Can dogs drink apple juice? Your dog can drink store-bought apple juice on occasion. However, do not make it a habit since this drink is predominantly made up of ingredients that can harm his health in the long run.
First, let us take a quick look at how regular apple juice is made to get a rough idea of why it should not be given to your dog regularly.
Overview of Commercial Apple Juice-Making
Most apple juices sold in stores are made from concentrate. This process involves pressing the fruit to a pulp to extract its juice. Most of the water content is then evaporated and dried up into a powder.
Doing so allows manufacturers to create cheaper products. That is because the powder does not take up much space and weight during storage and transport.
Water is reintroduced to the powder to create commercial fruit juice. Artificial flavors and sweeteners are added to mimic the taste and appearance of fresh apple juice.
The entire process saps out large volumes of the fruit’s nutrients, including dietary fiber and vitamin C. Most that remain in the apple juice are sugar and calories.
To compensate for the loss of nutrients, some companies infuse ascorbic acid and malic acid into their products.
3 Downsides of Apple Juice to Dogs
Mass-produced apple juice is not a beverage to be shared regularly with dogs. It has certain qualities that can cause health issues after long-term consumption, such as:
1. High in Acidity
We have mentioned that some apple juices are added with ascorbic acid and malic acid. Both of these ingredients have high acidity. In excessive doses, they can irritate your dog’s digestive system and cause stomach issues like:
- Acid reflux
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease
The use of ascorbic acid in apple juice also poses the danger of vitamin C toxicity. Healthy dogs generate vitamin C on their own, so they do not need supplementation of this nutrient.
Additional intake of ascorbic acid from apple juice can result in hypervitaminosis. In some cases, this condition can result in the formation of bladder stones due to the high acidity of the urine.
2. High Sugar Content
Apple juice contains various added sugars like high fructose corn syrup and cane sugar to achieve a sweet taste. These ingredients make the beverage’s sugar concentrations on par with carbonated sodas.
Food and drinks with high amounts of sugar can cause many health problems in dogs, such as obesity and periodontal issues like tooth decay.
We hear dog owners often ask: “Does apple juice give dogs diarrhea?” Apple juice can give dogs diarrhea when consumed in large amounts.
Since the beverage contains lots of sugar, it causes an imbalance of the gut’s microflora. An upset stomach and irregular bowel movements will occur as a result.
Another question to be answered is: “Can dogs drink apple juice if they are diabetic?” Giving diabetic dogs commercial apple juice is dangerous.
This beverage does not contain enough fiber, which helps slow down the sugar absorption in the bloodstream. Thus, it can easily cause abnormal blood sugar spikes.
3. Xylitol Toxicity Risk
The high sugar content of regular apple juice might have you looking for a healthier alternative for your furry pal. Your eyes might have set on the sugar-free variety.
But can dogs have sugar-free apple juice? It is risky to give dogs sugar-free apple juice. The beverage may still contain artificial sweeteners, and some of them are toxic to dogs, particularly xylitol.
Ingesting this sugar substitute can induce alarming side effects like:
- Difficulties in moving
- Low blood sugar
You might wonder, “Can apple juice kill dogs if it contains xylitol?” Yes, apple juice with xylitol can potentially kill dogs. This artificial sweetener is so toxic that it can be fatal even in small amounts.
In worst cases, xylitol toxicity in dogs can result in seizures, coma, and eventually, liver failure.
Note that this artificial sweetener goes by many names, such as birch sugar or wood sugar. If you are not careful, you will easily miss its name while perusing the ingredients list.
Recommended Serving of Apple Juice to Dogs
Apple juice is not bad for dogs if given sparingly and in small amounts. Diluting 1 part of the beverage with 2 parts of water is ideal. This will allow the drink to pass your canine companion’s digestive tract without causing irritation.
What Types of Apple Juice Are Safe for Dogs?
Can dogs drink 100% apple juice?
Sharing 100% apple juice with dogs is fine as long as it is xylitol-free. This beverage typically has little to no fiber. So do not give more than necessary to your furry pal to avoid the risk of diabetes.
Can dogs drink apple juice from concentrate?
Giving your dog apple juice from concentrate is not encouraged. As we have mentioned, it is loaded with sugar, artificial flavors, and sweeteners, which are unhealthy for him.
Can dogs drink homemade apple juice?
Yes, homemade apple juice is a safer and healthier alternative to store-bought apple juice for dogs.
In this way, you are responsible for choosing what ingredients to use. Hence, you can easily skip adding sugar and other ingredients that can harm your pooch.
Apple Juice and Constipation in Dogs
Can dogs drink apple juice for constipation? Apple juice can be a temporary remedy for constipated dogs. However, not just any apple juice will do. It should contain dietary fiber, which promotes better gut motility and regular bowel movement.
If you plan to make homemade apple juice for a dog with constipation, here are some things to keep in mind:
- Remove apple seeds but not the skin. You need to get rid of the seeds as they contain toxic cyanide traces. On the other hand, apple skins are fiber-rich, so your sick pooch can greatly benefit from them.
- Use a blender instead of a juicer. Regular juice extractors remove juice from the pulp and skins of fruits where plenty of fiber is stored. In comparison, using a blender allows these fiber-rich parts of fruits to remain.
- Let your dog drink the apple juice straight away. Leaving it exposed to air can cause oxidation, which diminishes essential nutrients. On the brighter side, oxidation does not affect dietary fiber.
Truth be told, letting your dog eat apples provides more fiber and nutrients. So if making apple juice at home is not feasible, feed him apple slices instead.
Water Is the Best Choice for Dogs
The only source of hydration your canine companion needs is plain, fresh water. Other liquids, such as apple juice, are not fit to be used as water substitutes. They should only supplement your dog’s water intake.
This leads us to the question: “What can dogs drink besides water?” Certain types of drinks can be safely given to dogs in moderation, such as apple cider, kefir, and coconut water. Let us have a quick look at what health benefits they offer to dogs:
Can dogs drink apple cider?
Apple cider provides decent amounts of iron, potassium, and vitamin C to dogs. It also contains antioxidants and dietary fiber, which promote a strong immune system and a healthy digestive tract.
Can dogs drink kefir?
Kefir is a good source of probiotics for dogs. It helps improve canine health in several ways, from increasing immunity against diseases to enhancing various organ functions.
Feed your dog plain kefir in small portions. Avoid brands with flavorings as they may contain xylitol. Overconsumption is not advised since it can upset your dog’s stomach.
Can dogs drink coconut water?
Coconut water is rich in electrolytes, which help in staving off dehydration in dogs. This drink also contains plenty of nutrients, such as calcium, iron, potassium, and zinc.
Coconut water has a high carbohydrate content. So it should be consumed by Fido sparingly to avoid weight gain and obesity.
All of these beverages are not meant to be water substitutes. However, they can be mixed into your dog’s water as an enticing flavoring. This is a solution you can turn to if he refuses to drink water or lacks hydration.