Apples are a tasty and readily available fruit that we, as humans, really enjoy. You may find your dog sits and stares at you, hoping for a little chunk to come their way. But, as with all fruit and veggies, it’s a good idea to check first before you feed any to your dog. So, can dogs eat apples?
The simple answer is yes! And dogs do seem to love apples. However, it must be in moderation and not the seeds or apple core. Apple seeds contain cyanide, which is a toxic substance to dogs and humans. Admittedly, there is only a tiny amount in each apple but, cyanide poisoning is so severe it’s just not worth taking the risk. Remove the core and seeds before you feed any apple to your dog.
Health benefits of dogs eating apples
It’s worth knowing that although apples are very healthy, they do contain sugar, albeit in a naturally occurring form. Canine diabetes is on the rise and it is not a condition you would want your dog to develop. The risk factor for developing canine diabetes is much higher if your dog is overweight. So, if your dog is watching their waistline, it’s best to limit the number of treats they consume.
Apples contain nutrients that are very beneficial to dogs, including antioxidants, vitamins C and A, potassium and plenty of fibre. Antioxidants are great for fighting free radicals, the chemicals that cause cellular and molecular damage in dogs. Giving your dog treats rich in antioxidants can also help reduce brain ageing, making apples extra beneficial for older dogs.
Vitamin C helps to keep the immune system healthy and is an essential part of any omnivore diet. Potassium found naturally in food, such as apples, is excellent for nerve and muscle function.
Another bonus of feeding apples to your dog is, thanks to their crunchy texture, they are good for cleaning their teeth and may help to make their mouth and breath that little bit fresher!
How many apples can my dog eat?
Any fruit or vegetables that you choose to feed to your dog should always be regarded as an extra treat, on top of their regular dog food. Vets and nutritionists always recommend that treats only makeup 10% of a dog’s diet with a high-quality, complete feed making up the remaining 90%.
So, whilst it’s safe to slip a slice of apple to your dog, remember that it should always be regarded as a treat! It’s also worth knowing that since apples contain a lot of fibre, you may find they have an upset stomach and diarrhoea if you feed them too much.
What about feeding apples to puppies?
Apples are an excellent treat to feed to puppies but sparingly. Just make sure they are cut into tiny, bite-sized pieces to avoid choking hazards.
Related guides and advice
Keeping your pets cool and safe: Essential tips for hot weather care