It is not uncommon for pet owners to spoil their canine companions with “human food.” In fact, a lot of people might assume that fruits and vegetables are just as healthy for dogs as they are for humans. However, this can be a dangerous presumption. Not only is some produce unhealthy for dogs, it may even be poisonous and put your dog’s life at risk. So, before giving your furry friend scraps from the table, be sure to read our series of posts on what your dog can and cannot have.
First up, apples! So, can dogs eat apples? The short answer is yes, apples are safe for dogs to consume. In fact, they are an excellent source of fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and phosphorous for your canine. In addition, they are low in protein and fat, making it an especially good snack for senior dogs.
Apple Safety for Dogs
Although apples are safe for dogs to consume, there are a few precautionary measures you should take when serving them to your pet. First, be sure to remove all seeds from the flesh of the apple as they contain a toxic substance known as cyanide. Some veterinarians even suggest removing the stem as an extra safety measure. Second, avoid giving your dog the apple core, especially if she is a small dog, which can be a choking hazard.
Finally, be sure to feed your dog apples in moderation. Like with most things, serving your pup too many apples may cause upset stomach or canine diarrhea. Try integrating apples into your dog’s diet slowly and gauge how his digestive system reacts to the new food.
Note that apples contain sugar, so if your dog has canine cancer or diabetes, consult with your veterinarian before giving them to your pet.
Now that you know apples are safe for your dog to ingest, you can have fun with an abundance of recipes. A quick internet search will show you that you can use apples, and applesauce, to make homemade biscuits for your pup as well as feeding it to him in simple slices. In the summer, try freezing the apple first for a cool snack!
Why Feed Your Dog Fruits & Vegetables?
Besides giving your pup a special treat, there are a number of health reasons to incorporate whole fruits and vegetables into your dog’s diet. First, fruits and vegetables provide a range of nutrients that your dog may not consume otherwise. While most dog foods aim to include all the essentials for your dog’s health, there is no replacement for the real thing. Similarly, whole fruits and vegetables may help fill in any nutritional gaps left by your dog’s daily kibble or canned food. They also provide a variety of vitamins and minerals that could be lacking from your dog’s daily food as well.
Fruits and vegetables are also an excellent source of water. Unbeknownst to many dog owners, their pets typically live in a state of dehydration which can lead to canine health problems such as kidney disease and the formation of bladder stones in dogs. Providing fruits and vegetables to your dog can help increase his water intake due to the high water content in most of these foods.
The No List
As we mentioned before, not all fruits and vegetables are safe for dogs so it is extremely important for you to understand what your pup can eat. Here is a list of produce that is dangerous for your dog:
Each of these items are unsafe for various reasons. If your pet does get a hold of these items, don’t panic – a little scrap will likely not harm your dog depending on his size. However, closely monitor his behavior for changes and call your vet if he becomes lethargic. If your dog consumed a large amount of one of the previously listed foods, call or take him to your veterinarian immediately for further treatment.
Although apples are generally safe for your dog to consume, it is important to consult with your veterinarian before making any changes to your dog’s diet. Your vet will be able to consider your pup’s unique medical history and make an informed recommendation regarding the safety of providing fruits and vegetables, like apples, to your dog on a regular basis.