Read time: 7 mins
27 Mar 2023
Dogs are our loyal companions, and we always want to make sure that they are happy and healthy so that they can live their best life. As pet owners, it is difficult to know what kind of food we can and cannot feed our dogs.
One fruit that is often questioned is apple. Can dogs eat apples, and if so, what are the benefits and potential risks of feeding this fruit to our pooches?
Yes, in the correct form and controlled quantities, apples are a great addition to a dog’s diet.
Bite-sized pieces of apple (which varies from dog to dog based on their size) is the perfect snack. The sweet taste and juicy texture is sure to give your dog’s taste buds joy all-round. They are packed with vitamins, minerals, and fibre, as well as being low in fat and calories, perfect for dogs who are trying to maintain a healthy weight.
Apples are also a rich source of antioxidants, which can boost a dog's immune system and protect them against disease, helping them to live appley-ever-after.
Apples contain a whole host of nutrients that can provide many health benefits for dogs. Here are some of the key benefits of apples for dogs:
Apples are a good source of Vitamin C which is essential for the support of a dog’s immune system. They also contain plenty of Vitamin K which helps blood to clot, starting the healing process if a dog becomes wounded. To top it off, apples contain good levels of Vitamin A which is needed for cell production, as well as maintaining healthy bones.
Apples contain potassium, phosphorus, and calcium, which are essential minerals for dogs. Potassium helps to regulate blood pressure, while phosphorus and calcium are important for building and maintaining strong bones and teeth.
Apples are a good source of fibre, which can help to keep a dog's digestive system healthy and prevent constipation. Healthy poo coming through.
Apples contain antioxidants, such as quercetin and catechins, which can help to protect a dog's cells from damage caused by free radicals.
Sure, they're nutritious, but apples also provide a refreshing treat with a crunchy texture that dogs love.
A general rule of thumb is to limit apples to no more than 10% of your dog's daily calorie intake. There are a few things you should bear in mind when feeding apples to your pooch:
Cut the apple into bite-sized pieces
To make it easier for your dog to chew and swallow, it is best to cut the apple into small pieces (to suit their size) and feed one piece at a time. This will help to prevent your dog from choking.
Remove the seeds
These contain small amounts of cyanide. They're not deadly (phew), but you really don’t want your dog to be eating them too often.
Remove the core
This can scratch the throat and could possibly be a choking hazard.
Limit the amount of apples
While apples are a healthy and nutritious snack for dogs, it is important to limit the volume that you give to your furry friend. Apples are high in sugar, and too much can cause digestive problems and weight gain.
Dogs can enjoy all types, but green apples are generally best. That's because they're not as sweet as red ones and contain less sugar, making them a better choice for dogs. Varieties such as Crispin, Granny Smith and Pippin are perfect treats for pooches.
As with any new food, there are a few considerations to be aware of before feeding your dog apples.
If your dog is not used to eating apples, they may experience symptoms of an upset stomach, such as diarrhoea or vomiting. It is important to introduce apples slowly into your dog's diet and monitor their reaction.
Some dogs may be intolerant to apples and as a result may experience symptoms such as itching, swelling, and difficulty breathing. If you suspect that your dog has an intolerance to apples, it is important to seek advice from your vet immediately.
Interaction with medications
Apples contain a compound called pectin, which can interact with certain medications and reduce their effectiveness. If your dog is taking any medications, it is important to talk to your vet before introducing apples to their diet.
No, dogs should not eat apple cores and seeds.
The core and seeds of an apple contain small amounts of cyanide, which can be toxic to dogs if consumed in large quantities. To avoid this happening, it is important to remove the core and seeds before letting your dog chow down on an apple.
No, we would not recommend feeding your dog apple juice.
In juice form, apples can actually induce diarrhoea in dogs as they will not benefit from the fibre that a raw apple would have. It is also likely that store-bought apple juices will contain added sugar, artificial colours and flavourings, all of which will wreak havoc to your dog's digestive system.
Apple cider vinegar is more frequently used in everyday, modern life due to its whole host of benefits to humans,
But, do these benefits extend to our pooches?
Apple cider vinegar can be given to dogs internally or externally, as part of a topical treatment. It MUST be diluted with water or food and NOT given in its pure, undiluted form.
You should be mindful of the type and quality of apple cider vinegar that you purchase for your dog. It should be raw, organic and unfiltered, so that no additives or pesticides are used in the manufacturing process.
Whilst we recommend exercising caution when giving dogs apple cider vinegar, if used correctly it can help in a multitude of ways.
• Helps to minimise dandruff and dry, flaky skin
• Helps to maintain gastrointestinal health
• Helps to regulate blood sugar, particularly useful for dogs with diabetes
• Helps to alleviate muscle and joint pain, due to its anti-inflammatory properties
Ear infections and irritations in dogs often occur due to yeast overgrowth or unwanted bacteria. Apple cider vinegar can be used to clean the affected area and neutralise the skins pH.
Apple cider vinegar should never be used undiluted or on raw/open skin as its acidity will burn and hurt your pooch.
The ratio for apple cider vinegar to water should be 50/50. Warm water will provide extra soothing. Soak a cotton ball or pad in the mixture and gently wipe their ears until all of the infection residue has been removed. Be careful not to allow too much of the mixture to drip into the ear canal as this can cause further problems.
For some dogs, apple cider vinegar will simply just not sit right with them. For others, they might have a reaction due to the volume used. You should be sure to start with a small, diluted amount. If your dog experiences any of the following symptoms be sure to stop using apple cider vinegar immediately:
• Skin redness and itchiness
As much as we all might love apples, variety is the spice of life and all that jazz. So what other fruits can you feed your dog as part of a healthy diet? According to the PDSA, the following fruits are pooch-safe:
You should ensure to remove any rind, stones, pits, cores or seeds from all of the above fruits.
If you like the idea of getting some apples into your dog’s diet so that they can benefit from the multitude of benefits, choosing a dog food that uses fresh, human-quality ingredients is a sure way to do just that.
At Butternut Box, we use fibre-rich apples in a number of our recipes such as Pork Of The Town and Tuck In Chicken, as well as in our treats; Chicken and Salmon Sausies, Pork Smile Sticks and Chicken Bish Bash Broth. A guaranteed way to remind your pooch that they are the apple of your eye.
Our meals are also perfectly portioned for your pooch. When you sign up, we will ask you questions about your dog, such as their weight, age, activity level and any underlying health conditions that might affect what food they can eat.
The food will then be delivered fresh to your door, ready for your pup to dig into. The remaining pouches can be kept in the freezer to lock in the goodness until you’re ready to serve them up. Bon apple-tite.