Customarily, termed as man’s best friend, dogs are faithful, loving, and interminably endearing animals. They are adorable companions as pets and serve crucial roles such as service animals, therapy dogs, and many more fields.
Their adapting nature and intelligence make them fit for rescue missions, providing emotional support in tough times and much more.
A dog’s unbounded energy, and joyfulness, add happiness to our lives, nurturing firm bonds and advocating mental, physical, and emotional health. Dogs’ loyalty and love are the sole reasons why they are cherished by mankind.
1. A Dog’s Diet
Speaking of dogs, one must think a dog is satisfied with only bones, but that’s not true. Dogs must have a well-maintained diet plan to ensure a happy, energetic, and healthy life for years to come.
The diet must include proteins, carbs, fats, minerals, and vitamins. Certainly, all of it can’t be ensured just with bones, which is why a dog needs a variety of meals to fulfil its needs for nourishment, with of course certain exceptions and limits. Human foods such as chocolates, grapes, and onions aren’t considered safe for dogs.
Ever considered apples for dogs? Let’s have a look if apples are good for these furry animals and if yes, what are some apple treats that can be served to these adorable creatures?
2. How Are Apples Good For Dogs?
Unlike cats, dogs are omnivores, which implies they can eat both vegetables and meat, and these serve as great alternatives if the dogs aren’t being fed meat. However, as previously mentioned, there are exceptions. Some fruits are better than most, whereas there are numerous which should be completely avoided.
Rich in fiber and antioxidants, apples are a great addition to one’s diet. They are deemed to be nutrient-dense fruits, as they provide a lot of nutrients in each serving. Just like the benefits an apple serves to a human being, it does the same for dogs. Not only that, but it also provides a way to keep a dog’s teeth clean and helps to freshen their breath.
Regardless of all its benefits, one must be careful enough to discard the seeds and the core of the apple before serving it to their furry friend. The seeds of an apple contain a very small portion of cyanide, which can result in cyanide poisoning in severe cases, though the chemical is only released when the seeds are chewed.
Apples are low in calories and a sweet treat, suitable for dogs needing to maintain weight. Although one whole apple contains about 19 grams of sugar, making it unhealthy to eat at once, bite-sized slices can suffice a dog’s sweet tooth, instead of human food like chocolate which is not good for dogs.
3. How Many Apples Can a Dog Consume?
While apples are a fantastic addition, balance is important. The amount of apples must be moderate enough to not cause any sort of health issues. Dogs can consume small pieces of fruit safely after the removal of the core and the seeds.
This fruit is a source of vitamins A and C, fibers, and antioxidants which are beneficial for a dog’s health. Nevertheless, anything excess is harmful, and so is apple to dogs. Too much consumption of the fruit can lead to severe problems such as stomach upset, due to the presence of natural sugars in apples.
Additionally, apple seeds contain cyanide, even though in small amounts, can cause severity if consumed too much which can prove to be very toxic for dogs. It is therefore essential to remove the seeds and the core before consumption. Likewise, it must be gradually introduced to a dog’s diet to observe any sort of reactions to the food, and consulting a veterinarian is considered vital.
4. Preparing Apples for Dogs
For the preparation of apples, begin with washing them properly to remove any residue or pesticides on their skin. Cut the apples and discard the core and seeds, which are poisonous. The apples must be cut in small, bite-sized pieces for easy consumption, and digestion and to avoid choking.
The apples can be served plain or can be mixed with a dog’s regular food for extra flavour. Remember to consult a veterinarian before introducing any new food, as some dogs might be allergic and sensitive to the food.
5. Is Apple Core Safe for a Dog?
Apple cores are hard, making it difficult to chew properly, hence can cause choking hazards to dogs. As it is very firm and hard to chew, the core might cause gastrointestinal blockage, if swallowed, which also includes the stem of the fruit.
6. Are Apple Skins Safe for a Dog?
Dogs can eat the outer layer of the fruit as it isn’t harmful, rather is rich in fiber. The waxy peel is generally safe for dogs to consume as they are a good source of fiber, antioxidants, and vitamins. Although some dogs could be allergic to apple skin, one should always introduce it gradually and notice any adverse reactions.
However, too much peel can also prove to be harmful, causing indigestion and can get stuck on a dog’s teeth, which isn’t pleasant to humans either. Additionally, one should always wash the apples properly, to remove the bacteria, especially if the peel is being fed.
7. Which Apples Can Dogs Eat?
There are many kinds of apples known to mankind, but are all of them safe for a furry friend? The sweet and crunchy fruit usually makes a great treat for dogs, but not all flavours of apples are liked by them such as the Green Apple which is generally tart.
Dogs can safely have all kinds of apples, be it Granny Smith or Fuji Apples, but should be provided in moderation. Many times, dogs love shredded Green Apples when mixed with their regular food.
8. How About Applesauce for Dogs?
Applesauce is a strict no to dogs as it is not sugar-free and can be harmful to the animal. Dogs are precisely advised to avoid caramelized, sweetened, or spiced applesauce. Additionally, sweet treats such as apple pie should not be consumed by dogs. These derivatives usually have reduced fiber content, removing the apple’s most advantageous nutrients.
Caramel is entirely sugar, whereas applesauce is often prepared with nutmeg, which is poisonous for dogs. Diabetes is a common problem in canines, which is why such sweet treats must be avoided at all costs, to prevent life-long diseases.
However, an unsweetened variety of applesauce, without any added spices is considered to be a good alternative. Applesauce can be given in small portions, keeping some specific conditions in mind. It should be unsweetened applesauce not containing any added sugars, artificial sweeteners, or toxic ingredients like xylitol. Although it is a great addition to the animal’s diet, it should not replace a dog’s regular balanced meal.
9. Can Dogs Eat Apple Butter?
Generally, dogs can consume apple butter in small portions, but one must cautiously take note of the ingredients. Commonly, apple butter is made of apples, sugars, and spices like nutmeg and cinnamon, which are toxic to dogs. The sugar content in apple butter is a matter of concern, as too much sugar can lead to obesity and dental problems in dogs. Also, some apple butter might contain added preservatives, which are best desisted.
Although one can offer dogs a taste of apple butter, keeping in mind, that the portion is less, does not contain any added sweeteners, is sugar-free, and is a plain homemade version of the treat, it is best advised to stick to plain apple slices, unsweetened applesauce as occasional treats.
10. Is Apple Pie Safe for a Furry Friend?
Apple Pies are usually best avoided due to the ingredients used in making them. While plain apple slices are good for dogs, treats such as apple pie generally contain ingredients that are harmful to dogs.
The majority of apple pies contain a significant amount of sugar, butter, spices, and a crust made with flour, which is not suitable for dogs to consume and causes problems such as digestive upset, pancreatitis, and obesity in the animal.
It is best to abstain from treats like apple pie or any other baked good added with sugar, flour, and fatty ingredients. Plain apples would be enough as occasional treats.
11. Is Apple Cider Vinegar Safe?
Apple Cider Vinegar or ACV is usually safe and contains lots of benefits when given in small amounts and properly diluted. Water and apples are its only ingredients and hence ACV is highly antioxidant, antibacterial, and also due to its acidic qualities, is good for digestion. It also helps in soothing itching skin and repelling fleas.
However one must be cautious of a few guidelines beforehand: Concentrated apple cider vinegar should never be consumed by dogs, always make sure to add several parts of water to dilute it; It should be added gradually into the diet of a dog while monitoring their reaction to it; Some dogs might be allergic to ACV, discontinue its use and consult a veterinarian; Restrain from giving it to dogs with kidney problems.
12. Homemade Apple Treats for Dogs
So far we have learned about how good apples are for dogs, how they should be prepared, and what apple products must be avoided. Serving plain apples always must be uninteresting, so why not add some occasional homemade treats made using apples to maintain a proper balance? Here are some homemade recipes for apples suitable for the furry animal.
12.1 Apple Frozen Yogurt Doggy Pops
Blended with sugar, xylitol-free yogurt, and apples, this frozen treat can be delicious, delightful, and safe food for dogs during summer. The ingredients include a cup of plain yogurt, without any additives, unsweetened applesauce, water, and small chunks of apple, with its seed and core removed.
To prepare this, mix plain yogurt, applesauce (unsweetened), water, and apple chunks, pour them on silicone moulds or a popsicle tray, put them in the freezer, and allow them to solidify completely. Once done, offer them to your dogs as a cooling reward.
12.2 Apple Doggy Smoothie
Blend apples with other fruits such as strawberries and bananas and make a delightful smoothie to give to your furry friend. This treat is healthy as it not only contains apples but also other safe foods like bananas and strawberries. The ingredients include yogurt which is free of preservatives, apples, you can add other fruits too, and water.
For preparation, peel apples and remove the seeds and core, chop them into small chunks, in a blender add yogurt, apple pieces, water, or unsweetened coconut water and blend till a consistent, smooth, and creamy mixture is obtained. You can also freeze the smoothie by pouring it into silicone molds and providing it to your dogs as a frozen treat.
12.3 Frozen Apple Slices
Frozen apple slices are the simplest, one-ingredient treat to prepare for your furry friend. To prepare the slices, begin with properly washing the outer layer of the apple to remove any kind of toxins, peel the apple if you want, and remember to core the apple and remove its seeds. Once the slices are ready, place them on a flat tray or a baking sheet, ensuring they aren’t in contact with one another. Put them in the freezer, allow them to freeze for at least an hour, and then serve your dog as a cool treat on a hot day. These are great alternatives to other sugary frozen treats and provide hydration, vitamins, and refreshments.
12.4 Apple and Chicken Jerky
Apple with chicken combined can be a nutritious and delicious treat for your furry companion. To prepare, you only require a peeled, cored apple and a skinless chicken breast. To begin with, preheat the oven to 200 F, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. The chicken breast is sliced into thin strips, and placed on the baking sheet. Slice the apple into very thin pieces and lay on top of the chicken strips, and bake it until the chicken is fully cooked and the apple is completely dehydrated. Once cooled down, offer your dog these protein-rich treats.
12.5 Apple and Sweet Potato Chews
A mixture of apple and sweet potato, this delicious treat is very easy to prepare for your dogs. All you need is an apple and a sweet potato. To prepare, peel and core the apples and slice them into thin pieces, and peel and slice the sweet potatoes. The oven is to be preheated to 250 F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Lay the slices of apple and sweet potato on the baking sheet in a single layer, ensuring they don’t overlap each other, and bake till the ingredients are completely dehydrated. Allow them to cool down before offering them to your dog. Store any leftovers in an airtight container.
Similar to these, there are many more such homemade apple recipes that are healthy and delightful for your dogs and can be prepared easily. Always make sure to know the likes of your dog before adding a new treat to their diet, to ensure a healthy and long life.