Can Dogs Eat Apple Cores? Are Apple Cores Safe for Dogs?

An apple a day keeps the doctor away, right? And there probably isn’t a person in the world that wasn’t told this when they were a kid. But what about an apple core, and will eating one require a visit to the vets for Fido?

The answer is that, no, dogs cannot eat apple cores. But not because they contain seeds (dogs are okay to eat apple seeds contrary to popular belief). But because they are a choking hazard and can get stuck, at both ends.

There seems to be a lot of confusion on the internet when it comes to whether dogs can eat apple cores. But we have completed a lot of research to sort out the rubbish from the truth, just so that you can get a correct and straightforward answer.

So, let’s get to the core of the apple issue.

Divider 8Can Dogs Eat Apple Cores? No!

No, dogs cannot eat apple cores, and the only reason that dogs cannot eat them is that they are a choking hazard. The same reason that we don’t eat apple cores. They are tough, stringy, and downright horrible to eat.

Although your pooch probably doesn’t care what he eats, you should be vigilant that he doesn’t.

apple core
Image Credit: Z thomas, Wikimedia Commons

A dog’s esophagus is narrow and tight, and if the core is sharp, it can cause tears on the way to his stomach. When an apple core reaches the stomach, they are much more challenging to break down compared to apple flesh.

The likelihood is that his stomach will not break it down entirely, and then it will be passed through his intestines and then to his colon. All of which are at risk of getting blocked or torn.

If it’s not broken down completely by the time it needs to come out, let’s say it can get messy, and he might need assistance. So, it’s better for everyone involved if we avoid it altogether.

Apple Seeds? Yes! (in low doses)

We are going to talk about apple seeds quickly. After all, they live in the apple core. The common belief is that seeds are poisonous to dogs because they contain cyanide.

Although this is technically true, there is not enough of it in one seed to harm your pooch.

The apple seeds contain a substance called amygdalin. This substance releases cyanide when it comes into contact with digestive enzymes in the stomach. But there’s only a tiny amount of it in each seed.

The ASPCA states that a medium-sized pooch would have to eat 85g of apple seeds for them to be toxic. So, your pooch would have to eat the seeds of 200 apples in one sitting for them to be toxic. That’s a whopping 1,700 seeds at once.

Now we know dogs love to eat, but there aren’t many dogs that could eat 200 apples in one go. So when it comes to apple seeds, your pooch is safe from harm.

With that being said, because the apple seeds live in the apple core, there is no need for him to eat them. But you’ll be happy to know that if he does, he doesn’t need a trip to the vet.

dog being fed apple
Image Credit: Agnes Kantaruk, Shutterstock

So, What Bit of the Apple Can Dogs Eat?

Dogs can eat the skin and the flesh of an apple. Cut a few slices or pieces, and give them to him to chew. Most dogs love the sweet crunch of apples, and they also have a variety of health benefits.

They are full of vitamin A, which promotes a healthy immune system and overall cell reproduction. They also contain vitamin C, which is great for keeping his cardiac health in check and keeps his iron and energy levels up.

The apple skin is also very fibrous, which helps to keep his digestive health regular. Apples also contain the prebiotic fiber pectin, which is known to promote friendly bacteria in his gut too.

Apples are also low in fat and calories, which makes them an excellent snack for those pooches who need to lose a few pounds. Or those that seem to be forever hungry.

Eating apple slices will also help to keep his breath fresh and to break down the build-up of plaque. Although this should not replace his dental cleaning regime, every little helps.

Don’t go overboard with it, though, and remember that dogs should always eat everything in moderation. Too much apple can give dogs upset stomach and diarrhea. One apple a day should be plenty as a snack.

happy dachshund dog playing_otsphoto_shutterstock
Credit: otsphoto, Shutterstock

My Dog’s Eaten an Apple Core, What Shall I do?

Whether he’s helped himself to an apple in the trash can, or you’ve thrown your leftover apple core into the bush, and he dashed for it. Don’t worry, we’ve all been there.

First things first, don’t panic – there’s no need to whizz him off to the vet or call the Pet Poison Line just yet. It will probably be fine, be sure to keep an eye on him.

If you see that he is choking, or you notice that he begins to paw at his mouth or panic, the apple core may have become lodged in his throat.

PetMD has a great page to talk you through how to deal with a choking dog, so be sure to check it out. If you can’t resolve the situation, seek veterinary assistance immediately.

If you find that your pooch has an apple core fetish, just because he has digested it once without issue does not mean he will do it again. Keep apple cores out of reach and the trashcan under lock and key.

Divider 7Final Thoughts

So there you have it, now you know that dogs should not eat the apple core. They can be tough and sharp and cause internal tears or blockages. Always try to keep them out of his way.

But if he manages to swallow an apple core before you can stop him, be sure to keep an eye on him. But more often than not, he will be absolutely fine.

Instead, stick to the apple flesh just like we do, and everyone’s happy!


Featured Image Credit: Irene van der Meijs, Shutterstock