What Animals Eat Apples?

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horse eating an apple

What animals eat apples in the wild, at the farm or in your home? Several of our pets love apple slices as a treat, but this sugary sweet treat isn’t for every day. Apples are a highly nutritious, sweet-tasting fruit enjoyed by millions worldwide, and most people would agree that nothing beats biting into a crunchy, juicy apple! Many animals in the wild enjoy apples, as well as domestic pets and barnyard animals. But apples should not be part of an animal’s staple diet because of the high sugar content. Today we look further at the facts about animals eating apples.

Contents

What Animals Eat Apples?

Many herbivores and omnivores enjoy eating apples in their natural habitat, but their diet depends on what food is available. Wild apples are mainly seasonal fruits, so they are an occasional treat for wild animals and are not consumed regularly.

Some wild animals prefer to store apples and eat them once fermented. However, once the apples have fermented, it produces a little alcohol, and there have been reports of animals being drunk! Pets and farm animals will also eat apples, but while apples are a highly nutritious fruit, you cannot feed this fruit as part of an animal’s staple diet, and it can pose serious health threats if consumed in large amounts.

squirrel eating an apple

What Wild Animals Eat Apples?

If they have access to apples, these wild animals will happily eat them!

  • Deer
  • Bears
  • Chimps
  • Raccoons
  • Elk
  • Moose
  • Possums
  • Foxes
  • Pandas
  • Wild boar
  • Badgers
  • Hedgehogs
  • Birds
  • Insects

Which Barnyard Animals Eat Apples?

Like our pets, farm animals can have apples as an occasional treat, but too many can cause colic, bloating or acidosis. While the sugar in apples may be “good sugar,” it can cause dental problems. Cutting apples into slices means the animal can comfortably chew and swallow the fruit, reducing the risk of choking.

As apples are high in potassium, you should avoid giving this fruit to horses with hyperkalemic periodic paralysis (HYPP), where potassium continuously leaks into the bloodstream from its muscles. Although all of these farm animals can eat apples in small quantities, it’s not a good idea to feed them too often or in large amounts.

  • Horses
  • Pigs
  • Goats
  • Sheep
  • Chickens

What Pet Animals Can Eat Apples?

Just like the farm animals we’ve just seen, these gorgeous pets all love a bit of apple, but it doesn’t mean it’s the best choice for a healthy snack!

  • Dogs
  • Sugar Gliders
  • Hamsters
  • Rabbits
  • Mice
  • Rats
  • Sugar Gliders
  • Hamsters
  • Rabbits
  • Mice

Which Reptiles Eat Apples?

Several omnivorous and herbivorous reptiles will eat a small amount of apple as a part of their healthy diet. Shaved or grated apple can be a lovely sweetening addition to a bearded dragon’s salad on rare occasions, for example. But they shouldn’t be eating them all the time, and although many love apples this isn’t the best choice for them.

Are Apples Good for Animals?

Apples are incredibly nutritious and offer many benefits to animals. This crunchy fruit provides a rich source of Vitamins A and C. Vitamin A helps boost the immune system, keeping the animal’s skin and coat healthy, while Vitamin C helps with bone and muscle development.

The fiber in apples is valuable as a prebiotic food and can aid digestion, while potassium helps the body function.

Apples also provide a useful source of quercetin that fights off the harmful effects of allergies. At the same time, polyphenols (antioxidants) reduce chronic inflammation, promote a balanced gut, detoxify the liver, and increase the average lifespan by ten per cent.

Is It Safe to Feed Apples to Pets?

As apples are low in calories and packed with vital nutrients, they make a healthy snack for pets, with the apple’s skin providing an essential source of roughage which helps the digestive system. But because of the high sugar content, apples should be fed in moderation as an occasional treat.

For most animals in their natural habitat, apples are only part of their diet, and they obtain the nutrients they require from other sources. When it comes to feeding pets, it is best to replicate their natural diet and feed apples a couple of times a week only as a treat.

Are Apples Bad for Pets?

Feeding apples as part of a pet’s regular diet is extremely dangerous. The extra sugar can make animals obese and affect calcium absorption, so you should give them in moderation. Furthermore, although apples are a good source of vitamins and minerals, too much Vitamin C can lead to kidney trouble, while excessive amounts of vitamin A can harm the skin and brain.

Apple seeds and stems are toxic to many animals, especially small pets, causing health issues like vomiting, stomach disorders, and even death, while the core can cause choking. Because apples contain sugar, never feed apples to animals with metabolic issues like insulin resistance or Cushing’s disease.

How To Serve Apples to Pets

Only feed fresh apples to your pet, as rotten ones can have harmful effects. Always prepare apples properly, washing the apple thoroughly to remove chemicals and pesticides.

Remove the seeds, stem, and core and cut the apple into bite-sized pieces. On a hot day, why not put the apple slices in the freezer for a couple of hours, then give them to your pet as a refreshing treat?

Always introduce new food slowly to your pet, so their stomach can get used to it and only one food at a time. Remain vigilant and check that your pet has no adverse reaction like diahrrea. If you think the apple is causing your pet problems, stop feeding it. If symptoms persist, then consult your veterinarian.

Can Animals Eat Fermented Apples?

Apples that have already started fermenting can help balance the pH levels in an animal’s stomach and digestive tracts. However, rotten apples can cause ethanol poisoning in animals, damaging cells and the heart and may result in death. Symptoms can include:

  • Slowed breathing and heart rate
  • Drop in body temperature
  • Going from hyperactivity to lethargy
  • Loss of equilibrium

What Animals Eat Apples?

From the smallest butterfly to the largest elephant, there are apple fans all over the globe. But although apples make a delicious healthy snack for animals as they contain essential nutrients providing many health benefits. However, because apples have high sugar content, you should feed them in moderation.

Learn More About What Animals Eat

Resources

  • Hyson, 2011. A Comprehensive Review of Apples and Apple Components and Their Relationship to Human Health. Oxford Academic.
  • Joshi et al, 1996. Preparation and evaluation of an animal feed byproduct produced by solid-state fermentation of apple pomace. Bioresource Technology.

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