An apple a day could keep the vet away.

By Grace Haynes
Credit: Getty Images

Apples are healthy snacks for humans, but can dogs chow down on these crunchy fruits too? While many foods meant for people are harmful for dogs to consume, apples are perfectly safe for pets to enjoy. So the next time a slice falls on the ground and your dog quickly devours it, don't panic. According to the American Kennel Club, apples are full of beneficial nutrients like Vitamin C, calcium, phosphorous, and fiber. However, there are a few things to know.

Slice and Serve in Moderation

Follow a few rules to safely feed your dog an apple. Slice the fruit into thick chunks or cubes. Be sure to remove the seeds (which can be toxic to dogs) and core (which can be a choking hazard). The peel can be kept on or off, depending on your pet's preference. Green Granny Smiths, ruby Red Deliciouses, or pink Galas—all varieties of apples are ok for dogs to eat. Like all other foods, apples should be enjoyed in moderation by pets. Too many apple slices will give your dog a bellyache.

Consider the Calories

Only 10% of a dog's daily calories should come from treats, says the Cummings Medical Center at Tufts University. In addition to a primary diet, fruits and vegetables can be tasty snacks for dogs. About ½ cup of chopped apples (around 30 calories) is a healthy serving size. Keep portions of safe fruits—bananas, cantaloupe, strawberries, blueberries, watermelon, and honeydew—and vegetables—carrots, green beans, broccoli, tomatoes, cucumbers, sweet red peppers, green peas, zucchini, celery stalks, cucumber, and asparagus—to around the same size. Or go with a lean protein, like ½ ounce of cooked ground turkey or baked chicken.

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Avoid Certain Other Foods

Summer picnics and barbecues may be dog-friendly, but many of the buffet items are not. Keep foods that are high in calories and salt out of your pet's reach. Here's a list of foods to avoid according to the FDA: raw meat; raisins, grapes, and currants; fried and fatty foods; onions, garlic, and chives; salty snacks (like potato chips); chocolate; and macadamia nuts.