Can Dogs Eat Apples? | PUPPYFAQS

Can Dogs Eat Apples?

can dogs eat apples

You may have heard somewhere or from someone that apples are great for helping to keep your dog’s teeth clean. 

It’s true that apples are fresh and juicy and leave your breath smelling fruity, but can dogs eat apples? 

Are apples safe to feed to dogs? 

Can your dog get sick from eating a whole apple? 

What about the pips and the skin, or different types of apple? 

And are apples perfect teeth cleaners for your pet? 

In this article, we will look at all of these questions and find out the bottom line when it comes to feeding apples to your dog.

In this article, we will discuss:

  • How are apples good for dogs?
  • When are apples bad for dogs?
  • How can you feed apples safely to your dog?
  • Can dogs eat apples?
  • Do apples clean your dog’s teeth?
  • How to incorporate apples into your dog’s diet
can dogs eat apples

How Are Apples Good For Dogs?

An apple a day keeps the doctor away! But is this the case for dogs too? The good news is that apples can be fed safely to dogs. 

Apples can be very good for your dog’s health. You may have noticed that apples are a common ingredient included in healthy dog treats and dog food. 

This is because they are packed full of nutrients and are hugely beneficial to your dog’s health.

Apples are low in protein and high in fiber. Although dogs need a diet that is high in protein for optimal health, they also need plenty of fiber for healthy digestion, bowel movements, and functional gastrointestinal health in general. 

If your dog has a restrictive diet due to health issues, then apples can be a great food to add to their diet. 

Related Topic: Can dogs eat bananas?

They especially make great treats for dogs that need a diet that is low in fat and protein, like senior dogs with specific health problems and illnesses.

Apples contain vitamins A, C, and K, and also contain calcium and phosphorus. 

They are high in antioxidants too, which is a good thing if you are conscious of wanting to ward off cancer or reduce the symptoms of joint disease.


When Are Apples Bad For Dogs?

Despite the various health benefits of apples for dogs, you still need to be careful, as not all parts of the apple are safe for dogs to eat. 

For example, the core and seeds should always be removed, and you should take care to only feed apples in moderation to avoid gastrointestinal upset.

It is particularly essential to remove apple seeds before feeding slices of fresh apple to your dog because the seeds contain trace amounts of cyanide, which is toxic to dogs. 

You don’t need to panic if your dog swallows a few seeds as this is unlikely to cause any harm, but if your dog has had a binging spree. 

You have found him chewing his way through the fallen apples in your garden and therefore has probably consumed a fair amount of apple seeds along the way. Then you may have cause for concern.

It would be best if you took care to remove the stems of the apples too, to be on the safe side, as some say that these can also be dangerous for dogs. 

Likewise, the core of the apple is best removed before serving apple to your dog since it is quite severe, and if your dog is not able to chew it properly, then it may cause a choking hazard. 

This is especially true if your dog is quite small, as it may also lead to gastrointestinal blockage if swallowed whole.

Another concern about the safety of apples for dogs is the high sugar content. Dogs that have cancer or diabetes may have to avoid apples altogether. 

Still, even healthy dogs should only eat apples in moderation as overeating could easily lead to an upset stomach and a bout of diarrhea, which is uncomfortable for your dog and unpleasant for you.

You should avoid apple-flavored human foods when it comes to feeding your dog treats and titbits, as these always contain high amounts of sugar and other sweeteners. 

Some artificial sweeteners, like xylitol, are highly toxic to dogs, too, so don’t be fooled by low-calorie apple desserts. 

The chemicals that many human products contain are also unhealthy and unnecessary for your dog to be consuming.


How Can You Feed Apples Safely To Your Dog?

If you would like to offer apples to your dog as a treat or as a boost to his diet, the best way to serve them is cored, removing stems and pips, and then cut them into slices or chunks big enough for your dog. You can leave the skins on.

Go for fresh and ripe organic apples, avoiding supermarket apples that look too shiny, because these are usually coated with substances to enhance their shine and make them look even more appealing to consumers. 

You can rid the fruit of any herbicides and pesticides by washing thoroughly before feeding them to your pet.

If you are feeding apples to your dog for the first time, you should pay attention to your dog and watch out for any signs of an allergic reaction. 

If your dog is allergic to apples, then the allergic reaction may lead to anaphylaxis, which is a life-threatening condition. Although this is rare, it’s always good to be on the safe side.

Here is a list of allergy symptoms to look out for in your dog:

  • Coughing
  • Sneezing
  • Hives
  • Swelling
  • Difficulty breathing

If you notice any of these signs, take your vet to be seen by a veterinarian immediately, or in the very least call a vet helpline for advice.

are apples safe for dogs

Do Apples Clean Your Dog’s Teeth?

You may be hoping that feeding your dog an apple a day could be an easy way to clean their teeth, especially if your dog won’t let you near their mouth with a toothbrush.

You will be pleased to know that apples can undoubtedly help to clean your dog’s teeth, but they are certainly not a substitute for proper and regular teeth cleaning. 

A more effective way to help keep your dog’s teeth healthy and clean is to offer them fresh raw meaty bones to gnaw on once or twice a week, as this is a very natural way for your dog to keep their teeth clean. 

It would be best if you always chose bones that are suitable for your dog, though, to prevent other teeth problems like fractures and broken teeth.

If you have a dog with bad breath, then apples make excellent treats that help to sweeten the breath. 

Although if your dog has terrible breath, your priority should always be to work out why and not just how to cover it up, as your dog may be suffering from bad oral health or by eating other foods that are causing problems with the dog’s digestion.

How To Incorporate Apples Into Your Dog’s Diet

Aside from feeding fresh sliced apples to your dog, you may decide to get creative and try out some other ways to feed apples to your dog. Check out some of these fun ideas…

  • Homemade unsweetened applesauce can be added to your dog’s meal or fed separately for a yummy treat that will guarantee a polished clean doggy bowl. A dash of cinnamon can be added too, but be sure not to substitute cinnamon with nutmeg as this can be harmful to your dog. If you have ever heard of a “licking mat,” then applesauce would be perfect for smearing on the mat for your dog to lick. You can even get mats that stick to a vertical surface and help to keep your dog occupied while you attend to grooming, washing, or anything else that generally your dog wouldn’t let you do!
  • Frozen apple sauce cubes using a variety of tasty and healthy ingredients can be made and given as treats on a warm day to help cool your dog down. Alternatively, you can fill your dog’s Kong toy and freeze it for a tasty, long-lasting treat.
  • Dehydrated apple slices remove the moisture from the apple, making them an excellent option for dry treats to take out on a walk with you to help practice your dog’s recall.

Summary: Can dogs eat apples?

It’s great when you discover an affordable natural human food that your dog can also enjoy as a treat, with great health benefits. 

Apples are the perfect option because we all tend to have apples in our fruit bowls at home. 

As long as you follow the advice set out in this article, then your dog should be able to enjoy eating his apple treats safely. 

If you do have an apple tree in your garden, you should always supervise your dog when the apples are falling to the ground to avoid accidents and hefty vet bills, not to mention the threat to your dog’s life. Erecting a fence around an apple tree can be an excellent option to keep your dog at bay.

can dogs eat apples


I'm a self-employed blogger, life-long pet parent, and lover of dogs. I have always loved animals, especially puppies. So when my family got our first dog 15 years ago, it was love at first sight. We named her Sassy because she was so small, cute, and had a sassy personality! Once we got her home, I wanted to know everything about caring for her, so I researched online. Eventually, this led me to create the PUPPYFAQS website, where I write about nutrition, health, and care of puppies and the latest news in the world of puppies. In my spare time, I volunteer at my local shelter, which is run by volunteers who are passionate about helping homeless dogs find their forever homes. If I'm not working or volunteering for dogs, you can find me spending time with my family, friends, and my puppy. I have been writing professionally online since 2009. In addition to PUPPYFAQS, I also write for several other pet-related publications.

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