Are you looking for some healthy snacks to feed your favorite pooch as a daily treat?
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 fun, crunchy treat for your pup. 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.
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.
Apples also have a lot of great vitamins such as A and C as well as the mineral Potassium. Apples are a healthy form of carbohydrates even for diabetic dogs as long as they are eaten in moderation.
Green Apples or Red?
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
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
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.
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!