The humble apple has come a long way from its wild origins high in the mountains of southern Kazakhstan in Central Asia. Today, the biblical forbidden fruit is grown in every corner of the globe, and has become an inexpensive year-round staple in our supermarkets thanks to its seemingly infinite adaptability coupled with the development of modern atmosphere controlled storage techniques.
Benefits of apples
Despite being surprisingly low in essential nutrients, apples are still a valuable source of vitamins C and A, potassium and fibre, and have the ability to help keep a dog’s teeth clean and its breath fresh.
And notwithstanding the fact that they’re far from nutrient rich, apples do provide other health benefits. They are an excellent source of phytonutrients and flavonoids, natural chemicals that help fight disease, which may help with fighting certain types of cancer in both humans and dogs. And being high in fibre, apples are good for a dog’s digestive system, and make an excellent low protein, low calorie meal additive for older dogs or dogs needing to lose weight.
So the proverb “An apple a day keeps the doctor away” may be just as appropriate for dogs as it is for human beings.
Preparing, cooking & serving
Wash and slice the apple (no need to peel), remove the seeds, core and stem (the core is potentially a choking hazard). Give your dog a few slices a day as a healthy treat, or wash, cut and combine boiled or steamed apples with other ingredients in your dog’s food. (I not only add cooked apple to some of my dogs’ meals and treats, I also give my dogs a few of my delicious homemade apple crisps for dogs as a treat every evening).
Apples make an excellent low calorie treat for dogs. Importantly though, you MUST remove the seeds because they are poisonous to dogs.