- Scientific Name: Malus pumila
- Common Name: Apple
- Dangerous Compounds: Cyanide (apple seeds)
- Toxic to Dogs: No
- Common Symptoms: None
There are many fresh fruits which can be nutritionally beneficial for your dog, including apples. Apples come in all different varieties but they all offer similar health benefits. Apples are not dangerous for your dog to eat, except for the seeds which contain cyanide. The fruit of the apple, as well as applesauce, however, is completely safe.
Health Benefits of Applesauce
Apples contain plenty of dietary fiber as well as vitamin C, phosphorus, and calcium. The nutritional benefits of applesauce may vary a little bit, depending on how it is made. You shouldn’t feed your dog applesauce that has been sweetened, but unsweetened applesauce is perfectly safe and healthy. Here is an overview of the health benefits your dog can derive from eating apples and unsweetened applesauce:
- Apples are rich in soluble fiber which is important for encouraging regular digestion – it also helps to safeguard against diarrhea and constipation.
- Apples are low in calories and fat so they can be used as a healthy, low-calorie treat or as a nutritional supplement for dogs who need to lose weight.
- Apples contain Vitamin C which plays an important role in supporting the healthy development of bones and muscles, particularly in puppies.
- Apples are rich in Vitamin A which has been shown to improve skin and coat health – it also supports your dog’s immune system.
- Apples contain a number of different antioxidants which help to protect against free-radical damage and may also support his eye, bone, immune, and skin health.
- Apples are rich in calcium which is essential for healthy bones, nails, and teeth – it also supports your dog’s heart health.
- Apples contain phosphorus which works with calcium to support bone health, particularly in developing puppies.
Again, the nutritional content of applesauce will vary depending how it is made. If you want your dog to receive the maximum benefit, consider making your own unsweetened applesauce at home. You’ll find recipes for unsweetened applesauce and for homemade dog treats using applesauce below.
Tips for Feeding Apples and Applesauce to Your Dog
It is perfect safe to feed your dog fresh apples as long as you only feed him the flesh. The core of the apple could potentially be a choking hazard for your dog, plus it contains the seeds which could be poisonous due to their cyanide content. Some veterinarians also recommend against feeding your dog apple stems, so your best bet is to stick with the fresh fruit itself or unsweetened applesauce made from the fruit of fresh apples. Make sure you don’t feed your dog any applesauce that contains sugar or any kind of coloring agent or preservatives. As is true with any fresh fruit or vegetable, apples and applesauce should be fed as an occasional treat, making up no more than 5% of your dog’s daily intake.
The easiest way to feed your dog fresh apples is to simply slice them up and offer them to your dog whole. You can also chop the apples and mix them into your dog’s food – the same goes with unsweetened applesauce. To give your dog a tasty and refreshing summertime treat, try chilling the apple slices before feeding them to your dog. Though apples are healthy for your dog, he could develop a stomachache or diarrhea if you feed him too many apples – this is largely due to the fiber content of the apples. Applesauce is cooked which means that the fiber has broken down a little bit, so your dog is unlikely to experience digestive issues from eating applesauce.
Homemade Recipes for Dogs Using Applesauce
You can never be too careful about what you feed your dog, so if you want to feed your dog applesauce you should think about making it yourself. That is the only way to guarantee that the applesauce doesn’t contain any sugar, food coloring, or preservatives. Below you will find a simple recipe for homemade applesauce as well as some dog treats you can make using the applesauce: