Dogs and Apples
Will Apples Poison the Family Pet?
Many people like to give their dogs apples as a treat, and many dogs like the treat. Still, there’s a lot of information about apples that says they will poison the dog. In general, apples are harmless to dogs. However, there are a couple of things to be cautious about: the seeds and too many apples.
Apple seeds contain amygdlin, a form of cyanide, which is very poisonous to every living thing. Cyanide prevents the blood from carrying oxygen throughout the body.
If the dog swallows a few seeds, the body will detoxify itself. Actually, the dog must ingest large quantities of apple seeds to do major damage. Also, the cyanide is within the seed covering, and if the covering isn’t broken, it will pass through the dog’s system intact. Sort of a no harm, no foul situation.
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.
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 and large, purebred dogs. Saturated fat contributes to heart problems. Apples contain omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, which contribute to a healthy, glossy coat and help to control skin allergies.
Too Much of a Good Thing
On the down side most of the calories in apples come from naturally occurring sugar, not processed sugar that might be found in other treats it’s true. Still, sugar is sugar, so it can contribute to weight gain in large quantities.
Also, apples contain calcium and phosphorous, so if your dog has kidney trouble, don’t give him apples. Too much calcium and phosphorous in the kidney 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. The apples themselves don’t have that much omega-6, but if the dog gets it from other sources, it can be a problem.
Eating too much apple can loosen a dog’s bowels, and you don’t want that. How much is too much depends on the dog, so show caution.
Don’t fear apples as a treat for your dog. Just remember to core the apple, so those pesky, poisonous seeds get thrown away. Keep the portions a reasonable size, and the dog’s coat will gleam, he won’t have diarrhea, and he’ll be one happy camper.