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Food & Diet

Can Dogs Eat Cherries?

At A Glance

Cherries are a delightful summer fruit for humans, but can dogs have them? The answer is complex, and we’ll tell you why.

  • Cherries are not the safest fruits for dogs. While some parts of the fruit are okay for your pet’s consumption, others could be toxic.
  • You can introduce the tiny red fruit to your dog’s diet, but you have to prepare it in a certain way to prevent risks.

Last Updated on: May 16, 2023

 


From fresh cherries to freshly baked pies and bright red cherry sundaes, there are many ways to enjoy the summer fruit. They’re delicious, versatile, and easy to munch on.

Moreover, they’re low in calories and rich in vitamins, minerals, and fiber. So naturally, they’re a healthy snack option for humans. But can dogs eat cherries?

custom oil-painted dog portraits by Poshtraits

About Pits and Pooches: Addressing the Cherry Important Question

Are cherries bad for dogs? The short answer is yes and no. Keep reading to know why I have a tough time giving a straight answer to this question.

Some parts of the fruit are safe for your dog’s consumption, while others (like the pits) could have toxic effects on your pet. The fruit can manifest symptoms ranging from an upset stomach to cyanide poisoning.

But why exactly are cherries bad for dogs, you ask?

The pit, leaves, and stem of cherries contain cyanide. And while we humans know to leave those out when snacking on the fruit, dogs cannot necessarily decipher what’s good and bad when gobbling food and may consume the whole thing – the result: cyanide poisoning.

Obviously, a single pit or stem won’t cause cyanide poisoning. Moreover, the pit can become a choking hazard for small dogs. It can also result in an intestinal blockage – something that can affect dogs of all sizes.

So, it’s best to keep the cherries away for your peace of mind and your dog’s health.

What About Fresh Cherries?

Fresh cherries are packed with nutrients and beneficial antioxidants, fiber, and vitamins. But they aren’t all that beneficial for dogs, though. Eating too many cherries could lead to your pet having an upset stomach.

That said, you can feed your dog fresh cherries in moderation. Just make sure to remove the cherry pit, stem, and leaves first.

Also, cherry jam or maraschino cherries are a strict no-no! These products have tons of additives and artificial sugars, which could trigger an upset stomach and other health concerns.

So, How Many Cherries Can A Dog Eat?

dog sniffing a cherry

Cherries are a good source of vitamins A and C, antioxidants, melatonin, and fiber. But it doesn’t mean dogs can eat cherries by the dozen. If your dog is overweight or diabetic, avoid giving it cherries altogether. However, if your pet is fit as a fiddle, small, regulated amounts of cherries might do it good.

When it comes to how much is too much, the following chart should help:

  • For dogs that weigh 2 to 20 lbs: 1 cherry
  • For dogs that weigh 21 to 30 lbs: 1 to 2 cherries
  • For dogs that weigh 31 to 50 lbs: 3 to 4 cherries
  • For dogs that weigh 51 to 90 lbs: 5 cherries
  • For dogs that weigh 91 lbs and higher: Up to a handful of cherries

Make sure the cherries for Fido are fresh, unprocessed, washed, and de-pitted.

Barking up the Cherry Tree: Watch Out for These Red Flags

If you’re wondering, “Can dogs eat cherries without seeds?” Yes, they can. Nevertheless, you have to be mindful of how much fruit you feed them. Otherwise, they might get sick.

According to Dr. Andrew Miller, a vet, “If your dog eats too many cherries, they could suffer from stomach cramps, vomiting, or diarrhea. Some pooches with particularly sensitive stomachs might be sick after eating a few cherries because of the naturally-occurring sugars found in the fruit.”

Cherries have vitamins A and C, but your dog would have to eat large quantities to derive any benefit from the fruit, which is risky. In my opinion, the minimal nutritional content is not worth the health risks associated with the fruit.

Let’s break down the most common side effects of cherries on dogs:

Intestinal Obstructions

Intestinal obstructions could occur if dogs swallow cherry pits and experience an intestinal blockage.

Common symptoms include diarrhea, vomiting, a bloated abdomen, and constant whining. Surgery would be required to treat the condition.

Cyanide Poisoning

Dogs are susceptible to cyanide poisoning if they accidentally eat the cherry pit, leaves, or stems. Symptoms include abnormal breathing, convulsions, increased heart rate, or tremors. In severe cases, dogs may collapse due to the poisoning.

That being said, one pit alone won’t cause poisoning. But it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Upset Stomach

Dogs can eat the flesh of a cherry without complications. However, this doesn’t mean they can eat large quantities of the fruit, since it could cause an upset stomach.

A mild case of an upset stomach can be treated at home with lots of water and bone broth.

However, extreme stomach upset could also trigger vomiting and diarrhea, which would lead to dehydration. In such cases, your pet will need medical attention.

What Should You Do if Your Pet Eats Cherries or Its Pits?

Accidents happen, especially if you have a curious dog. You have to be on high alert if your dog has an entire cherry for the following reasons:

  • It could potentially be exposed to cyanide poisoning.
  • It can experience a mild and temporary reaction like diarrhea or an upset stomach.
  • It can possibly show signs of intestinal blockage, including vomiting, reduced appetite, and constipation.
  • The cherry pit could choke your pet, especially if it’s a pup or a small dog breed.

Ardent animal lover Echo Ridley warns pet parents,

“They [cherry pits] can potentially be harmful. One probably isn’t going to kill it as long as it’s not a small dog, but cherries actually contain a bit of cyanide. The amount in cherries is usually fine for humans, unless someone eats a whole whole lot, but it’s often enough to make a dog sick. They can also choke on the pit, which can tear their esophagus or cause them to asphyxiate and pass out or die.

As a responsible pet parent, you should be extra vigilant of what your dog eats and how much. If you feel your pet has eaten a whole cherry, I recommend contacting the veterinarian, regardless of whether your dog shows symptoms.

Cheer up with these Cherry Recipes

Cherries are not the safest snack for dogs. Instead, fruits like bananas, blueberries, mangoes, and apples (sans peel and pit/core) are better options. Of course, you can stick with traditional doggy treats that come in an assortment of flavors.

However, if you want your dog to enjoy cherries, here are a couple of pet-friendly recipes you can prepare.

Cherry Berry Dog Treats

  • Take a 1/2 cup of pitted and sliced cherries, 1/2 cup of sliced blueberries or raspberries, 1/2 cup of applesauce, 1 1/2 cups of whole wheat flour, and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon.
  • First, preheat your oven to 350° F degrees. Line your tray with a baking sheet or parchment paper. Puree the cherries and berries in a blender or food processor, then mix it with the other ingredients in a large bowl to make a dough.
  • Roll out the dough until it’s around 1/4″ thick. Then, cut it out using cooking cutters and place them on the baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes, and then let them settle on a cooling rack for 2 hours.
  • Reward your dog with a yummy cookie and store the rest in an airtight container for later.

Cherry and Chicken Dog Treat

  • Preheat your oven to 350° F degrees, then line your baking sheet using a silicone baking mat or parchment paper.
  • Pit 1 cup of cherries, and mix it in with 1 cooked and chopped chicken breast, 1 egg, 1/4 cup of milk, 1/4 teaspoon of lemon juice, 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon, 1/2 cup of oats, and 1 1/2 cup of whole wheat flour in a large bowl to form a dough.
  • Roll the dough out evenly and cut into your preferred shapes using a cooking cutter. Place them on the baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes or until the edges are brown. Place them on a cooling rack for an hour or two and then they’re ready to serve.
can dogs eat cherries - tweet

Frequently Asked Questions

Can Dogs Eat Cherries Without Pits?

Yes, you can safely feed your dog some cherries as long as you remove the stem, pit, and leaves beforehand. This minimizes the likelihood of choking or potential cyanide poisoning.

Also, cherries are only good for your dogs in small portions. Too many can lead to digestive problems.

Can Dogs Eat Black or Maraschino Cherries?

No. Although maraschino cherries don’t have a pit, they have a high sugar content, which is not healthy for canines. You may see many different types of cherries available when grocery shopping-bing, black, rainier, and maraschino.

Since these haven’t been studied extensively, the safest thing to do is to simply avoid feeding any and all kinds of cherries to your dog.

Can Dogs Eat Dried Cherries?

You can feed dried cherries in small portions to a healthy dog, and it shouldn’t impact its health.

However, it’s best to prepare the dried treat at home using a dehydrator, rather than getting store-bought alternatives, which are usually filled with harmful preservatives and extra sugar. Store-bought dried cherries might also contain xylitol, which is toxic for dogs.

 

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Meet Paul, a devoted dog dad to the delightful French Bulldog, Cofi. With a flair for humor and a deep understanding of Frenchie quirks, Paul brings a lighthearted touch to his writings. His relatable stories and practical insights are a blend of laughter and valuable advice and resonate with fellow dog owners.


Through his words, Paul aims to celebrate the joys and challenges of being a dedicated pet parent, reminding you that life is simply better with a four-legged, snorting sidekick by your side.