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Can dogs have apples? What you need to know

Although dogs are renowned meat lovers, a balanced diet is essential for the health of your pet. It can’t be just protein! Fruit is one food group that’s often overlooked when it comes to canines, though many fruits — like apples — are actually wonderful additions to mealtimes and treat menus.

Can dogs have apples? Are apples safe for dogs? We get it — you have questions. In this article, we’ll review everything you need to know about feeding your dog apples, so by the time you’re done reading, you’ll feel ready to hit the grocery store.

a chihuahua runs alongside a dachshund who carries an apple in his mouth
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Are apples safe for dogs?

Yes, all kinds of apples are a safe snack for our beloved furry friends. Whether we share our own fruity treat or incorporate apples in our pet’s diet, they’re a great source of nutrients as well as a delicious snack. In fact, many dogs will be thrilled to have bite-sized pieces of apple as a treat instead of your normal store-bought morsels.

Even the skin of the apple is safe for dogs to digest, though high amounts of these peels can lead to digestive upset (that’s fiber for you). Still, don’t worry if you don’t peel every single piece before letting your pup snack away. The two parts of the apple that are not safe for ingestion by dogs are the core and the seeds, so make sure to cut these out before serving. Other than that, you’re good to go!

The pet health pros at Purina recommend a daily serving of one or two apple slices for a dog. Generally speaking, treats shouldn’t exceed more than 10% of your dog’s diet.

Nutritional value of apples for dogs

Not only are apples sweet and delicious — that’s something both you and your dog can agree on — they’re full of vitamins and nutrients, too. Like many fruits, apples are fantastic sources of vitamins A (this supports healthy canine vision, bones, and immune systems) and C, which reduces inflammation and encourages a healthy brain.

Do you know which part of the apple contains the most fiber? It’s the skin! This may be one reason not to peel apples when sharing with your pup, especially if she needs the extra digestive boost. Just be careful not to let her have too much fiber!

Another reason pet parents love apples as a snack for their dogs is that this fruit is exceptionally low in fat. There isn’t much protein to be found in this snack, either, so it surely won’t suffice as a meal.

Apples do, however, have a decent concentration of fructose, the naturally occurring sugar in most fruits. This type of sugar doesn’t have the greatest effect on people, and it can raise blood sugar in animals. One more reason to stick to moderation!

a rottweiler puppy sits with an apple in his mouth

How to prepare apples for dogs

Now that you know the basics about dogs and apples, it’s time to learn how to prepare them for your furry friend.

  • Sliced: If you’d rather keep it simple, all you truly need to do is wash and chop your fruit, making sure to remove any remnants of core or seeds before handing your pup some appropriately sized pieces. If your dog tends to wolf down whatever food is in front of her, try smaller pieces of fruit. Those who like to chew their food will do well with a slightly larger piece.
  • Frozen: On a hot summer day, a slice of frozen apple can keep your pup entertained and satisfied for a while. You’ll definitely want to chop up your fruit before freezing for both convenience and necessity — frozen fruit can be nearly impossible to cut! You can also put apples and other dog-safe fruit (or even frozen yogurt) into a food processor to make yummy dog-friendly popsicle treats.
  • Dehydrated: Dehydrating thin apple slices is another way to add fruit to your fur baby’s diet. All you need to do is heat these slices at a low setting (try 125 degrees) for a few hours (either an oven or a food dehydrator will work). This will result in a soft, chewy treat that’s not unlike jerky. You may even be tempted to try a piece yourself!

Whether you like to incorporate apples into your dog’s meals or they’re a favorite treat in your home, keep on doing whatever you’re doing — you’re good! If you haven’t tried apples with your dog yet, they’re always an option for a new tasty snack. Keep an open mind! Luckily, not much prep is needed when preparing apples for your pup, so it’ll take only a minute when you do decide to try it.

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Gabrielle LaFrank
Gabrielle LaFrank has written for sites such as Psych2Go, Elite Daily, and, currently, PawTracks. When she's not writing, you…
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