Don’t we all love a chilled glass of apple cider, especially its numerous benefits?
Its sweet, crisp taste makes it a versatile drink everyone can enjoy.
While we may delight in this refreshing drink, especially during fall, we can’t help but wonder if the same applies to our fur babies.
Well, let’s find out, shall we?
Is apple cider bad for dogs?
Apple cider, in moderation, is not bad for dogs as it acts as a natural health booster.
You can use it to treat ear infections and skin allergies and give your dog a shinier coat and a healthier GI system.
However, too much of it can upset your dog’s stomach.
This article will explain what apple cider is and its effect on dogs.
It will also discuss the potential health benefits of apple cider for dogs.
What is apple cider?
Apple cider is popular in the United States and Canada as an unfiltered, unsweetened, non-alcoholic beverage made from apples.
While it’s generally referred to as just cider in the United States, it is not to be confused with the alcoholic beverage known as cider (hard cider) in other places.
In most parts of the world, outside of the United States and Canada, it is commonly known as cloudy apple juice, which is different from clearer, filtered apple juice and hard cider.
Fresh liquid cider is extracted from various parts of the apple, including the apple core, trimmings from apples, and oddly shaped apples, or apple culls.
Garden-fresh cider is opaque due to fine apple particles in suspension with a pleasantly strong and sharp taste than commercially available apple juice.
However, this depends on the variety of apples used.
Apple cider may sometimes be pasteurized or exposed to UV light to kill bacteria and prolong its shelf life.
However, traditional raw untreated cider still takes the lead in popularity.
Some brands may add preservatives or boil apple cider to extend its shelf life to allow storage without refrigeration.
Can my dog drink apple cider?
Apple cider in small doses without additives, sweeteners or artificial flavors can be safe for your pup to drink as it may provide limited nutritional benefits to your dog.
However, you shouldn’t give your dog apple cider if it contains additives, such as sugars, spices, or alcohol, as it can pose severe health risks for your dog.
If your fido drinks apple cider with additives, he may experience diabetes, alcohol toxicity, and stomach ulcers.
Due to its acidity and bland taste, most dogs may not find apple cider appealing.
In that case, you can mix it up into their regular meal or make a dog-friendly treat.
Potential health benefits of apple cider for dogs
Apple cider in small doses occasionally can be a spontaneous way to boost your pup’s health.
These health benefits may include:
A modest source of dietary fiber
Apple cider contains pulp and sediment, with doses of dietary fiber that improve digestion and gastrointestinal processes.
It also lowers blood cholesterol while helping your dog feel fuller preventing weight gain and obesity.
Essential vitamins and minerals
Apple cider is an excellent source of potassium which aids in functioning electrical charges in the heart, nerves, and muscles.
It also helps the body retain adequate fluid and keep the kidneys working normally.
Apple cider also contains iron, a mineral required by your dog’s body to perform vital functions like carrying oxygen throughout its body.
This, in turn, helps your pup’s cells to produce energy.
It also allows certain enzymes to function normally.
Additionally, apple cider contains Vitamin C, which helps reduce potentially harmful free radicals in your dog’s body, support healthy aging, and reduce inflammation.
It may also help treat or prevent various canine ailments, such as arthritis, cancer, dementia, and liver disease.
Other health benefits of apple cider
Apple cider can also be fermented and turned into apple cider vinegar which can be essential for your dog for several reasons.
These may include:
Regulate blood sugar
Apple cider vinegar may help lower blood sugar levels in your dog and also has an antioxidative effect.
This could help prevent diabetes in dogs or lessen the need for insulin in an already diabetic dog.
There are several cardiovascular benefits to apple cider vinegar.
The acetic acid in ACV can help reduce high blood pressure and lipid levels.
This can lead to better heart health for your dog.
Treat various infections
ACV is popularly known for its benefits when treating itchy ears or ear infections, as it helps reduce yeast overgrowth.
If your dog is experiencing skin allergies, you can add dilute apple cider vinegar to his bath water to help clear the infection.
ACV also has antibacterial properties that aid in reducing urinary tract infections in dogs.
ACV can be a great addition to your dog’s diet as it helps protect him from Canine Cognitive Disorder (CCD).
It also contains phenolic acid, which could help protect your dog from CCD.
ACV has a number of these phenolic compounds, including:
- Gallic acid
- Caffeic acid
- Chlorogenic acid
- P-coumaric acid
ACV is beneficial for the suppression of obesity-induced oxidative stress.
It can also reduce the risk of obesity-related diseases by preventing atherogenic risk.
Oxidative stress is an excess of reactive oxygen species which causes lipid peroxidation resulting in cell and tissue damage.
Senior dogs may be at a higher risk of oxidative stress as their brain accumulates oxidative damage to proteins and lipids, causing dysfunction of neuronal cells.
Side effects of apple cider for dogs
If your dog takes apple cider in excess, he may experience:
Apple cider in small amounts occasionally may be safe for your pup, but too much of it can upset its stomach, resulting in cramping, vomiting, constipation, or diarrhea.
Although natural, the excess sugars can also put your dog at risk for multiple health issues, including GI distress and intestinal blockage.
High blood pressure
Spiced apple ciders may include cinnamon and nutmeg to boost their flavor, which can harm your dog’s health.
While cinnamon is safe for dogs to consume, nutmeg, especially in large doses, is not.
Nutmeg can cause the following side effects in dogs:
- Increased heart rate
- Abdominal pain
- High blood pressure
- Dry mouth
Generally, all human foods and beverages, including apple cider, should be given in small doses under the guidance of your vet.
While apple cider may have limited benefits for your furry friend, it shouldn’t form a staple of your dog’s diet.