Apples are a sweet and healthy treat for humans, but can dogs eat apples? It turns out that they can, as long as you keep a few essential guidelines in mind. Read on to learn more about how you can share a healthy snack with your four-legged friend.
Many dog owners are leery of giving their favorite pets any people food. They’ve heard from reliable sources that certain human food, like grapes or onions, are actually toxic if ingested by dogs. Accordingly, they decide not to take any chances. This means that they take great care not to allow their pups to have any human food.
However, many human foods are not just acceptable for dogs to have, but also beneficial. Apples are an example of this type of food. In fact, if you read the ingredient lists on many high-quality, veterinarian-recommended dog foods, you’ll quickly find an abundance of produce.
Fruits and vegetables like pumpkin, assorted berries, bananas and even apples are found in some of the most frequently recommended dog foods. In fact, most veterinarians are strong proponents of giving dogs fruits and vegetables as part of a healthy and well-balanced diet. Depending upon the food you feed your pup, your vet may actually advise you to include more fresh fruits and vegetables in your furry pal’s diet. Why? Because it’s simply good nutrition.
Apples are healthy for humans to eat because they are loaded with vitamins, minerals and fiber. At the same time, they are a good source of hydration and are a low-fat food. When your dog eats apples, he gets many of the same nutritional benefits that you do.
Feeding your dog fresh apple slices may also have another benefit because the acids in the fruit clean your pup’s teeth. This can freshen her breath and make her easier to live with even as her dental health improves.
While the answer to the question, “Can dogs eat apples?” is a resounding, “Yes,” it pays to keep a couple of guidelines in mind. It is never a good idea to give your pup a whole apple. It is far better to give him individual slices or to include pieces of apple in a homemade dog treat.
The reason is that apple seeds contain small amounts of cyanide. Dogs should not ingest these any more than humans should in order to avoid endangering their health. Moreover, veterinarians suggest that the apple’s core and stem could present choking hazards and thus should never be presented to a dog.
Most dogs are perfectly happy to munch on raw, fresh apple slices as a treat or reward. The dozens of apple varieties mean that you can experiment to discover which ones you and your dog like the best. Keep in mind that your dog will have preferences just like you, so some apples may be more attractive to her than others. Additionally, dogs can have allergies just like people do.
If it’s your dog’s first time trying an apple, give her just a small amount, and then monitor her to make certain that she doesn’t have an adverse reaction. If you notice any unusual behavior or illness, then it is advisable to consult with your veterinarian as soon as possible.
Raw apple slices satisfy most dogs, but sometimes it’s nice to have variety. Additionally, some dogs just don’t seem to enjoy raw produce very much. In these cases, it may be helpful to have some home-cooked apple treats ready to go. It isn’t necessary to prepare anything particularly complicated, but a little time and effort can go a long way when it comes to preparing healthy snacks for your pup.
After all, you want to give her the absolute best nutrition possible. Often, the best way to do that is through food that you prepare yourself.
One of the simplest, and tastiest, treats that you can make for your dog at home is Apple Chips. Many variations of this recipe exist, but this one comes from the First Home Love Life blog. All you need is an apple, a sharp knife and an oven. Start by preheating the oven to its lowest setting, which is usually about 175 degrees. It isn’t necessary to peel the apple.
There are fiber and nutrients in the peel, so why deprive your pooch of these positive ingredients? Use the sharp knife to slice away each side of the apple, being careful to avoid the apple’s core so that you don’t get any seeds in the slices. Lay the flat side of each apple down on the countertop or on a cutting board. Slice the piece of apple as thinly as you can.
If you have a mandolin slicer, then that just might be the perfect tool for the job since it is capable of making paper-thin slices. However, a sharp knife will do almost as well.
Place a cooling rack on top of a baking sheet. Those thin slices of apple will go on the cooling rack. This keeps them from sitting against something while in the oven, which allows the air to circulate more evenly for effective drying. Slide the baking rack into the oven and let the apple slices dehydrate over the next five or six hours.
By the time they come out of the oven, they are a crunchy, sweet treat for your pup. Make certain to let them cool completely before you give your dog one. The slices can be stored in an airtight container for up to two weeks, and they contain vitamin A, vitamin C and fiber.
This healthy, all-natural treat is something that you can feel comfortable giving to your dog at any time. You might enjoy them too.
Most dogs love apples in all forms, so other dog treats that you can make at home take advantage of this fact. That is the case with this next recipe, which is called Peanut Butter and Applesauce Cookies. Once again, this is a recipe that is available in many different variations.
The Lazy Pit Bull blog is responsible for this yummy one. In all its variations, this recipe is a winner with virtually all dogs since it combines two of their favorite things: peanut butter and apples. Whipping up a batch doesn’t take long. Because it only uses simple, wholesome ingredients, you’ll love offering these treats to your pup as much as he enjoys eating them.
Peanut Butter and Applesauce Cookies
3 cups of whole wheat flour
2 cups of quick oats
1 cup of smooth or chunky peanut butter
1 cup of applesauce, sweetened or unsweetened
1 teaspoon of baking powder
Up to 1/2 cup of coconut oil
Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and use parchment paper to line two baking sheets. Combine all ingredients except coconut oil in a large mixing bowl, using a spoon to ensure that everything gets mixed in well. Lightly flour a flat surface.
Transfer the dough from the bowl to the floured surface. Knead the dough eight to 10 times. If it is too crumbly and apt to fall apart, gradually add in up to 1/2 cup coconut oil to make the dough easier to work with.
Use a rolling pin to roll out the dough to approximately 1/4 inch thickness if you plan to use a cookie cutter. There are many fun, dog-themed cookie cutter shapes you might try. The classic bone shape is a favorite.
However, you can also skip the rolling out of the dough and simply make small, round dough balls before placing them on the cookie sheet.
Bake for approximately 25 minutes or until the cookies become lightly browned. Allow them to cool completely before serving one to your pup. Store the remainder in an airtight container in the fridge. These cookies can be kept for up to one week.
Peanut Butter and Applesauce Cookies are a nutritious, yummy snack that you can feel good about giving your dog. Another wholesome recipe comes to us from The Cookie Rookie blog. Although the particular recipe on the blog recommends using gluten-free flour and oats, this is only optional.
Other variations use ordinary flour and rolled oats with great success. It’s merely your preference as a pet parent that dictates the precise ingredients that you decide to use.
Oat and Apple Pretzel Dog Treats
2 cups flour
3/4 cup rolled oats
1 egg, beaten
1 cup applesauce, sweetened or unsweetened
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Use parchment paper to line a baking sheet. In a large bowl, mix flour, oats and applesauce. Pour the beaten egg over the mixture, reserving about one tablespoon of the egg. Combine the egg into the other ingredients, stirring until a soft dough forms. If the dough seems too sticky, add a small amount of flour so the dough will be easier to work with.
Lightly flour a flat surface so the dough won’t stick while you’re working with it. Separate the dough into balls of about two tablespoons in size. Roll each ball into a tube that is approximately 10 inches long and comparable in width to an ordinary pencil. Form each tube into a “U” shape. Twist both ends of the “U” together and fold back toward the top of the “U” to make a pretzel shape. Pinch the ends to secure.
Move the pretzels to the prepared baking tray. Brush each one with the remaining one tablespoon of beaten egg. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until brown and crisp. The pretzels may be stored in an airtight container for as long as two weeks.
Hundreds of different homemade apple treat recipes are available to the enthusiastic pet parent. Of course, slices of fresh, sweet apple are always a quick and easy alternative. Perhaps you’ll treat your pup with raw apple on a regular basis and reserve baked treats for special occasions like holidays and birthdays.
Apples are among the most ideal treats you can offer your pup. Unlike some fruits and vegetables that may be harmful to dogs, apples are almost universally approved for pups to consume. The only warning you have to keep in mind is that it’s important to avoid giving your dog apple seeds as they can be toxic.
However, don’t panic if you suspect that your dog has eaten a seed or two. Many seeds would typically have to be eaten to have a detrimental effect. Since it’s always better to be safe than sorry, take care to supervise your pooch when she’s eating apples, and it should be an enjoyable experience for both of you.