Okay, I know my dog can’t try cider, but what about an apple? It’s so hard to resist those envious puppy eyes.
Didn’t mean to scare you. If your dog swallows a few seeds, his body will detoxify itself. But, if your dog ingests large quantities of apple seeds, it can cause major damage! Why? Apple seeds contain amygdlin, a form of cyanide, which is extremely dangerous, as it prevents the blood from carrying oxygen throughout the body.
So, if you’re going to give your dog apples, core the apples. Then, cut them into bite-size pieces and feed the dog this way. This may seem overly cautious, but why take the chance on a loved one?
The Good Things
Apples are a good source of dietary fiber and vitamin C, as well as low in saturated fat and sodium. Some believe that vitamin C can help hip dysplasia, a common ailment in large, purebred dogs. Plus, apples contain omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, which contribute to a healthy, glossy coat and help to control skin allergies. Healthy skin and luscious fur…perfect! Plus, what dog wouldn’t love chewing on an apple for an hour?
Too Much of a Good Thing
On the down side, most of the calories in apples come from naturally occurring sugar, not processed sugar like most of the junk we eat. Still, sugar is sugar, so it can contribute to weight gain in large quantities. And we all know what that’s like. Specifically in areas we’d rather avoid the pounds.
Also, apples contain calcium and phosphorous. If your dog has kidney trouble, don’t give him any apples. Too much calcium and phosphorous in the kidneys are indicators of kidney stones and early-to-end stage kidney disease.
Be careful of omega-6 fatty acids because they can cause inflammation, which wouldn’t be good for an arthritic dog. They also aren’t good for dogs with kidney disease. Apples don’t have that much omega-6, but if the dog gets it from other sources, it can be a problem.
Not to get gross here, but eating too much apple can loosen a dog’s bowels, and nobody wants that. Nobody.
To Apple or Not To Apple
What have we learned? Don’t fear apples as a treat for your dog. Just remember to core the apple to avoid those pesky, poisonous seeds. Keep the portions a reasonable size, and the dog’s coat will gleam, he won’t have diarrhea, and you’ll both be happy having an Apple a Day!