Can I Give My Dog Apples?

Can I Give My Dog Apples?Apples may seem like a natural choice for your dog, but is it something actually needed in their diet. Can they process it the same way that we do? After all, what’s good for us isn’t always suitable for them.

If you’ve got dog food at the ready, there’s really no need to give them apples. It’s generally not necessary to give dogs fruits and veggies.

If they do end up with an apple, try not to let them eat it entirely. The seeds contain trace amounts of cyanide although they are unlikely to cause harm. Apples fall into the category of not being necessary for dogs. In fact, you are probably better off not providing them at all.

Can I Give My Dog Apples? Answer: Not Recommended

Whether cooked or raw, you don’t really need to give your dog an apple.

Apples work for people since we’re more omnivorous, but dogs are much more naturally carnivorous. Further, it’s fairly easy to know what a dog would eat if they weren’t domesticated. Take wild dogs for example; they are clearly carnivores to a high degree. Your dog shares much of the same makeup as these beasts so an apple isn’t going to cut it.

Different Doggie Digestion

The reason dogs don’t really need apples, and won’t benefit from them, is because their bodies aren’t used to eating raw or cooked fruits. If your dog is getting the same quality dog food daily, their stomach and digestive juices are tuned to that routine. Also consider that dogs won’t absorb most of this fruit’s vitamins and minerals anyway since their digestive process is quite fast.

May you notice, after you give them an apple, that their poop isn’t quite right. This should be a clear sign. Of course, a small portion of an apple may not trigger a digestive problem and every dog is different. In general, when a canine processes an apple, especially a whole apple or some slices, they will have trouble digesting it. If they did eat one, carefully monitor them afterwards.

Fruits For Fido

Fruit is well-established as a great health food for humans. The fact remains, the natural instinct is for dogs is to spend their time trying to find an animal to kill, they’re primarily pack hunters that eat meat. You don’t think of your dog this way but you cannot argue with evolutionary forces. That being said, it isn’t a serious problem for a dog to eat an apple on occasion.

An Apple a Day…

As the old saying goes, an apple a day keeps the doctor away. This certainly doesn’t pertain to dogs and vets will agree. As long as you are feeding your dog a high quality dog food, they likely won’t have nutritional deficiencies. There’s no need to supplement their diet with apples. This type of treat should be the exception not the rule.

Their primary need is meat and protein not fruits and vegetables. They don’t even enter into the equation when it comes to canines. In fact, something like apples aren’t even a secondary aspect for a typical diet unless they’re sick or other extraordinary circumstances require special care.

Most dog owners don’t need to worry about feeding this fruit. You’d be better off researching the best dog foods instead.

An Apple By Accident

If your dog ate an apple, either by accident or because you give them one as a treat, they should be alright. It isn’t a big deal in the grand scheme of things. Dogs are incredibly versatile in this respect.

So if you are in a bind and completely out of dog food, you can make an exception and feed them an apple. You shouldn’t make a habit out of it though. Just be sure to cut it up for them so they don’t get any seeds.

Conclusion on Apples

Apples aren’t recommended but they can be fed to dogs on occasion. The downside is that they may experience some stomach discomfort, including diarrhea, but aside from that it shouldn’t cause long-term problems. It should, however, never be part of a dog’s regular diet. Hopefully after reading this, you won’t be compelled to give your dog an apple anymore.

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Ralf April, 2015

Occasionally I give my Australian Kelpie and Border Collie apple slices. Both of them really enjoy it with no side effects. But I also have a German Shepherd with pancreatic deficiency syndrome and whenever she gets hold of only a small piece of apple, she gets very sick with vomiting and diarrhea and even some fever.

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Mark January, 2015

I live in apple country, eastern Washington State. Dogs eat apples. Coyotes eat apples. Dogs are omnivores. We have English Mastiffs, as other Mastiff owners can attest, they have delicate constitutions. Our dogs have dehydrated apples as treats. We also tear up some of the dehydrated apple and put it on their bland, high quality, boring kibble. It works well. They are very regular and well formed.

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Lesley January, 2015

This article doesn’t indicate that apples are good for dogs, but the article on papaya makes a reference to them being good for kidneys and digestion. Which is it?

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Terence February, 2014

Dogs are carnivores and a Prey-Model Raw (PMR) diet is the most appropriate for such animals. Other than meat, the diet doesn’t normally include fruits and vegetables. Of course, there is no harm in adding fruit like apples to treat certain diseases as was informed by a commenter of this article, Bobbie. The BARF diet, on the other hand, definitely includes fruits and vegetables plus meat. The founder of the diet, Dr. Ian Billinghurst, believes dogs are omnivores.

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Bobbie July, 2013

I am shocked to come across this post saying not to give a dog apples. Apple is the main base ingredient for an anti-cancer diet. I have been giving my 13 year old shepherd/husky this fruit. She was diagnosed with Hemangiosarcoma and I created a diet for her based on organic apples, kale and carrots along with other things I add such as Ascorbic acid (vitamin C), Essiac tea, wormwood, etc.

The vet was surprised that her last ultrasound showed no sign of cancer. Of course, no seeds, as they are poisonous. However, apples contain a multitude of phytochemicals all which may very well play a role in preventing cancer. Cornell researchers have identified dozens of compounds in apple peels that either inhibit or kill cancer cells in laboratory cultures. So, I’m continuing to give my dog apples!

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James July, 2013

Hello Bobbie. Thank you for sharing that detailed information. I am going to look into what you have said and edit the information regarding Apples for dogs accordingly. You have provided some great info, based on first-hand experience, to this community.

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Bobbie July, 2013

Thanks for your response James. I realize dogs are carnivores and they need mostly protein. Their digestive tract has a hard time breaking down certain plant matter, especially grains. Grains and corn are cheap filler used in most commercial dog foods. Most diseases including cancer can be traced back to the digestive tract.

I believe the cancer epidemic in dogs (statistically 60% of dogs over 6 will develop some type of cancer) can be related to the horrible commercially processed dog food. Even the ‘better’ ones are not so great. The high heat processing kills a lot of vital nutrients. But, when animals kill prey in the wild, the prey often has partially digested fruits and vegetables in them. Their diets are more well rounded than ‘just meat’.

I’m no expert, but my love for my rescues (two are 13 years old and one is 5 years) and the recent cancer diagnosis has led me to research and research. I’m thrilled that Roxy’s new ‘cancer diet’ appears to be working. So miraculously that the vet is now claiming the ultra sound machine must be broken! Roxy is currently acting and feeling better as well. So, as I said I will continue the organic apple, kale, carrot base and I’m using fresh sardines as the protein. I welcome any new info. I continue to research. Thanks again for responding!

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Lucy November, 2014

Thanks for sharing Bobbie. I lost two dogs to cancer. My newest dog, a 3-year old rescue, has recently shown me she loves apples. I too was surprised at the author here recommending no apples. Your post gives me very good information. I won’t give her too much, of course, but I’m glad to know of the cancer-fighting attributes.

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