We all know the saying that an apple a day keeps the doctor away. But what about applesauce? Is it healthy? Can dogs eat applesauce? Actually, applesauce has the same nutrients as apples. It can be a healthy treat for your dog as long as it’s not loaded with sugar, spices, or preservatives.
Find out more about applesauce and ways your dog can enjoy it below.
Applesauce has been a popular food for hundreds of years. Making applesauce from apples has always been a good way to enjoy apples in winter. Apples were also readily available to people both rich and poor so applesauce was kept by most everyone in society. It’s also easy to make and good for you.
You can make your own or buy canned, unsweetened applesauce. Canned, unsweetened applesauce has one percent protein, 2 percent fat, and 97 percent carbohydrates. Don’t be alarmed by the carbs. Some of them are sugars, as with other fruits, but applesauce is also high in dietary fiber from the carbohydrates.
Along with the good dietary fiber, applesauce is a very good source of vitamin C. And it is low in saturated fat, cholesterol, and sodium. It also has small amounts of copper, B vitamins, and vitamin E.
Other nutrients can depend on different factors such as the kind of apples used, how the apples were processed, the temperature at which the sauce was cooked, and whether the peel was included in the sauce.
Applesauce that is made with the apple peels will have more fiber and more antioxidants,
Applesauce is also very low in calories. One cup of unsweetened applesauce contains just 103 calories.
Eating apple products, in general, including applesauce, has been linked to a healthier diet. It may also help reduce the risk of some chronic diseases, though more research is needed benefits. There is some belief that applesauce may help soothe an upset stomach. This is associated with the BRAT diet (bananas, rice, applesauce, toast), a bland diet that is easy to digest for people who experience nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
There can be problems if you eat too much applesauce or eat it too often. Applesauce is low in most vitamins and minerals. Extra vitamin C is often added by manufacturers to help preserve the color. This is not harmful to you but you shouldn’t think that applesauce is a powerhouse of vitamins and minerals.
Some applesauce brands add sugar to sweeten the sauce. This also adds more calories and makes the applesauce less healthy. Some brands use artificial sweeteners such as xylitol which is toxic to dogs. If you buy canned applesauce, be sure to read the ingredients. Choose a brand that has no added sugar or very low added sugar. Make sure it does not contain xylitol.
Applesauce is lower in fiber than whole apples so eating applesauce is not as filling as eating a whole apple.
Can dogs have applesauce?
Yes, dogs can have applesauce. In fact, applesauce is used to make many kinds of dog cookies and cakes. Together with an egg, some flour, and a little peanut butter, you can make some delicious dog cookies. Applesauce can take the place of a liquid in some recipes.
You can also add a little applesauce to your dog’s regular meal. Or give your dog some in a dish or from a spoon.
Some people like to give their dog a little applesauce if he’s having tummy troubles. It seems to soothe the stomach for some dogs.
Applesauce is also a popular filling for Kong toys, especially if you freeze it inside the Kong and let your dog try to lick it out.
You can make your own homemade applesauce. It’s not difficult.
Makes eight ½ cup servings. You can adjust the amounts if you don’t want to make this much.
- 3 pounds of apples
- ¾ cup of water
- 2 Tbsp of lemon juice
- Rinse the apples and remove any stems or stickers.
- Core, peel, quarter the apples.
- Place all of the ingredients in a large saucepan and bring them to a lively boil over medium-high heat.
- Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 10-20 minutes.
- Remove the mixture from the heat when the apples are soft and cooked through.
- Let the mixture cool to room temperature then puree it in a food processor (or any appliance of your choosing). A fork, potato masher, or blender will also work. You can make the sauce any texture you prefer – smooth or chunky.
You can also leave the peels on to make your applesauce for extra antioxidants.
If you prefer to buy your applesauce, look for the following:
- Applesauce that is low in added sugar or unsweetened. Look for a brand that says “unsweetened” on the label.
- Higher in vitamin C.
- Free of artificial colors and flavorings.
Watch for terms like “sugar-free,” “low in sugar,” and “all-natural” on the label. They don’t necessarily ensure that the applesauce is free of added sugars.
Check the label for artificial colors and flavorings.
How much applesauce can you give your dog?
While a little applesauce may help a dog with an upset stomach, too much of a good thing is not good. It’s best not to give your dog too much applesauce or he could experience an upset stomach. Applesauce is high in fiber so too much can backfire (pardon the pun). Your dog could experience some unpleasant side effects in the form of diarrhea.
The amount of applesauce you can give your dog will vary depending on your dog’s size and general health.
Multiple web sites online state that you should not give your dog more than 5 percent of his daily calories in applesauce. Sounds reasonable, but they don’t explain how or why they arrived at this figure. Veterinarians and canine nutritionists generally say that dogs should not have more than 10 percent of their daily diet in treats and snacks.
If you do the math, an average healthy dog that weighs 33 pounds needs between 640 and 800 calories per day. Let’s say he needs 800 calories, just to narrow it down. If he gets 5 percent of his calories in applesauce, that would be 40 calories for a 33 pound dog. One cup of unsweetened applesauce has 103 calories. So, 40 calories would be a little less than half a cup of applesauce for your 33 pound dog. You can use the calorie guide to estimate how much applesauce your own dog should have.
How often can you give your dog applesauce?
Since applesauce is high in fiber it’s best if you don’t give it to your dog every day. You can probably give it to your dog once or twice per week without an upset stomach as a result. If you see any signs that your dog is having an upset stomach from too much applesauce, or having it too often, cut back.
There are some very good benefits to giving your dog applesauce. It has many of the same nutrients as apples. Many dogs also love it. It makes a tasty treat or addition to your dog’s meal. It’s also a great ingredient in dog cookies. Too much applesauce or feeding it too often can produce an upset stomach because of the high fiber but if you give it to your dog in moderation it shouldn’t be a problem.