We’re all tempted to let our dogs join us with an occasional treat. Sometimes it’s a small morsel from our dinner plates. Other times it’s a little slurp from our cups. You may feel like apple juice is one of those things that “should be fine” but is this really the case? Can dogs drink apple juice safely? Is it harmful to dogs?
The short answer is that you shouldn’t let your dog drink apple juice.
As with most commercial fruit juices, such as orange juice, many varieties of apple juice contain a range of potentially harmful ingredients for dogs, even if most are not immediately life-threatening.
So although for most commercially produced varieties dogs can drink apple juice in small amounts, they really shouldn’t. In this post I’m going to explain why.
Table of Contents
- Can Dogs Drink Apple Juice?
- Apple Juice Contents – Why Shouldn’t Dogs Drink Apple Juice?
- Related Posts
Can Dogs Drink Apple Juice?
If your dog drinks apple juice it’s unlikely to result in an immediate medical emergency (unless it contains xylitol – a sweetener that’s toxic to dogs). However, many varieties of commercially produced apple juice contain a range of sweeteners, artificial colours and flavourings that may well cause digestive upset for dogs.
Furthermore, apple juice is very high in sugar so regular consumption can contribute to weight gain, cause dental health issues and result in digestive problems for dogs.
Freshly squeezed pure apple juice contains only natural sugars and nothing else to maintain shelf life and so will be less harmful than commercially produced apple juice. However, if dogs drink fresh apple juice too frequently, even natural sugars cancause health issues over the long term.
If your dog occasionally licks the bottom of your apple juice glass it’s probably not going to cause serious issues, but I would never pour apple juice of any description into a dog’s bowl.
Apple Juice Contents – Why Shouldn’t Dogs Drink Apple Juice?
As I’ve outlined, if your dog drinks a little apple juice it probably won’t do harm. However, although dogs can drink some varieties of apple juice, they really shouldn’t be encouraged to drink it on a regular basis.
If you freshly squeeze apple juice at home, you can be sure it doesn’t contain things that dogs should never eat. Pure, freshly squeezed apple juice actually contains many nutrients, which are good for dogs, such as Vitamin C, vitamin K and potassium.
However, apples also contain the sugar fructose… dogs don’t need sugar of any description in their diet. Furthermore, apples are acidic, so if your dog drinks fresh apple juice in a large quantity, it could well end up with an upset stomach.
Commercially produced apple juices may contain substances that are not good for dogs:
Sweeteners – Although some varieties of commercially produced apple juice are unsweetened, some sweetened varieties may contain xylitol, which can be fatal for dogs in small doses. Other sweeteners typically used may be erythritol, saccharine, stevia and sucralose, which although not toxic to dogs can cause stomach upsets.
Sugar – Concentrated apple juice can contain extremely high amounts of fructose (a fruit sugar), which counteracts any health benefits it purports to deliver. Dogs shouldn’t drink apple juice concentrate since it can contribute to canine obesity and a litany of related health issues.
The fact is that apple juice is not essential to a dog’s diet. Given the potential health risks in letting dogs drink apple juice, the best policy is not to make it available.
If your dog drinks apple juice one time when your back is turned it may not cause much harm (unless it contains xylitol). But serving your dog apple juice to drink on a daily basis should be avoided.
As I’ve stated in many of my articles about things dogs eat and drink, it’s important to make a distinction between what they can drink, what they can’t drink and what they shouldn’t drink.
Most vets will likely advise that dogs can’t drink apple juice or at least that they shouldn’t actively be allowed to drink it. So, while dogs can drink some varieties of apple juice without serious consequences, they shouldn’t be given it as a regular beverage.
As a final note… if your dog drinks apple juice and you are unsure about the ingredients it contains, contact a veterinary professional as soon as you possibly can. Xylitol is a sweetener found in lots of different products but it can cause hypoglycemia in dogs, which can be fatal.
Symptoms of xylitol poisoning include:
- Decreased activity
- Inability to stand up / walk
Severe xylitol poisoning can result in death, so contact a veterinary centre if you’re ever in any doubt if your dog drinks apple juice.
What’s your view on dogs and apple juice? Did your dog drink apple juice one time and get sick? Please leave a comment in the section below to share your experiences.
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