Apples are a Very Healthy Snack for Dogs
We’ve always shared slices with our dogs, and most of them have liked it. The crispness of a fresh apple helps keep their teeth clean, and apples are full of healthy fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants. They are also low in calories so a great snack for dogs on a diet.
If your dog doesn’t like them, unsweetened apple sauce is a great alternative too. That might be more interesting to them, and you can even add it right to their food. I add a spoonful to Luke’s food quite often. I buy organic applesauce, but it’s still always my preference to give Luke foods from our own farm and garden (which is also all organic).
Remove the Core & Seeds, but NOT the Skin!
Much of that fiber and those vitamins are in the skin! There are other benefits as well. When Luke has his seasonal allergy issues in the late summer/early fall, I’m always looking for natural ways to help him with his itchiness. Quercetin is a bioflavonoid found in fruits and vegetables that can help promote healthy function in the inflammatory system, and is recommended by veterinarians for dogs suffering from allergies. It is also found in the skin of the apples! I was excited when I first read it since we had so many apples coming on our trees this year.
I mentioned last week that we were able to pick and eat many of those apples for the first time from our overgrown trees (they came that way with the house). Apples can keep quite well if you refrigerate them, but I enjoy how pretty they are so always like to have a basket full on the table or counter.
An Easy Way to Preserve the Apples
The only problem with our apples is that while they taste quite good, they are rather small. I call them “snack-size” – it really only takes about 4 bites to eat one of these! Therefore, the prospect of de-coring and peeling them to bake something or make applesauce for the humans seemed like way too much work. These apples are too small to do well with our handy Apple-Corer-Slicer which I’ve been using for years. The one seen below is similar to the one we have. (That photo is an amazon affiliate link*, if you happen to need one!)
I simply cut the good part of the apples off. One slice on each of 4 sides gave me 4 decent slices and left the core and seeds behind. Then I threw them in my food processor and ground them up. From there, I just spooned them into ice cube trays and froze them overnight. Then I just popped the cubes out into a storage bag! Now I can just take a cube out, thaw it, and throw it right into Luke’s food dish. Easy-peasy! I imagine Luke might enjoy eating one of those frozen cubes too, but I haven’t tried that yet.
It didn’t take long at all to do this, and Luke and I both got to enjoy some slices of apple while I did. The even better part for us? I didn’t have to feel like I was wasting the extra scraps, because our chickens and guinea hens love apples as well! So I just threw the scraps out for them, and they pick out what they like (I’m not sure if they eat the seeds or not, which have a form of cyanide in them, but birds are smart about knowing what they should and shouldn’t eat). Even if we didn’t have the birds, the scraps could go into the compost pile and still not be wasted.
You might know from our photo the other day of the ground covered with apples, that our free-range birds have access to all the apples they want. The funny thing about our farm birds though? They’re kind of lazy. They are much happier when we cut fruits and veggies open for them so they can get right at the good stuff!
Remember, the key to adding anything like this to your dog’s diet is moderation, and check with your vet if they have any digestive issues. Too many apples could lead to upset stomachs for dogs; and be sure to remove the core and seeds which could cause health hazards!
Does your dog like apples?
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