While an apple a day may keep the doctor away from us, is the same true for our dogs? If you’ve ever thought about sharing an apple with your (four-legged) best friend, this post will tell you everything you need to know first.
Apples are a suitable snack for most dogs. They’re high in vitamins A and C as well as fiber that can help pups feel full, and their sweet, satisfying crunch can be just as appealing for your pup as it is for you.
While apples can be a great snack, remember to feed them in moderation. They do contain natural sugar, so you don’t want to allow your pup to have too much. If you and your pup are being particularly active and taking long walks or hiking, an apple might be the perfect treat for an energy boost, so go ahead and share an apple to refuel!
Like many fruits, the entire apple is not safe for pups. Your dog can enjoy the skin and flesh of an apple. But you want to avoid feeding them the seeds and the core. This is for two reasons. The first is that apple seeds do contain small amounts of cyanide (a toxin), so they shouldn’t be ingested. Second, the seeds and core can be a choking hazard. So, for your pup’s safety, remove the core and any seeds before slicing up and feeding your pup an apple.
The answer to this question depends on your dog’s size and health. For pups who are diabetic, make sure to chat with your vet before sharing any apples with them. For generally healthy dogs, you should introduce apples slowly (as you would with any new food or treat) to ensure your dog both tolerates and enjoys them.
Offering a small piece daily or a few times a week should not cause any issues as long as it fits into your pup’s overall diet. Too many calories (even from healthy foods like apples) can lead to weight gain.
One other source of apples you should avoid sharing with your dog is apple pie filling. Both jarred and canned varieties, as well as homemade dessert fillings, can contain too much sugar as well as spices that aren’t good for your dog. If you want to offer a treat made with apples, consider choosing a dog-friendly recipe that contains some apples for sweetness. These apple treats made with greek yogurt, oats, and ginger are a great example. Or, if you’re looking for a way for your pup to beat the heat and add some healthy hydration, you can make these carrot apple popsicles:
3-4 Carrots peeled and chopped
1 large apple peeled and chopped (discard the skin, core, and seeds)
1/2 – 1 C. water as needed
Combine the chopped apples and carrots and cover with water. Spoon the mixture into silicone molds or use it to fill a Kong or other freezer-safe enrichment toy. Allow the mixture to freeze overnight or until solid. Serve once frozen and store the remaining popsicles in the freezer and share with your pup as needed.
They sure can! Dogs can have applesauce as long as it does not contain added sugars and spices like nutmeg (which can be toxic to dogs). If you want to share applesauce with your dog, the best way is to make it at home so you can control the ingredients. Just remember that by cooking down and concentrating the apples, you will end up with a sauce that has more sugar per spoonful than the corresponding amount of fresh, unprocessed apples, and you need to adjust your serving sizes accordingly.
Applesauce can be useful for hiding medication to make it more palatable for your pup. If you’re going to go that route, confirm with your vet that it is a suitable way to deliver medication.
Bottom line, if you’re looking for a sweet treat to share with your pup that is still on the healthy side, an apple might be the ideal choice. Grab a few slices or some homemade apple sauce, and allow your best friend to chow down. Remember to enjoy the enthusiastic crunches as your dog enjoys their tasty treat.
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