Can I Give My Dog Apples?

Can I Give My Dog Apples?Apples are one of the most popular fruits and no doubt your pet dog has seen you bite into one. Can this healthy food be an appropriate snack for Fido? Let’s find out!

If you’ve got quality dog food at the ready, there’s really no need to share any apples. That said, giving your best buddy a few sliced up pieces won’t hurt if you prepare their portions properly.

So apples aren’t poisonous for dogs but the seeds do contain trace amounts of cyanide, although that’s likely a non-factor. Just be sure to cut up this fruity treat into easily digestible slices and withhold seeds and stems.

Can I Give My Dog an Apple? Answer: Yes, but prepare it

Though this fruit isn’t necessary for their diet, there’s no harm in sharing one.

Apples can be a good treat for your dog on occasion, but keep in mind that canines are much more carnivorous than humans. The family dog has much in common with a wild wolf which isn’t going to thrive on eating lots of apples. That said, this classic fruit is nutritious which makes it a suitable treat for anyone. If you like giving fruits then consider a healthy variety pack of fruity dog treats.

It’s best to strategically use apples as a reward for your dog’s good behavior!

Different Doggie Digestion

Dogs, in general, aren’t accustomed to eating fruits. It’s just not in their DNA. If your pet is getting the same quality dog food on a daily basis, then their stomach and digestive juices are in tune with that. There’s a reasonable chance they won’t fully absorb an apple’s vitamins and minerals.

May you notice, after giving your dog an apple, that their poop isn’t quite right. Small portions are less likely to trigger a digestive problem though every dog is different. Regardless of the circumstances, if your dog ate their fair share, it’s wise to monitor them afterwards.

Sharing Fruits With Dogs

Fruit is well-established as a great health food for humans. The fact remains, the natural instinct is for dogs to spend their time finding an animal to kill. They’re primarily pack hunters, not apple pickers, that crave and eat protein-packed meat. You may not think of your dog this way but you can’t argue with evolution.

The good news is that your dog can eat an apple and there’s no harm in that.

They Say, An Apple a Day…

As the saying goes, an apple a day keeps the doctor away but this doesn’t apply to dogs. Fido won’t have nutritional deficiencies as long as you are providing them with a high quality dog food. There’s really no need to supplement their diet with apples.

So apples should be the exception and not the rule. Most owners would be better off researching the best dog foods rather than concerning themselves with questions that mostly don’t apply to their carnivorous canines.

Portions & Proper Preparation

The biggest concern is the possibility of your dog choking on an apple. Imagine if they try to eat one whole, in one big gulp. That’s a scary thought even though it’s unlikely. So be sure to cut up your apples in order to make them easy to digest. That will eliminate your worries.

Remove the stem and the seeds, even though the cyanide levels are very low. Limit portions to reduce the possibility of an upset stomach or diarrhea. Rationing will also make room for regular chow which is important. These tips will make feeding your dog an apple a better and safer idea.

Conclusion on Apples

Apples can be fed to dogs on occasion. Stomach discomfort or diarrhea are possible so don’t provide too much. Always remove the stem and any seeds prior to sharing. Aside from that, this fruit is fine but it cannot replace what your dog requires on a daily basis which is meat-based protein. There are excellent naturally-flavored fruity canine treats that you can give to your dog on a regular basis.

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Myrt February, 2016

I have a 12 year old Basset Hound who is an epileptic and is taking Phenobarbital. Bella is 65 pounds which is big for her breed. She’s always hungry and has put on weight. So now she is on satiety dog food and has lost 7 pounds.

The vet suggested I could give her apple, carrots but no seeds in between feedings to calm her hunger. I was sort of surprised when you said no fruit. It’s been a struggle but the fruits do help. Bella is a healthy dog other than her epilepsy. Who do I believe?


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.


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.


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?


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.


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!


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.


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!


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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