Can Dogs Eat Apples?

Written by: Milica Brzakovic
Your dog is looking at you with those "please-give-me" eyes while you're eating your apple...The big question is - to share or not to share?

Apples are one of the most popular fruits. No wonder, considering they’re super healthy and tasty!

However, not all food that is healthy for us is healthy for our dogs. This is why you have to be sure if some food is safe for your pet to eat.

So – what’s the deal with apples? Is it OK to share some with your dog?

Dogs love to eat, that’s a fact. To the point that they can end up eating something they shouldn’t and that’s bad for them. Having in mind they’re not too choosy, it’s your responsibility as a dog owner to know what you can and can’t give your dog.

Even though most fruits and vegetables are safe to give to your dog there are still those that can cause problems. So, since you’re here we’re guessing you wish to get an answer to the following question:

Can I Give My Dog Apples?

The answer is – yes, apples are in general safe for dogs. However, there are some things you should think about when giving apples to your dog as it can result in health problems otherwise. We’ll get into that later in the text.

But before we do that, let us begin with saying that apples are very healthy and that dogs really can benefit from them. However, you shouldn’t replace the dog food with fruits and vegetables, no matter how healthy they are. They should only be given occasionally, as treats.

Now, let’s take a look at what makes apples good for dogs!

Why Are Apples Good For Dogs?

Apples are real “health bombs”! We knew that they were good for us, but it turns out they’re good for dogs too!

Apples are very rich in calcium, fiber, phosphorous, antioxidants, essential fatty acids, pectin and vitamins A, K and C. This sounds great, right? It’ll sound even better once you hear what they do for your dog!

The minerals’ and fruits’ main functions are:

  • Preventing joint and bone disease
  • Improving the gastrointestinal system
  • Fighting against cancer
  • Cleaning teeth
  • Keeping the coat shiny and preventing skin allergies
  • Improving bowel movement
  • Preventing illness as they grow older

To sum it up – apples are low-protein, high antioxidant and high-fiber treats that could really come in handy as a substitute for commercial treats. On top of that, they’re very low in calories.

However, we mentioned in the begging that there are some things to think about when serving apples to your dog. What are they?

Can Apples Be Bad For Dogs?

Despite the numerous benefits, apples can be rather dangerous to dogs! It’s not the fruit that is dangerous, but what’s inside it – the core and the seeds. The stem should also be removed.

Apples can also present a choking hazard, which is why you never should just give your dog the entire apple but slice it in small pieces. Apples can also be bad if not given in moderation, as they will probably result in diarrhea.

However, if you follow the above-mentioned steps your dog will be able to enjoy the many benefits apples have to offer and you can relax knowing there’s no harm in that.

Why Is The Apple Core Dangerous?

The apple core should be removed from the apple before you serve the apple to your dog. Ideally, there shouldn’t be any seeds in the apple you’re serving. Big amounts of seeds can actually cause a build-up of cyanide and therefore intoxication, just like orange seeds!

Even though a couple of seeds won’t have any consequences and you don’t have to worry if your dog swallows a few, you should still try to remove as many seeds as possible. The seeds are toxic because of the component Amygdalin which can lead to serious problems in dogs!

How Do I Serve Apples To My Dog?

can dogs eat apples

Most importantly, remove the core and the stem from the apple! Another thing to remember is to slice it up – never give the whole apple. That way you will avoid both toxicity and choking.

When serving apples, you should always keep the apple skin on (opposite to serving peaches and nectarines to dogs). Don’t peel it off as it’s exactly in the skin that most nutrients and fiber are. It’s thanks to the peel that apples fight against cancer.

Apples can be served in various forms as you know – apple pies, apple pops and apple juice are all good ideas. Whatever recipe you have including apples is fine – as long as it’s unscented and obviously seedless.

However, you should never give your dog dehydrated apples! This goes for all dehydrated fruit, such as dehydrated papaya. Since all the water is taken out of dehydrated fruit they will do nothing else but cause upset stomach.

How Much Apples Should Dogs Have?

In the beginning, you should start with small slices until you’ve seen how your dog reacts to the apple. Every dog is different so you shouldn’t take for granted that your dog will like apples just because many dogs do.

By introducing small slices you will be able to monitor and see if apples are something for your dog. If you establish it’s fine you can start giving a bit bigger slices but you shouldn’t still overdo it.

Too big amounts of apples usually lead to diarrhea and upset stomach. In these cases, carrots can be real life-savers. You should also avoid giving apples before bedtime as they contain a lot of sugar.

When Shouldn’t Dogs Eat Apples?

In the following three cases you shouldn’t give apples to your dog before consulting your vet.

  • If your dog is diabetic, as apples are very high in sugar and could effect your dog’s sugar level.
  • If your dog has kidney disease, as the calcium, phosphorous and essential fats can create health risks.
  • If your dog has arthritis, as the omega-6 fatty acids can lead to inflammation.


It turns out apples are perfectly safe for dogs to eat. Not only are they safe, but they’re very beneficial, thanks to the vitamins and minerals in them. For instance, apples can help in fighting cancer and contribute to a better overall health.

However, you should always remove the core from the apple, as the seeds can be toxic if they build up cyanide inside the dog’s body. If your dog has a few seeds there’s no need to worry, the amount has to be big for the intoxication to happen, but you should always remove as many seeds as possible.

The bottom line is – apples can be great treats if your dog likes them and if you serve them properly. However, don’t overdo it and don’t substitute dog food with fruits and vegetables – they should only be supplements in your dog’s diet.