The Short Answer is:
Dogs can be harmed by the core and seeds of apples. If broken or chewed apple seeds release cyanide which is poisonous. It's not likely that your dog will get sick if he swallows a few apple pips but it's better to avoid the risk and remove them.
The purpose of this research is to explain “Can Dogs Eat Apple Cores?“.
- Why might apple cores be toxic to dogs?
- How many seeds can hurt a dog?
- Has an apple core got any other nutrition?
- Alternatives for gut bacteria
- What are the symptoms of a dog eating apple seeds?
- How can I stop my dog from eating apple cores?
- How nutritious is the apple skin?
- What other fruit seeds are dangerous for dogs?
- It doesn’t take Einstein to realize the larger the seed or pit in the fruit the more dangerous it is for your dog
- Can Dogs Eat Apple Cores? (Watch Video)
They can get their teeth into just about anything.
Have you ever left an apple core on the table and come back to find it gone? You might think your dog ate it.
Apple cores are not eaten by most humans right? So why? Are dogs able to consume apple cores?
An apple contains about 100 million bacteria according to a study published in Frontiers in Microbiology in 2019.
These are not the kinds of bacteria you should wash off of yourself to prevent getting sick; these are the good kinds of bacteria that are called probiotics.
There are around 90% of good bacteria in the apple core which is surprising.
Are apple cores good for your dog?
What makes some people believe its toxic?
Why might apple cores be toxic to dogs?
Seeds are found inside apple cores.
Apple seeds among others are known to contain cyanide.
Considering cyanide is one of the most widely known poisonous substances people worry about swallowing it and getting poisoned.
The situation with apples is very straightforward.
In the first place apple seeds do not contain cyanide.
It is composed of a compound called amygdalin which degrades into cyanide in the digestive system.
It is important to chew and crush the seed first before it begins to germinate.
Additionally apples only contain a small amount of amygdalin not enough to kill a dog.
Donot worry if your dog swallowed an apple core as long as they do not eat it often and they do not chew it it would not harm them.
How many seeds can hurt a dog?
In other words how often do dogs need to eat apple cores to become ill?
Each apple seed contains about 1-4 milligrams of amygdalin and not all of it will break down into cyanide.
In order to poison a dog weighing 10 kg you would need about 1000 seeds.
In order to suffer side effects from eating apple cores your dog would need to consume more than 200 apple seeds.
When you think about it thats quite ridiculous isnot it?
Have I now put your mind at ease?
You should be especially careful not to let your dog consume the seeds if they have liver disease since they are more prone to poisoning.
Has an apple core got any other nutrition?
Sure enough they have.
It turns out that apple cores actually contain a significant amount of the fruits nutritional value.
According to a study published in Frontiers in Microbiology eating apple cores can cause you to acquire 10 times more bacteria than throwing them away.
The bacteria in this microbiome are responsible for keeping the gut healthy.
Dogs benefit from this because it prevents digestive issues immune system reactions and diabetes.
Apart from that apple cores also contain all the good nutrition contained in other parts of the fruit such as flavonoids vitamin C and fiber.
Do flavonoids exist? Haha I knew you’d be stumped by that one!
Compounds like these are found in many fruits and vegetables and they are important to a dogs health because they have antioxidant properties.
Its also important to remember that antioxidants are believed to be the first line of defense against big health threats like heart disease and cancer.
Lets get back to vitamin C which we’re more familiar with.
Vitamin C has been observed to reduce inflammation ease stress and protect dogs from skin conditions.
You do not waste anything by eating an apple to the core.
In addition the way apples are grown plays a major role in their nutritional value.
Apples that use artificial chemicals and hormones contain fewer bacteria that are good for gut health while apples that use organic methods contain more pathogen-inducing bacteria.
Look for organic apples at the store if you are buying them for your dog.
Alternatives for gut bacteria
Apple cores provide a large number of good gut bacteria which is their main nutritional value.
Despite this regular dog owners should not feed their dogs apple cores due to the potential risk of cyanide poisoning.
On top of that we cannot really guarantee that our dog will not ingest hydrogen cyanide from chewing on the seeds.
Rather than risking poisoning your dog you can feed him other foods that will maintain a species-rich gut microbiome.
The first and easiest choice is dog food with probiotics.
Gherkins and “live” yogurt are great pickled vegetables.
What are the symptoms of a dog eating apple seeds?
If your dog eats the core of an apple the chances of it getting poisoned are extremely slim.
Here are a few symptoms to watch out for if your dog starts acting “off-color” soon after eating an apple core snack.
The list of symptoms could be endless but here are the five most common symptoms:
- Rapid or difficulty breathing.
- Red gums
- Loss of appetite
- Abdominal pain
Consult your veterinarian immediately if your dog displays any of those symptoms.
Make sure you keep an eye on your dog and report any signs you see.
Come to the vet right away if your dog appears to be suffering from liver disease.
How can I stop my dog from eating apple cores?
Keeping dogs away from apple cores may be easy for some owners they simply need to place their apple cores in the trash can (or better yet in the food waste bin or on the compost pile) before the dog can even smell them.
Some dogs might have a harder time because they ate whole apples and not just leftover apple cores from their owners.
You can find apple trees almost anywhere- some of us have them in our gardens others can find them in a park or even on our way to the park.
The time has come.
In the fall apples will fall from trees and lie on the ground to rot or to be eaten by opportunistic thieves such as your dog.
When your dog bites into a windfall apple on the way to the park the easiest way to prevent them from eating the core is to take the apple from them clean it and slice it for them.
When apples fall from your own apple tree in the yard and its hard to keep track of every time your dog eats an apple try teaching him to bring the apple to you and you will slice it for him.
The first step is to cut the apple in front of the dog and then give it to him to eat.
Its easier for them to eat if they know you’ll cut it for them.
How nutritious is the apple skin?
Your dog will consume the skin of windfall apples if he eats them.
But apple skin turns out to be very nutritious so this isnot a cause for concern.
The vitamin K content of unpeeled apples can increase by 332%. The vitamin A content can increase by 142%.
All of those nutrients are essential for dogs.
A low level of vitamin K in dogs can cause severe bleeding from a small wound and easy bruising. Vitamin K helps wounds heal faster.
Vitamin A is essential for eye skin and coat health especially for growing puppies because it is crucial for the development of their muscles and nervous systems. In dogs vitamin C reduces inflammation treats stress and prevents skin problems.
The mineral calcium is important for bone development and for preventing health complications. Deficiencies in potassium cause dogs to feel tired all the time and have no appetite.
What other fruit seeds are dangerous for dogs?
In addition to cyanide-producing amygdalin many seeds of fruits contain this substance.
In addition to apple seeds some other examples include:
- Cherries pits
- Peach pits
- Apricot pits
- Plum seeds
- Greek plum seeds
- Pear seeds
- Nectarine seeds
It doesn’t take Einstein to realize the larger the seed or pit in the fruit the more dangerous it is for your dog
The first reason is that the seed contains more poison.
Especially for dogs that tend not to chew their food larger fruit seeds are choking hazards.
Considering the tiny chance that it could poison your dog you can rest assured they will be fine if they accidentally eat an apple core.
As a result it is not recommended to give your dog apple cores as treats as we can never be sure how much of it will cause harm or at least not on a regular basis.
Plus eating apple cores (or an apple whole) can lead to choking. If your dog loves apples it is better to feed him sliced apples.
Alternatively you can serve them some probiotic dog food if you want to provide them with healthy gut bacteria.
The safest alternative is better than putting their health at risk.
If you want to read more about dog food tips read here: Dog Food Tips and Tricks.