While puppies need a diet rich in proteins and fats to help support their growing bodies, the occasional fruit snack can give them extra fiber and vitamins. One such snack is applesauce, a perfectly safe and tasty treat for our canine companions. With its soft texture, it's appropriate for small puppies just learning how to eat prepared food.
Dogs are carnivores that eat an omnivore's diet; they can eat animal proteins as well as fruits and vegetables. Most love apples, with their sweet taste and crunchy texture. Apples contain vitamins C and K, fiber and calcium. Include fruits and veggies in your pup's regular diet, but sparingly. The majority of his nutrition needs to come from puppy food, which contains the proteins, fats and carbohydrates he needs to support healthy growth. While the occasional applesauce-based treat is perfectly okay for your growing pooch, make sure it makes up about 5 to 10 percent of your pup's total dietary intake.
Feed your puppy applesauce only if he is fully weaned onto solid foods; all fruits and veggies aren't appropriate for nursing pups. Once weaned, applesauce is the perfect way to feed your little one the goodness of apples because he won't have to deal with potential choking hazards like large apple chunks or chewy apple skin.
Kinds to Feed
Pooches don't need to ingest sugar, coloring, pesticides or preservatives, all of which are possibly harmful, so look for organic, sugar-free applesauce to feed to your little one. You can also purchase organic applesauce made for human babies, which usually contains only apples and a harmless preservative like vitamin C.
Apple seeds, stems and leaves contain cyanide, which is toxic to our canine friends and should be avoided at all costs, recommends the ASPCA. Fortunately, applesauce contains none of these items, which is only made from the fleshy part of the fruit itself. Thus, applesauce is safe for our little canine friends.
How to Adminster Applesauce
Feed only a small amount of applesauce to your puppy, no more than about a teaspoon per day, and watch him for signs of tummy trouble. Sometimes eating fruits and veggies can lead to diarrhea in canines, which can cause serious dehydration in young puppies. Use applesauce as a treat, especially to encourage good behavior. Feed it to your pup by placing a spoonful on a dish for him to lap up or on let him lick it off the tip of your finger. Avoid feeding it to him directly with a spoon, as it could become a choking hazard, especially as he grows older and more enthusiastic in his eating habits.
Not only can you feed applesauce directly to your pup as is, you can include it in homemade treats for him such as baked doggie treats and cookies. You can also freeze it in an ice cube tray to form yummy applesauce pupsicles. If you want to feed your pup freshly made applesauce and happen to have apples lying around, applesauce is relatively simple to make. Create a batch of applesauce by boiling peeled, organic apple pieces until they are soft, around 15 to 20 minutes. Strain and mash the pieces for a fresh applesauce both you and your pooch can enjoy once it cools.
- Modern Dog Magazine: 10 “People” Foods for Dogs
- Modern Dog Magazine: Can Dogs Eat Apples?
- WebMD: 'People' Foods Your Dog Can Eat
- Cesar's Way: Dog Nutrition: A to Z
- American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals: Fruit Treats
- Canine Cuisine: 101 Natural Dog Food & Treat Recipes to Make Your Dog Healthy and Happy; Atlantic Publishing Company
- WebMD: Slideshow: Foods Your Dog Should Never Eat
- American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals: Feeding Your Dog Fruit and Veggies
- American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals: Apple
Based in Las Vegas, Susan Paretts has been writing since 1998. She writes about many subjects including pets, finances, crafts, food, home improvement, shopping and going green. Her articles, short stories and reviews have appeared on City National Bank's website and on The Noseprint. Paretts holds a Master of Professional Writing from the University of Southern California.