5 min read

Can Dogs Eat Apples?


By Wag! Staff

Published: 02/09/2021, edited: 04/06/2023

Reviewed by a licensed veterinary professional: Dr. Linda Simon, MVB MRCVS

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Everyone knows that apples are a tasty and nutritious snack for humans, but what about dogs? Can dogs eat apples? The answer is a resounding yes! Dogs can most certainly eat apples, and this delicious fruit is a great low-calorie treat for your fur-baby. 

Before you pass this pupular fruit over to your pup, however, you'll need to know how to feed your dog apples as not all parts are safe. Keep reading for all the facts on apple nutrition and how to let your dog safely enjoy this sweet fruit. 

Do dogs like apples?

A dog's sense of taste is far less refined than a human's. In fact, dogs have a measly 1,700 taste buds compared to our 9,000. But this isn't to say they can't tell the difference between a piece of steak and an apple slice. Dogs actually use their sense of smell to taste food. Given how excellent their nose is, it makes sense that dogs can tell when a food is sweet and delicious, such as a juicy apple slice.

From Red Delicious to Granny Smith, apples come in a huge range of different colors, shapes, and varieties- and all of them are safe for your dogster! The taste differs depending on the type of apple you choose, with some mouthwateringly sweet and others offering a much more tart treat for the taste buds.

Whether or not your dog likes apples and which variety tastes best varies from one pooch to the next. It’s all down to your dog’s personal preference, so let them taste a few different options to decide what they like best. 

bowl of different kinds of apples

Health benefits of apples for dogs

Apples can offer our four-legged friends some of the same benefits that they do for us humans. If you’re searching for something healthy and appetizing to give to your pet as a treat, be sure to add apples to your treat shortlist. Because they’re safe for dogs of all ages, you can give apples to your puppy or senior dog as well. Here are some of the pawsome benefits for your pup. 

Improves dental health

Chewing on apples can improve your dog’s dental health, helping to prevent the buildup of plaque and freshen your pup’s breath.

Helps manage weight 

Apples are high in fiber, which can help promote proper digestive health and keep your pup feeling full longer. They're low in calories and have a taste many doggos love! Try swapping out a high calorie dog treat for an apple slice to help your pup shed a little weight. 

Packed with essential vitamins and minerals

Apples pack a powerful punch of vitamin A, vitamin Ccalcium, potassium, and antioxidants. 

According to Nutrition Value, one cup of sliced apple contains:

  • Vitamin A - 3.75 mcg
  • Vitamin C - 5.8 mg
  • Calcium - 7.5mg
  • Fiber - 3 g
  • Potassium - 134mg

How much apple can I give my dog?

Apples may be a healthy treat for dogs, but that doesn’t mean you can just toss your pooch a whole apple and let them chow down. The apple core represents a major choking hazard, while apple seeds contain a small amount of cyanide. As a result, you’ll need to remove the seeds and core before giving any apple to your pet. However, the skin and the flesh of the apple are safe for your dog to eat. You can even try using apples in a homemade dog treat recipe, like these peanut butter apple treats

It’s also important to be wary of letting your dog have too much of a good thing. Apples are great in moderation, but if your pet overdoes it, they run the risk of suffering from an upset stomach. And because apples contain sugar, pet parents of diabetic dogs should check with their vet first before letting their dog tuck into an apple snack. 

A good rule of thumb is one to three slices per day, with small dogs on the smaller end of that. Keep in mind that a 10-pound dog eating a quarter of an apple is the equivalent to a human eating several apples. 

A great way to calculate the right amount of treats your dog should be getting is using the 90/10 rule: 90% (or more) of their calories should come from dog food and 10% (or less) from treats.  The Pet Nutrition Alliance offers a handy online form that helps determine your dog’s caloric requirements. One cup of apple slices (109 grams) contains 57 calories. Typically, one to three slices in one day is a good rule of thumb.

Finally, use caution when letting your dog try apples for the first time. Any new food has the potential to cause tummy troubles and diarrhea, so start them off with a single slice and then wait to see whether it causes any sort of adverse reaction. Some dogs may develop an apple allergy

apples next to a bowl of applesauce - can dogs eat apples

Can dogs eat applesauce?

Dogs can eat applesauce without any issues. It’s a delicious food topping, and just like apples, it's a low-calorie treat that’s high in fiber, vitamin C, vitamin A, and calcium. However, most brands contain extra sugar, artificial flavors, colors, and toxic preservatives. If you want to add applesauce to your pup's diet, it is best to look for an organic brand that doesn't add any fillers or put in added sugars, or make your own at home!

Is apple cider vinegar good for dogs?

As of late, apple cider vinegar has become another huge food trend in the healthy and organic eating world. We’ve already learned that apples are a healthy and wonderful snack for our dogs, so is ACV? In short, yes, this vinegar is safe for your dog. Health benefits of ACV potentially include helping with digestion, combating yeast infections, relieving seasonal allergies, and supporting joint health. 

You must make sure the vinegar is diluted properly, however, as it can cause some issues, especially in dogs that are not in 100% good health. For instance, if your dog has kidney disease, ingesting ACV could be harmful. The general rule of thumb is small to medium-sized dogs can have 1 teaspoon in the water bowl, while large breeds can have about 1 tablespoon of ACV in their water. It should generally not be given more than two times per week. It’s always a good idea to speak to your vet before adding something new to your pup’s diet. 

If adding ACV to water, monitor your dog to ensure they don't mind the taste as this could lead to reduced water intake, which can cause dehydration, urinary issues and even bladder stone formation.

Can dogs drink apple juice?

Even though apples are one of the healthiest fruits you can give your dogs, you should not give your dog apple juice as it can cause diarrhea and can harm their health over time. All that added sugar, as well as other added ingredients, can wreak havoc on your pup's system. Many people mistakenly use apple juice to aid in digestion because their dog loves the taste, but there are much better alternatives out there. When in doubt, stick to water! Your pup will thank you for it. 

Can dogs eat apple pie?

While an American favorite that we humans adore, apple pie is better left out of your pup's diet. With a lot of added sugar, butter and spices like nutmeg which are toxic to dogs, apple pie contains too much that could be harmful. Better stick to some yummy apple slices for your four-legged pal.

The next time you’re munching on an apple and your dog gives you a pleading look practically begging you to give them a bite, rest assured that apples are perfectly safe for dogs. And if you’re looking for a nutritious, low-calorie treat for your fur-baby, a few slices of apple could be just what the doctor ordered.

A high-quality diet is essential for keeping your dog happy and healthy, while digestive problems can be expensive to treat. Compare pet health insurance plans to save more than $270 a year on vet care.

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