There is a saying that says “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” and some people seem to take this to heart, but is this also applicable to dogs? Can dogs also benefit if their humans feed them apples? Well, it turns out dogs can also eat apples. Apples are affordable, healthy, and they are also good low-calorie treats for your beloved pooch. They have a lot of dietary fiber and are loaded with Vitamins A and C, which helps keep your dog’s teeth clean and their breath fresher. Contrary to what some people believe, apples are not poisonous to dogs and it is also not true that dogs dislike apples. As a matter of fact, most dogs love this treat. However, there are a couple of things to watch out for when feeding apples to dogs: feeding them too many apples and the apple seeds.
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The Root of the Behavior
There are certain dogs or breeds that are prone to illness and must have limited meaty treats due to protein restrictions. Apples are low in protein and fat and make a great substitute for these dogs because they are healthier and dog owners will love them because they are cheap, easy to find, and easy to prepare. Apples have benefits not only for aging dogs but also for more active and younger pups. Veterinarians believe that apples help conditions such as joint disease because of their high-fiber content, Vitamin C, and antioxidants which also contributes to better overall gastrointestinal health. They are great for cleaning your dog’s teeth and they help give your dog fresh breath. The Omega-6 and Omega-3 in apples help improve your dog’s skin, prevent skin allergies, and keep the coat shiny. Lastly, apples help fight cancer because they contain free radicals.
There are various ways of feeding apples to dogs. It can easily be served as apple pops with sauce, grated as a dinner topping, as a frozen slice, or you can wedge it into a Kong. Apple seeds must be avoided, as well as stems in fresh apples, because they contain high doses of cyanogenic glycosides which can cause upset tummies or poisoning in dogs. However, you need not worry about your dog if he accidentally swallows a few seeds as the body will be able to detoxify itself. As much as possible, avoid feeding your dogs dehydrated apples because they contain all the nutrients of the hydrated apples but without the water. Dogs can eat any kind of apples that humans also eat such as green and red apples. One thing to avoid is crabapples as they are not really apples. Crabapples have a sour taste and although they are not dangerous, they can give your dog a sore stomach, even though they do not cause poisoning. They are, however, still members of the apple family and still have the same poisonous seeds.
Encouraging the Behavior
You can encourage your dog to eat apples by serving it in a variety of ways. However, as with any case in dealing with food, apples should be given in moderation. If your dog has cancer or diabetes, you must keep in mind that apples contain sugar so talk to your veterinarian first before you start serving them to your dog. Apples also contain phosphorous and calcium which are not good for dogs that have kidney problems. Too much phosphorous and calcium in the kidney is an indicator of kidney stones. Eating too much apple can also cause loose bowels in dogs. But how much is too much apple still depends on the dog so you must be cautious of the amounts you are giving your dog. Some of the nice ways to prepare apples for dogs to eat is by making apple juice, apple pie, and applesauce. So, never fear apples as a treat for your dog. Just be a responsible owner by removing the seeds and keep portions to a reasonable size. You may just see your dog’s coat gleam and that he is one happy pup. Watch your dog carefully and monitor him because dogs can be just like little children at times and they may eat more than they should if given the opportunity.
Other Solutions and Considerations
There are other things to consider when you feed your dog apples aside from the quantity and the seeds. Apples should only be used to supplement smaller portions of your dog’s normal food, and fruit should be introduced to a dog’s diet gradually. It is a must to remember that dogs are different from one another and they react differently to food too. There are some dogs that might have trouble digesting apples so you must take time when you add apples to your dog’s diet. Guage how your dog reacts to apples before you make it a staple food in his diet.
Apples can be a welcome addition to your dog’s diet but there are certain precautions that need to be taken when serving your dogs apples. One of these is to always remove the seeds before giving them to your dog. Dogs can safely eat the skin and flesh of the apple but they cannot eat the core or the seeds.