YES, dogs and puppies can eat apples!
Are apples safe for dogs?
Apples are wonderful, crunchy and sweet treats for your dog, and like blueberries, they are a great treat you and your dog can share together (we love sharing apples with our pug Bunk). Apples are full of plant chemicals (phytonutrients) that are thought to be protective against some types of cancer in humans. They are a source of vitamins A and C and fiber. Apple seeds, however, contain cyanide so your dog should not be allowed to eat the core. Though the effects of a few apple seeds will likely not harm your dog, the deleterious effects can accumulate over time if allowed to eat apple seeds regularly. This is why we can feed dogs apples that have been sliced up and the seeds have been removed but not an entire apple. You can chop them, peel them or core them.
How to Feed Your Dog Apples
Our research (feeding our pug more apples than her probably deserves) tells us that dogs tend to like sweeter apples more than sour apples (I think this is also similar for people!). Dogs with sensitive digestion are said to tolerate apples well. The amount of apple you feed your dog should depend on the size of your dog. It should always be fed as a “treat” and not as a replacement of his or her daily meals, which are meant to provide all the nutrition for them. I have heard of people who have apple trees in their backyard and their dogs just go and eat the apples. This is for the most part OK, except you want to make sure they are only eating the outside and around the core but not the seeds. You also want to make sure they are not eating TOO many apples for that can cause indigestion and other tummy problems.
Health Benefits of Apples
Some believe apples can help keep your pooch healthy and that “An apple a day, keeps the VET away!”. One Shih Tzu mom (our neighbor) states, “One day our little Shih Tzu had the runs and a very bad fever. It got so bad that when he pooped, blood would come out in a sloppy bloody mess. We were so worried and we rushed him to the vet to see if he had been poisoned. ‘He just has a typical virus, he needs to rest,’ said the vet. We asked if we could give him anything and she said maybe little amount of not too sweet fruit except grapes. When we got home we gave him maybe 1/4 of a chopped up peeled apple. He like the treat and ate it all very quickly. Since he liked it, we continued to give the amount every day for one week. As the apples were given, his poop hardened, the loss of blood reduced to none, he had more energy, and his appetite was back up and running. I really think a bit of apple a day keeps the virus at bay!”
Give Your Dog Apples in Moderations
Allowing your dog to eat too much apple can not always be a good idea. For one, ingestion of too much apple can cause digestive upset. We know from experience that a dog with an upset stomach is not fun! Because dogs are naturally voracious eaters, precaution must be taken so that your dog will be prevented from helping himself on apples that have fallen off the trees. Apples contain natural sugars; unlike other dog treats, that contain processed sugar. However, eaten in large quantities, sugar will still contribute to the weight gain of the dog. Feeding your dog apples must be done in moderation. The phosphorous and calcium content of the fruit can worsen the condition of dogs with kidney trouble. While omega 6 fatty acids enhance the good condition of the coat, it also causes inflammation. Thus, you want to use caution when giving your dog apples if he or she has arthritis. Some dog owners have noticed when dogs are given more than that, they would seem to get hyper and energetic. Dogs should also not eat apples in large quantities because of choking hazards.
In conclusion, we encourage you to use apples as a small, crunchy, sweet treat for your canine friend daily! They are cheap, loved and keep their bowels healthy. It is much healthier than any of the made-made treats, and can really help with weight-control (especially if you are a pug like me!). Additionally, your pooch will look cuter than ever munching on the apple and making funny noises, two things all of us dog owners love to see our best friends do. Just make sure the apple seeds and core have been removed, and watch the quantity you give and you are all set!