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Can My Dog Eat Apples and Bananas?

can dogs eat applesCan My Dog Eat Apples and Bananas?

When you’re eating a snack, chances are your dog is sitting at your side, eyes big, begging for a bite. What would any loving owner do? If you’re tempted to lean over and deliver the longed-for bite of food, you may want to stop and think first. Unfortunately, many human foods are quite dangerous for dogs, including some fruits and vegetables. Apples and bananas are two popular and healthy snacks, and here’s what you need to know about feeding them to your dogs.

Can Dogs Eat Apples?

Yes, dogs can eat apples. In fact, most dogs find them to be quite tasty. They’re also high in nutrients that dogs need, including calcium, phosphorus, and vitamin C, and add quite a bit of fiber to your dog’s diet. If you want to give your dog a sweet treat, an apple is much better than chocolate or other human desserts.

Potential Benefits of Apples for Dogs

Not only can dogs eat apples, but for older dogs who have to limit the amount of meaty treats they eat, apples are an affordable and tasty substitute for traditional dog treats. Because they are low protein and high fiber, they work well for dogs on a low-fat diet. They’re also low in calories and saturated fat, so they are a great treat for overweight dogs. Apples are high in immune-boosting vitamins as well, so giving your dog some apples will give his immune system a bit of a boost.

Feeding Dogs Apples Safely

Apples are great for dogs, but you do need to be careful about how you feed them to your pet. First, make sure you don’t give a dog a whole apple. The seeds have cyanide, which is toxic to dogs. The stem is also not the best for them to eat. For this reason, don’t give your dog your apple core when you’re done with it either. However, the amount of cyanide in the apple seed is small, so if your dog gets one on accident it’s not a cause for alarm.

Large hunks of apple can be a choking hazard, so always cut up your apple before giving it to your dog to eat. Small slices are best for dogs’ mouths. Also, cooked apples are a great option as well, as the apples sweeten the recipe you’re making and make it appetizing for your dog, without unnecessary sugar.

However, all of that to say you do need to use caution with the amount of apples you feed your dog. If you ate apples all day long, you would end up with a stomach ache and diarrhea, and so will your dog. Give apples in moderation, and don’t go overboard.

Considerations About Pesticides

The peel of an apple is often filled with pesticides because of traditional growing practices. To avoid giving your dog too much exposure to pesticides, make sure you wash the apple first. You can even peel the apple for added protection. Otherwise, consider buying organic apples for your pet.

Can Dogs Eat Bananas?

Bananas are another fruit that’s not only healthy for dogs, but also recommended by many veterinarians. The fruit is rich in potassium, and if your dog likes it, it can be a great alternative to fatty or salty commercially prepared treats. Like apples, bananas have a high fiber content, and this can help limit stomach problems. They are also high in magnesium, so they’re a great choice to protect bone healthy and encourage proper vitamin absorption.

Potential Health Benefits of Bananas

If you feed your dog bananas, you may notice some benefits. The manganese in bananas can lower a dog’s blood pressure, which has a calming effect on hyper dogs. The vitamin B6 helps fight anemia, and vitamin C helps boost immunity. Fiber keeps the dog’s digestive system regular, and potassium helps improve bone health and cardiovascular function.

How to Feed Bananas to Your Dog Safely

While bananas are safe for dogs, they can cause problems if you give your dog too many. Too many bananas lead to constipation and other tummy discomforts. Small dogs and young puppies should eat no more than a few pieces. A larger dog can eat half of a banana a few times per week. Also, banana peels aren’t great for dogs, so always peel the banana before serving it.

Some fun ways to give your dog bananas include mashing them and mixing them with peanut butter for a tasty treat. You can also mash them and place inside a Kong or similar treat toy, then freeze the toy. Your dog will spend hours getting every last piece of banana out of the toy.

Other Fruits to Avoid

While apples and bananas are great for your dog, in moderation, this can’t be said for all fruits. In fact, some fruits are highly toxic and need to be avoided at all costs.

One of these is the tomato. The green parts of a tomato contain a toxic substance called solanine, which is toxic in large amounts. This doesn’t mean your dog will get sick if you accidentally serve him some, but it’s best to avoid tomatoes just to be safe.

Avocado is another one you need to avoid. The pit, skin and leaves have a toxin called Persin that causes digestive upset. The fruit itself doesn’t have much Persin, but will still cause tummy upset.

Mushrooms are best avoided as well, not because the type you eat at home are dangerous, but because many wild varieties are. If your dog is used to eating mushrooms in your kitchen, and finds a wild one in the yard, he could end up poisoning himself. Don’t get your dog used to eating mushrooms in the first place, and you’ll be in much better shape.

Finally, make sure you avoid grapes and raisins for your dogs. Grapes are highly toxic to dogs, and can cause sudden kidney failure and death. Don’t let your dog get grapes if you can at all avoid it.

Remember, your dog relies on you for food, so you must make wise choices. Most fruits and vegetables are safe, and apples and bananas are quite tasty to most dogs, but be wise in the items you choose to protect your dog’s health and well being.