Cherries are such a delicious and juicy fruit that even kids love eating them. While we humans are so crazy about cherries, their health benefits and different ways of incorporating them in our favorite desserts, how do dogs react to these natural candies? Can dogs be fed cherries or not really?
Today we’re telling you all you need to know on cherries and dogs. Let’s start!
Can Dogs Eat Cherries?
Cherries are packed with important vitamins, which is why they are very nutritious and beneficial for us humans. But can dogs have some too? Yes, but it depends how you serve them.
Dogs can eat cherries as long as the pit, leaves and the stems are removed. As long as these parts are removed, cherries can be a tasty treat that will bring numerous health benefits to your Fido.
However, it is important to keep the pits and the stems away from your dog since they contain a toxin that can cause more harm than good. Since it is much easier to spit out the pit instead of removing it manually, it might be a bit complicated to share cherries with your dog.
If you want to make him try a new fruit, go on and serve it properly and in the right amount. But if you’re looking for foods that will enrich your dog’s diet, then you can find fruits and veggies that are easier to serve and that contain plenty of nutritious compounds.
Learn more about foods that dogs shouldn’t eat, and inform yourself on all those fruity and veggie treats that are safe and nutritious for Fido.
Why Eating Entire Cherries Might Be Bad For Dogs?
The pits, stems, and leaves in cherries contain cyanide, a toxin that can lead to poisoning in dogs when consumed in large amounts. If your dog has had just a couple of entire cherries accidentally, probably nothing will happen. The cyanide found in stems and pits might probably result in an upset stomach and lead to diarrhea or smaller stomach aches.
If a dog eats too much cherries, the pits might pile up in his intestines causing an intestinal obstruction. This might be the most dangerous part of eating cherries in dogs, since obstruction can lead to serious complications.
Are Cherries Healthy For Dogs?
There are several health benefits of cherries, provided the pit, stems and leaves are removed. Namely, this delicious ‘stone’ fruit contains high levels of vitamin A and C, fiber, potassium, magnesium, antioxidants and melatonin. These are all important nutrients that will boost your dog’s immune system, however, eating too much cherries can also have some health consequences you don’t want your pup to deal with.
However, it might me much easier for you to feed your dog with some other fruits that don’t come along with the hassle of removing pits. For example, you can enrich your pup’s diet with blueberries and provide him with plenty of antioxidants and vitamins and serve them as they are (after washing them thoroughly). Or you can serve bananas alone or mixed with some peanut butter and give your pup a powerful dose of Potassium, a mineral crucial for numerous bodily functions.
But if you have a whole bag of cherries and want to eat it together with your dog, you surely want to know whether there are any benefits from feeding them to your four-legged pal.
Benefits Of Cherries For Dogs
If you feed your pup with cherries in moderation and only as an occasional treat, he will probably retrieve several benefits from them.
1. Reduction Of Cell Damage
Cherries can affect and slow down cell damage that is responsible for a vast number of illnesses that affect dogs, such as arthritis, cardiovascular diseases, or canine cancers. This powerful property happens thanks to the antioxidant called anthocyanin that improves the cell metabolism and strentghens the immune system.
2. Vision Improvement
Thanks to its high levels of Vitamin A, cherries are known to be highly efficient in improving one’s eye health. This remains true for both you and your canine. So if you have a dog that often has eye problems, or you own a breed that might be more susceptible to ocular issues, make sure you include foods in his diet that contain vitamin A.
3. Stronger Immune System
Due to the high content of antioxidants and vitamin C, when fed in moderation, cherries can promote the function of white blood cells and strengthen your dog’s immune system while improving his overall well-being.
4. Weight Loss Control
Fiber is known to be a crucial nutrient for everyone that wants to regulate its metabolism and reach its desired weight. The same is truth for canines as well. Feeding food that is rich in fiber, such as cherries, will help promote your pup’s weight management and improve his digestion and bowel movements.
5. Joint Inflammation Reduction
If you have an older dog, chances are that he will suffer from some kind of joint issues. Wide percentage of dogs (up to 80%) develop canine arthritis when they reach the age of 8 years, therefore, it is in your best interest to inform yourself on how to prevent or postpone it.
Interestingly, cherries are known for their anti-inflammatory characteristics which will undoubtedly help dogs that suffer from inflamed and swollen joints.
Side Effects Of Eating Cherries For Dogs
Just like cherries can bring plenty health benefits to your dog when fed in moderation, going overboard with this delicious treat might bring some side effects as well.
If your dog ingests only a couple of entire cherries, probably nothing will happen. Your pup might only end up with some lighter diarrhea symptoms that might pass within a day or even less. However, if too many cherries are eaten including their pits, stems and leaves, then it is possible that cyanide content in cherries might lead to intoxication and result in red gums, difficulty in breathing, dilated pupils and so on.
If you suspect your pup has taken a little bit too much of cherries, go to your vet immediately to prevent more serious damage.
2. Intestinal Obstructions And Blockages
As mentioned above, ingesting on too many cherry pits is not only dangerous for their cyanide content, but also for the physical obstruction they can create in a dog’s intestines. If you notice symptoms such as vomiting, little to no bowel movements, as well as straining or refusal to eat, you should bring your dog to the vet ASAP.
Intestinal obstructions are nothing to joke about, and they are often treated with appropriate surgeries.
3. Gastrointestinal Upset
Due to their high levels of fiber and a significant amount of fructose, eating to many cherries or eating cherries for the first time, might result in a stomach upset.
If your dog had some more cherries (without the pit) than the recommended dose, he might get watery stools as well as have a temporarily decreased appetite.
What To Do If Your Dog Eats A Lot Of Cherries?
If you caught your pup eating one or two cherries, probably nothing will happen. But, you should still monitor your dog for potential signs of cyanide poisoning. If symptoms such as red gums, dilated pupils, diarrhea and difficult breathing occur after your dog has had a couple of cherries, contact your vet immediately.
As for the intestinal blockage, you should keep an eye on symptoms such as constipation, lack of appetite or vomiting. If these symptoms last longer than 24 hours, it is the right time to visit the vet.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can A Dog Eat Seedless Cherries?
Seedless cherries are a good option for dogs, since they don’t contain cyanide. However, be aware that Maraschino cherries aren’t natural cherries and are packed with sugar which is never a clever thing to feed a dog with.
Can Dogs Have Dried Cherries?
In case dried cherries you want to share with your pup don’t contain any added sugar or corn syrup, because these ingredients are strongly unadvised for canines. However, if you have naturally dried cherries with no added sugar, you can safely share a small amount with your dog.
In any case, you should be aware that there are other, healthier alternatives to dried cherries that you can incorporate in your dog’s diet.