Two of the things you love the most in life? Apple orchard season and your dog, Rufus. So naturally, you'd like to combine the two by treating your furry friend to one of your favorite fruits.
The question is, do dogs and apples go together?
There are plenty of human goods that are perfectly safe and healthy for our pets. And the good news is that apples are one of them -- sometimes.
Here's a look at why the apples that are currently in season may or may not be okay for your pet.
Let's dig in!
Dogs and Apples Can Indeed Go Together
The next time you're craving a healthy snack and you grab an apple, you may want to snag one for your dog, too.
Apples are low-calorie and healthy treats not just for you but also for your pet. They are excellent sources of dietary fiber, which are great for promoting gastrointestinal health overall.
Apples also contain various nutrients and vitamins, like calcium, phosphorus, vitamin A, vitamin, K, and vitamin C. In addition, they are low-protein and antioxidant snacks.
According to some vents, the vitamin C and antioxidants might help pets suffering from joint disease and other degenerative conditions. The antioxidants can also be immensely helpful for keeping cancer at bay.
On top of this, apples keep dogs' pearly whites clean and freshen their breath. And, of course, they are tasty, so your canine will no doubt fall in love with them.
You'll also love the fact that apples are affordable treats, so you can treat your dog time and time again without having to break the bank.
Another reason to go for apples versus other treats?
Some canines are prone to particular illnesses, or they are older, so protein restrictions are placed on them. As a result, they can't have meaty treats, or they have to consume low-fat foods. Because apples are low in fat and protein, they offer an excellent substitute for such dogs.
All in all, apples are wonderful to use as pet snacks or as rewards during dog training.
When Apples Aren't So Good
Be sure to remove the apple seeds from your dog's apple before you treat your dog to this delectable fruit.
Why? Because the seeds feature small quantities of cyanide, and this chemical is toxic.
Note, though, that it'd take a large number of seeds to spark cyanide poisoning. Just a few seeds probably won't cause major harm, but too many seeds over time can cause cyanide to build up in your dog's body system. Removing apple seeds will help you to avoid risking your pup's health.
Also, try to get rid of the apple stem before you feed your dog this natural treat, as the stem could be toxic to dogs as well.
Likewise, remove the apple core before your dog eats his apple treat. The core is hard and thus challenging for the majority of pups to chew. Therefore, it could cause your dog to choke, or it may lead to gastrointestinal blockage if swallowed.
Serve Apples in Moderation
Make sure that you serve apples in moderation. In other words, include them as supplements rather than whole meals.
Also, introduce these treats to your dog's diet in a gradual manner. This will allow you to assess apples' effects on him before you make apples a core part of his diet, so to speak.
Keep in mind that these fruits contain sugar, and too much sugar isn't healthy -- especially for canines who have diabetes or cancer. In addition, too many apples may cause diarrhea or upset stomach, even in a healthy dog. So, don't go overboard once you jump on the apple train for your dog.
Apples vs. Apple Products
As a general rule of thumb, you should try to avoid products that are apple flavored. That's because these products usually contain added sugar, chemicals, and artificial flavors. In addition, some contain artificial sweeteners, like xylitol, which can be dangerous.
Symptoms to Watch Out For
As with any other food item, your dog may very well be allergic to apples. An allergic reaction might result in a possibly life-threatening health condition called anaphylaxis. However, this is quite rare.
Nonetheless, you may notice other allergic reaction signs as follows:
- Difficulty breathing
If you see any of these signs, quit giving your canine apples, and get in touch with your veterinarian right away.
Remember that all dogs react differently to different types of food. You may very well have a pup that struggles to digest apples. So, don't go straight to making apples a staple part of his diet.
As a general rule of thumb, it may be good for you to speak with your dog's vet about whether apples are truly the best dietary supplement for your pup based on his unique health condition.
Serving Apples to Your Dog
Serving bite-sized apple slices to your dog is generally a great idea. However, some pet owners also love to drizzle local honey onto apple slices for an exceptionally tasty treat. Alternatively, you could use apples to make your own homemade applesauce for your dog.
If you'd like to take things up a notch, why not try an applesauce cube recipe? To do this, you'll need apples along with a little cinnamon.
First, you'll want to peel and core your apples, then cut the apples into chunks. You can use an apple peeler and corer that additionally slices apples. Also, you can leave the apple skin on or remove it -- whichever your preference is.
Next, you'll need to put all of your apples in a blender or juicer, and hold onto the pulp.
Afterward, you'll need to mix all of this together and add water as necessary to make your mixture look and feel like apple juice. Next, feel free to add a little cinnamon. However, don't replace cinnamon with nutmeg, as nutmeg can harm canines.
Finally, you can store your fresh applesauce in a cube ice tray. In this way, you'll have a cool, fun treat that your dog will love.
Other Ways to Serve Apples to Dogs
There are other ways of serving apples to your furry friend. For instance, you could simply freeze the apple slices themselves and use them as refreshing snacks during the summer.
You could also mix mashed apple with your pet's food to add a touch of sweetness to his meal.
Also, you could blend smashed apples with other nutritious fruits and thus create a yummy smoothie that your canine will love. As mentioned before, be sure to ask your veterinarian which other fruit options are safe to mix with apples before you give a homemade smoothie to your dog. Even though your dog may not have problems with apples, other types of fruits may pose health risks to him.
How We Can Help You with Your Dog Food Needs
At Wild Earth, our goal is to make clean protein dog food and dog treats that make it easier for you to raise a healthy pup! It just happens to be a perk for us that we get to spend some of our time talking about things like dogs and apples!
If you're ready to change the way you think about your dog's diet, visit our online shop to see what we have to offer. Keep checking in with us to learn more about your dog's health! Seriously, we love talking about it!