Are Crabapples Poisonous to Dogs? Toxic Risks To Be Aware Of

The sight of crabapple trees is a familiar sight in numerous neighborhoods, celebrated for their stunning spring blooms and vibrant autumn fruits.

However, if you’re a dog owner, you might be wondering if these trees pose a risk to your furry friend.

Are crabapple trees poisonous to dogs? The fruit of crabapple trees is not toxic to dogs; however, it can cause gastrointestinal upset in some dogs, especially if eaten in large quantities. Certain parts of the tree, particularly the seeds, can pose a risk if ingested in large amounts.

So, some parts are okay, but others aren’t? If you’re a little confused, don’t worry. We’ll clear up everything for you below so you’ll know how to keep your dog safe when around crabapple trees and their fruits.

Key Takeaways

  • Crabapple trees are not considered poisonous to dogs, but the seeds contain a compound called amygdalin, which can break down into cyanide when ingested in large amounts.
  • The amount of crabapple seeds a dog consumes plays a significant role in whether they will experience toxic effects. A small number of seeds is unlikely to cause harm, but a large number could potentially be dangerous.
  • While the fruit of the crabapple tree is not toxic, it can cause gastrointestinal upset in some dogs, especially if eaten in large quantities.
  • If a dog eats crabapples, it’s important to monitor them for any signs of distress and to contact a vet if necessary. Regular cleanup of fallen fruit and supervision of dogs in the yard can help prevent ingestion.

This article addresses just one of the many questions people have about crabapple trees. Be sure to read my article, Commonly Asked Questions About Crabapple Trees, for other common questions and detailed answers.

Crabapple Trees & Dogs – What To Know

Crabapple trees and dogs can coexist safely in most cases, but it’s important for dog owners to be aware of the potential risks and to take steps to mitigate them.

Toxicity of Crabapple Trees

Crabapple trees are not classified as toxic to dogs. However, the seeds of the tree contain a compound called amygdalin, which can break down into cyanide when ingested.

This can potentially be harmful if a dog eats a large number of seeds. However, the seeds are encased in a hard shell, and they would need to be chewed or otherwise broken open to release the amygdalin.

Dogs should not be allowed to eat the stems of crabapples or the leaves of the tree due to the potential for digestion issues, but most dogs wouldn’t be tempted to eat them anyway, so you shouldn’t have to worry.

Parts That Pose a Risk

The main part of the crabapple tree that poses a risk to dogs is the seeds. As mentioned above, the seeds contain amygdalin, which can break down into cyanide when ingested.

The fruit itself is not toxic to dogs, but it can cause gastrointestinal upset if eaten in large amounts.

The leaves and branches of the crabapple tree are not considered toxic unless eaten in large quantities.

Symptoms of Poisoning

If a dog ingests a large number of crabapple seeds and manages to chew or break them open, the dog could potentially experience symptoms of cyanide poisoning.

These symptoms can include difficulty breathing, dilated pupils, panting, shock, and in severe cases, death.

If your dog shows any of these symptoms after eating crabapple seeds, it’s important to seek veterinary care immediately.

Effects on Dog if Ingestion Occurs

If a dog eats a small number of crabapple seeds without breaking them open, they are likely to pass through the dog’s system without causing harm.

However, if a dog eats a large number of seeds and manages to chew or break them open, the dog could potentially experience cyanide poisoning.

The Amount Consumed Matters

The amount of crabapple seeds a dog consumes plays a significant role in whether it will experience toxic effects.

A small number of seeds is unlikely to cause harm, but a large number could potentially be dangerous.

It’s also worth noting that smaller dogs are more susceptible to the effects of toxins than larger dogs because the same amount of toxin represents a larger dose relative to their body size.

A sad-looking hound sitting outside with his head cocked to the side.

Difference Between Toxicity and Irritability

While the seeds of the crabapple tree can potentially be toxic if ingested in large amounts, the fruit itself is not toxic but can be irritating to some dogs.

If a dog eats a large amount of crabapple fruit, it may experience gastrointestinal upset, including symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal discomfort.

What To Do if Dog Eats Crabapples

If your dog eats a few crabapples, they are likely to be fine, although they may experience some gastrointestinal upset.

If your dog eats a large number of crabapples or if they show any signs of distress, it’s a good idea to contact your vet.

If your dog has eaten a large number of crabapple seeds and is showing symptoms of cyanide poisoning, seek veterinary care immediately.

Variability Among Crabapple Varieties

Crabapple trees come in hundreds of different varieties, and there can be some variability in the potential risks they pose to dogs.

Variations in Crabapple Toxicity Levels

While all crabapple seeds contain amygdalin, the amount can vary between different varieties.

However, it’s important to note that all crabapple seeds have the potential to be harmful if ingested in large amounts and if the seeds are chewed or otherwise broken open.

Importance of Identifying the Specific Variety

If you have a crabapple tree in your yard and you’re concerned about the potential risk to your dog, it can be helpful to identify the specific variety of crabapple tree.

This can give you a better idea of the potential risks and help you make informed decisions about how to manage your dog’s interaction with the tree.

Also, if your dog needs to be rushed to the vet one day after having consumed crabapples, you’ll be able to share specific information that may affect treatment.

How To Keep Your Dog Safe if You Have a Crabapple Tree

If you have a crabapple tree in your yard and you’re concerned about your dog eating the fruit or seeds, there are several steps you can take to keep your dog safe.

These include supervising your dog when they’re in the yard, training your dog to leave the crabapples alone, and cleaning up fallen fruit regularly to minimize the chance of your dog eating it.

If your dog is persistent in his efforts to reach and eat the fruits, you could install fencing around the tree’s dripline.

Related Questions:

Are Crabapples Poisonous to Humans?

Crabapples are not poisonous to humans. The fruit can be eaten and is often used to make jellies and other dishes. However, like dogs, humans should avoid eating the seeds in large amounts as they contain amygdalin.

How Can Deer Eat Crabapples and Not Get Sick?

Deer and other wildlife can eat crabapples, including the seeds, without getting sick because their digestive systems are different from ours.

They are able to process and eliminate the amygdalin without it breaking down into cyanide. However, even deer can experience gastrointestinal upset if they eat a large number of crabapples at once.

Closing Thoughts

Crabapple trees are generally safe for dogs, but there are some potential risks to be aware of. The seeds can be harmful if ingested in large amounts, and the fruit can cause gastrointestinal upset.

If you have a crabapple tree in your yard, it’s important to supervise your dog, train them to avoid the tree, and clean up fallen fruit regularly.

If your dog does eat crabapples and shows any signs of distress, contact your vet immediately.

With the right precautions, your dog can safely enjoy your yard, and you can enjoy the beauty of your crabapple tree.

Want to learn more? Check out other common questions about Crabapple trees that we’ve answered.