Can Dogs Eat Apple Butter?

Apple butter is excellent as a spread on toast, biscuits, and to top off snacks including porridge, yoghurt, your favorite bowl of cereals or a fruit salad.

As we all know, dogs indulge in nearly all snacks that we do, so it’s not uncommon for your pooch to want a dollop of apple butter when they see you consuming it.

Before you feed your dog Apple butter, remember it’s packed with concentrated caramelized sugar among other ingredients that may not be safe for your pooch.

So, can dogs eat apple butter?


While slices of peeled, seedless apples are safe for your dog in controlled portions, apple butter often has ingredients that are harmful to dogs.

So, feeding your dog apple butter typically does more harm than good and can cause potentially dangerous complications.

This post will help you understand the risk factors associated with feeding a dog apple butter and cover potentially ingredients in this sweet treat that makes it unsuitable for your furry friends.

What’s the Effect of Apple Butter on Dog?

Whole apples are an excellent addition to your dogs in small portions.

They’re packed with essential nutrients and vitamins, and antioxidants, and are a low-calorie treat.

They’re also an excellent source of dietary fiber.

However, the low-calorie state of apples changes substantially once they’re processed into apple butter.

The process of making apple butter involves slow cooking the apples in water or apple cider until the sugar in the apples caramelizes into a thick, deep brown paste.

While apple butter still has some nutrients and vitamins found in whole apples, research shows that over 50% of each apple butter serving is made of concentrated simple sugars – the kind that’s bad for human and canine health.

So, what are the effects of feeding your dog too much sugar?

A dogs body responds to excess sugar intake the same way the human body does.

However, because dogs can’t help but indulge, it’s your duty as the pet parent to ensure what they eat is healthy and poses zero risk to their wellbeing.

Too much sugar intake can cause numerous health problems in your pooch, including: 

  • Diabetes
  • Hormonal imbalances
  • Obesity
  • Dental issues
Can Dogs Eat Apple Butter

What Ingredients on Apple Butter are Bad for Dogs?

The high sugar content of apple butter makes it bad for dogs.

While you may get away with feeding your canine a tiny dollop of it once in a long while, apple butter might have additional ingredients that won’t be as gentle.

Some of the popular ingredients you’ll find in apple butter include cloves and nutmeg.

Cloves, particularly clove oil, are a dangerous element for pets.

It contains chemicals known as eugenols that have been proven to cause symptoms including staggering, seizures, and vomiting.

In extreme cases, eugenols cause liver toxicity in some pets, leading to liver failure and rapid death.

On the other hand, while nutmeg adds an aromatic whiff to your apple butter, it’s toxic when ingested by dogs.

Myristicin, a compound found in nutmeg can cause stomach upsets when consumed in small doses.

A higher dose can cause high blood pressure, hallucinations, increased heart rate and disorientation at the best and death at its worst.

Is Homemade Apple Butter Safe for Dogs?

While homemade apple butter might have fewer extra ingredients than commercial ones, it doesn’t take away from the fact that the final product is too sugary for dogs and can lead to multiple lifestyle diseases.

If you must feed your dog an apple-based snack other than whole apple pieces, you’re better off stopping at apple sauce.

Apple sauce has a high sugar content, but it’s not as concentrated as apple butter, making it a much better option.

However, it’s important not to combine it with other carbs, lest you feed your dog with excessive amounts of sugars.

If you must feed your dog any form of a nut or fruit butter, stick to:

These have a much lower sugar content and are healthier than apple butter.

Still, when buying commercially manufactured variants, ensure you evaluate the ingredient list in case any of them has a preservative that might harm your dogs.

Most importantly, introduce them to your dog’s diet in small amounts and observe their response in case they have an allergic reaction to either.

What Other Apple Treats Can I Feed my Dog Safely?

Diversifying your dog’s diet is essential for optimal health.
However, some snacks like apple butter while providing simple sugars are too sweet for canines.
Instead, you can opt for many other apple treats that not only give your dog a diverse option of treats but are also healthier.
Unfortunately, most commercial dog treats also have a high sugar content as a filler for the kibble.
Although granulated sugar and artificial sweeteners have no dietary value to dogs, many manufacturers still use them in copious amounts to manufacture dog treats.

Final Verdict

Apple butter features high amounts of added sugar that a dog’s digestive system can’t handle.

Therefore, whenever you’re introducing a new food into your dog’s diet, it’s essential to conduct extensive research on its pros and cons.

While dogs eat almost everything that a human consumes, it doesn’t mean everything you eat is safe for your pooch.

Similarly, it’s essential that you moderate your canine’s intake of a nonmeat diet.

Besides, dogs are carnivorous, which means their digestive system is optimized to thrive on a meat diet.

So, when considering feeding your dog anything other than meat and animal proteins, make sure you consult your vet, especially when you’re not sure if the food is safe for canines.

Megan Turner
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