Dogs Can Have Apples and Here’s How
Apples aren’t what you may consider a treat for a dog because, well, dogs eat meat. However, apples are not only a great treat, many dogs really love them. Not only do apples have many dietary benefits, they also have physical benefits for your dog as well and there are many different ways to incorporate them into your dog’s menu.
For starters apples help to clean residue off your dog’s teeth, which will help freshen their breath as well. They are also a great treat for dogs on a low calorie diet or low protein and fat diet with the great side effect of being high in fiber as well.
The health benefits are far reaching with apples being a good source of soluble fiber as pectin which can contribute to overall gastrointestinal health. They also contain calcium, vitamin K and vitamin A. They also contain antioxidants such as vitamin C, which some believe helps with degenerative conditions like joint disease. Don’t cut off the skins! The apple skin is full of phytonutrients that are thought to be protective against some types of cancer in humans. Keep in mind they do contain sugar so check with your vet first if your dog has diabetes.
To be on the safe side you will want to avoid giving your dog the seeds and stems as they contain cyanogenic glycosides (cyanide). If given frequently it will build up in their system and can cause tummy upset and more serious problems if given in large quantities. You should also steer clear of dehydrated apples as they obviously have no water and thus a higher concentration of sugars and can cause tummy upset.
As with any diet change, you should introduce apples slowly to your dog and monitor their reactions to them before making them a part of your dog’s diet. And like other fruits, apples should be given in moderation as a small supplement to their normal diet.
So how can you feed apples to your dog? In the heat of summer you can give your dog frozen slices or apple sauce ice cubes made from apple sauce. You can wedge them into a Kong, grate them over their dinner or drizzle slices with local honey. If you are making pie you can slip your dog a core or two after removing the seeds and only if you are certain they will chew them up before swallowing. If you would like to make them into treats you can try one of the following recipes.
Cinnamon Apple Bones
1 large apple (or apple sauce)
½-cup of water
½ -teaspoon cinnamon
1-1/2 cups whole-wheat flour (or substitute coconut flour)
Peanut butter to taste (optional)
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees
- Chop up the apple into fine pieces (or use apple sauce)
- Combine all of the ingredients except flour
- Gradually fold in the flour until your dough is stiff enough to roll out
- Use a cookie cutter or drop the dough in dog treat sized circles and flatten
- Bake for 30 minutes, then lightly spread peanut butter over them, if desired
- Cook an additional 30 minutes and let cool. The peanut butter will harden making a nice, tasty frosting
Store your dog treats on the counter if you plan to use them in a couple of days, or in the fridge/freezer to help them last longer.
Homemade Apple Sauce Cubes
Apples (how many you use depends on how many apple sauce cubes you’d like to make)
- Peal and core the apples and cut them into chunks. You can leave the skin on.
- Put the apples in a juicer or blender; keep the pulp
- Mix everything together, adding water as you need to bring the mixture to the consistency of apple juice
- Add a dash of cinnamon.*
- Store apple sauce in ice cube trays for a fun, cool treat, or store in freezer bags to thaw and serve at a later date.
* Do not substitute nutmeg for cinnamon. Nutmeg can be harmful to dogs.