Apples are one of the tastiest and healthiest fruits. Many of us enjoy a fresh apple to give us a little burst of energy or briefly fill an empty stomach. While humans can happily enjoy an apple every day, are these fruits safe for dogs to consume?
Well, many pet owners love to treat their four-legged friends to slices of apples as a reward and the good news is that apples are generally harmless to dogs.
However, there are a few things to look out for in apples such as their seeds which contain amygdalin, a form of cyanide.
This can be extremely poisonous to canines and even humans. But, apart from these seeds, apples are a great source of dietary fiber, vitamin C, and Omega-3 and Omega-6 acids.
While apples are typically harmless, the same can not be said for apple juice. Most types of apple juice contain high amounts of sugar which can be detrimental to a dog’s health. So, even if your dog likes to take a sip of apple juice now and again, they should stick to water.
In today’s article, we are going to discuss apple juice and what its effects can be on dogs if they drink it. We will discover if there are any benefits when it comes to dogs drinking apple juice and what apple juice contains that makes it more dangerous than the humble apple.
Table of Contents
Dogs vs apple juice
Giving your dog any kind of processed juice is never a good idea. By providing this juice, you will be introducing additional levels of sugar, unknown preservatives, and different sweetener substitutes to your dog’s diet.
However, you shouldn’t worry if your dog has drunk a small amount as this is unlikely to cause any harm. Still, apple juice should never be considered as a substitute for good old-fashioned water.
Dogs have not developed a palate like humans but they certainly know when something is delicious just by looking at it, smelling it, or, of course, tasting it.
In the past, a canine’s main diet consisted of meat in the wild. Over the centuries, as dogs have become domesticated, their taste buds and dietary needs have changed slightly. They now require a more balanced diet of fruits and vegetables, not just meat.
If you own a dog, you probably have many examples of your pooch loving the taste of sweet ‘human’ foods. While giving them a slice of your apple (without the seeds) seems to be safe, giving them apple juice is a whole other matter.
A dog’s digestive and gastrointestinal system just isn’t equipped for processed foods. This includes apple juice. The same can be said of humans as processed foods are not our gut’s best friends either.
If a dog consumes processed foods or drinks such as apple juice, it will usually suffer from loose stools. This is something that can and should always be avoided.
Apple juice – What’s inside it?
Apple juice is made through a process known as maceration and pressing. This is essentially when fruit breaks down and the starch and pectin from the apple are removed. At this point, other flavors will then blend into the concoction.
All apple juices are different. While most contain 80% water, some are packed full of sugar, corn syrup, and artificial ingredients. You just need to check the label to see the vast quantities of ingredients some contain.
The majority of apple juices come from juice concentrate. This is often a thick, sticky substance when the fruit has been turned to pulp. The content is evaporated and the starch is removed, diluting the natural juice flavor in some cases.
Many manufacturers then add ingredients such as high fructose corn syrup, sodium, cane sugar, and fruit byproducts.
These are to simply spice up the drink once again. This is troubling as this process really hikes up the number of calories, carbs, and sugar content. The result? A not-so-healthy beverage for humans or canines.
Some apple juice producers add extra vitamins or flavors to enhance the drinking experience but, overall, if the label has more ingredients, it is probably not very healthy, especially for dogs.
Negatives of apple juice for dogs
The number one issue with most apple juices is the high sugar content. Many dogs overeat on the best of days so drinking and consuming additional sugars will see your pooch pile on the pounds. Obesity can lead to long-term issues such as diabetes.
This can be hugely detrimental to their health and very expensive to treat.
Apple juice is also very acidic. This can cause diarrhea and stomach problems in dogs. While this shouldn’t be a cause for concern over a long period, it will mean your pooch feels uncomfortable and unwell for a few days and you will have a mess to clean up.
Some argue that small amounts of apple juice can actually be beneficial to a dog. This is because it is generally exceptionally high in vitamin C.
In turn, this is an excellent antioxidant for dogs. Unlike humans, dogs can synthesize vitamin C on their own so it is argued that a little extra can help boost their immune system even further. Vitamin C has also been shown to help with cognitive aging, stress, and malnutrition.
Nonetheless, there is controversy as to how much additional vitamin C can benefit a dog as they naturally make it in their livers. A splash of apple juice shouldn’t have any ill side effects on your dog but if it is consumed daily in larger quantities, your dog could become very ill.
So, apples can be an excellent snack for our four-legged furry friends. Just remember to take out any seeds before feeding them as these can be poisonous. When it comes to apple juice, its acidity and high sugar content mean it shouldn’t be given to any dogs.
If your dog does have some apple juice, make sure it has minimal sugar and they only have a splash. Too much apple juice can cause an upset stomach, diarrhea, and an unwelcome mess for you to clean up after.