative if you’re watching your dog’s weight or your pup is on a specific diet. This can be very helpful if you have a senior dog, to prevent excess weight gain that could put a strain on their joints, organs or cause them to develop many underlying health conditions induced by their weight.
Plus, apples have been known to help improve canine dental hygiene! They can freshen breath and providing important antioxidants to help combat both internal and external dental aggressors.
So, apples look amazing right now, eh? What could be wrong? Well, these sweet, round fruits contain a few choking hazards that need to be addressed and taken with care...let alone a few other concerns;
Apple seeds contain very small amounts of cyanide, which is an extremely toxic and dangerous substance. Of course, your dog would have to eat a vast amount of seeds to suffer from cyanide poisoning, but it is just easier to avoid the risk completely. Try to remove the seeds before giving your pooch any apple.
Apples aren’t the only fruits that have seeds containing the potentially toxic compound, cyanide. Other plants such as pears, elderberry, clover, cherries, peaches, and almonds do too. Dogs can also be poisoned with cyanide if they ingest baits laid out to kill certain pests (e.g. coyotes in the USA).
Although cyanide poisoning is very uncommon, if your pup is uncharacteristically excited, having seizures or tremors, or is in shock and has cherry-red colored gums, it’s important to take them to the vet immediately. Also, if your dog is acting strange and there is a possibility they have ingested something that could potentially contain cyanide, you must take them to the vet immediately to begin detoxification treatment. Time is of the absolute essence in these cases!
Similarly to the seeds, the core, and stalk of the apple bring their own health risks. The hard, rough stalk could easily get stuck in your dog’s teeth and gums, causing pain and discomfort, whereas the core is hard and difficult to chew - which may pose as a choking hazard or could get lodge in their intestines, causing a dangerous blockage.
You may not know this, but apples naturally contain sugar. Moderation is key when it comes to giving your pup bits of apple, as the high sugar content could cause a number of health issues; such as diarrhea, cancer, or diabetes, to name a few. Check with your vet if you’re unsure about how much apple you can give your pooch.
When buying apples, try to choose organic ones as most supermarket apples have an artificial coating on them to make them look nice and shiny. Always wash fruit when you buy it, too, as this will help remove the pesticides and herbicides before you give it to your pup.
Although the chances are very low, some dogs may develop an allergy to apples - developing an allergy is possible to virtually anything! If you’re giving your pup an apple, look out for these early signs of an allergic reaction; diarrhea, vomiting, coughing, itching, and difficulty breathing. If you notice any of the above, stop your pup from eating the apple and seek medical help as soon as possible.
First things first, always check with your veterinarian before you start giving your dog new food - just to be on the safe side. Most of the time, (depending on the item of food and your dog’s health), your vet will tell you it is absolutely fine, just as long as it is in moderation. Of course, if the food hinders your dog in any way, your vet will tell you to avoid it completely.
If they give you the go-ahead, it's time to start having some fun! There are lots of ways you can give your dog apple. Whether it’s in small bite-size chunks, mixed into your pup’s food, or frozen for a tasty summer refreshment, apple is a vitamin-packed snack for your pooch!
Or, how about adding apple to a delicious homemade treat? These easy-to-make, grain-free, ginger and apple bites are the perfect alternative to those shop-bought treats that offer little nutritional value. Use as a reward for good behavior, or simply just to spoil them.
If you decide to introduce apple to your pet's diet, just make sure you remove the seeds, core and stalk, wash before giving to your pooch and always check with your vet first.