Why Dogs Should Eat Apples
There is a saying that an apple a day keeps the doctor away. But is the same true for dogs? Should dogs eat apples?
It can often be confusing as to what foods are safe for dogs outside of conventional dog food. Keeping dogs away from chocolate is well-known, but what about apples?
The Benefits of Feeding Your Dog Apples
Apples are safe to give to dogs, and they hold a lot of health benefits. Plus, many dogs love them!
High in Fiber
Apples have high fiber content and low protein content. The high fiber content of apples means that they are beneficial for digestion and gut health. This is because fiber provides fuel to the colon cells, supports gut health, and helps keep your dog's bowel movements soft and regular, which helps the digestive tract flow properly (1).
Some dogs with liver, kidney, or weight issues may need to follow a lower protein diet. The low protein content of apples makes them an ideal food option for dogs with these conditions.
High in Vitamin A
Apples also contain vitamin A, an essential nutrient that plays a key role in dog health. Research shows that vitamin A is essential to the eyes' healthy functioning, bone growth, reproduction, immunity, and cellular differentiation in dogs (2).
High in Vitamin C
Apples are a good source of vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant that can offer your dog many health benefits.
Antioxidants fight free radicals, which are uncharged molecules that bounce around searching for electrons, damaging the DNA of healthy cells as they do so. Antioxidants neutralize these free radicals, stopping them from doing damage to DNA.
A 2009 study also found that vitamin C supplementation may have a slight effect on dogs' immune response by increasing the immunomodulating potential in healthy dogs (3).
High in Vitamin K
Apples are also a good source of vitamin K, which is an essential vitamin for dogs. Vitamin K is important as it helps a dog’s blood to clot. Without the ability to clot properly, dogs are more susceptible to hemorrhaging and brain bleeds and may struggle to heal from injuries.
As strange as it sounds, the effect of rat or mice poison on dogs is an excellent example of vitamin K's importance. When ingested by a dog, some rat poisons can inhibit a dog’s ability to use vitamin K. This then results in anticoagulant rodenticide toxicosis, or the inability to clot. This is especially dangerous and can result in hemorrhaging collapse, and even death in dogs (4).
While you may associate calcium with dairy, apples also contain this mineral. Calcium is essential to healthy functioning in dogs because of its vital role in bone health, teeth health, muscle functioning, and blood clotting.
A dog lacking in calcium may exhibit symptoms such as weakness, muscle twitching, and lethargy. In severe cases, low calcium levels can result in seizures (5).
You can also find potassium in apples. Dogs require potassium for metabolism, muscle strength, bone health, and organ functioning. Most dog foods will have an abundance of potassium.
If a dog’s potassium levels drop too low, it can contribute to the development of conditions such as gastrointestinal disease, urinary tract disease, and can increase the risk of death (6).
Good Source of Carbohydrates
Apples are also a good source of carbohydrates, making them a great meal base for high-energy dogs. The best part of apples for dogs is that they provide a good source of energy and deliver a range of micronutrients.
How to Feed Your Dog Apples
It may be healthy for a dog to eat an apple, but what is the best way to feed your dog apples?
The easiest way to feed your dog an apple is to cut it into pieces. Small pieces are easier for your dog to chew, reduces the chances of choking, and is easier to moderate.
However, while apples are good for dogs, their cores are not. Apple seeds contain cyanide, which is extremely toxic when eaten in large enough amounts. It would take more than a few seeds to cause problems, so don’t fret if your dog accidentally swallows a couple. Apple cores can also pose a choking risk, so it’s best to only give your dog the apple after cutting out the seeds and core.
Apple-Based Dog Food
Because apples are both appealing and good for dogs, it makes an excellent base for dog foods.
If your dog loves apples and you want an easy way to incorporate more of the fruit into your dog’s diet, you can use apple-based dog supplements like AppleLove's Fruit and Vegetable Blend. This is an easy blend you can add to your dog’s food and contains a wide range of essential vitamins and minerals for your dog’s health and wellbeing.
The Bottom Line
The short answer is yes; dogs should eat apples.
While they might not be the first thing that comes to your mind when you think of dog food, apples offer a range of nutritional benefits for dogs and are a great addition to your dog's meals.
Packed full of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and energy, a diet containing apples will help your dog be healthier, happier, and better fed.
With many apple-based pet food options now available, it has never been easier to mix up your dog’s diet and give them a nutritional boost your dog is sure to love.