5 min read

Can Dogs Eat Apples?

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By Wag! Staff

Published: 02/09/2021, edited: 09/27/2023

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

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Overview

You know what they say, an apple a day keeps the doctor away. But what about the vet? Can dogs eat apples? While the answer is yes — apples are just as delicious and nutritious for our dogs as they are for humans — not all parts of an apple are safe for canines.

So, before feeding your pup this tasty, low-calorie snack, you need to know how to feed an apple to them.


Can dogs eat apples?

Yes, dogs can eat apples. However, there is more than one type of apple. So, while this fruit is perfectly safe for them to tuck into, you might be wondering can dogs eat green apples? Or will they enjoy Granny Smith as much as a Red Delicious? 

While every color, shape and variety of apple is safe for your dog to eat, they may not like the taste of them all. 

You can always let your dog try different apples to see which ones they like but you may want to avoid the tart ones and stick with sweet ones. 

You should only ever give your dog slices of apple and never a whole apple to eat in one go. 


bowl of different kinds of apples

Is it safe to give dogs apples?

Apples can be excellent and healthy treats for your dog, but some dogs can develop an allergy to apples. If you’re feeding an apple to your dog for the first time, check its reaction and behavior in the days afterwards. Signs of a food allergy include itching, hives, rubbing at face and ears. A small amount of dogs might have a serious allergic reaction called anaphylaxis, which can be life threatening.

Can dogs eat apple skin?

No! The apple core (and stem) is a choking hazard. Unlike the rest of the apple it is also firm and hard to eat so this should never be given to your dog, not even under supervision. If they do get hold of this and eat it then make sure you keep a close eye on them.

Can dogs eat apple seeds?

Apple seeds contain a small amount of cyanide which is poisonous and therefore your dog shouldn’t eat these. Although it would probably take a large amount to be really harmful to your dog — a few shouldn’t be a cause of worry — you don’t want to risk them having it at all. 

While apples are healthy snacks for your dog, if they eat toxic fruit such as grapes they need to be seen by a vet as soon as possible. Make sure you have the  best pet insurance plan that covers you if you do find your dog has got hold of food they shouldn’t have.


Can a puppy eat apples?

Apples are safe for dogs of all ages, so they are perfectly safe for you to feed to your puppy. You may want to cut this into cubes for them while they are still very small, though.

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

Health benefits of feeding your dog apples

Just like apples are a healthy snack for humans, they have many health benefits for our pups too. Those health benefits include:

Improves dental health: While some treats can have a negative impact on our dogs’ teeth, an apple will not only freshen their breath it will also help to prevent the build-up of plaque.


Helps manage weight: There are many tasty but high-calorie dog treats. Apples have the benefit of being low-calorie while also remaining delicious. They are also high in fiber which means they are good for their digestive health and will keep them full for longer. A perfect snack for all dogs but ideal if the vet has told you your pup needs to lose a little weight. 


Essential vitamins and minerals: As well as antioxidants, apples are full of vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium and phosphorus.


How many apples can I give my dog?

You already know you can’t give your dog the whole apple – the core and seeds must be removed first. So, wash the apple thoroughly and then cut a few slices to feed them as a treat or add to their meal. Why not use the apples to make them homemade dog treats? These peanut butter apple treats are guaranteed to be their new favorite. Just make sure the peanut butter you use doesn’t contain Xylitol as this is poisonous to them. 

Apples, like all fruit, although a healthy snack, should be given to your dog in moderation. For small dogs, around one slice per day while medium to large dogs could have two to three slices. Apples contain sugar, so you don’t want to feed them too much and should be very careful with diabetic dogs. Too much apple for any dog could also result in them getting an upset stomach.

When giving your dog an apple for the first time, let them try a small single slice. New food can cause diarrhea while some dogs may develop an apple allergy. Once they have tried it and you know you like it, you can start to increase how much you give them. 


Do you have a wellness plan for your dog? At the routine examinations, which the plan covers, you can ask any questions you may have about your dog including their diet.


Can dogs eat applesauce?

Yes, dogs can eat applesauce. It’s a low-calorie food that is delicious and has all the benefits of apples – including vitamins A and C. That being said, most contain extra sugar, artificial flavors and colors. It could also contain preservatives that can be toxic to dogs. 

If you want to give your dog applesauce then either look for an organic brand or even better, make your own at home. Frozen applesauce is the perfect treat on a hot day - just pour into an ice tray and pop it in the freezer.


Can dogs have apple cider vinegar?

You may have heard that apple cider vinegar has a lot of health benefits. If apples are good for dogs perhaps apple cider vinegar is too? 

The answer is yes - it’s safe for your dog and comes with benefits such as: 

  • Helping with digestion 

  • Combating yeast infections

  • Relieving seasonal allergies 

  • Supporting joint health  


Do you want to give apple cider vinegar to your dog? If they are a small to medium dog you can add a teaspoon to their water while larger dogs can have a tablespoon, up to two times a week. Just make sure they are drinking it. You don’t want to reduce their water intake because they don’t like the taste. 

It must also be diluted properly as it can cause problems, particularly for dogs with health issues. If your dog has kidney disease then you shouldn’t let them have apple cider vinegar as it can be harmful. 

It’s always best to speak to your vet first to be on the safe side.


Can dogs drink apple juice?

No. Although apples are healthy for dogs, apple juice isn’t. Apple juice is full of sugar and will contain other added ingredients that aren’t good for your pup. You might think it can aid digestion but it’s more likely to cause diarrhea. It’s best to stick to water and let your pup enjoy a delicious apple slice instead.


Can dogs eat apple pie?

Apple pie is an American favorite, loved by humans. But, you shouldn’t start sharing this with your dogs even though you now know they can eat apples. Firstly, it contains a lot of sugar which can be harmful to dogs and includes spices such as nutmeg which are toxic to them. Again, keep the apple pie for yourself while your dog enjoys some safe apple slices. 

While you want your pet’s food to be delicious, it’s also important that it benefits their health. Check out our friends over at Dog Food Advisor for advice including the best fresh dog food and the best natural dog food.

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