Apples might seem like a natural choice for your dog, but is it something they need in their diet, and do the process it the same way that we do? As a general rule of thumb, what’s good for us is not usually good for them, but luckily we’ve got them covered with specially formulated dog food.
Dog ownership would be a lot harder if we had to figure out what to feed them everyday and had to make sure that it was properly balanced with their own unique nutritional needs. But since we’ve got dog food at the ready there’s not really a need to give them apples, since it’s not necessary to give your dog daily fruits and veggies the same way you need to for yourself and your family.
If they do end up with an apple, make sure they don’t eat the entire thing, because the seeds contain trace amounts of cyanide. You’ll see some owners say that it’s OK to give your dog fruits and vegetables, and they list apples as being one of the approved fruits, but it falls into the category of not being necessary, which means that you don’t have to bother. If you’re out of dog food and are looking to give them something to hold them over, an apple might do the trick, but be sure to cut it up for them so they don’t get seeds.
Can I Give My Dog Apples? Answer: Not Necessary
Whether cooked or raw you don’t really need or want to give your dog an apple. Although apples have found a place in our diet, we’re omnivores, with many vegetarians saying that our natural state is herbivores, and meat lovers saying we’re naturally carnivorous. Either way, it’s easy to know what a dog would eat if they weren’t domesticated, because there are a lot of wild dogs to look at for comparison, and they’re not herbivores.
A Dog’s Digestion
The reason that a dog doesn’t really need an apple, and won’t benefit from it the way that you might think they would is because their body is not used to eating raw or cooked fruits, and so this would almost be digested as a foreign object. If they are getting the same dog food day in and day out, that’s what they’re used to, and that’s what their stomach and digestive juices are ready for. When they have to process an apple, especially a whole apple or apple slices, they will have considerable trouble trying to digest it, and won’t absorb the vitamins and minerals anyway.
Isn’t Fruit Healthy?
Fruit is well-established as a health food for humans, but a dog left alone wouldn’t seek it out, and this is true for apples. First, they wouldn’t be able to reach them up in the tree, and waiting until they fall to the ground would present to small of a window before they rot. Dogs would spend their time instead trying to find an animal to kill, since they’re primarily pack hunters that eat meat.
What About an Apple a Day?
The old saying that an apple a day keeps the doctor away doesn’t really pertain to dogs and vets. As long as you are giving your dog a high quality dog food they won’t have any nutritional deficiencies and you don’t have to worry about supplementing their diet with raw fruits. A dog doesn’t need daily fruits and vegetables, so it’s not a good idea to apply our food pyramid to what a dog needs. Their primary need is meat and protein, and as a secondary source of nutrition comes vegetables and fruits, but to a degree that you don’t need to worry about it.
If they do end up eating an apple, either by accident, or because you give them one as a treat or as a substitute for a meal so you can get to the store to buy some dog food, they should be alright. It might cause some stomach discomfort, including diarrhea, but aside from that it shouldn’t cause any long-term problems, but you might want to monitor them for the next 24 hours.