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Food & Diet

Can My Dog Eat Cherry?

At A Glance

You need to be cautious when feeding your dog cherries because the stem, pit, and leaves contain cyanide, which is toxic to dogs if ingested in huge enough quantities.

While one cherry stem and pit isn't sufficient enough to produce cyanide poisoning, it's a risk that you probably shouldn’t take.

Last Updated on: May 06, 2022

Cherries are rich in nutrients such as Vitamins C and A, antioxidants, fiber, and melatonin. They are delicious and nutritious fruits that make for a sweet treat during summer. If you’re wondering, can my dog eat cherry, let me tell you they do more harm than good. Read on to find out more.

can my dogs eat cherry

Is it Safe for Dogs to Have Cherries?

While these fruits comprise healthy nutrients, they also contain cyanide, a deadly chemical that’s present in the stem, pits, and leaves of the fruit.

Your dog can only eat the flesh of cherry.

If your dog ingests 1 or 2 cherries, there isn’t sufficient cyanide content in them to result in a life-threatening problem. However, if it eats an entire bag or a handful, the results could be fatal.

Even if your dog consumes a single cherry, it could result in intestinal blockage, especially for smaller dogs. Indications of intestinal blockage include decreased appetite, vomiting, and constipation.

Based on the number of cherries consumed, they might exhibit symptoms, including dilated pupils, diarrhea, and labored breathing.

You must also avoid feeding your pet cherry-flavored foods because they’re usually loaded with chemicals, artificial flavors, and sugar. Even foods with natural cherry flavoring contain added sugar.


The Risks of Feeding Dogs Cherries

Apart from the possibility of cyanide poisoning, consuming cherry pits could also result in intestinal blockages because they can easily get lodged in your dog’s digestive tract. As a result, your dog might even need surgery. This is especially true for smaller dogs and breeds.

Pitless cherries such as the maraschino also exist. However, the issue with such cherries is the added sugar they contain. The short-term effects of ingesting excess sugar range from hyperactivity to stomach issues such as diarrhea to serious conditions such as obesity and pancreatitis.

Here are some risks of feeding cherries to your dog.

High Sugar

Numerous dogs enjoy sweet flavors, so it shouldn’t surprise you if your dog enjoys cherries. However, whole cherries comprise 18 g of sugar per cup, so you can ideally feed them fresh, pitless cherries occasionally.

Intestinal Obstruction

When cherry stems and pits pass through your dog’s digestive system, it could result in blockages. This kind of intestinal obstruction causes severe discomfort to your pet.


Cherries are safe without seeds or stems. However, the seeds and stems contain a low concentration of toxins. Toxins from cherries are released as a result of chewing the stems and seeds and this could result in further toxic effects that could harm your dog.

Tooth Damage

Cherry pits are extremely hard, so it’s likely that your dog might experience tooth damage and pain while consuming cherry pits. If your pet consumes an entire cherry, it might bite the pit, which could break its teeth.

In this case, your pet’s tooth could need extraction if the fracture affects the gums. A fracture is excruciatingly painful for your pet and puppies and smaller breeds face a higher risk of fracture because they have a smaller dental structure. Your dog also faces the risk of infection and jawbone disease if it ingests cherry pits.

Gastrointestinal Upset

Some cherries comprise molds even if they’re freshly harvested. While some mold types are harmless, others can produce a gastrointestinal upset in dogs. Canines with sensitive stomachs might even fall ill if they ingest a cherry with molds.

sad dog

How to Feed Your Dog Cherries?

You have to remove the stem, pit, and leaves first. The only part of the fruit that isn’t poisonous is the flesh.

Signs of acute poisoning might become evident within 15-20 minutes of cherry consumption.

If your dog swallows an entire cherry in your absence, you don’t have to panic because one cherry isn’t enough to cause poisoning. Nonetheless, there’s still the possibility of intestinal blockage, so you’ll need to monitor your dog for at least 24 hours.

However, if you discover your pet has consumed several cherries, you should contact your vet immediately. Your vet will establish the best course of action such as inducing vomiting, which can prevent poisoning.


Types of Cherries to Avoid

You must know about the different types of cherries you can and can’t feed your pet. Since maraschino cherries and other types comprise simple sugars, it’s advisable to not feed them to your dog. Also, you shouldn’t feed canned cherry syrup because of its high sugar content.

You’re probably wondering can dogs have dried cherries? Dried cherries have a higher likelihood of causing gastrointestinal upset because they contain concentrated sugar content.

Also, you must never feed your dog cherries incorporated in other foods like fruitcake or cherry pie. The fat, butter, and other ingredients present in these foods could easily make your pet sick.

dog in pain

Alternative Treats to Feed Your Dog

There are many nutritious fruits that are safe for dogs as alternative treats. For instance, pineapples and blueberries can be great alternatives. There are also various healthy treats for dogs that are available for purchase in the market. However, you need to feed your dog treats in moderation.


Now that you know the answer to can my dog eat cherry, make sure that you feed them to your dog safely. While cherries aren’t the most common treats for dogs, they can make for a great snack as long as you feed them responsibly. However, you need to be cautious to avoid poisoning your pet.

Check out Can My Dog Eat Broccoli?


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Paul Andrews

A digital marketing expert by profession, Andrews is a gifted writer and animal lover at heart. A self-confessed "pawrent", Andrews is well-versed in all things dogs. He uses his years of experience of raising puppies into show-quality dogs to help guide first-time pet parents. He believes in spreading the joy that comes with being a dog dad and advocates more families to adopt pets.