Can My Dog Eat Apples?

Dogs love to eat, and it’s no secret amongst their owners that they often eat things they shouldn’t. If you’re wondering if your dog can eat apples, the answer is yes! As a safe human food, apples make a tasty, nutritious treat for your pooch.

Health benefits of apples

A dog’s daily needs of each of these nutrients will vary based on factors like BMI, age, gender, and health.

High in vitamin a

Vitamin A supports healthy vision, strong immune systems, proper organ function, and solid bone structure.

There are two types of A vitamins. Your dog gets plenty of the animal-based version from a quality kibble blend. The carotenoid version of vitamin A, however, which requires other nutrients to activate, is found in plants.

Since they also contain these other nutrients, apples are a wonderful source of plant-based vitamin A.

Apples also conveniently contain beta-carotene and cryptoxanthin, two nutrients that aid in the proper absorption of vitamin A. Beta-carotene is a plant pigment found in many fruits and vegetables.

It’s what gives carrots a bright orange color and apples a rosy red hue. Cryptoxanthin is an antioxidant compound that also aids in activating plant-based vitamin A.

A whole, medium apple contains around 98 UI’s (International Units) of vitamin A.

Good source of vitamin C

Most people know vitamin C, or ascorbic acid, is good for the immune system, but it has numerous other benefits. It’s found in most dog foods, but there’s no harm in boosting his intake with some fresh fruit!

Vitamin C plays a key role in the development and maintenance of body tissue, bones, and teeth. Your dog needs this nutrient for proper function and maintenance of blood vessels, muscles, cartilage, and collagen.

It also assists in wound healing and absorption of iron. With anti-inflammatory properties, it can even work somewhat like an antihistamine.

As an antioxidant, Vitamin C is also a powerhouse of preventative qualities. This nutrient may reduce the risk of conditions like cancer, heart disease, and macular degeneration.

A whole, a medium-sized apple contains around 8 mg of vitamin C.

A source of vitamin K

Vitamin K is one of apple’s powerful healing properties. As with Vitamin C, this nutrient is crucial to wound healing. This vitamin helps the body produce the protein prothrombin, which is necessary for blood clotting. Prothrombin is also important to bone metabolism.

Vitamin K may help prevent heart disease by reducing mineral deposits in veins and arteries. These deposits, which adhere to fatty deposits, can lead to vascular calcifications.

A medium-sized apple contains around 2 mcg’s of vitamin K.

A source of potassium

From everyday nerve signal processing to the prevention of kidney stones, potassium is vital to your dog’s health.

One of potassium’s most important jobs is maintaining a healthy blood pressure level. High blood pressure can lead to stroke, heart disease, and heart attacks.

Potassium is also vital for your dog’s muscle and bone health. It plays a key role in maintaining muscle mass and the function of muscle contractions.

Together with water and sodium, potassium prevents muscles from unnecessarily cramping. Further, it aids in proper mineral levels in the bones. It may even prevent osteoporosis and other bone-related diseases.

A whole, medium apple contains around 190 mg’s of potassium.

Precautions and tips for apples

Never give a dog a whole apple

You should always cut, core, and slice an apple before giving any of the fruit to your dog. The core of an apple can be a serious choking hazard. You can also deseed the apple, but a few seeds won’t hurt. Trace amounts of cyanide are found in the seeds, but a dog would have to eat hundreds to be poisoned.

It’s perfectly okay to give your dog the peel of the apple. The skin contains a lot of nutrients, like antioxidants and beta-Carotene.

Don’t feed apples excessively

If you give your dog too much apple, it may cause an upset tummy. Indigestion and diarrhea are common side effects from too much fruit.

Regularly feeding your dog fruit may also give him a sweet tooth. With an expectation of sugary treats, your dog may start begging for more human foods. Most sweet foods we eat contain processed, refined sugar, which is bad for dogs.

Give your dog a couple of slices of apple at a time, and limit this treat to once or twice a week.

Use apples to encourage eating

If you have a dog that’s a reluctant eater, add apples to his kibble. When your pooch sees fruit, he will be encouraged to eat what’s already in his bowl.

This is also a great trick for dogs who are picky eaters. You can even purchase formulated dog foods that contain apple content. If you’ve noticed that your dog likes fresh apples, this is a great way to encourage eating.

Further, as they contain water, you can use occasional apple treats to support hydration. Plus, you can put apple slices into the water bowl to tempt reluctant water drinkers.

Apples make great rewards

If you want to give your dog a healthy reward, use an apple slice. For a trick well performed or a completed walk, a little fruit is better than a processed biscuit. Chances are, your dog will even appreciate it more.

As mentioned above, remember that moderation is important. Apples shouldn’t be used as regular daily treats. You can always alternate treats, using other fruits or veggies safe for dogs.

Double-check with a vet

If you aren’t sure how much apple to feed, double-check with your vet. You may also want to consult your vet on the frequency of feeding human foods to your dog.

This is also a great opportunity to find out your dog’s specific nutritional needs. You can ask your vet to develop a feeding plan based on your dog’s BMI. Dogs need different levels of vitamins and minerals depending on factors like weight, height, age, and gender.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.