Nothing says autumn like apples! Maybe you’re prepping a baked apple crumble and your dog wanders into the kitchen looking for those delicious smells. Do you treat her with a fresh slice of apple? If you’ve ever wondered “can dogs eat apples,” we’ve got your answers.
Usually, apples are a healthy, low-calorie, and affordable treat for dogs. They contain antioxidants, dietary fibre, vitamin A, and vitamin C. They also freshen up doggy breath and help with dental hygiene!
Still, you’ll want to exercise some caution about the parts of the apple your dog eats. Here are some different ways your dog can eat apples and what you’ll want to avoid.
A single apple is rich in potassium, fibre, vitamins A and C. A single apple also averages about 25 grams of sugar. While a whole apple might be too much sugar for your furry friend, peeled cubes of raw apple are a tasty treat that you can split with your dog.
It’s best to cut an apple into bite-sized chunks before serving. Be sure to remove all seeds and toss out the apple core (see more info below.) Introduce apples into your dog’s diet gradually, and serve in moderation as a treat or added to your dog’s usual meal.
If your dog has diabetes, consult your vet about a recommended amount of apples (or any fruit) that your pet can eat. Apples should be a supplement to their meals or a spontaneous treat, never a full meal substitute.
While the flesh of the apple is fine for dogs, skip the apple core. An apple’s core isn’t pet-friendly, mostly because the thick, tough core can get caught in their throat. If your dog does go for an apple core and you see them start to chow down, don’t panic.
If your dog is able to chew the core thoroughly and swallow it, then simply keep an eye on him. If your dog is choking, he will probably panic. You may see him paw at his mouth, which is when you’ll want to gently try to remove the core with your fingers. PetMD has steps for how to remove an obstruction and perform Heimlich on your pet here.
The core also has seeds, which contain a trace amount of poisonous cyanide you want to avoid feeding to your dog. When serving a slice of apple to your dog, wash it free of seeds, and slice off any of the tough core.
If you have an apple tree in the back garden or in any area that your dog might be, keep an eye on fallen fruits. We never know what our dogs will play with, gnaw on, or eat. While you don’t necessarily want to call your vet over one apple seed, if you notice any lethargy or digestive discomfort, consult your vet about apple seed accumulation or too much fruit.
In moderation. If pieces of peel are on the slices of apple, that’s okay. We recommended fully peeling the apple first and splitting slices of the apple with your best friend.
If you’re working on an apple pie and slices of peel drop to the floor, your dog will be okay if he eats a few. Any more than a few, however, and your dog can experience uncomfortable indigestion. Apple peels aren’t suitable as treats.
A dog-friendly apple recipe is a great way to use up those back garden apples. Unsweetened applesauce is also a great dog treat in small amounts – just not for puppies.
In general, cooked plain apples are just fine for your pet. However, you’ll want to be careful of any human apple treats. If your dog likes to go for any food item left unattended, keep an eye on your apple pie or anything spiced with nutmeg this season. Nutmeg is highly toxic to dogs as it contains a toxin called myristicin, which can cause issues if ingested. Thankfully, the amount used in baked goods such as apple pie is low enough that the most likely reaction is mild stomach upset. Watch out for the following symptoms if your dog has eaten apple pie or anything that contains nutmeg, however:
- Increased heart rate
- Dry mouth
If your dog exhibits any of these symptoms or has continued vomiting or diarrhoea after eating some of your pie, it’s time to visit the vet ASAP.
Find out more about which spices are safe or toxic for dogs in this article.
Featured image: Flickr/MassTravel