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Yes, dogs can eat apples as a treat in moderation. Apples are a good source of vitamins A and C, as well as fiber, but it’s important that no seeds are eaten because they contain a small amount of cyanide which is poisonous when consumed.

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Safe: This food is generally considered safe by the veterinary community. Dogs can eat this food sometimes or in small amounts but contains little to no nutritional value.

Food Safety: Safe in moderation
Nutritional Value: Vitamin A, C and Fiber
Daily Serving: 1-2 slices per day
Benefits Immune system, digestion, gut health
Good For: Adult or Senior Dogs
Does Dog Size Matter? Yes, read below
Does Amount of Apple Matter? Yes
Every dog is different. For specific feeding guidelines, including quantities and beneficial foods that are best for your dog, please consult your vet.

Are Apples Good For Dogs?

Yes, apples have several benefits for dogs:

  • Vitamins A and C and fiber content are a part of a balanced diet. The vitamins help to boost the immune system while the fiber aids in digestion and maintaining a healthy weight.
  • Just like in humans – antioxidant properties of the apple supports the immune system and reduces risk of cancer and other conditions.
  • Some owners may notice fresher breath from their dogs after eating. The fruit may help to scrub away some plaque and tartar build up.

Can Dogs Eat Apple Skin?

Yes, the skin of the apple can be left on because it’s a good source of fiber for dogs. However, some dogs may be sensitive to it and may develop an upset stomach if they eat too much. If this is the case with your dog, you can remove the skin before giving them the apple.

Can Dogs Eat An Apple Core or Stem?

No, dogs should not eat apple cores or stems. The seeds in the apple core contain a small amount of cyanide, which can be poisonous to dogs if ingested in large quantities. The stem and leaves of the apple should also be removed, as they can cause choking1. In general, it’s a good idea to cut the apple into small pieces to prevent choking. If your dog has eaten an entire apple including the core and stem, please contact a veterinary professional immediately.

Can Dogs Eat A Whole Apple?

Dogs should not eat a whole apple. For the average dog, a slice or two per day is plenty. Give too much and your dog may get a stomach ache or have some diarrhea. It might be tempting to be generous with apples, given their dense antioxidant and nutritional value, but there are about 11-19 grams of sugar in a whole apple which is far too much for a dog. In general, it’s a good idea to give your dog small pieces of apple as a treat, rather than making it a significant part of their diet.

Tip: cut apples into bite size pieces or chunks based on their size. Smaller pieces for smaller dogs.

Can Dogs Be Allergic To Apples?

Yes, it’s possible for dogs to be allergic to apples, although it is relatively rare. Like with any new food, it’s important to introduce apples to your dog gradually to see if they have any adverse reactions. If you notice any unusual symptoms or behaviors after feeding your dog apples, consult your veterinarian at once.

Symptoms of an allergic reaction in dogs may include:

  • Itching and scratching
  • Red, irritated skin
  • Hot spots (areas of infected, inflamed skin)
  • Hives or swelling of the face, paws, or other areas of the body
  • Diarrhea or vomiting
  • Sneezing or coughing
  • Runny nose or eyes

Apple Dog Treats to Try:

Since dogs can only have a small amount of apple, try adding apple bits or applause to these recipes for a tasty and healthy snack for your pup:

  • Apple & Yogurt “Ice Cream” bites: Mix together 1/2 cup shredded or pureed apple with 1 cup plain, unsweetened yogurt and freeze in ice cube trays. Give 1-2 cubes for smaller dogs or up to a handful for large breeds.
  • Apple, Banana & Carrot Muffins: Using a beater combine 1/2 cup applesauce, 1 small finely shredded carrot, 1 small mashed banana, 2 eggs, 1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour, and 4 Tbs of olive or sunflower oil. Pour into a 30-count mini muffin pan and bake for 18 minutes at 350°F. Once cooled stick the mini muffins in a freezer bag and defrost as needed.
  • Apple & Strawberry Smoothie: Blend apples with some doggy approved fruits, veggies and water for a refreshing treat. Give a few tablespoons at a time. Freeze leftovers in an ice cube tray for a perfect summer treat.
  1. Can You Give your dog fruit? Doggy Nutrition. (2021, Oct 7).

Frequently Asked Questions About Dogs Eating Apples

  • Puppy teeth are typically all in by 8 weeks of age. You can feed very small pieces of diced apples at this time, making sure they are not too large for your puppy to chew.

  • Apple core can be dangerous for dogs. Very small dogs can choke on the hard texture and the core contains apple seeds, which are toxic to dogs.

photo of vet holding a pup
About the Writer
Dr. Hillary Wolfe , Veterinarian & Certified Food Therapist

Dr. Wolfe holds a doctorate in veterinary medicine from Kansas State University and holds nutrition certifications from the NAVC and CIVT. Her business, Tula Veterinary Nutrition, hosts online courses that teach owners how to cook for their pet for optimal health and longevity. Follow her on Instagram at @doctorwolfe.dvm for dog nutrition tips, recipes and insights.