Homemade applesauce for dogs is crafted with the natural goodness of fresh apples. Delightfully sugar-free and made without preservatives, this dog-friendly applesauce outshines store-bought treats.
Made with natural ingredients, it’s perfect as a standalone treat, meal topper, and ingredient in dog treats. Delight your furry friend with a nutritious treat or add some wonderful sweetness to their dog food.
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- Why Make Applesauce For Dogs?
- Why This is the Best Applesauce for Dogs Recipe
- Benefits of Applesauce for Dogs
- Equipment Needed
- Best Apples For Applesauce
- How to Make Applesauce for Dogs
- Recipe Variations
- How to Use Homemade Applesauce for Dogs
- How to Store Homemade Applesauce
- Serving Size
- Can people eat this applesauce for dogs?
- More Homemade Dog Treat Recipes
- Applesauce for Dogs
Why Make Applesauce For Dogs?
Making applesauce for your canine companion might seem like a culinary endeavor reserved only for the most devoted pet parents. However, there are several compelling reasons to give it a try:
- You have complete control over what goes into it. This ensures that there are no harmful additives, added sugar, artificial sweeteners, or preservatives that could upset your dog’s stomach or harm their health.
- Homemade applesauce doesn’t undergo the long storage or transportation process typical of store-bought products. This means it’s fresher and potentially richer in nutrients.
- Buying apples in bulk, especially when they’re in season, and turning them into applesauce can be more cost-effective than purchasing pre-made, dog-friendly products.
- You can adjust its texture and consistency to your dog’s preference. Whether your pet likes it smoother or chunkier, you can tailor it to their liking.
- You can add ingredients that might benefit your dog’s health, such as a sprinkle of cinnamon for flavor or flaxseed for omega-3 fatty acids.
Why This is the Best Applesauce for Dogs Recipe
This is one of my dog’s favorite homemade treats, so I bet your pups will love it too! Since it’s made with simple ingredients, you’ll feel confident giving your dog applesauce that is good for your dog’s diet.
But the nutrition isn’t the only thing about this special treat you’ll love. It’s also really easy to make. Make it in a Crockpot, Instant Pot, or the old-fashioned way in a large pot on the stove.
No matter how you make it, this is a great way to supplement your dog’s nutritional needs.
Benefits of Applesauce for Dogs
Applesauce can be a delicious treat for your furry friend, and it can offer several health and nutritional benefits when given in moderation:
- Applesauce is a good source of vitamin C, which can help support your dog’s immune system.
- Applesauce contains antioxidants that can help protect your dog’s cells from damage by free radicals, potentially supporting overall health.
- Applesauce is a great source of dietary fiber and the soluble fiber in apples can be beneficial for a dog’s digestive system, potentially helping with issues like diarrhea or constipation.
- If you’re looking for a low-calorie treat for your dog, unsweetened applesauce can be a great choice.
- If your dog hesitates to take medication, a little applesauce can serve as a mask, making the medicine more palatable.
You probably have all the kitchen tools to make this recipe, but just in case:
- Sharp Knife
- Fruit and Vegetable Peeler
- Apple Corer and Slicer – Handy gadget cuts and cores at the same time.
- Cutting Board
- Large Bowl
- Measuring Cups and Spoons
- Large Pot, Crock Pot, or Instant Pot
- Airtight Container for storing leftovers
There are just three basic ingredients in this easy recipe.
- Apples – See below for options of fresh apples
- Water – For liquid to cook the apples with.
- Apple Cider Vinegar – Helps brighten the sauce and enhances apple flavor.
Use organic apples and vinegar if you want to make organic applesauce.
Best Apples For Applesauce
When it comes to making applesauce, the type of apple you choose can influence the texture, sweetness, and overall flavor of the final product. Here are some of the best apple varieties for applesauce:
- Braeburn: Braeburn apples offer a slightly tangy flavor with a hint of sweetness. They create a rich, aromatic applesauce.
- Cortland: They resist browning and offer a mildly tart flavor, making them an excellent choice for vibrant and flavorful applesauce.
- Gala: Gala apples are among the most popular apples for both eating out of hand and cooking. They’re known for their sweet taste and fine texture, making them an excellent choice for applesauce.
- Golden Delicious: Slightly sweet and mellow, Golden Delicious apples maintain a good balance of flavor when cooked down. Their softer texture makes for a smooth sauce.
- Granny Smith: If you prefer a tart applesauce, Granny Smith is your go-to.
- Jonathan or Jonagold: These apples have a balanced sweet-tart flavor profile, and they cook down beautifully to a smooth texture.
- McIntosh: These apples are juicy with a mild tartness. They break down easily during cooking, creating a smooth applesauce texture. They have a classic apple flavor that’s beloved by many.
- Rome: These are known for holding their shape a bit more during the cooking process, so they might be ideal for those who prefer a chunkier applesauce. They have a mild and slightly sweet flavor.
- Mix and Match: For a more complex flavor profile, consider mixing two or more apple varieties. Combining a tart apple with a sweet one, for example, can yield a perfectly balanced applesauce without the need for added sugars.
How to Make Applesauce for Dogs
There are three ways you can make applesauce: on the stovetop, in a CrockPot slow cooker, or with an Instant Pot pressure cooker. Here are the steps for each:
To prep the apples:
- Peel the apples, remove the core, and slice the apples or cut them into small pieces.
- Place the slices in a large bowl.
- Add ¼ cup water and 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar.
- Stir to coat the sliced apples with the liquid.
Crockpot Slow Cooker Method
- Place the apple mixture in a slow cooker.
- Cook on LOW for about 4 hours.
Instant Pot Pressure Cooker Method
- Place the apple mixture in an Instant Pot (or electric pressure cooker).
- Cook on manual HIGH pressure for 8 minutes.
- Let the pressure release naturally or perform a quick release.
- Place the apple mixture in a large pot.
- Bring it to a boil then reduce the heat to low.
- Cover the pot and simmer for about 20 minutes or until the apples are soft.
After Cooking the Apples
- Stir the apples until it has the consistency of chunky applesauce.
- For smooth applesauce, you can process it in a food processor, blend it with an immersion blender, mash it with a potato masher, or press it through a strainer.
- Cool the applesauce to room temperature.
- Transfer it to a sealed container.
- Cinnamon Applesauce – Add up to 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon.
- Cranberry Applesauce – Add ½ cup of fresh cranberries.
How to Use Homemade Applesauce for Dogs
- Make applesauce dog treats.
- Make applesauce frozen dog treats – Mix applesauce with plain Greek yogurt, coconut milk, or chicken broth and freeze the mixture in silicone molds or ice cube trays.
- Use it as a food topper – a spoonful on top of kibble works great.
How to Store Homemade Applesauce
Once you’ve made a delicious batch of applesauce, proper storage is crucial to maintain its freshness and flavor. Here are the steps and tips to ensure your homemade applesauce stays at its best:
- After cooking, allow your applesauce to come to room temperature. This helps prevent condensation inside the storage container, which can make the applesauce spoil faster.
- Transfer the cooled applesauce to clean, airtight containers. This prevents air from getting in and oxidizing the applesauce, which can alter its taste and color.
- Store your applesauce in the refrigerator if you plan to use it within a week. Ensure the lid is secured tightly every time you use it to maintain freshness.
- For longer storage, freeze the applesauce. Divide it into portion-sized containers, ice cube trays, or freezer bags. Properly stored, frozen applesauce can last up to 6 months. Thaw it in the fridge overnight.
How long does homemade applesauce last?
When properly stored, homemade applesauce will last up to 1 week in the refrigerator and 6 months in the freezer.
The recipe makes 2 cups and the nutrition information in the recipe card is based on a ¼ cup serving. However, how much applesauce you should give your dog depends on a few factors.
First, how much applesauce you give your dog depends on their size. Larger dogs can eat more sugar – even natural sugar from fruit – than smaller dogs.
It also depends on how much sugar your dog eats from other food sources.
Healthy dogs can eat about a spoonful or two of applesauce per day. A good rule to remember is to keep fruit puree to 5% or less of your dog’s daily food intake.
Can people eat this applesauce for dogs?
Yes, absolutely! Everything in it is safe for human consumption. Make a big batch so there’s plenty for both you and your dog.
More Homemade Dog Treat Recipes
If you enjoy making dog treats, try these:
- Apple Peanut Butter Dog Treats
- Apple Cupcakes for Dogs
- Apple Carrot Dog Treats
- Homemade Dog Biscuits
- Strawberry Banana Ice Cream for Dogs
- Peanut Butter Pumpkin Dog Treats
- Sweet Potato Dog Treats
Find lots of recipes for homemade dog treats right here on Spoiled Hounds!
Applesauce for Dogs
- 4-6 medium Apples
- ¼ cup Water
- 1 tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar
- ½ teaspoon Ground Cinnamon optional
- Peel, core, and slice apples.
- Place the apple slices in a large bowl.
- Add water and apple cider vinegar. Add cinnamon (if using). Stir to coat the apple slices with the liquid.
Crockpot Slow Cooker
- Place the apple slice mixture into a slow cooker.
- Cook on LOW for four to six hours, stirring occasionally.
Instant Pot Pressure Cooker
- Place the apple slice mixture into an Instant Pot.
- Cook it on manual HIGH for 8 minutes.
- Allow the pressure to release naturally or do a quick release.
- Place the apple slice mixture in a large saucepan or stock pot.
- Bring the mixture to a boil then reduce the heat to low.
- Place a lid on the pot and simmer until the apples are soft, about 20 minutes.
- Stir well until desired consistency or for a smoother texture use an immersion blender or food processor, or press it though a strainer.
- Cool the applesauce to room temperature.
- Transfer it in an airtight container and store it in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.