Are crabapples poisonous to dogs? Find out here.

While it’s great to have an apple flowering plant with vibrant colours and edible fruits in your garden, crabapples are unfortunately unsafe for your dogs.

The seeds, stems, and leaves of crabapples are known to contain toxic substances, which when ingested in large amounts, can be fatal for pets.

In this article, you will understand why crabapples are not good for dogs, how to stop your pet from feeding on them in your garden, what you should do when you find that your dog has consumed these apples, and much more. Let’s dive in:

dog eats crab apples

Table of Contents

Are crabapples poisonous to dogs?

Yes, they are. The leaves, stems, and seeds of crabapples contain amygdalin, which is a cyanogenic glycoside. When amygdalin is digested, it yields cyanide. As you know, cyanide is a potential poison. Cyanogenic glycosides can induce vomiting and diarrhoea and cause respiratory congestion, decreased heart rate, lack of oxygen in the blood, seizures, and coma. If a large quantity of amygdalin is ingested, it could lead to massive respiratory failure and ultimately death.

crab apples poisonous

Why are crabapples poisonous to dogs?

Mainly because of Cyanogenic glycosides contained within the apple. The crabapple trees bear many fruits, and most often, these fruits fall on the ground. It’s the nature of dogs to grab anything lying on the ground and chew it. If you have a crabapple tree at home, the possibility of your pet grabbing the fallen apples and chewing them is high. If your dog just nibbles on the fruit or eats a small one, it may suffer from minor disturbances like vomiting and stomach irritation. However, if the animal consumes the fruit in large quantities, it’s could be unsafe and the animal could suffer serious complications.

Want to find out if potato skins are poisonous to dogs? I wrote an article about this in detail so you can find out for yourself.

crab apple tree

What are the signs and symptoms of crabapple poisoning in dogs?

It’s quite understandable that even though you supervise closely, your dog may eat parts of the fruit without your knowledge. Hence, it’s important that you are informed of the signs and symptoms of crabapple poisoning in your dog so that you can help the animal recover as quickly as possible.

As a side note, dogs can run riot in our gardens in general, if you want to know if you should keep your dog of new sod then make sure you give this article a read

Don’t forget that if you wait too long to treat cyanide poisoning, it may prove fatal. Look for the following symptoms of cyanide poisoning in your pet and take immediate action.

  • Lack of appetite
  • Difficulty breathing or heavy panting
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhoea
  • Shaking or tremors
  • Gum, lips, and tongue (mucous linings) turn brick red
  • Decreased heart rate
  • Pupils get dilated
  • Seizures
crab apple seeds

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What to do if your dog has eaten too many crabapples?

As with anything else, time is a crucial factor if your pet has ingested several crabapples. If you know the symptoms and act quickly, you can definitely save the dog’s life. The moment you find that the dog has eaten the apples, call your local veterinarian. You should be ready with answers to the questions they may ask you. They’ll quickly analyse the severity of the condition and advise you on what to do next.

The first advice from a veterinarian will be to make your dog vomit so that the apple seeds in the stomach are expelled.

They may also advise you to feed bread, milk, or a small amount of rice to the dog. These are basically foods that slow digestion. The problem becomes serious only because of the fact that the dog swallows the seeds along with the flesh of the fruit. However, for the seeds to become harmful, your dog should have chewed them in the first place. There are more chances for your pet to have eaten them whole without chewing properly. In that case, the amygdalin in the seeds is likely to pass through the digestive and excretory systems without being released and turning toxic.

Therefore, your first point of action should be to contact your veterinarian. In worst-case scenarios, if you are not able to contact a veterinarian, try to induce vomiting in the dog. Then, feed foods that slow the process of digestion. However, make sure you get in touch with a veterinarian as early as possible. 

dogs eat crab apples

What to do if the dog ate just a portion of a crabapple?

When your dog ingests just a few nibbles of a fallen crabapple, it may face just a minor stomach upset and vomiting. In such cases, you don’t have to panic. However, it is not a bad idea to contact your veterinarian and ask for an expert opinion.

How to stop dogs from eating crabapples?

While dogs are not really fond of the bitter taste of crabapples, you can see that many dogs grab the fallen crabapples in the garden and start chewing them. However, if you see that your pet likes fruits, it isn’t easy to stop them from eating these fallen apples. 

Even though you feed your pet plenty of dog food, it may like to chew on a crabapple or any other crunchy fruit.

If there is a crabapple tree in your garden and you don’t want to remove it, make sure you pick up the fallen fruits frequently. By doing so, you can have some sort of control over your pet eating the apples when you are not around.

As the dog’s owner, you can try to train your pet and teach the “leave it” command. While it may take time to train the dog and make them master this command, it will certainly be worthwhile.

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Oliver Wright
Oliver Wright

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