Can Dogs Eat Apples? Effects of Apples for Dogs as a Dog Food

can dogs eat apples

Yes, dogs can eat apples safely — as long as the core and seeds are removed. Apples are packed with Vitamin C and A. They are a good fiber source for all breeds of dogs, and they are low in fat and protein. Apples are also a perfect snack for older dogs. 

What are the Benefits of Apples for Dogs?

The benefits of apples for dogs are listed below.

  • Apples are affordable, and they make low-calorie snacks for dogs with valuable nutrients.
  • Apples are high in fiber and low in protein, valuable to relieve digestive issues in dogs. 
  • Apples are ideal for senior dogs with certain illnesses that require low amounts of fat and protein.
  • Apples are excellent sources of vitamins K, C, and A to keep dogs’ hearts, nerves, and blood cells healthy.
  • Apples have high calcium and phosphorus levels to help dogs to build strong teeth and bones.
  • Apples contain antioxidants that might help ward off cancer in dogs and reduce joint disease symptoms.
  • Apple treats contain malic acid that will benefit dental health and keep the dog’s breath fresh.
  • Apples are relatively low in calories, and many canines love the crunch, as well as the taste.

How Can Apples Harm Dogs?

The possible harms of apples to dogs are listed below.

  • Apple seeds contain small amounts of cyanide, which is toxic for dogs, although a few seeds would not have adverse effects on a dog.
  • Although only suggested, the stems also pose dangers, so, best to be safe and remove the stems before giving a dog an apple treat.
  • Apple cores are tough to chew and could pose choking hazards for dogs.
  • Apple cores could also cause blockages in the digestive systems of dogs.
  • Apples contain high levels of sugar, which could harm dogs with diabetes or cancer.
  • Too much sugar in apples could cause stomach upsets and diarrhea, even in healthy dogs.
  • Apple flavored products could contain artificial flavors and preservatives that can harm dogs.
  • Apple flavored products could contain either lots of sugar or artificial sweeteners like xylitol, which is toxic for dogs.
  • Many apples bought from supermarkets are coated with pesticides or herbicides and substances to make them shinier, all of which could harm dogs’ health.
  • Dogs could have allergies to apples, so test small apple pieces first to check for allergic reactions.

Apples pose some risks of harm because some parts are toxic for dogs. In order to avoid eating harmful food for dogs, learn more about what dogs can eat

When Should a Dog Eat Apples?

The best times to give dogs apples are listed below.

  • Apples contain high levels of sugar, which boosts energy, so avoid giving a dog an apple snack at bedtime.
  • Chewing an apple treat in the morning helps clean a dog’s teeth and freshens breath.
  • The vitamin C in apples encourages strong bones and joints in puppies.
  • A daily apple treat will boost a dog’s immune system.

How Many Apples Can a Dog Eat per Day?

A dog can eat several slices of apples per day without having any kind of health issues. 

Eating too many apples can result in diarrhea and may upset the stomach. Moreover, apples contain high amounts of sugar, which can cause problems for puppies who suffer from diabetes or cancer.

The amount of apples a dog can eat per day is based on the factors listed below.

  • The size and weight of the dog determine the size of a healthy portion of apples. Remember that any treat, including apples, should not be more than 10% of a dog’s daily calorie intake.
  • A small apple contains only about 50 calories.
  • Keep moderation in mind when giving a dog apples because too much could cause stomach upset or diarrhea.
  • A large dog like an Alaskan Malamute or an Afghan Hound can have half an apple chopped into pieces — without pips, core and stem.
  • Medium dogs like Beagles or Cocker Spaniels can eat three or four slices of apple per day.
  • A small dog like a Maltese or a Pomeranian should not eat more than two slices of apple, finely chopped to avoid choking.
  • The dog’s daily calorie intake is an important aspect because the total amount of treats per day must not exceed 10% of the daily calories.
  • Consider the dog’s underlying health issues when deciding how many apples to serve.
  • The activity level of the dog is an essential aspect of managing weight.

Which Nutrients in Apples Benefit Dogs’ Health?

The nutrients in apples that benefit dogs’ health are listed below.

All apples are packed with potassium, calcium, zinc, protein, and vitamins B6 and B12.

  • Calcium: Apples are a significant source of calcium for dogs. One or two slices will provide a healthy dose of calcium to help build strong bones and teeth in dogs.
  • Potassium: Although apples are not a rich source of potassium, they contain some. Potassium is an electrolyte mineral essential for a dog’s blood circulation, muscle activity, and heart and brain function. A lack of potassium could cause irregular heartbeat, a condition called Arrhythmia. Potassium also limits cholesterol, fat, and other harmful substances to build up and cause hardening of the arteries — a condition that could lead to numerous health problems.
  • Vitamin C: Vitamin C is essential for the growth, development, and repair of all body tissues in dogs. It is involved in multiple body functions, like absorption of iron, formation of collagen, the correct immune system functioning, wound healing, and the maintenance of bones, teeth, and cartilage.
  • B Vitamins: B-complex vitamins are also present in apples. It includes thiamin, riboflavin, and vitamin B-6, all essential in maintaining red blood cells and keeping a dog’s nervous system strong and healthy.
  • Vitamin K: Vitamin K in apples helps to make proteins, which strengthens your bones and encourages normal blood clotting in dogs.
  • Dietary Fiber: Apples are packed with dietary fiber, which is a type of carbohydrate. It helps to prevent and relieve constipation in dogs. It also helps to maintain a healthy weight and lowers cholesterol levels. It can reduce your dog’s risk of heart disease, diabetes, and some types of cancer.
  • Phytonutrients: Apples also include many phytonutrient compounds that function as antioxidants to protect dogs against free radical damage. Furthermore, they can provide anti-inflammatory effects and enhance Doggo’s immune system.
  • Minerals: Apples boost essential minerals like calcium, phosphorus, and potassium. Dog’s bodies require calcium to strengthen bones, potassium to build muscle, and phosphorus to filter waste.

Which Nutrients in Apples Can Harm Dogs’ Health?

The nutrients in apples that can harm dogs and examples are listed below:

  • Sugar: The sugar content of a medium apple is about 25 grams. That is a lot for a dog, especially if the dog is diabetic. Sugar is never a healthy nutrient in anything fed to a dog. Dog owners must avoid store-bought processed apple products containing artificial sweeteners like xylitol, which is toxic and fatal for dogs.
  • Cyanide: Apple seeds contain small amounts of cyanide, which is set free if a dog chews them. However, a few apple seeds will not harm a dog.
  • Apple Skin: Most of the dietary fiber in apples is in the skin. While many people avoid giving their dogs apple peels, they are healthy in moderate amounts and safe when cut or grated into fine pieces.
  • Apple Cores: Apple cores are tough to chew, especially for small dogs. Look out for signs of choking, which could include diarrhea, vomiting, lethargy, and a painful abdomen in dogs. Consult with a veterinarian immediately.
  • Allergies: In rare cases, dogs have allergic reactions to apples. Symptoms are coughing, sneezing, swelling in the face or tongue, breathing problems, and hives. Consult with a veterinarian.

Can Apples Affect a Dog’s Mood?

Yes, apples can affect a dog’s mood. So, what is there in apples that can improve a dog’s mood?

Vitamin B6 in apples produces neurohormones like norepinephrine, which plays an essential role in causing a good mood in dogs.

Can Baby Dogs (Puppies) Eat Apples?

Yes, puppies can eat apples. It is a nutritious and tasty treat for young puppies, but it must be given in moderation. Apples are a healthy food, safe for puppies because, in small amounts, they could help with the digestion of newborn puppies. A few bites at a time is enough to keep tummy trouble away.

Apples are an excellent source of Vitamins A and C and also fiber for puppies. It’s important not to let a pup eat the seeds or the core, as they can be harmful and difficult to digest. Apples are low in fat and protein and make a great snack for dogs of all ages.

Can Older Dogs Eat Apples?

Older dogs can eat apples; in fact, it is a healthy choice of treat. Dogs’ bodies naturally manufacture Vitamin C. However, as they age, their systems’ ability to produce Vitamin C is diminished. For that reason, a daily apple treat can benefit any aging dog.

Another reason that makes apples a brilliant and healthy choice for older dogs is the potassium in apples that prevent cholesterol problems and multiple nutrients that can support the dog’s health as it ages.

Should Different Dog Breeds Eat Different Amounts of Apples?

Yes, different dog breeds should eat different amounts of apples. However, it is not the breed but the breed’s size that determines how many apples a dog should eat per day. Puppies, small breeds, large breeds, pregnant and aging dogs need varying amounts of nutritional content in their diets, and the same applies to apples.

  • According to general rules, toy and small breeds like Chihuahuas and Pekingese should not eat more than one slice of an apple, chopped in pieces or grated, per day.
  • Medium-sized dogs such as Siberian Huskies and Dalmatians can eat two or three slices of apples per day.
  • Large dog breeds like Bullmastiffs and Great Danes can have half of a medium-sized apple per day. 

Are Apples More Beneficial for Some Dog Breeds?

No, apples are equally beneficial for all breeds. Apples offer significant health benefits for all dog breeds.

Are Apples Less Beneficial for Some Dog Breeds?

No, apples are not less beneficial for some breeds of dogs. As long as owners avoid over-providing apple treats and prevent their dogs from eating apple cores and seeds.

Which Apple Recipes and Parts Can Be Eaten Safely by Dogs?

Apples are generally a treat that pet parents and their dogs can share safely. Apples are an excellent source of vitamins C and A and also fiber for your dog. Apples are low in protein and fat, making them the perfect snack for dogs from puppy stage to senior dogs.

  • Can Dogs Eat Apple Skin Safely?

Yes, dogs can eat apple skins safely. However, it can cause upset stomachs if they ingest too much. So, due diligence is necessary when deciding to share an apple with a dog. Most of the fiber is in the skin. To be safe, grate the skin along with the apple or leave them on thinly sliced apple pieces.

  • Can Dogs Eat Green Apples Safely?

Yes, dogs can eat green apples. The green apples are typically the more tangy tasting like Granny Smith, and like humans, some dogs might prefer the sweeter varieties.

  • Can Dogs Eat Red Apples Safely?

Yes, dogs can eat red apples safely. However, keep the sugar content in mind and give small dogs one to two slices, medium-sized dogs three to four slices, and large dogs half a red apple per day.

  • Can Dogs Eat Yellow Apples Safely?

Yes, dogs can eat yellow apples safely. Dogs that are not so keen on the tangy Granny Smith variety might prefer the Golden Delicious apple type because they are slightly sweeter than green apples but not as sweet as red apples.

  • Can Dogs Eat Apple Pie Safely?

No, dogs cannot eat apple pie safely. Apple pie can be harmful to dogs because of the butter, sugar, and nutmeg, which can harm a dog. However, a homemade apple pie with the canine in mind could be safe. When making the apple pie, avoid processed products like canned apples with preservatives. Limit the fat and sugar, add a bit of cinnamon instead of nutmeg, and the dog and owner can share a healthy apple pie.

  • Can Dogs Eat Dried Apples Safely?

No, dogs cannot eat dried apples safely. Store-bought dried apples should be avoided because they typically contain extra sugar, salt, and preservatives, all of which can harm a dog. However, drying thin slices on parchment paper in a hot oven can provide an awesome, healthy snack for doggies.

  • Can Dogs Eat Apple Baby Food Safely?

Yes, dogs can eat apple baby food safely. However, only feed your canine baby food if there is a valid medical reason. Although baby food is not dangerous for dogs, it is not recommended as a regular treat. Baby food formulas are based on the nutritional needs of babies, which is very different from the requirements of dogs.

  • Can Dogs Eat Frozen Apples Safely?

Yes, dogs can eat frozen apples safely. However, once the apples are frozen, they must stay frozen. When left out to thaw, it turns into a brown mush. Freeze thin slices or grate the apple and freeze in ice trays for a dog’s treats on hot summer days.

Which Apple Parts Can’t Be Eaten Safely by Dogs?

When giving dogs apples, keep the following in mind because some parts of apples are not safe for dogs.

The key pointers are listed below:

  • Apple Seeds

Remove the seeds before giving apples to dogs. The seeds contain trace amounts of cyanide, which is toxic for dogs. However, a few seeds will do no harm.

  • Apple Skins 

Feel free to give the dog apple skins, finely cut or grated — they are full of fiber and a valuable dietary benefit. However, too many apple skins could cause gastrointestinal problems.

  • Apple Core

Apple cores are tough to chew and could pose choking hazards or cause blockages in the dogs’ intestines. Always remove the core when preparing a dog’s apple treats.

Which Dog Food Brands Add Apples to their Dog Foods?

Some dog food manufacturers include apples in their recipes for making dog foods. Examples are listed below:

  1. Hill’s® Grain-Free Crunchy Naturals with Chicken & Apples dog treats are delicious, natural, and made from only the best ingredients. Every treat is grain-free and made with high-quality chicken and real apples that will make your dog happy. Not artificially preserved or flavored.
  2. ACANA® Singles Limited Ingredient Diet Lamb & Apple food for dogs is loaded with more lamb, fewer legumes, and no peas for enhanced nutrition. Our enhanced recipe** includes 65%* quality ingredients from a single animal source and is complemented with whole, delicious apples.
  3. Addiction Wild Kangaroo & Apples ensures a balanced, nutritious meal for your dogs! With apples rich in pectin that promotes vitality and digestive health, and berries containing antioxidants to support the immune system, It’s completely grain-free and made with the finest natural ingredients, including taurine, for your dog’s heart health.

Can Eating Apples Cause Diseases in Dogs?

Yes, eating apples can cause illness in dogs. In general, apples do not pose a threat to dogs. Some parts, however, are harmful, and excessive consumption can result in bad health.

The potential health risks are listed below:

  • The seeds of apples contain trace amounts of cyanide, which is released when a dog bites or chews them. However, the amount of the toxic substance is so small that a few seeds will cause no harm. A dog has to consume a lot of apple seeds to be affected.
  • Apple cores can cause problems, although they are not poisonous. The danger is in the size and toughness of the core that could cause a dog to choke on it. Another health risk for dogs involves an apple core that is swallowed and then causes a blockage in the dog’s gastrointestinal system.
  • Apples themselves can cause stomach problems like diarrhea or constipation if the dog eats too much or eats large chunks of apples.

Can Dogs Eat Apples When They are Sick?

Yes, dogs can eat apples when they are sick. However, apples will merely serve as nutrition and not as a healer of disease. Also, if a sick dog eats too many apples, it could do more harm than good.

Can An Anemic Dog Eat Apples?

Yes, anemic dogs can eat apples. Apples are healthy and a rich source of iron, making them a delicious option for canines to boost their hemoglobin levels. If an anemic dog will drink chicken stock, add some liquidized or cubed apple to it. 

Can Dogs With Kidney Disease Eat Apples?

A dog with kidney disease must eat a low protein diet. Apples are the ideal treat for dogs with kidney disease because they are low in protein.

Can Dogs Eat Apples to Help With Diarrhea?

Yes, apples can benefit a dog with diarrhea. The pectin in apples can help to settle a dog’s stomach. Make homemade applesauce with no additives and give a dog small portions.

Can a Nursing Dog Eat Apples?

Yes, nursing dogs can eat apples — But No Seeds. Apples are packed with Vitamins A and C, and also fiber, beneficial for Mama-dog and her puppies.

What Else can Dogs Eat along with apples?

Many ‘human foods’ can safely be added to a dog’s apple treat.

The list below contains some examples:

  • Peanut Butter

Dogs can eat moderate amounts of peanut butter along with their apple treats. However, checking the label for artificial flavors, preservatives, and especially toxic sweeteners like xylitol, is crucial.

  • Cinnamon

Cinnamon is not toxic to dogs. Adding some to Doggo’s treat is perfectly safe. However, chewing on a cinnamon stick and cinnamon essential oil or ground cinnamon could irritate your canine’s mouth. If a dog inhales cinnamon powder, it can cause your dog to choke, cough, and have breathing problems.

  • Pear

Yes, dogs can eat pears. Pears are high in vitamins K and C and also copper and fiber. Pears are the perfect snack to accompany a dog’s apple treat. However, like apples, the seeds of pears are toxic and should be removed.

  • Banana

Dogs can certainly eat bananas along with their apple snacks. Bananas are healthy, fat-free, low-calorie treats. They are packed with nutrients and are low in cholesterol to support your dog’s overall health.

Which Dog Treat Recipes Contain Apples?

There are numerous recipes available for making dog treats containing apples. The following three-ingredient combination recipes are widely available:

The main ingredient for these treats is apples.

  • Puree cooked apples and mix them with oatmeal and peanut butter for baked cookies.
  • Chopped apples, oats, and cinnamon make awesome baked bone-shape dog treats.
  • For a frozen treat, mix apple sauce, peanut butter, and sliced bananas and freeze in ice trays for a treat on hot days.
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Sarah Brady

Sarah Brady is an animal lover and the proud dog-mom of a Golden Retriever named Brody and an Italian Greyhound named Jessup. Unfortunately, Jessup developed serious allergies to many different types of dog foods and ingredients when she was just a puppy. Meanwhile, Brody could eat seemingly anything and carry on as healthy as could be. Sarah spent hours of time researching and testing different foods and brands before finding something that worked for little Jessup. She wants Dog Food Care to simplify this experience for future dog-parents who face food allergy or tolerance issues of their own.