Small white puupy eating a huge red apple

Is an Apple a Day Good for Your Dog? A Few Warnings

Last updated on January 21st, 2024 at 07:32 pm

Are you looking for some healthy snacks to feed your favorite pooch as a daily treat? While dogs cannot consume every human food, they do enjoy a varied diet. But what about apples? Are they good for dogs, and can they be a part of their daily diet?

Certainly, dogs cannot eat every type of fruit and vegetable that humans can. However, dogs are omnivorous which means they will eat both plant-based foods along with meat and fish. But what about apples? Are they good for dogs? And can they eat them daily?

Yes, apples can be really good for dogs. However, they should be given in moderation, and your dog should never be allowed to eat the seeds, stem, or core of the apple.

Benefits of Apples for Dogs

Apples can be a delightful and crunchy treat for your pup, offering various health benefits. Here, we delve into the essential vitamins and nutrients found in apples, their role in a dog’s diet, and how they contribute to maintaining your dog’s health. Dogs usually love the taste and enjoy munching on these low-fat, low-sugar fruits.

Despite a mistaken belief that dogs should only eat meat or meat-related products, some fruits and vegetables help balance out the nutrients dogs need. Dogs are omnivores and need a wide variety of food including some plant-based food to completely balance their diet.

Be sure to see my post about Feeding Your Dog Raw Food for more information about how canines have evolved along with humans regarding eating habits. Additionally, wolves and wild dogs have been observed eating grass and plants in places where animal prey was less available to them.

Natural Sugar and Dental Health

Good news for pet parents! Apples contain natural sugar, which is far better for your dog than artificial sweeteners found in some human foods. Plus, munching on apple slices can actually help clean your dog’s teeth, reducing plaque buildup. However, it’s important to remember that too much sugar, even natural, isn’t ideal for your furry friend, especially in large quantities.

High Nutritional Value

Apples are packed with essential nutrients like vitamins A and C, and they’re a good source of fiber. We’ll discuss the health benefits of apples, including their role in supporting the immune system and digestive health of your canine companion.

Apples also have a lot of the mineral Potassium. Apples are a healthy form of carbohydrates even for diabetic dogs as long as they are eaten in moderation.


Apples and apple skin are great sources of fiber. Fiber helps both humans and dogs alike to better digest their food and helps to move out impurities and toxins. Fiber also helps to lower blood pressure and will feed the good bacteria to improve gut health.


Apples are packed full of beneficial antioxidants which include quercetin, catechin, and chlorogenic acid. Antioxidants have very beneficial effects which include anti-inflammatory properties that help support the brain, gut, and muscles.

Green Apples or Red?

Red and green apples in a basket
Dogs love both red and green apples

Dogs can eat just about any variety of apples including red, green, and yellow. They may not like the tarter taste of a green apple, however. So, if your dog spits it out, try giving her a slice of a sweeter-tasting red apple.

Green apples are a little healthier as they have more vitamins A, B6, and K, and more minerals such as potassium, iron, niacin, and thiamin. Green apples such as Granny Smith offer 63% more protein than red ones and they have a little less sugar.

So, overall, green apples are a little healthier than red apples. But again, your dog may not like them as well.

Warnings About Feeding Your Dog Apples

Risks and Precautions When Feeding Apples to Dogs

While apples are generally safe, they do pose some risks. This part addresses concerns like choking hazards, the presence of small amounts of cyanide in apple seeds, and the need to avoid high sugar content and artificial sweeteners.

When preparing apples for your dog, always remove the apple core and seeds. Apple seeds contain a small amount of cyanide, which in large quantities can be harmful. To avoid any choking hazard or upset stomach, it’s best to cut apples into bite-sized pieces or consider making homemade apple chips as a tasty treat. For smaller dogs or those with sensitive stomachs, apple peels might be easier to digest.


Do not give your dog an entire apple. They may choke on the core or stem. Just give them a couple of slices at a time and probably not more than half of an apple.

Seeds are Toxic

Apple seeds actually have a trace of arsenic in them and can make your dog feel ill. However, they would have to eat several handfuls of seeds to be actually poisoned by apple seeds. So, don’t worry if they happen to swallow one or two. Their tummy may get a little upset, but it should not be harmful.

Just do your best to keep seeds away from your pooch.


I find that if I give my dogs too many slices of apple, they can get some indigestion and gas. So, I limit them to 1-2 slices in a day. And, I do not give them apples every day. It seems to be a little too much for them.

Additionally, giving your dog too many apples may increase her calorie and sugar intake too much. Dogs can get diabetes just like humans. So, an apple a day may not be what your dog’s vet will order!

Vegetables that May Make a Better Daily Snack

I actually prefer to give my dogs a small carrot or a few cucumber slices for a healthy snack. They do not get gas or indigestion and they love these vegetables. Although it is not quite as satisfying as a bone, they love how crunchy these vegetables are and love the taste. My dogs will try to pull them right out of my garden if I allow it!

My dogs each get a small or half carrot or a few slices of cucumber each day when I have my lunch. That way they don’t feel deprived. When I take them to the beach or to an outdoor cafe, I will usually take a large carrot for each of them as a special treat, so I can eat my lunch in peace!

Just don’t overdo it. Carrots do have some sugar and cucumbers have a tough outer skin which could increase fiber too much. Also, make sure your dog can chew them well and not choke.

Give Fruits and Vegetable Snacks Along With a Balanced Diet

Apple Treats and Dog Food

While apples are a nutritious treat, they should never replace your dog’s regular dog food. The best way to include apples in your dog’s diet is as an occasional treat, complementing their balanced diet. You can even get creative and mix apple slices with unsweetened applesauce or peanut butter for a delicious and healthy snack.

Moderation is Key:

Portion Sizes and Frequency Discussing the importance of moderation when feeding apples to dogs, including portion sizes and frequency. Here we’ll explain why too much apple can lead to health issues like weight gain and blood sugar imbalances.

Small amounts of fruits and vegetables can be a great addition to your dog’s regular, balanced meals. You can see a more comprehensive list of good versus bad fruits and vegetables for dogs in my post, Is it Okay to Feed Dry Kibble to your New Rescue Dog?

Keep these snacks to a minimum, however, as you don’t want to upset the ratio of your dog’s daily balance of protein, carbs, and nutrients or cause your dog to gain weight. However, it is okay to feed your dog kibble and some additional human food. You can see more about that here.

While apples are a nutritious treat, they should never replace your dog’s regular dog food. The best way to include apples in your dog’s diet is as an occasional treat, complementing their balanced diet. You can even get creative and mix apple slices with unsweetened applesauce or peanut butter for a delicious and healthy snack.

Special Considerations for Different Dogs

Senior dogs or dogs with health conditions might have specific dietary needs. Organic apples are a great option to reduce exposure to pesticides. Always introduce new foods like apples gradually to watch for any allergic reactions or adverse reactions.

Final Thoughts

Probably giving your dog some apple slices every few days is a good balance. Green is better than red unless your dog does not like the tart taste. Apples are nutritious and healthy for your dog as long as she does not eat the seeds or core. So feel free to give your dog a little treat now and then when you are having a snack.

If you need more information about feeding your dog human food, be sure to get our free eBook, Homemade Food and Kibble, to guide you!



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