Can Dogs Eat Apple Cores – Cyanide Risks

Can dogs eat apple cores

Everyone likes to feed their dog “people food” from time to time. We often think that dogs must get bored with their own food and should be able to try some of ours. Then we act surprised when we see our dog throwing up after eating this so-called “good for them” people food. That’s because there are some people foods that dogs absolutely should never eat.  These foods can be harmful, make dogs sick, or worse.

We have already discussed in a previous article whether or not dogs can eat apples. In this article, we will turn to apple cores and seeds, and whether or not they are safe for dogs to ingest.

Are Apples Safe for Dogs to Eat?

As mentioned previously, apple pieces can be a safe, healthy treat for dogs that they may enjoy. It can also help to clean their teeth and freshen their breath. Because dogs appreciate sweet tastes, many of them will like the taste of apples. Apples can provide them with a whole host of vitamins and antioxidants and can be good for their health.

Are Apple Seeds, Stems and Cores Safe for Dogs to Eat?

Where you must be careful, however, when you are feeding apples to your dog, is to absolutely make sure that your dog does NOT ingest apple seeds, nor the stem. The seeds and stem of an apple contain cyanide, which is toxic to dogs. Just eating one or two seeds probably will not harm your dog, but the harmful effects of eating apple seeds and stems can accumulate over time.

Apple cores are not a good idea for dogs to eat for this reason as well. Besides that, they can be a choking hazard. They carry no real nutritional benefit for dogs and therefore, their ingestion by dogs should be avoided.

An Opposite Point of View…

As with many topics online, if you scour the internet after searching for “can dogs eat apple cores” or “can dogs eat apple seeds,” you will find opposing points of view. In general, the rule is, dogs should NOT eat apple seeds or cores because they do contain hydrogen cyanide, a toxic poison. However, some animal experts disagree, saying that apple seeds are safe for dogs, in small quantities, because it would be impossible for dogs to ever eat enough apple seeds at one time to receive a lethal dose of cyanide.

In one experiment, veterinarian Andrew Spanner of Adelaide, Australia weighed the seeds from apples and determined that, in order to receive a lethal dose of cyanide, a dog would need to eat the seeds from 200 apples in one sitting. This same veterinarian said that cyanide does not accumulate in a dog’s system over time. Within a few hours of ingesting cyanide, it has metabolized and can no longer be detected in a dog’s body. It is broken down by the dog’s liver, and does not accumulate in the body as others have claimed, this veterinarian says.

Another veterinarian, Dr. Chris Brown, agrees with Spanner. He notes that, while apple seeds do contain the compound Amygdalin, which, when chewed and digested can turn into hydrogen cyanide, the amount of this compound found in apple seeds is so small as to not pose a problem. Brown says that a 10 kg. dog would need to eat 1000 apple seeds in order to be poisoned. A dog the size of a Labrador retriever would need to eat 300 apples to receive a toxic dose of cyanide. (He does note that apple seeds are bitter tasting, and some dogs might not want to eat them, anyway).

The risks of giving your dog apple cores

So, What’s the Verdict?

If you’d rather be safe than sorry, don’t allow your dog to eat apple seeds or cores. Not only do they contain a compound that can convert to cyanide, but they can also cause choking, are bitter, and really have no nutritional value for your dog. If your dog happens to eat some apple seeds here and there, or ingests an apple core, and doesn’t show any signs of feeling sick, don’t panic. Keep an eye on your dog and make sure they remain ok. If they show any signs of lethargy, excessive vomiting, or diarrhea, consider having your dog checked out by your veterinarian just to be sure.

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