Apples are one of the most nutritious fruits you can ever have. It’s essentially rich in Vitamins and antioxidants that a visit to the doctor is avoided simply by adding an apple into your everyday meal. But when it comes to our pet pooches, are apples really that beneficial, too? The question most pet owners would like answered is if their dogs can safely eat apples.
Dogs Can Eat Apples
Yes, if you think apples are good for humans, then it should also be excellent for your pet pooch. Apples are rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and flavonoids. For every 100 grams of the edible portion of this fruit, excluding the seeds and the core, actually contains the following nutrients.
- Vitamin C – This vitamin is well-regarded for its antioxidant properties while also helping augment the optimum functioning of the immune system. This can help your pooch ward off infections while also keeping it well protected against possible insults related to tissue injury of non-infectious origin. What we are simply saying is that the ascorbic acid contained in apples can help improve the way the immune system of your pooch fight any unwanted processes.
More importantly, Vitamin C also has remarkable its effects on the production of collagen. As you may already be aware, collagen is a protein that makes up a vast majority of tissues in the body, providing the basic framework for these structures. It is principally found in the skin, giving it its supple nature. Since collagen is one of the most important structural elements of the skin, its absence can lead to loss of skin integrity. The skin gets easily cut or bruised, leading to inflammation and possibly infection.
- Vitamin B complex – This family of water-soluble vitamins is important for a variety of functions including healthier nervous system and red blood cells. In a way, these can help pooches have the energy they need to run, jump, and play all day. Apples are naturally rich in thiamine, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, and niacin.
- Phytonutrients – The substances found especially on the skin of apples are considered to be excellent antioxidants. Known as phytonutrients, these substances act by dampening the damaging effects of oxidative stress on the canine body. This leads to healthier, shinier, and smoother coat and healthier skin. Additionally, the effects of pro-inflammatory substances are also dampened, leading to a reduction in the symptoms associated with inflammation such as dermatitis and arthritis as well as other inflammatory canine conditions.
- Minerals – Apples are excellent sources of potassium, calcium, and phosphorus. The latter two are crucial in the healthier development of bones and other similar structures. This gives dogs the ability to move freely as their mobility and strength are somehow affected by the strength of their bone structure. These two minerals are also important in teeth development. As you know, problems in canine dentition can lead to nutritional issues while also factoring in canine behavior problems. Potassium, on the other hand, is important in maintaining the normal transmission of electric impulses across the cell membrane through the sodium-potassium pump.
Senior or pups, giving dogs apples a day can provide a host of benefits. For senior canines that are on a low calorie, low protein diet, apples can be a very effective nutrient source as its antioxidants can help reduce inflammatory conditions related to aging. For pups, its excellent combination of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants can help spell more optimum health.
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But, As Always, in Moderation
While apples are beneficial for dogs, these should not be its only source of such nutrients. Nothing beats a well-balanced diet. As such, while giving apples to our pets can provide many wonderful benefits, we should also keep in mind to give it in moderation. This is to help prevent diarrhea as well as upset stomach as too much of this fibrous food can really make your pooch have more frequent trips to its backyard restroom.
Additionally, too many apple treats, especially fresh ones can hasten the rate of damaging the teeth because of its acidity. Recent studies show that it can actually be more damaging to canine dentition than say, carbonated beverages, by up to 4 times. That is why snacking on fresh raw apples is typically not advised except when given in moderation. To help minimize the effects of apples’ acidity on teeth, it is best given with meals rather than as a sole snack.
Aside from giving apples in moderation there’s also one thing that you should never ever do: giving your pooch the seeds. That is why veterinarians and animal nutrition experts always recommend leaving the core of the apple if ever you do decide to give one to your pet.
Apple seeds are especially toxic to dogs as these contain cyanide. Cyanide toxicity can be manifested by abnormally rapid or fast breathing and a very irregular heart rate. As the toxicity progresses, the dog goes into tremors, convulsions, or seizures which severely cuts off oxygen supply to the brain. If not managed properly, your dog might collapse and eventually die.
Serving Up Apples to Your Pooch
The best way to serve apples to our pooches is to include it in their meals to help minimize its impact on their teeth. While fresh apples are the best way to go, you also have the option of cooking up some delicious recipes that your mutt will love.
For example, you can make your own cinnamon apple bone. You’ll need to chop up some apples, add honey, water, cinnamon, and oatmeal, and mix these well. Fold in whole wheat flour until you come up with a cookie mixture. Bring out your cookie cutter and begin cutting out your cinnamon apple bone. Now, bake, let cool, and give it as an amazing treat to your pooch. You can also spread some peanut butter while baking the treat to make it even more palatable.
Apples can really do keep the animal doctor away. Just as long as you give your mutt apples in moderation and not giving the core and seeds, you can ensure optimum health benefits for your mutt.