Can Dogs Eat Crab Apples?


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Crab apple trees, also spelled crabapple trees, belong to the rose family. Normally it is grown for its beautiful flowers and embellishing fruits. There are no big differences between regular apples and crab apple trees. They look alike.

The only difference is the size of the apple. Regular apples are larger than 2 inches in diameter, whereas crab apples are smaller than 2 inches in diameter, with a sharp tart taste.

There is a misconception that they are poisonous. Well, crab apples make a healthy treat if eaten rightly. Not all the parts of a crab apple tree are edible. You just have to avoid apple seeds and core as these parts make crab apples poisonous.

Is eating crab apples safe for dogs?

Yes, it’s safe if your dog eats crab apples. But you have to be cautious of what your pet is eating. Although some parts of crab apples are toxic, the flesh of the fruit serves the role of perfect snack for animals.

Many dogs don’t eat crab apples because of their taste. However, pets should not be forced in that case. There are several alternatives available which you can feed them after consulting a canine nutritionist.

Which parts of crab apple are poisonous for dogs?

Crabapple trees are ideal ornaments for the yard. But you can’t let your puppy wander here there carelessly. So keep an eye on your pet and make sure he does not munch on any of the following parts of a crab apple tree.


Seeds of this fruit should be avoided at all costs. This is because they contain a chemical named amygdalin. When this compound comes in contact with the digestive enzymes in the body, it releases cyanide. It is a highly toxic substance leading to cyanide poisoning. Its viciousness can lead to even death within a few minutes of its ingestion.

If your dog accidentally ate one or two seeds, make sure he didn’t chew it. That toxic substance needs to leak out of the seeds to harm the body. If you think he has chewed the seeds, induce vomiting in your dog. Of course, you should know how to make him throw up or at least consult a local veterinarian, as vomiting in some dog breeds such as Pugs and Pekingese can cause aspiration pneumonia.

In short, the seeds of this fruit are poisonous to dogs. You should also ensure that your pet doesn’t ingest seeds of apricots, cherries, peaches, and plums because of the same reason.


Stems also contain toxic cyanogenic glycosides having the same toxic effects as that of the seeds. Your puppy may pick up small pieces of stems or their branches if you have a tree of this fruit in your backyard.

You have to be extra careful with these small animals.

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The core of the fruit is not toxic. But it is also not a good treat for your dog as it can cause a choking hazard. Dogs usually try to eat their foods all at once, ending up obstructing their throats.

If you find your dog snacking on the entire fruit, save him from any danger by cutting it into slices.


The leaves of this tree are dangerous for dogs to eat. They also contain the same cyanogenic glycosides making them unsuitable for dogs to eat. Once metabolized into cyanide, it can cause digestive distress and even cardiovascular diseases, including low blood oxygen levels.

This chemical gain more concentration in the wilted leaves. Beware of the leaves fallen around the tree as they are highly toxic.

dogs eat crab apples

Crab apple poisoning

Crab apple can be enlisted in the foods for the dog as it is not poisoning, but some parts of the tree other than its fruit are dangerous for the dog. These parts can cause several diseases, which are collectively called crab apple poisoning.

If you catch your dog eating any of these, instantly take him to a vet.

Common symptoms

If your dog eats seeds or core of the fruit or stems or leaves of the tree in large quantities, he may suffer from

  • dilated pupils
  • brick red mucous membranes (eyes, nose, and mouth)
  • difficulty breathing
  • panting
  • decreased heart rate
  • seizures

It can also cause respiratory congestion. It is characterized by swelling blood vessels in the lungs and overloading the alveoli with blood. This condition can eventually lead to respiratory failure.

It can also put dogs up to diarrhea. This condition might occur because of the dietary fiber in crab apples, which gives them an upset stomach. It can lead to acute forms such as loose stools or a severe digestive upset. In addition, diarrhea can cause electrolytes imbalance due to fluid loss. It can further lead to dehydration and life-threatening conditions.

These diseases make crab apples poisonous to dogs.

Call the vet

On the arrival of any symptom, take your pet to a licensed veterinarian. Be prepared for the questions like what did the dog eat? or how much he ate?

He is the only one who can inspect your dog thoroughly. Next time, he will medicate your pup, but you will be responsible for his ill health.

Other concerns crab apple can cause

While eating crab apples, there is a high chance of your dog choking on the core of the apple. Moreover, the flesh and skin are high in sugars, making it not an ideal treat at all.

The skin of the apple also has dietary fiber. If consumed in high quantity, it can lead to irregular bowel movements.

How to keep dogs away from crab apples?

Dogs may not like crab apples because of the sour taste, while on the other hand, if your dog eats crab apples and seems to like them, it’s hard to make him stop. Therefore, you need to take some precautions to save your dog from possible hazards.

Be careful while eating crab apples. Don’t leave any food residue on the floor. Your dog may pick up the leftovers, which are fatal for him.

Clean up the fallen apples regularly. Your dog may not consider the harm and can devour the fallen fruit, including its seeds and core. If you can’t clean it daily, you can put a fence around the yard so that your dog cannot go there alone.

You can also consider planting other trees in the yard whose fallen fruits won’t worry you even if the puppy is left alone.

Remember to pick up the leaves and twigs of the apple tree from the ground too. They contain toxins in concentrated quantities.

Possible benefits of crab apple as dog food

There are a lot of threats posed by these apples to dog species, but the flesh of apples is good for pets. Possible benefits are as follows:

  • The apple is rich in vitamins, including vitamin A and C. The former is good for vision and immune functions, and the latter does all the development and repairing of the body tissues.
  • The apple also contains calcium which is good for bones and teeth.
  • Phosphorus is also present, which regulates blood coagulation and muscle contraction.
  • Crab apple is beneficial for a constipated puppy as it also contains dietary fibers.
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If your dog is craving crab apples, cut some slices and serve them to your friend. It is a good treat overall. But you need to be cautious of this plant’s seeds, core, and leaves, as they can be harmful to the pup.

Moreover, keep your dog away from the fallen fruits in the yard.