The Benefits of Red Apples in Our Dogs Diet

The Benefits of Red Apples in Our Dogs Diet

By Don Hanson, PCBC-A, BFRAP

< Updated 12DEC22 >

My Golden Retriever, Tikken, loved apples. We first noted this in the late summer of 1997 when she was nine months old. We had an apple tree in the backyard, and it started dropping fruit. Tikken discovered those red apples and started scarfing them down. A few weeks later, we took her to visit her breeder, and we commented on Tik’s love of apples. They laughed and said, “Watch this.” as they let several of their adult Goldens out of their home. The dogs raced across the field next to their house to a stand of old apple trees and began eating the fallen fruit. When the fruit stopped falling, we bought apples for Tikken and gave her one every morning before breakfast. I’d take her out to do her morning business, and we’d come back in. Tik would sit patiently in front of the refrigerator until I opened the door and took out her red-skinned treat. I know that Tikken had at least one red apple almost every day of her life. She lived a long full life a few days past her 16th birthday. We fed her a healthy diet, predominantly raw food. Still, I have always wondered what contribution her daily apple had to her longevity. As they say in that old spouse’s tale, an apple a day keeps the doctor away.

On December 3rd, which happens to be National Eat-a-Red-Apple Day, one of my favorite online veterinarians, Dr. Karen Becker, noted the following on Facebook:

Apple peels contain quercetin, a flavonoid that’s dubbed “nature’s Benadryl,” which may help minimize allergy symptoms like itching, inflammation and irritation in your pets. It’s also been associated with a reduced risk of Type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Choose organic, spray-free apples, and remove the core and seeds before sharing.”

You can read more of Dr. Becker’s Pet Food Facts at

Don Hanson lives in Bangor, Maine, where he is the co-owner of the Green Acres Kennel Shop ( and the founder of, an online educational resource for people with dogs and cats. He is a Professional Canine Behavior Consultant (PCBC-A) accredited by the Pet Professional Accreditation Board (PPAB) and a Bach Foundation Registered Animal Practitioner (BFRAP). Don is a member of the Pet Professional Guild (PPG), serving on the Board of Directors and Steering Committee and chairing the Advocacy Division. He is also a founding director of Pet Advocacy International (PIAI). In addition, Don produces and co-hosts The Woof Meow Show podcast, available at, the Apple Podcast app, and this blog. The opinions in this article are those of Don Hanson.

© Donald J. Hanson, All Rights Reserved

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