Fruits are one of the healthiest parts of a balanced diet for both humans and dogs. They’re highly nutritious and provide necessary vitamins and minerals not found in other substances, such as meat and vegetables.
However, as dogs digest foods more quickly than humans, not all fruits that benefit human health are healthy for canines. Some can actually be quite dangerous or even fatal if eaten by dogs. What about apples? Can your German shepherd eat apples?
Can German Shepherds Eat Apples?
German shepherds can eat apples. In fact, apples are an excellent source of nutrition for your shepherd. They are rich in fiber, Vitamin C, phytochemicals, and several other essential vitamins and minerals.
However, as with any food, too much of it can cause problems. So you should always feed your German shepherd in moderation. Other than that, you also need to know how to prepare apples to make them safe for your shepherd. Both of these factors will be discussed in detail below.
Benefits of Apples to German Shepherds
As one of the most popular fruits in the world, apples have been around for thousands of years. But do you know what makes them so special?
Here are a number of other reasons as to why they should be part of your German shepherd’s regular diet:
1. They Contain Several Essential Vitamins
Apples contain several vitamins, including Vitamin A, C, and K.
- Vitamin A is necessary for healthy skin, eyes and promotes growth.
- Vitamin C is known to help build up your dog’s resistance to diseases, calm their allergies, reduce the chances of cancer, and keeps bones and joints strong.
- Vitamin K assists in the formulation of proteins, which is necessary for regulating normal blood clotting and strengthening bones.
2. They Are High in Fiber
Fiber is the basic building block of any healthy food that has many important roles in the body.
- Fiber helps keep your dog’s digestive system working properly. It allows proper bowel movement and prevents constipation.
- It aids in nutrient absorption.
- It also helps regulate the body’s blood sugar levels.
- It stops bad bacteria in the digestive system from growing.
- It makes your dog feel full for longer, which aids in weight loss and management.
3. They Contain Pectin
Pectin is a type of soluble fiber believed to prevent or treat a wide range of serious diseases, such as colon cancer.
4. They Are Rich in Phytochemicals
Apples are rich in phytochemicals like anthocyanins, quercetins, quercetins & chlorogenic acid. They are beneficial in building a strong immune system and protection against cancer.
5. They Are Good for Dental Health
Chewing on apples cleans your dog’s teeth and helps destroy the bacteria that cause bad breath.
What Are The Risks Of Eating Too Many Apples?
If you feed them to your dog in moderation, there should be no problems. However, it’s a different story if your German shepherd eats too many of them.
The most common risk your dog could face when eating too many apples is having an upset stomach. Left untreated, this could lead to diarrhea.
There were also cases when dogs were choked when they ate the apple whole. So make sure you cut them up into smaller pieces before you give them to your German shepherd.
The apple seeds can also be harmful to your dog as they contain cyanide, which is poisonous. While eating one or two is not going to cause any damage, swallowing too many at once could make them very sick.
In some rare cases, some dogs can actually be allergic to apples. If you notice allergic reactions such as hives, vomiting, swelling, or difficulty breathing after feeding your shepherd apples, you should stop giving them apples and contact a veterinarian.
How to Feed Apples to Your German Shepherd?
So now that you know the benefits and risks, here is how to make sure they stay healthy:
1. Wash the Apples First
Before you feed your German shepherd apples, make sure that you wash them thoroughly. This is to get rid of any pesticides used on them while they were growing.
2. Check for Allergies
If this is the first time you are feeding your German shepherd apples, you should do so in a small quantity. Then, if they have no allergies side effects from the apple, you can gradually increase their intake.
3. Don’t Feed Them Whole Apples
Just like with any other food, it’s important not to feed your German shepherd whole apples as they could choke on them. Cut them into smaller pieces first before giving them to your dog.
4. Remove the Core and Apple Seeds
As mentioned earlier, the apple seeds contain cyanide which is poisonous to dogs. So it’s better to be safe by removing the core and the apple seeds before you give them to your dog.
5. Limit Portions
It’s better to give them small portions throughout the day rather than giving them one big meal of a whole apple. This way, their stomach isn’t overloaded with a large quantity of fiber or sugar, which can lead to belly aches and diarrhea.
6. Don’t Peel the Apples
The apple skin contains a large number of vitamins and minerals. It’s best to feed them the apple without peeling it unless your German shepherd has an allergy.
How Often Should You Feed Your Dog Apples?
If this is the first time you are giving apples to your German shepherd, you should do so in small portions. This way, they can get used to the taste and slowly increase their intake.
Once you know that your dog is healthy and can digest apples, you can give them a couple of slices every couple of days.
Can German Shepherds Eat Foods Made from Apples?
We know that apples are healthy for them, but what about apple-based foods? Here are some of the most popular apple products and whether it is safe to give them to your German shepherd:
1. Apple Pie
The traditional apple pie that is made of apple, sugar, and cinnamon is usually safe to give to your German shepherd.
2. Apple Juice
Apple juice is another safe option. However, if it does contain a lot of sugar, it could affect your German shepherd’s health in the long run. So when giving apple juice to your German shepherd, make sure that you have reduced the sugar content.
3. Apple Sauce
Apple sauce can be a healthy option for your shepherd but don’t give them a commercially available apple sauce. Instead, make your own apple sauce at home using boiled or mashed apples.
Now that you know, you can give your German shepherd apples. They are full of nutrients, and they can be delicious. First, however, be sure to follow the guidelines mentioned in this article to ensure your dog’s health.