Can Dogs Eat Apples Safely? A Vet Weighs In

Read this before giving your dog apples 🍎

dog smelling apple

If you love having apples as a healthy snack, you might be wondering if you can share some with your pup.

While apples are considered a safe and healthy snack for your dog, there are parts of the apple (especially the seeds) that are considered highly toxic and should never be fed to your pup.

The Dodo reached out to Dr. Michelle Burch, a veterinarian at Paramount Pet Health, to find the answer to the question: Can dogs eat apples?

Are apples healthy for dogs?

Apples are safe for dogs to eat as a treat as long as your pup isn’t eating the risky parts of the fruit.

“I recommend dogs avoid eating the seeds, stems and leaves as these parts can be toxic to dogs,” Dr. Burch told The Dodo.

Benefits of apples for dogs

Apples can be beneficial for dogs as the fruit is a good source of vitamins and antioxidants.

Vitamins in apples

“Apples are a high source of vitamins A and C, which help support eye health and immune systems,” Dr. Burch said.

Antioxidants in apples

“The antioxidants found in apples include quercetin, chlorogenic acid and catechin,” Dr. Burch said.

  • Quercetin is thought to have anti-inflammatory, anti-viral and anti-cancer effects in dogs.
  • Chlorogenic acid helps with weight loss.
  • Catechin is believed to improve muscle function and brain function.

Can dogs eat applesauce?

Dogs can eat applesauce, but Dr. Burch recommends feeding applesauce without added sugar or spices.

“The addition of sugar and spices can cause a dog to have an upset stomach with symptoms of loss of appetite, vomiting or diarrhea,” Dr. Burch said.

Can dogs eat green apples?

When it comes to whether or not you can feed your pup green apples, she can safely eat all types of apples, so you’ll have a good time figuring out which variety is her favorite.

“Green apples are lower in carbohydrates and sugar than red apples; red apples contain slightly less vitamin A,” Dr. Burch said.

Can dogs eat apple cores?

It isn’t recommended for your dog to eat an apple core.

Apple cores have a high risk of causing an intestinal obstruction, resulting in loss of appetite, persistent vomiting and lethargy.

In addition to the core, your dog also shouldn’t eat apple seeds. “The apple's core also contains seeds that can be toxic to dogs,” Dr. Burch said. “Apple seeds contain a toxin that the body breaks down into cyanide.”

Symptoms of cyanide toxicity in dogs can include:

  • Salivation
  • Rapid or difficulty breathing
  • Convulsions
  • Paralysis
  • Death

If you think your pup ate an apple core and/or apple seeds, contact your veterinarian immediately.

Can dogs eat apples all the time?

Since apples are considered a treat for dogs, it’s recommended to keep the number of apples fed and other treats to less than 10 percent of your dog's daily caloric needs.

“If a dog needs 350 kilocalories per day to maintain a healthy body weight, I recommend only feeding 35 kilocalories of apples daily without other treats,” Dr. Burch said.

While apples are a healthy and safe snack for your dog to have, make sure you’re never giving your pup the core, stems, seeds or leaves. And if you think your pup ate a part of an apple that isn’t safe, contact your veterinarian for next steps.