Last Updated on July 13, 2021 by Marco
Dogs tend to love apples both as a treat and as a part of their meals but is apple juice good for dogs or is it a bad or risky idea? Dogs may have way fewer taste buds than people (~1,700 compared to our 9,000) but that doesn’t stop them from loving certain foods. Fresh apples fall in this category for most pooches but they have some drawbacks too. So, if you’re wondering “Can I give my dog apple juice?” we’ll cover that and several other key questions below.
Can Dogs Drink Apple Juice?
In a word – yes. Raw apple juice doesn’t (or shouldn’t) have anything that isn’t present in apples and dogs can eat apples. The question of is apple juice good for dogs, however, is much more critical.
Is Apple Juice Good For Dogs?
In general, apple juice is very ill-advised for dogs. That’s because, while there is “apple juice” in apples, the juice isn’t what makes apples good for dogs. Fresh apples are chock-full of:
- Healthy dietary fibers
- Vitamin C
- Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids
- A good texture that helps keep your dog’s teeth clean
Neither of those is present in apple juice. Instead, all your dog will get from apple juice is a load of sugar which is anything but healthy. Additionally, if you give your dog commercial apple juice then you’ll be giving him a lot of other additives, extra sugar color dyes, preservatives, and other chemicals that aren’t meant for canine consumption.
The main drawback remains the sugar, however – there’s just too much of it even just in natural apple juice. In fairness, there’s too much sugar in apples too which is why you should only occasionally give apples to your dog. It’s much easier to go overboard with apple juice, however. A thirsty or ravenous dog can easily drink the juice equivalent of several apples in mere moments.
The Potential Risks Of Letting Your Dog Drink Apple Juice?
The main and immediate risk of letting your dog drink apple juice is diarrhea. Drinking more than even just a few gulps can send your pup in an unexpected and violent fit of diarrhea the likes of which you haven’t seen before.
Aside from that, there aren’t any major health risks that can come about after drinking apple juice once. If you make it a habit to give your dog a bit of apple juice, however – not enough to cause diarrhea or vomiting – then there can be some negative long-term effects. These include but are not limited to:
All these as well as other metabolic changes can be the direct consequence of consuming too much sugar. So, even if you’ve found that your dog can drink small quantities of apple juice, it’s still ill-advised.
What To Do If Your Dog Has Drunk Apple Juice?
As the immediate consequence of drinking too much apple juice is diarrhea, there aren’t too many major things you’ll need to do. Diarrhea passes eventually and if the only cause of it is the apple juice, there shouldn’t be much cause for concern. Some home remedies you can try include:
- Boiled rice water
- Withhold food for 12-24 hours
- White rice
- Canned pumpkin
- Boiled and skinned potatoes
- Specialized canned dog food for diarrhea
- Some over-the-counter medications for people can also work with dogs in the right quantities – always consult with your vet first!
If the diarrhea isn’t caused by just the apple juice, however, you’d do best to get your pup to the vet immediately. If you see blood in the dog’s poop or if it’s a strange color that you should both call and go to your vet.
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Is Apple Juice For Dogs Ever An Acceptable Idea?
On some rare occasions, a bit of apple juice can be a decent option for your dog. The main example is constipation – apple juice is an effective remedy for this problem.
The reason we still wouldn’t recommend it is simply that there are other good alternatives that are no full of sugar. But if you’re in a pinch and you have no other options, a bit of apple juice can help alleviate your dog’s constipation. Just don’t go overboard with it – a few sips should be enough. Anything more can turn constipation into diarrhea and/or vomiting.
Another acceptable use of apple juice is to prompt your dog to drink water. Most dogs don’t have any hesitancy when it comes to water but some just don’t like drinking that much. A drop of apple juice in your dog’s bowl is sometimes just what the pooch needs to start drinking more water. Again – don’t go overboard with it and use just a drop or two for flavor.
In that case, too, there are other alternatives to apple juice. For example, putting a few half-melted ice cubes in your pup’s water bowl is often enough to spark interest in it. Even Gatorade is a more acceptable option than apple juice for mixing with drinking water.
Read more about: Can Dogs Drink Gatorade For Dehydration?
Apples Are Ok For Dogs, Right?
Unlike apple juice, apples are indeed ok for your dog to eat. Their fibers, vitamins, fatty acids, and texture make them worth the sugar intake. You should still use apples in moderation, of course – a few pieces a day as a treat is more than enough for any dog. There are some cool recipes for dog apple treats too. You can also just put chopped apple pieces in your dog’s food – the apple should be no more than ~15% of the total meal.
Also, remember to remove the seeds and stem of the apple before giving it to your dog. The stem can be a choking hazard and the seeds are rich in cyanide which is far from recommended for both dogs and people.
Just Avoid Apple Juice
The simplest thing to do is to avoid apple juice altogether. The few benefits this liquid has are all better served by other methods. The drawbacks and potential health risks for your dog are just not worth it.