Can Dogs Eat Apple Seeds?

Apple seeds are poisonous to dogs (and cats) as they contain an amount of cyanide. This chemical can cause hypoxia or lack of oxygen delivery to their body.

Small amounts of apple seeds, ingested accidentally by your dog shouldn’t cause cyanide poisoning, but if you are worried, phone the vet clinic. But generally, your dog would have to eat a large amount of seeds or consistently consume over an extended period, small amounts to cause poisoning.

Whether it’s a Granny Smith, or my favourites, a Pink Lady, all apples have a total of 5 seed carpels. Within each pocket, the number of actual seeds varies from none to two or more.

The number depends on the maturity of the fruit. Assuming an average of 1.4 seeds per core would total seven seeds per fruit. Some apples may well have more, perhaps even double. 

A lot of apples at once is bad for dogs. As is eating apple cores regularly. This could cause raised levels of cyanide in his body which could be fatal. 

dogs have apples


  • Coma
  • Difficulty walking
  • Dizziness
  • Eyelids drooping
  • Fever 
  • Headache
  • Liver damage
  • Low blood pressure
  • Mental confusion
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Seizures
  • Skin turning blue (fur may obscure this)
  • Death

The other risk from apples is a potential choking hazard. 

If you feed your dog an apple or just the discarded core, then they will inevitably consume the seeds inside. Even fussy eaters will at least chew the centre thus inadvertently swallowing the poisonous seeds. 

Without the core and seeds then raw or cooked apples are totally safe for dogs. Apples are high in fibre and low in fat, making them an ideal snack. They are particularly great for dogs who are overweight or senior pets who may have a slower metabolism. They are also a great source of vitamins A and C, which are essential for maintaining healthy bones and tissue. 

Dogs can eat apples in moderation if you remember to remove the core and seeds first to avoid cyanide poisoning. 

can dogs have apple seeds

Treatment Plan

Indicators of problems in a pet suspected of eating cyanide-harbouring pits, stems or leaves include the development of bright red mucous membranes, enlarged pupils, respiratory distress, fear or nervousness, and signs of shock. The condition can be fatal if untreated, so take your dog to a vet immediately if these symptoms occur. 

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We’ve created a comprehensive list of what foods your dog can and can’t eat. Sign up for our free handout and we’ll email you a copy immediately.