Not only is it safe for dogs to eat apples, most dogs love to eat apples! Put a little peanut butter on a fresh, crunchy apple slice and your dog will be begging for more apples! In fact, that cute but slightly alarming sweet tooth your canine chum has can be fully satisfied with apple slices. So the next time you are eating a Reese’s Cup and feel bad because your dog is drooling in front of you, give him a handful of juicy apple chunks. He’ll never know the difference.
What’s in an Apple?
Whether your dog is happily munching on red apples, granny smith apples or green apples, you’ll be happy to know he is receiving the benefits of many vitamins and minerals. In addition to rich amounts of dietary fiber and vitamin C, apples contain almost no sodium and no saturated fat. Moreover, the omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids in apples enhance your dog’s coat and skin health while phosphorous and calcium, both essential minerals in canine diets, contribute significantly to cartilage and bone health.
Dietary Fiber in Apples
Just like older people, older dogs are prone to suffering constipation as their digestive system processes slow down due to simple aging. Apples contain dietary fiber to help prevent constipation by facilitating absorption of water in your dog’s intestines. Fiber also contributes to fecal consistency in younger dogs. In some diabetic dogs, apple fiber may assist in managing diabetes by inhibiting sugar absorption within the intestines.
As your dog is crunching blissfully on apple slices, be aware that he is receiving the many benefits of vitamin A. Essential for maintaining healthy soft tissues, vitamin A also keeps your dog’s liver, lungs and kidneys working at peak levels, improves his immune system’s ability to fight infections and disease and helps maintain eye health. Dogs not getting enough vitamin A in their diet could suffer hair loss and skin irritations.
Essential for overall health and well-being in dogs, vitamin C also imparts anti-carcinogenic properties and supports immune system functioning. If your dog suffers recurring respiratory infections or other bacterial infections, he may have a vitamin C deficiency. Remember the old saying “an apple a day keeps the doctor away”? Well, in your dog’s case, ” an apple a day keeps the veterinarian away”!
Vitamin E contributes to your dog’s heart, muscle, skin, and nerve health and is a powerful antioxidant that may help reduce age-related health problems caused by cell damage. Apple-based vitamin E may also benefit dogs with cholesterol issues.
Bone metabolism and blood clotting are two of the most important roles played by vitamin K in canine health. This vitamin also inhibits calcification (hardening) of soft tissues and arteries in aging dogs and may help regulate blood glucose levels.
Vitamins B6 and B12
Production of energy by converting carbohydrates to glucose, enhancing nervous system functioning, stimulating hormone manufacturing and preventing neural tube defects during fetal development are just a few of the benefits of vitamin B6 and B12 provided by apples. Vitamin benefits of the B complex also include synthesis of DNA and RNA for normal cell reproduction necessary for canine hair, toenail and skin health.
What other nutritional compounds do apples offer canines? Here is a complete list of the good things your dog is eating when he eats apples:
Benefits of Apple Minerals for Dogs
Dogs cannot function properly without enough minerals in their bodies. Around twenty different minerals contribute to the healthy maintenance and longevity of dogs. These minerals are divided into two groups: microminerals and macrominerals. Microminerals are those of which dogs only need trace amounts, although microminerals do have a significant role in protecting dogs from serious diseases.
Alternately, macrominerals are minerals dogs require the most. They include:
Vitamins and minerals also interact beneficially with each other. For example, your dog’s body readily absorbs iron but only with the assistance of vitamin C. Vitamins are also subdivided into two categories: water soluble and fat soluble. Water soluble vitamins are retained in all parts of a dog’s body and require daily replacement since salivating and urinating can deplete the canine body of these vitamins. Folic acid, thiamin, riboflavin, and niacin are some of the vitamins in apples considered water-soluble
Is It Safe to Feed Dogs Apple Seeds, Apple Skin, Apple Cores or Crabapples?
Apple cores, apple seeds, and crabapples should not be given to dogs as treats. Apple seeds contain a cyanide-based compound called amygdalin that could make your dog seriously ill. Although the amount of amygdalin in apple seeds is negligible, veterinarians advise against letting your dog consume apple seeds.
Apple skins tend to give dogs an upset stomach because they are more difficult to digest. Apple cores and apple skins both pose a choking hazard for dogs, especially for dogs that tend to “inhale” treats instead of chewing them before swallowing. Also, don’t forget apple cores contain seeds toxic to canines.
While crabapples are not harmful to dogs, they can interfere with their digestion. If your dog eats more than one crabapple, he may develop abdominal cramps, loose stools and loss of appetite until the crabapples have been completely eliminated.
Show Your Dog Some Love with Homemade Apple Treats
This healthy, natural recipe for an apple-based dog treat will have your home smelling good and your dog excited about what you are baking just for him. To make this treat, you will need:
- 1/2 cup of cornmeal
- 4 cups of whole wheat flour
- 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
- 1 large egg
- 2 tablespoons of coconut oil
- 1 1/2 cups of water
- 1 apple
Mix all ingredients, roll out the dough on a cookie sheet and use a cookie cutter to cut out treats. Bake for about 20 minutes, let cool and feel good about watching your dog enjoy eating healthy apple treats just for dogs.
Start Giving Your Canine Apples Today
With a bit of mindfulness in how you give your dog apples, they will be completely fine and overjoyed in eating this delicious fruit. And as always with incorporating new food into the diet, keep an eye on your canine’s behavior for any sign or symptoms. It is always a good idea to check with your dog’s veterinarian first!
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Disclaimer: the advice and information in this article is not intended to be used as a replacement for professional medical advice from a veterinarian.