Can My Puppy Eat Apples?

When it comes to feeding and nourishing a puppy, there are many different types of food that you can give them safely. Some foods should be mostly avoided, and there are others that, unfortunately, can be deadly to your furry friend.

As a new puppy owner, it’s your responsibility to make sure you give them foods that are good and safe for their health and keep them far away from foods that aren’t. (I’m sure the vast majority of you know this, I just feel it begs repeating.) 

Many new puppy owners wonder what they can feed their pup as a snack between meals or as a treat when their pup has learned a new skill or command. For me, I always want to give my puppy healthy treats that they enjoy, just like I choose for myself. 

One of my all-time favorite snacks is apples, which are incredibly healthy, delicious, and nutritious. When I got my first puppy years ago, one of the first questions I asked might be one you have today: Can my puppy eat apples?

The answer, my puppy-loving readers, is that yes, your puppy can eat apples. Not only are they (mostly) safe, but apples are also an excellent source of several nutrients, including vitamins A, C and a good amount of fiber. 

One caveat, however, is that you should feed your puppy apples in moderation due to their high sugar content. That can cause obesity problems and, later in their life, other health problems. Also, as we’ll see below, you should never feed the core and seeds of the apple to your puppy.

Now that you know you can feed apples to your precious puppy, it’s a good bet you have more questions about them. How to feed your puppy apples, for example, and what health benefits they’ll gain from eating this tasty, nutritious fruit. If yes, read on! I’ve got those answers and several more coming right up.

Can My Puppy Eat the Whole Apple?

The answer to this question is a resounding no due to several factors. The first is that the core of an apple can be a choking hazard for your puppy. That’s especially true if they’re a more diminutive breed, as the core can more easily obstruct their smaller airway. 

Also, most of the apple core is indigestible, which means more significant problems for puppies because the undigested core can get stuck in their GI tract and cause an obstruction. That’s a hazardous health condition for any animal, let alone a tiny, immature puppy.

Then there’s the fact that apple seeds are poisonous to your puppy. (They’re toxic to most animals, actually, including humans.) Here’s the thing; apple seeds have a compound in them (called amygdalin) that breaks down in their digestive system to form hydrogen cyanide, a deadly gas. (Although truth be told, they’d have to eat a lot of seeds to have a toxic reaction.)

In short, giving your puppy an entire apple to eat is a bad idea. It would be much better to cut the apple into sections and feed them pieces with no trace of core or seed attached. Also, that allows you to feed them smaller pieces that they can more easily chew and digest.

Can My Puppy Eat Apple Skin?

Yes, your puppy can eat the apple skin or peel with no real risk. However, depending on their size and the thickness of the apple peel, it may pose a chewing or choking problem. One thing you need to remember, though, is to wash any apples you give to your puppy thoroughly. That way, the risk of them ingesting harmful pesticides is lower.

Some puppy parents always peel their apples when they give them to their pup. They simply don’t want to take the risk that they’ll be exposed to pesticides, germicides, and other harmful chemicals. In my opinion, peeling them is a very good idea unless you get organic apples. 

Can My Puppy Eat Apple Seeds?

Puppies (and adult dogs also, for that matter), should never be given apple seeds. As I mentioned earlier, they contain a compound that turns into cyanide gas, which is as dangerous for your puppy as it sounds.

Yes, it would take the seeds from a few apples to harm your pup. That being said, if you had the waste from 20 apples handy because you were making an apple pie, that could be enough to pose a significant health risk to your puppy.

Can My Puppy Eat Apple Cores?

Nope, never. Not only do apple cores contain poisonous apple seeds, but they’re also tough to digest and can cause your puppy some serious GI tract problems. Apple cores can also pose a genuine choking risk, especially for very small breed pups.

Some puppies have sensitive tummies, also, which can make eating an apple core problematic. Occasionally, although relatively rare, you might also adopt a puppy with an allergy to apples. You’ll know they have one when they start breaking out in hives, which are small bumps on their skin. They might also have problems breathing, which would necessitate a call to your local vet. (Luckily, it’s very rare.)

Can My Puppy Eat Applesauce? 

Applesauce is definitely on the OK list for puppies, but with a couple of caveats. The first is that the applesauce is not sweetened with, well, anything. Sugar is bad enough, but xylitol can be deadly for your pup. Also, as with any snack you give your puppy, you should give them applesauce in moderation. (It’s still loaded with sugar, but it’s natural sugar and thus easier to digest.)

What are the Benefits of Eating Apples for Puppies?

OK, so as with everything you give to your puppy as a “snack” rather than their regular, daily kibble, giving them apples should be done in moderation. Keeping that in mind, apples do provide several benefits for a growing puppy. They include:

  • Lots of vitamins, including A and C, both of which are also antioxidants. Vitamin A also helps boost their immune system, while vitamin C is excellent for their developing bones and muscles.
  • A large amount of fiber, which can help your dog stay regular. (With their pooping.) Apples help your pup’s colon stay clean and help them stay lean and fit, too.
  • Apples help your puppy’s teeth stay clean when they eat them.
  • Your pup will have better breath after eating some apple pieces.

Final Thoughts

I get asked the question “can my puppy eat apples” all the time and am happy to say that, yes, they can. Apples, in moderation, are very healthy for a puppy. They’re loaded with vitamins, antioxidants, and fiber, which are all excellent. They’re also delicious and refreshing and will keep your puppy’s breath smelling sweet.

One thing to avoid, though, is the core and the seeds of the apple, both of which pose health risks for your pupper. As for applesauce, yes, they can eat that too, in moderation (and without extra sweeteners)! (I suggest freezing applesauce in ice cube trays for a fantastic, fun puppy treat!)

I hope you enjoyed today’s blog and learned a lot, as well as getting the answers to all your questions about puppies and apples. If you want to learn more about puppies and how to take care of them, please see my other various blog articles on the subject. They’re packed with real-world information and tips that can help you raise a beautiful, well-behaved and healthy dog!