The fruit of all fruits is the apple; it is what most people would draw if asked to draw fruit, and the first juicy delight you think of when hearing the word. Golden Delicious, Fiji, Jonagold, Red Delicious, and Gala are only some known apple types you may come across in the supermarket, and everyone has their own personal favorite.
Some are sweeter, some more sour, some apples are tart while others are juicy, and they are all good for different things. One thing all apples have in common is that they make an excellent dog treat, and they are both healthy, nutritious and safe for dogs all sizes, breeds, and ages.
Apples as a Healthy Dog Treat
Thinking twice before giving your dog something out of the fridge is crucial when being a responsible dog owner, or you could end up doing significantly more harm than good. Dogs should never eat left-overs, as these contain too much salt and other condiments, and there are other less obvious threats hiding in the fridge. Onion and garlic are two known examples, along with that chocolate bar you had hoped to save for the weekend. There are, however, safe paths leading through the minefield, and one of those paths is lined with apples!
The apple is a perfectly safe and nutritious treat you can share with your pet; one that tastes good, is easy to chew and easy to digest, that does not contain too many calories and treatment may have to lie around at home. While you want to make sure you remove the core and the seeds first, there is no harm in slipping your pooch a slice every now and again.
Apples in Dog Food
High-quality dog food brands will often use apple as one of their ingredients, along with other fruits and vegetables, and if you are interested in incorporating apples in your dog’s diet then you might want to check out a few of the premium dog food brands that are already one step ahead.
Acana and its sister brand Orijen are two dog foods that use apples in their recipes, with one example being the limited ingredient formula ACANA Lamb & Apple. When such a highly respected brand uses an ingredient in their products, it is usually a sign of it having great health benefits for our four-legged fur friends.
Note that these dog food brands do not use apples as the main ingredient, but instead, they balance it out with high-quality protein sources; apt for the carnivore dog (some argue that dogs are omnivores, but both need protein in their diets). The same applies when using apples as a treat! You should never allow for treats to take up a bigger part of the daily calorie intake, so feed in moderation and in combination with a premium dog food.
When allowing your favorite fur pup to bite into a juicy apple, he or she is also biting into a rich source of vitamin A, vitamin C, and potassium. The antioxidants will serve to build up your dog’s immune system, and a strong immune system is what protects from both minor and major health issues down the line. Dietary fiber is present to regulate the metabolism and make digestion easier; making apple ideal for dogs with sensitive stomachs and dietary concerns. As if this wasn’t enough, apples also promote good oral health with stronger teeth and fresher breath, a clear mind, and satisfied appetite!
Can Dogs with Diabetes Eat Apples?
One apple contains somewhere around 25 grams of sugar, and what this means is that someone with a diabetic dog might want to be a little careful with how much apples they let their pooch eat. Consult a veterinarian and see what they recommend already before offering the first slice, just to make sure you are not going against their suggestions. Apples are generally harmless even for diabetic dogs, but you don’t want to be taking any chances, and you should always feed your dogs in moderation, even with such a healthy snack as is the apple.
Wash Before Feeding
Apples and other fruit should not be eaten without washing it first, partially due to dirt possibly picked up during transport, but also to remove any potential chemical residue. The easiest way to go about this when giving apples to your dog is by washing the apple carefully with running water and pealing it. You wouldn’t want to risk feeding bacteria to your pooch, as it would ruin the idea of a healthy treat.
We also want to stretch that you should always remove the seeds, as apple seeds contain a small amount of cyanide. It sounds dramatic, but the amount in each seed is very small. A seed every now and then is not likely to cause harm; however, if you continuously feed apple seeds to your dog, the levels in his or her body might eventually get dangerously high. Just cut out the core, remove any additional seeds and then feed your dog his apple reward.
Using Apples as a Training Treat
If dog training is something you are interested in, or if you have a new dog that you are working with continuously, then perhaps that dog has started to gain weight due to all the rewarding treats? The solution is to switch the treats for a healthier and more natural option or mix a natural treat – like apples – in with your regular training rewards.
Chop the apple in small squares and use it whenever you feel like working with your dog. If your fussy pup is not convinced by the drastic change, but you are still determined not to stray from a healthier diet, just add some kibble from their daily portion and mix it together. It will add extra scent to the apple squares and make the transition easier.
It is not just that dogs can eat apples – they should eat apples! It is a tasty, crunchy and affordable treat for your dog; one that will give them the vitamins they need to thrive, and which will keep them from gaining unnecessary weight. There are no health risks with the occasional apple slice, but just watch how much you feed.
One apple might be too much for most dogs, due to the natural sugar content, so just use common sense and you will soon discover that your dog loves apples just as much as you do.