Can Dogs Eat Apples? Here's What Happens.

Can Dogs Eat Apples? Here's What Happens.

Apples! They're delicious and nutritious for humans, but can your dog eat them? Here’s what you need to know.

Can Dogs Eat Apples?

Apples are a great source of vitamins and minerals, and they also contain dietary fiber that helps keep the digestive tract in check. 

Apples can be a delicious snack for your pup, but one part of the apple should be kept off-limits — the tough center known as the core. The core is a choking hazard, and the seeds embedded in the core contain traces of cyanide (which can be dangerous for your dog!)

Read on to learn more about the many benefits of apples for your dog, how to prepare an apple to serve safely to your pup, and other fruits that can support your dog’s overall health.

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How Do Apples Benefit Dogs?

Apples offer many nutritional benefits and serve as a safe snack for your dog when prepared properly. 

Vitamins, Minerals, and Fiber

Dogs need vitamins, minerals, and fiber just like we do! 

Here are the key nutrients apples have to offer:

  • Vitamin A, which supports vision, the immune system, and skin and coat health. It is a fat-soluble vitamin needed for growth, so apples can be extra beneficial for puppies!
  • Vitamin C, which serves as an antioxidant that can support your pup’s immune health.
  • Potassium, which is a crucial mineral and electrolyte needed for energy, hydration, muscular function, and so much more!

Apples also provide a good source of dietary fiber to help support regularity in your doggo’s digestive system. Fiber is a type of non-nutritive carbohydrate, and it can help soothe some GI discomforts like occasional diarrhea or mild constipation, while also helping to keep the microbiome in balance, meaning bad bacteria in the intestine is kept to a minimum. It is also a great part of a weight management program for overweight dogs since fiber can help support a healthy metabolism. 

It’s worth noting that some of the nutrients your dog needs may be absent from their food, whether they are fed commercial kibble or fresh, homemade meals. If you think your pup’s daily dishes might be lacking, supplements can help fill nutritional gaps or provide extra support for specific aspects of wellness like joint health or mood.

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Dental Hygiene Booster

Apples can also be beneficial for your dog's dental hygiene. That’s right — apples can help clean those pearly whites and freshen your pup’s breath. How? Apples contain malic acid, which has natural brightening effects that react with tooth enamel. Meanwhile, the flesh and skin can both act as a squeegee in between teeth to remove tartar and plaque. 

But please don’t throw away those toothbrushes or oral rinses! Apples should never substitute basic dental care, but they are a great addition to maintaining dental health.

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How Do I Give Apples to My Dog?

As with any fruit or vegetable, you’ll want to rinse the outside first before anything else. Washing an apple can help get rid of unwanted germs or pesticides.

Then, make sure to remove the apple core and apple seeds! If you don't, your pup might get an upset stomach or even diarrhea.

After, it's as easy as cutting that apple into safe, bite-sized pieces.

If you want to get creative with how you serve your apples, you could try freezing them for a tasty cooling treat (especially during the warm summer months). As a bonus, you could always add some peanut butter to boost the protein content (and just boost your doggo’s day in general!). 

When it comes to the apple peel, remove it if you can, but it’s not the end of the world if your pup ends up with a little. While the apple peel is nutritious for humans to consume, it’s a little tougher for dogs to digest, so unpeeled apples are the preferred choice for your pup. 

Rotten to the Core

Make sure to de-core the apple and remove the stem before serving it. The core is a choking hazard and is hard for your dog to digest. You’ll want to throw away apple seeds, too, since they contain traces of the toxic chemical cyanide. Even though there are only small traces of cyanide in apple seeds, it’s best to avoid them altogether so your pup doesn’t end up with an upset stomach.

If you are concerned your pup may have ingested a high volume of seeds from an apple, or any other type of fruit or vegetable containing harmful substances, contact your veterinarian or emergency clinic immediately. 

Signs that your dog may have ingested a toxic substance include the following:

  • Dilated pupils
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Salivation
  • Red gums
  • Lethargy 
  • Vomiting

Red or Green Apples?

The color of the apple itself doesn’t matter, but your dog may favor one over the other because of the taste.

Red apples tend to have a sweet flavor, whereas green apples are more on the sour side. You may need to experiment with your pup to determine which type of apple they prefer. 

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Can I Give My Dog Other Fruits or Vegetables?

Let’s review some other options you can serve to your pet, as well as cover what foods should be avoided. 

Keep in mind that this list is far from all-inclusive — consult with your veterinarian if you are unsure whether or not a specific food is safe for your dog.

Nutrient-Rich Fruits You Can Feed to Your Pup

Below are a handful of fruits and vegetables that are safe for your dog to eat. Keep in mind that these should all only be fed in moderation as a treat or snack, or as part of a balanced meal.

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  • Bananas: Bananas contain key nutrients such as potassium, biotin, fiber, and copper. 
  • Pineapple: Pineapple is such a juicy, sweet treat. It is safe for dogs to eat, too, as long as the prickly outer peel and crown are removed. In addition to the vitamins and minerals pineapples carry, it also contains bromelain. Bromelain is a type of enzyme that helps dogs absorb proteins. Fresh pineapple is the best choice to serve your dog. Canned pineapple typically has syrup and juices that may contain harmful additives.
  • Strawberries: Strawberries are full of antioxidants, fiber, and Vitamin C. They can help keep your pup’s teeth nice and white thanks to the malic acid we mentioned earlier that you can also find in apples!
  • Watermelon: Watermelon is primarily made of water, so it’s a great treat to help keep your pup hydrated — just make sure that you remove the rind and the seeds first. 
  • Spinach: Okay, not a fruit. But spinach has an impressive vitamin profile that outdoes a lot of fruits! Spinach provides an excellent source of vitamins A, B, C, and K. Just go easy on supplementing your pup’s diet with spinach — too much can actually end up blocking the body’s ability to absorb calcium because of the oxalic acid found in these leafy greens.

Fruits To Keep Away From Your Dog

While there are many tasty fruits you can feed your dog, there are also some you should avoid: 

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  • Avocado: The actual flesh of the avocado (i.e. the delicious bright greenish-yellow part) isn’t technically dangerous to your doggo, but the skin, pit, and leaves of an avocado definitely are because they contain the toxin persin. If your dog eats these parts of an avocado, it could result in vomiting and diarrhea, so it’s generally best to just avoid avocados altogether. If you’re looking to add healthy fats to your pup’s diet, a teaspoon of olive oil or coconut oil every day can work, or you can always give them our Skin & Coat supplement, which contains omegas and wild salmon oil.
  • Cherries: Cherry pits, just like apple seeds, contain traces of cyanide. The flesh of the cherry is not really harmful, but it could result in an upset stomach for some dogs, so it’s best to just avoid cherries and other stone fruits. Plus, the choking hazard posed by the pits is another reason to keep this fruit family to yourself.
  • Grapes: Grapes are one of the most toxic foods your dog can get a hold of — even just a couple of grapes can cause fatal kidney failure — this means raisins are off the table, too. What about grapes makes them toxic to dogs? Unfortunately, that remains a mystery even after decades of research, but what we do know for sure is that grapes in any form should be kept as far away as possible from your pup.
  • Onions: Again, another not-fruit on our list, but definitely a veggie worth flagging! Part of the plant genus Allium, onions, leeks, garlic, and chives are poisonous to pets. If consumed in large enough quantities, it can lead to vomiting, diarrhea, nausea, stomach discomfort, and other GI issues. 

The Bottom Line

As long as they’re prepared properly, apples can be a safe, tasty, and nutritious treat for your doggo! 

We love to see pups getting all the diverse nutrition they can, but whenever you consider feeding a new food to your pup, give it a quick Google to make sure it’s actually safe for them to eat. A lot of human foods that are beneficial to us may actually be damaging to our dogs. 

On top of that, stick with the fresh, whole-food version of whatever fruit or veggie treat you’re thinking of sharing — canned foods are often high in sodium and preservatives, neither of which your pup needs in their diet.

Finally, while fruits and vegetables can be a part of a balanced meal or served as a treat, they shouldn’t replace the nutrient-diverse food you usually give at mealtime. 

If your dog needs an extra nutritional boost, supplements can be a great addition to Fido’s health stack. Finn takes a fresh approach when it comes to supplements by including evidence-backed ingredients, without artificial additives and unnecessary fillers. 

Visit Finn today to find the right supplement for your pup — our Starter Bundle is a good place to start!

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Fruits and Vegetables Dogs Can or Can't Eat | American Kennel Club

Comparison between the effect of commercially available chemical teeth whitening paste and teeth whitening paste containing ingredients of herbal origin on human enamel | NCBI

7 Vitamins Your Dog Needs for a Healthy Life | American Kennel Club

Can Dogs Eat Apples? How to Safely Feed Apples to Dogs | American Kennel Club

What causes grape toxicity in dogs? Playdough might have led to a breakthrough | AAHA



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