Stuffed apples for Dogs!

When we first got Willow, she had very little calmness.  She was either super aroused or dead to the world sleeping.  There was absolutely no in between.   We were working with a trainer 1 on 1 and one of our main focuses was calmness.    It took quite awhile before we got to a place where Willow could be between hyper aroused and dead to the world.  A mantra in our house became “Chewing/licking equals calming”, and it’s true!  Not only is chewing or licking a great enrichment activity that helps with boredom, but it can also relieve mild anxiety, stress and frustration.  For more information on the benefits of chewing see this article from Bark Post

Enjoying a yummy stuffed apple

I usually tried to plan ahead to make sure I had activities to keep her busy, but one day I stopped at my parents with Willow unexpectedly and ended up staying for dinner.  This meant Willow’s evening dose of anxiety medication was delayed and she was a bit wilder than normal.  I had no toys or treats with me.  What could I do?

I looked through my parents fridge and didn’t see anything that would last Willow more than a minute.  There was cheese, meat, various fruits and vegetables that she probably wouldn’t eat…  Then I saw the apples!  I scooped out the core and some of the flesh, making a big well.  Then I stuffed it with layers of peanut butter and kibble.  I put it down on a large towel for her (I knew it would be messy!) and she happily licked away for a good 10 to 15 minutes, helping to calm her down and lick away some of the anxiety.  Best part was that if she wanted to, she could eat the entire apple!

Stuffed apples are a great treat for your dog in a pinch, or even as a regular addition to their enrichment routine!  Another great aspect of stuffed apples is that you can fully customize it to your dog’s diet, allergies and taste preferences.  See below the recipe for possible variations.

What you will need:

  • Apple(s), any kind
  • A small knife
  • A cutting board
  • The filling(s) of your choice
Peanut butter and kibble stuffed apple


  1. Wash apples and be sure to remove any stickers
  2. Using a small knife, carefully core the apples to make a well in the middle of the apple.  I tried to leave a small layer at the bottom of the apple to decrease the mess factor.  To do this, I started by taking out a chunk at the stem and turning my knife in the core to take our chunks at a time.  Remember, it doesn’t need to be pretty!  Make the well for the filling as large or as small as you like
  3. To fill the apple you have 2 options: you can mix your ingredients in a separate bowl then fill the apple OR you can layer within the apple, adding ingredients as you build up the layers.  I prefer the layering approach for pure laziness alone!  Why dirty another bowl?  I add some peanut butter, then add some kibble, squishing it in, then some more peanut butter, then maybe some treats, etc. until the apple is full
  4. You can feed the apple to your dog at this point or you can freeze it for a couple of hours.  Freezing will make it more complicated but will also make it last longer!
  5. Be prepared, this is a messy treat.  I recommend giving it to your dog outside or putting down a towel or a dog blanket
Cored apples

Filling options:

Pretty much any thing you can think of that your dog will enjoy!  These are fully customizable.

For an easy chew (for beginners or dogs that are easily frustrated), keep the materials loose and dry, such as kibble and treats that will basically fall out of the apples.

For a more complicated chew, up the ante with a sticky or wet filling such as peanut butter, yogurt, honey (only a little bit!) or wet food as a binder, then add in other fruit, veggies, kibble and/or treats.  If you want to up the ante even further, freeze it for a few hours before serving!

Suggested fillings:

Peanut butter, a little bit of honey, dog food (kibble, canned or raw), yogurt, oatmeal, pumpkin (puree or cubed), dog safe veggies or fruit, dog treats, or literally any dog safe ingredient!

2 responses to “Stuffed apples for Dogs!”

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