Apples are great. They come in a variety of colours, are good for eating as well as cooking and on top of that are good for our health.
Did you know that there are over 7,000 different varieties of apples and that they are the most widely cultivated fruit tree? But can dogs eat apples?
Apples, along with other fruits such as bananas can be a tasty treat for your dog. They are nutritious and easy to digest. They contain vitamin A and C as well as being a good source of dietary fibre.
Not only that, apples also provide calcium and phosphorus and can keep your dog’s coat and skin in good condition as they also contain both omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids.
If that wasn’t enough, eating a slice of apple can actually help clean their teeth and freshen up that doggy breath. So what’s not to like?
As with any food, if your dog has never tried apple before then it is a good idea to introduce a small piece first. Always monitor your dogs after they have eaten something new, just to make sure that there are no adverse effects.
Why you should be careful
Although a slice of apple may be a healthy low fat treat substitute for your dog, you should be careful.
Never feed your dog the pips, stalk or core of an apple as they contain amygdalin, a molecule containing cyanide and sugar. If the seeds are chewed or broken, the sugar part of the molecule is effectively cut off when it comes into contact with human or animal enzymes. This leaves the remainder of the molecule to decompose and produce hydrogen cyanide, a poisonous gas.
While it would be unlikely that your dog would eat enough seeds for it to be a problem, it’s best to stay safe and remove them before giving any apple to your dog.
Discard the core as well as it can present a choking hazard. Some dogs are not great at chewing and will try to just swallow something that is reasonably small.
If your dog has any existing health problems, you also need to be cautious about giving them treats. Dogs with kidney disease may react badly to the additional levels of fatty acids and calcium in apples and dogs with diabetes may be affected by the natural sugars apples have.
If you give your dog apples, then the most likely problem you’ll have is a dog with an upset stomach. So moderation is the key.
Don’t be tempted to feed your dog dehydrated versions of the fruit either. Although the nutrient level is the same, they are much harder to digest because they have no water content and water is critical for digestion.
So can dogs eat apples?
Yes they can, they are a low fat, healthy treat that can be given in moderation. The best way to give them to your dog is to cut them up and give them as slices.
Or if you are feeling adventurous then why not check out the following recipes and make your dog a very special treat;
- 1 large apple (or apple sauce)
- 1/4-cup honey
- ½-cup of water
- ½ -teaspoon cinnamon
- 1-cup oatmeal
- 1-1/2 cups whole-wheat flour (or substitute coconut flour)
- Peanut butter to taste (optional)
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees
- Chop up the apple into fine pieces (or use apple sauce)
- Combine all of the ingredients except flour Gradually fold in the flour until your dough is stiff enough to roll out
- The recipe author uses a bone cookie cutter, but you can also drop the dough in circles and flatten Bake for 30 minutes, then lightly spread peanut butter over them, if desired
- Cook an additional 30 minutes and let cool. The peanut butter will harden making a nice, tasty frosting.
- Once your concoction is cool, store your dog treats on the counter if you plan to use them in a couple of days, or in the fridge/freezer to help them last longer.
- 3 cups whole wheat flour
- 2 cups quick-cook oats
- 1 cup peanut butter (smooth or chunky, your choice!)
- 1 cup unsweetened organic applesauce
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4-1/2 cup olive oil or coconut oil, optional
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and cover 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
- In a mixing bowl, combine all ingredients well.
- Knead dough on a lightly floured surface. If the dough is too loose and crumbly, you can add a 1/4-1/2 cup olive oil or coconut oil at this point.
- Use a rolling pin to roll the dough to about 1/4 inch thick and then cut into shapes with cookie cutters. If you don’t want to use cookie cutters, simply make small dough balls.
- Place cookies on baking sheet, approximately 1/2 inch apart.
- Bake in preheated over for approximately 25 minutes or until lightly browned.
- Let cool and then serve.
Notes: Store uneaten cookies in an airtight container in the fridge for up to one week.
- 1 cup shredded apple
- ⅓ cup bacon grease (preferably cold from the fridge)
- 1 tsp molasses
- ¼ ground flax seed (optional)
- 1 cup whole wheat flour (add ¼ cup if omitting flax)
- Preheat oven to 350º F (or 180º C).
- Shred apples until you have a cup of loosely packed apple.
- In a food processor with the dough hook attached, add bacon grease, shredded apple, and molasses and pulse to combine.
- Add flour (and flax seed if using) gradually, about a quarter cup at a time. Pulse until combined. It’ll look chunky, but it’ll come together when kneading by hand.
- If you want to avoid bacon grease on your hands, put on some latex gloves. Knead dough to bring it together.
- Flatten dough onto a piece of parchment or wax paper (less clean-up!) and put another piece of parchment or wax paper between the dough and the roller, then roll out dough to about ¼ inch thickness.
- Cut into shapes and place on non-stick baking sheet, or if using parchment paper, just re-use the top layer on the sheet. Even less clean-up!
- Bake at 350º F for 22 minutes, flipping half way through. Turn oven off, and leave treats in warm oven for an additional 5–10 minutes to ensure they are dried out and will have a better shelf life.