Ah, applesauce. What's not to love? You may enjoy applesauce with potato pancakes during Hanukkah or on the table during Christmas dinner...or even when you have an upset stomach and cannot eat anything else except the BRAT diet!
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So if you are a dog person, you must be wondering if you can sneak your dog a taste of this sweet side during the most wonderful time of the year, right? I should say so. So what about applesauce? Is applesauce toxic for dogs? Can dogs eat applesauce?
Where does applesauce come from?
What is applesauce, really? When it comes down to it, the name pretty much speaks for itself. Applesauce is a puree of cooked apples, and not much more—unless, of course, you purchase your applesauce from the store, and then there may or may not be a few added ingredients like cinnamon, flavorings, or additional sweeteners. Applesauce is generally served alongside dishes like pork, or latkes during the winter months, or used as a low-fat substitute to butter in baked goods. It can also be enjoyed on its own as a sweet, wholesome snack.
Can dogs eat applesauce?
It depends. Dogs can eat applesauce as long as it doesn't have any added sugars or flavorings that could be harmful to your pet. Make sure that this as the case before you give your dog applesauce, as even homemade applesauces can have additional ingredients like additional sugar or spices that may not be healthy for man's best friend. Be careful that any applesauce that you give your pupper does not contain any appleseeds, stems, or leaves, as these contain cyanide which is poisonous to dogs. Make sure the applesauce also doesn't contain xylitol, a sweetener sometimes used as a sugar substitute that is highly toxic to dogs.
Health benefits of apples for dogs
Humans turn to the old adage, "an apple a day," but did you know that there are many health benefits of apples for man's best friend? According to AKC, apples are a great low calorie source of vitamin C, fiber, calcium, and phosphorus. Chewing an apple can also be a healthy, crunchy treat for your dog to enjoy that helps clean his teeth (but do not use apples as a substitute for a regular doggie dental routine).
The best ways to feed applesauce to dogs
As with any human food, applesauce is best enjoyed by your pet in moderation. You can give your dog a few laps of applesauce as a tasty treat, or even use applesauce in dog-friendly recipes like dog biscuits for your pup to enjoy. Applesauce without any additional sugar, flavorings, ingredients, or plant stems, leaves, or seeds, is a generally safe treat for your doggo!
Are there any concerns with feeding applesauce to dogs?
Yes. Store-bought and homemade applesauce alike can have added sugar, which is not a healthy choice for your pet. Food items high in sugar can often lead to gastrointestinal symptoms like upset stomach, diarrhea, vomiting, and even pancreatitis. In addition, if your dog has any health problems like diabetes, serving them foods that are high in sugar can lead to complications. If you choose to give your dog applesauce, or substitute applesauce within a dog-friendly recipe, be sure to check for added sugar, or any additional flavorings or spices that may or may not be the best choice for your furry friend.
In addition, some applesauce may contain xylitol, a sugar substitute that is toxic to dogs. While xylitol is more common in products like chewing gum, it's always best to double check the label to make sure your applesauce doesn't contain any.
Dogs can enjoy certain applesauces in moderation. Be sure to check for additional flavorings and ingredients that may not agree with your dog before giving applesauce to your pet. As always, if you have any concerns, or your dog exhibits any unusual signs or symptoms, call your vet right away for further assistance.
Always check with your veterinarian before changing your pet’s diet, medication, or physical activity routines. This information is not a substitute for a vet’s opinion.