Apple picking is a popular family tradition during this time of the year. It is a great activity to enjoy our beautiful autumn days, and the outcome is delicious apples that can cheer up any rainy days.
Did you know that your dog could probably be part of this fun tradition with the rest of the family? On the North Shore, Cultiv’Art and Jude Pomme are popular orchards in Oka, and on the South Shore, Michel Jodoin Cider Mill is among one of the favourites with its beautiful 4-kilometer trail in the mountains, which makes the perfect long dog walk.
Before you go with your whole family, make sure you call your favourite orchard to ask if dogs are indeed accepted on site so that you do not have a bad surprise upon your arrival. You might also want to ask if there are specific leash regulations or breed restrictions. As in any other public event, it is important that you make sure your dog is kept under your control and supervision at all times, and that it does not disturb anyone.
Even if your dog does not join you when you go apple picking, it can still enjoy the best of this tradition: fresh and tasty apples. Most dogs love the sweet taste as well as the crunchy and juicy texture of apples. It is a good thing, because apples are very nutritious treats, offering a full load of vitamins (C and K) and fibres. They are also low in calories, with a small apple being only about 50 calories and a big slice, not even 10.
You should however never give a full apple to a dog. Its seeds contain cyanide, which is toxic to dogs. In small doses, a tummy ache can be the only unfortunate consequence, but in bigger doses, or with frequent intakes, it can cause serious harm that might justify a visit to the vet’s office.
You should also avoid giving a huge portion of apples to your dog, as the fibre and the fruit acidity might upset its bowels.
Here are some tasty apple snacks that you can give your dog (or that you can enjoy yourself!):
– A bowl of cottage cheese and diced apples: even more vitamins, plus calcium and nutritious proteins!
– A slice of cheddar on an apple slice: while this might be more calorie-dense and fattening, it will definitely be a hit with any dog.
– Apple slices dipped in peanut butter: no need to say more!
You can also cook apple cookies for your dogs to enjoy. Here is a simple and nutritious recipe that we found here: http://www.browniebites.net/apple-oatmeal-homemade-dog-biscuits/
All you need is:
- a mashed up banana
- 1 cup of shredded carrots
- between ¼ cup and ½ cup of your apples turned into a delicious no-sugar added sauce
- 1 ½ cup of whole-wheat flour
- 1 cup of oats
- 1/8 cup of water
- Mix the fruits and vegetables together.
- Add the cup of oats.
- Add the whole-wheat flour gradually while mixing slowly. Add water for texture if necessary.
- Spread on a pan and cut the cookies in the shape you want with a cute cookie cuter.
- Cook for 25 minutes at 350°F.
- Leave the cookie pan in the oven for two hours so that the cookies gradually cool down and get that just perfect texture – crunchy on the outside and mushy on the inside.