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Can Dogs Safely Eat Apples? Why Not



Reviewed By: Dr. Joel Robertson

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Apples are often seen as a healthy snack for humans, but can their canine friends safely enjoy the same treat?

In this blog post, we’ll explore what you need to know about feeding your dog apples.

We will discuss the nutritional benefits of apples for dogs, how to feed them safely, and any potential dangers they may face from eating apples.

With this information, you can make sure that your pup is getting the most out of this tasty snack. So let’s dive in and find out if dogs can safely eat apples!

Key Takeaway

  • Dogs can safely eat apples as they provide vitamins and fiber, but should be given in moderation and without the core or seeds which can be harmful.
  • Apples provide dogs with essential nutrients such as dietary fiber, vitamins A and C, and antioxidants, which can contribute to a healthy diet when fed in moderation.
  • While apples are generally safe for dogs, the seeds and core should be avoided as they contain cyanide, a substance that can be harmful to dogs if consumed in large quantities.

Can Dogs Safely Eat Apples?

Can Dogs Safely Eat Apples Why Not

Yes, dogs can safely eat apples as they are a good source of vitamins A and C, potassium, antioxidants, and dietary fiber, but they should be given in moderation.

Apples are a healthy and safe snack for dogs when fed in appropriate quantities.

They are packed with essential nutrients like vitamin A, which supports vision health; vitamin C, an antioxidant that can help with tissue repair and boost the immune system; and potassium, which is vital for muscle function. Moreover, apples are rich in dietary fiber, which aids digestion.

However, it’s crucial to remember that while the flesh of an apple is beneficial, its seeds contain cyanide, which can be harmful if consumed in large amounts.

Therefore, always remove the apple’s core and seeds before feeding it to your dog.

It’s also recommended to feed apples in moderation since overconsumption can lead to gastrointestinal upset due to their high fiber content.

For puppies, apples can serve as a healthy training treat, but again, portion control is key.

Are Apples a Healthy Treat for Dogs?

Yes, apples are a healthy treat for dogs as they are low in calories and packed with essential nutrients like vitamins A and C, dietary fiber, and antioxidants.

Apples can be an excellent addition to your dog’s diet. They are not only tasty but also carry numerous health benefits.

These fruits are rich in vitamins A and C, which support vision health and immune function respectively, and dietary fiber that aids digestion.

Furthermore, apples are high in antioxidants that combat oxidative damage, promoting overall health.

However, while the apple’s flesh is beneficial, it’s important to note that their seeds contain cyanide, which can be harmful to dogs if ingested in large quantities.

Benefits Of Apples For Dogs

Apples provide several health benefits to dogs including being a source of essential vitamins, aiding in digestion, promoting dental health, and serving as a low-calorie treat.

Rich in Essential Vitamins

Apples are packed with essential vitamins such as A, C, and K. Vitamin A supports vision health, while vitamin C is an antioxidant that helps with tissue repair and boosts the immune system.

Vitamin K plays a crucial role in blood clotting and bone metabolism. These vitamins together contribute to your dog’s overall health and well-being.

Aids in Digestion

Apples are high in dietary fiber which aids in digestion. This can help keep your dog’s digestive system running smoothly, reducing the risk of constipation and promoting regular bowel movements.

Promotes Dental Health

The hard texture of apples can help clean your dog’s teeth and freshen their breath. Chewing on apple slices can scrape off plaque and tartar build-up, contributing to better dental health.

Low-Calorie Treat

Apples are a low-calorie treat, making them a good choice for dogs, especially those prone to obesity or on a weight management plan. They can satisfy a dog’s sweet tooth without adding unnecessary calories to their diet.

Rich in Antioxidants

Apples are rich in antioxidants that combat oxidative damage, promoting overall health. The antioxidants fight free radicals within your dog’s body that can cause cellular damage potentially leading to diseases.

Supports Immune Health

The vitamin C content in apples supports immune health, providing a healthy boost of antioxidants to battle against free radicals within your dog’s body.

Potential Risks of Dogs Eating Apples

Yes, while apples are generally safe for dogs to eat, there are potential risks including choking hazards, cyanide poisoning from seeds, and gastrointestinal upset from overconsumption.

Choking Hazards

One of the primary risks associated with feeding apples to dogs is the potential choking hazard. The hard texture of apples, especially when given as a whole or in large pieces, can pose a choking risk, particularly for smaller dogs or those that tend to gulp their food.

To mitigate this risk, it’s recommended to cut the apple into small, manageable pieces before giving them to your dog.

Cyanide Poisoning from Seeds

Apple seeds contain trace amounts of cyanide, a toxic substance for both humans and dogs. While a few seeds are unlikely to cause harm, consuming them in large amounts can lead to cyanide poisoning.

Symptoms of such poisoning can include dilated pupils, difficulty breathing, and excessive salivation. Therefore, always remove the core and seeds before feeding apples to your dog.

Gastrointestinal Upset from Overconsumption

Despite their health benefits, apples should be given in moderation. They are high in sugar and fiber, which, if consumed excessively, can lead to gastrointestinal upset, resulting in symptoms like nausea, vomiting, and changes in bowel movements.

To avoid this, start by giving small quantities and observe your dog for any adverse reactions.

Potential Allergic Reactions

Like humans, dogs can also have allergies to certain foods, including apples. Although rare, some dogs might show signs of an allergic reaction such as itching, swelling, difficulty breathing, or other discomforts. If you notice these symptoms after feeding your dog apples, it’s best to discontinue their use and consult your vet.

Changes in Behavior

Overconsumption of apples can lead to marked changes in behavior due to discomfort or pain from gastrointestinal upset. If your dog starts acting lethargic or unusual after eating apples, it could be a sign of distress, and you should seek veterinary advice.

Can You Give a Dog Too Much Apple?

Yes, it is possible to give a dog too much apple, which can lead to gastrointestinal upset due to its high fiber content and potentially contribute to weight gain due to its sugar content.

While apples are a healthy treat for dogs, they should be given in moderation.

Apples contain dietary fiber, and while fiber is beneficial for digestive health, excessive intake can cause gastrointestinal problems like diarrhea or constipation.

Additionally, despite being natural, the sugar in apples can add up, potentially contributing to weight gain if fed in large amounts regularly.

It’s also important to remember that apple seeds can be harmful to dogs as they contain cyanide. Therefore, always remove the core and seeds before giving apples to your dog.

How Many Apples Can a Dog Eat?

As a general rule, it’s often recommended that treats, including fruit like apples, should constitute no more than 10% of a dog’s daily caloric intake.

For example, if a healthy dog requires 1240 calories per day, their treat allowance would be about 124 calories.

Considering that an average medium-sized apple contains approximately 95 calories, this would equate to roughly one apple per day for a large dog.

However, for smaller dogs, a few slices would be sufficient.

Can Dogs Eat Apples With Skin?

Yes, dogs can eat apples with skin as it is safe and even beneficial due to its high fiber content, but it should be given in moderation.

The skin of an apple is not harmful to dogs. In fact, it can be beneficial as it contains a good amount of dietary fiber, which aids in digestion.

However, like the rest of the apple, the skin should be given in moderation. Overconsumption could lead to gastrointestinal upset like diarrhea or constipation.

When feeding your dog apples with skin, it’s crucial to thoroughly wash the fruit to remove any residual pesticides or chemicals, especially if they’re not organic.

Furthermore, always cut the apple into small, manageable pieces to prevent choking and remove the core and seeds, as these parts can pose a choking hazard and the seeds contain cyanide, which is toxic in large amounts.

See also: Can Dogs Safely Eat Bananas?

Can Dogs Eat Apple Cores?

While dogs can technically eat apple cores, it is generally not recommended due to the potential risk of choking and the presence of small amounts of cyanide in apple seeds.

Feeding apple cores to dogs is a topic that generates mixed opinions. While the flesh of the apple is healthy for dogs, the core poses certain risks.

The main concern is the choking hazard that the hardcore could present, especially for smaller dogs.

The seeds within the core also contain trace amounts of cyanide, a toxic substance.

However, a dog would need to consume a large number of seeds and chew them thoroughly to release enough cyanide to be harmful.

Can Dogs Eat Apple Seeds?

Dogs should not eat apple seeds as they contain cyanide, a toxic substance, although the risk of harm is relatively small unless consumed in large quantities.

Apple seeds do contain trace amounts of cyanide, which is toxic to both humans and dogs.

However, the level of cyanide in apple seeds is extremely low and would typically require a significant amount to cause harm.

In reality, a dog would have to consume, and thoroughly chew, a large number of apple seeds to ingest enough cyanide to be harmful.

Can Dogs Eat Applesauce?

Yes, dogs can eat applesauce, but it should be unsweetened and offered in moderation.

Applesauce is essentially pureed apple, a fruit that is safe for dogs to eat. However, it’s important that the applesauce given to dogs is unsweetened.

This is because sugar and artificial sweeteners, like xylitol found in some types of applesauce, are not healthy for dogs.

Xylitol is particularly dangerous as it can lead to a rapid drop in a dog’s blood sugar levels, causing symptoms like weakness, collapse, and seizures.

Recipes: Apple Dog Treats

  1. Apple Carrot Dog Biscuits: This recipe combines the health benefits of apples and carrots into a tasty treat for your dog. The ingredients include whole wheat flour, oats, an optional tablespoon of brown sugar, and a cored apple. These biscuits are not only delicious but also provide your dog with fiber and essential vitamins.
  2. Homemade Apple Dog Treats: These treats are a perfect fall delight for your pup, combining fresh apples with yogurt, cinnamon, and ginger. They’re easy to make and offer a unique blend of flavors that your dog is sure to enjoy.
  3. Sweet Potato and Apple Dog Treats: A fantastic option for dogs with wheat allergies, these treats consist of sweet potatoes, grated Gala or Honey Crisp apple, and either rice or nut flour. They’re not only delicious, but they also provide a good source of dietary fiber for your dog.


Q: Are apples toxic to dogs?

A: No, apples are generally safe for dogs to eat. However, the seeds and core should be avoided.

Q: Can dogs eat other fruits besides apples?

A: Yes, dogs can eat a variety of fruits and vegetables. However, it is important to research which ones are safe for dogs before feeding them.

Conclusion and final thoughts

In conclusion, apples are generally safe for dogs to eat in moderation. Due to their sugar content, they should not be given too often and in large amounts.

Apples can also provide some essential nutrients such as Vitamin A and C that can benefit your dog’s health.

The best way to serve apples is to cut them into small pieces and if you do decide to give them to your dog, make sure you check for any seeds or stems first.

With proper caution and moderation, apples can be a great snack for your pup!

Please take the time and leave a comment below if this article helped you, or you have any additional questions.

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