Ever Wonder Can Dogs Eat Cherries? You’ve Come to the Right Place!

Dog owners love sharing their food with their beloved pooches, but should you? 

Some human foods are wonderful treats for dogs, but some aren’t so ideal. But what about cherries? Can dogs eat cherries safely? 

The short answer is not really

A Golden Retriever with cherries hanging on its mouth
Falco, a Goldie, attempts to have a taste of cherries – Image source

There are certain considerations that you should make before offering your dog cherries to eat. Learn all about the benefits and how to prepare cherries for your dog’s consumption below!

Are Cherries Safe for Dogs to Eat?

Cherries as a whole fruit should never be given to your dog because they may cause an upset stomach or an intestinal blockage, especially in small dogs or puppies. 

It’s highly discouraged for owners to put cherries within reach of puppies. They are much more susceptible to cyanide poisoning, and they can easily choke on the pit.

What you can let your dog try is a little piece of cherry flesh. The flesh is filled with antioxidants, fiber, melatonin, and vitamins A and C. However, the risks of feeding your dog cherries far outweigh the health benefits.

If you want to give your dogs fruits, you’re better off with apricots, bananas, cranberries, and papayas. They have enzymes that can help with digestion. 

Why are Cherries Bad for Dogs? 

Cherries are a healthy snack for humans, but if dogs swallow a cherry pit, it can get lodged in their digestive tract. Intestinal obstruction can turn fatal if left untreated. 

Everything from cherry leaves, stem, and pit are dangerous because they contain the toxin cyanide.

While you probably won’t see symptoms of cyanide poisoning if your dog accidentally eats one or two cherries, it’s not worth the risk.

It’s also worth noting that each cherry contains approximately 1 gram of sugar making it a very sweet and unhealthy treat for dogs. 

What Parts of Cherries are Poisonous for Dogs to Eat?

A Golden Retriever looking up at cherries
Does Anthony the Goldie’s smile will get him those cherries? – Image source

Cherry pits, stems, and leaves are all toxic to both dogs and humans. It can cause cyanide poisoning, especially when eaten in large quantities.

While we may know better than to try to swallow a few cherry pits, most dogs aren’t too fussed about what goes down their throats.

Cherry Part Safe for your dog?
Can dogs eat the flesh of a cherry? Yes, cherry flesh is filled with antioxidants and vitamins.
Can dogs eat cherry pits? No, cherry pits can cause intestinal blockages and contain cyanogenic glycosides
Can dogs eat cherry stems? No, cherry stems contain cyanogenic glycosides
Can dogs eat cherry leaves? No, cherry leaves contain cyanogenic glycosides

The dangers of Cherries for dogs

One pit lodged in your small dog’s gastrointestinal tract is enough to kill him and it is likely that he’ll need surgery to remove the obstruction. For larger dogs, it’s the potential of cyanide poisoning that’s worrying. 

While there aren’t any studies regarding how many cherries it would take to poison a dog due to varying tolerances, it’s safe to say that most dogs die within two hours of showing symptoms of cyanide poisoning. 

If you see your large-breed dog chomping down on cherry pits and breaking them into smaller pieces before swallowing, you should get ready to call your veterinarian.

Not only will this release the cyanide into their system, but it could also cause irreversible damage to their teeth.

However, if your dog has swallowed the whole of the pit, it should be able to pass through their system without any complications.

Those that have cherry trees in their backyards should take note: rotting fruit on the ground is just as dangerous to your pooch. Fermentation can occur, and your dog might get drunk from the fallen fruits, which may end in death.

What is Cyanide Poisoning in dogs and what are its symptoms? 

If your dog has eaten a large number of cherries, it will be at risk of cyanide poisoning. Cyanide toxicity can present itself as red gums, dilated pupils, and difficulty breathing. 

Dogs can go into shock due to acute cyanide toxicity, but some dogs only develop mild stomach upset. 

Signs of cyanide poisoning can appear within 15 to 20 minutes of ingestion. The sooner you can get him to the vet, the better his chances of survival. 

Dogs exposed to cyanide poisoning may seem agitated at first, which may be followed by vomiting or incontinence. When this happens, check their gums and pupils at once.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

A Rhodesian Ridgeback looking at a cherry
A Rhodesian Ridgeback eyeing on a cherry – Image source

Can dogs eat dried Cherries?

Dried cherries usually contain preservatives or sweeteners, and your dog can do without either.

Furthermore, while most dried cherries are pitted, there may be traces of it left behind, and we’ve already covered the dangers of ingesting a cherry pit extensively. 

Can dogs eat Maraschino Cherries, Cherries without pits, or cherry-flavored foods?

Maraschino cherries are pitted and de-stemmed, but before you add them to your furry friend’s dog food, bear in mind that Maraschino cherries are not an ideal dog treat due to their high sugar content.

Preserved or canned fruits are never a good addition to your dog’s diet.

Artificially sweetened cherries or cherry products aren’t suitable for dogs as they can cause diabetes, obesity, and dental problems. In rare cases, excessive sugar may also cause pancreatitis.

If your dog cannot eat cherry fruits, you might be wondering, “can my dog eat cherry pie”?

Well, the answer is also “no” because cherry pies or any other processed foods often contain added sugar, flavoring, and other ingredients that have no business doing in a dog’s stomach.

What should you do if your dog swallows a whole Cherry?

A Rhodesian Ridgeback tries to pick cherries from a tree using its mouth
A Rhodesian Ridgeback tries to get a hold of cherries – Image source

One single cherry is unlikely to cause any life-threatening problems in your dog.

However, if you notice that your dog has constipation, vomiting, a lack of appetite, or fatigue, bring your dog to the vet immediately to get x-rayed as your dog may have an intestinal blockage from the pit.

The pit from a cherry fruit isn’t particularly large and is more dangerous to smaller breeds than large dogs.

If it’s a puppy that’s accidentally eaten a whole cherry, it’s best to call your vet on what to do immediately.

What Other Fruits are Not Safe for Dogs?

We all know not to give chocolate to dogs because of how lethal cocoa is to them. The fruit contains caffeine and theobromine. 

Grapes are another example of an unsafe fruit that can be fatal to dogs, even if they have just one. Avocados can also be toxic to dogs because of persin.

Lemons should also be avoided because they contain a psoralen compound that is toxic for dogs.

Eating Cherries Isn’t Recommended for Dogs

A dog looking up at a cherry
A dog wishing he can reach that cherry – Image source

There are better options of human foods that you can offer your dogs than fresh cherries.

If you do plan to offer your dog some, you’ll need to prepare the cherries with caution, which isn’t worth the trouble considering you won’t see any visible benefits.

But you can still offer them a tiny bite if you must. If you have a cherry tree, you might want to consider fencing it off, so your dog doesn’t bing on them without your knowledge.

After learning about the dangers of cherries, will you still be giving your dog some to try? How would you prepare it? Let us know in the comments section!

Further reading: What Safer Fruit Alternatives Can Dogs Eat?


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