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Can Dogs Eat Applesauce? Is Applesauce Bad For Dogs?

Can Dogs Eat Applesauce? Is Applesauce Bad For Dogs?

Dogs like to munch on crunchy apples, but is it safe for them?  

Fortunately, apples are not only safe for our four-legged friends but also a great source of fiber and vitamins A and C.  If you have a senior canine companion, you’ll be pleased to know that apples are also low in protein and fat, and thus a perfect snack for your elderly pet.

What about applesauce? Can dogs eat applesauce too?

Dogs might be carnivores in nature, but they have grown to appreciate an omnivore’s diet. Therefore, a fruit snack from time to time should be perfectly safe, applesauce included. There are a few things you should be careful about, though, if you want your dog to stay healthy, fit, and happy. 

Stay with us to find out everything you need to know!

Can Dogs Eat Applesauce? What About Puppies?

An apple a day keeps the doctor away. This saying might refer to humans but can be applied to dogs too. Apples can be your ally in keeping your dog healthy and fit, but only if you are well aware of how much fruit is enough for your pet.

If you prefer to give your dog applesauce, the same rules apply. You can do it, but moderately. Namely, fruits and veggies mustn’t exceed five percent of your dog’s diet. If you cross the line, your dog can end up with digestive issues and experience problems like vomiting and diarrhea – and you will have to clean all that up!

Therefore, never serve applesauce as an entire meal. Instead, it would be best to give your dog a little bit of applesauce as a snack or a treat now and then. 

It would be best if you were extra careful when buying applesauce at a store. Commercial products of this type tend to be packed with sugar, preservatives, and added coloring – all of which are not good for your furry friend.

It would be best to make applesauce on your own. Homemade applesauce is free of any toxic substances, and you can make it from organic apples for even more goodness.

The bottom line is – your dog should not ingest sugar, pesticides, food coloring, or preservatives! If you love your dog and want the very best for him or her (and you most certainly do since you are here reading this), you have two options:

  1. Cook an organic, sugar-free applesauce for your pet
  2. Buy organic, sugar-free applesauce made for babies.

It is as easy as that!

How To Make Homemade Applesauce?

We have found the most straightforward recipe out there and want to share it with you so that your dog can enjoy healthy homemade applesauce at the comfort of your home. Here it goes:

  • Buy 3-4 organic apples
  • Peel them and remove all the stems, leaves, and seeds 
  • Cut the apples and dice them into small cubes 
  • Put the cubes in a pan and pour just enough water to cover them all
  • Bring the apples to a boil and let them simmer for about 15 minutes
  • Use a fork to make sure they are tender before removing them from your stovetop
  • Strain the apples
  • Puree the apples or use a blender to make a perfectly smooth sauce
  • Cool it well before you serve it to your four-legged friend

Extra Tip: You can store this homemade applesauce in the refrigerator for up to a week.

Should You Give Applesauce To Puppies?

Many believe that applesauce is an excellent alternative to crunchy apples for young puppies who are still missing all their teeth. It might be accurate, but only if you are very careful not to overdo it.

Puppies’ digestive systems are still not fully developed and thus not ready for apples. Besides, large apple chunks and their chewy skin represent a potential hazard for little ones. Applesauce can be given instead as a safe and tasty alternative but only occasionally and in small amounts.

Your puppies should have a diet based on proteins and fats to grow and develop properly. The occasional fruit snack is OK, too, especially when it has a soft texture as applesauce. It will provide little pooches with extra fiber and vitamins. Just remember the 5%- rule, and everything should be OK!

There is one more rule – the puppies need to be fully weaned onto solid foods before they can start enjoying applesauce. 

Word of Caution: Nursing puppies should not be given ANY fruits or veggies!

What Are The Benefits Of Applesauce For Your Dog?

  • The pectin in the applesauce helps control cholesterol levels.
  • Sugar-free applesauce helps keep blood sugar levels. 
  • The high content of soluble fiber promotes a healthy digestive system.
  • Applesauce contains vital nutrients such as vitamin C, A, and K.
  • The antioxidant compounds found in applesauce help fight off cancer
  • Rich in calcium, applesauce is good for your dog’s bones.

The following chart shows how pectin influences total cholesterol in humans, but it has a similar effect on dogs too:

Dh Pectin Influences Total Cholesterol In Humans
Source: Dreher M.L. (2018) Introduction to Dietary Fiber. In: Dietary Fiber in Health and Disease. Nutrition and Health. Humana Press, Cham.

Can Apples Or Applesauce Be Dangerous For Your Dog?

Apples should be thoroughly washed, and all stems, leaves, and seeds removed before being given to your beloved canine friend. Why? These parts of an apple all contain cyanide, which is toxic and can harm our pets. The ASPCA recommends that they should be avoided at all costs.

Applesauce is usually made only from the flesh of the apple fruit, and thus bears no such risk. Just avoid the store-bought version and stick to the homemade applesauce instead, and everything will be fine.

Why Should You Stick To Sugar-free Applesauce?

Sugar is not toxic to dogs, but if they have too much of it too often, it can do them harm. Namely, sugar will do the exact same thing that it does to us people. It will make your dog overweight, ruin his or her teeth, and increase the risk of diabetes.

We are genuinely sorry for all the dogs out there that have a sweet tooth, but they must stay away from sugar to avoid multiple secondary diagnoses it can lead to and prolong their lifespan. We bet that they all want to stay by their masters’ side for as long as possible and would gladly sacrifice all the sweet snacks and treats in the world for that opportunity in the first place!

Dh Can Dogs Eat Applesauce

How To Give Applesauce To Your Dog?

As we have already warned you, you should never give applesauce as an entire meal. It would be best to start real slow and see if applesauce causes tummy trouble to your furry friend. In the beginning, a teaspoon per day will be just the right amount of applesauce for your dog, and once you make sure he or she can handle it well, you can increase the dosage while keeping the 5%-rule in mind.

We have also already suggested that applesauce should be used as a treat when you want to reward your dog or encourage good behavior. So, how should you give your pup or dog applesauce?

The simplest way is to place a little bit of this sweet dessert on a dish for your dog to lick off. You can use your finger too if your dog enjoys being hand-fed. Please do not use a spoon as it can represent a choking hazard for overly enthusiastic dogs. 

You can also use applesauce as an ingredient for feeding. For example, you can mix it with other food your dog already enjoys, such as peanut butter or yogurt. You can also use it to make baked doggie treats and cookies.

This gentle treat can not last too long, especially if it is free from preservatives. You can thus freeze the homemade applesauce in an ice tray and take a cube or two each day. It can be quite a refreshing summer treat for your beloved four-legged friend! 

The Bottom Line

Applesauce is good for your dog when given in moderation. The good news is that it is relatively simple to make too. 

Homemade applesauce is the best choice since you can make it sugar-free and organic and treat your beloved pet with a healthy, beneficial snack. The preparation process will take only 20 minutes of your time, and you can make as much as you want and freeze it for future use!

Do not go overboard – always remember the 5% – rule when feeding your dog fruits and veggies!

Learn More: What Can Dogs Eat? A Comprehensive List Of Dog-safe Foods