Can Dogs Eat Cherries?

Written by: Kristina Lalovic
Cherries are an adored fruit by most people. They are juicy, sweet, and they just look so good! Apart from being exceptionally delicious, they are also very healthy and nutritious for us. But how are cherries ranked in dog nutrition? Are they beneficial or are they a food your pup should avoid? Are cherries even safe for dogs? Read on and discover.

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 into 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 about 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 on how you serve them.

Dogs can eat cherries as long as the pit, leaves, and 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.

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 many 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.

What to Do If Your Dog Eats a Whole Cherry

Accidents happen when you have dogs around. You may be the best dog owner in the world and your dog still may get sick.

You may be the most careful dog owner ever, always have your dog on a leash when outside, have them trained at an early age, well socialized, and they will still be mischievous.

That is what dogs do, who they are, and that is one of the reasons why we love them so much.

If you are an experienced dog owner, you probably know that dogs are the most mischievous when there is food around.

This is why if it happens for your dog to ingest a whole cherry do not blame yourself too much because accidents happen.

In most cases, if your dog eats a cherry or two (including pits) you shouldn’t worry much, they aren’t likely to cause him any harm.

Your dog may have some sort of reaction, usually mild and an upset stomach might lead to diarrhea.

Even a cherry or two can lead to intestinal blockage, so make sure that you monitor him closely. This is something that small dogs may be more prone to, but do not ignore your large dog just due to his size.

If your dog is a handful more cherries, you need to monitor him really closely.

In other words, you need to monitor him for any sign of cyanide poisoning.

Even if there are no symptoms, make sure that you monitor him closely throughout the day, and contact your veterinarian for further instruction.

If your dog eats a huge amount of cherries you should monitor him for some of the symptoms listed below.

If your dog displays any of these symptoms, it means that your dog is seriously affected by the pit’s content and you should react fast.

Here are the symptoms:

  • Heavy breathing
  • Seizures
  • Abnormally bright red gums
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Lack of appetite
  • Weakness

Can Dogs Eat Cherries Without Pits?

So far it should be clear that serving cherries without pits is the only way to feed your dog with cherries safely. Even if you clean cherries, do not leave them in a bowl within a dog’s reach.

How Many Cherry Pits Are Toxic To Dogs

One or two cherry pits shouldn’t be poisonous to your dog, but any larger amount leads to toxicity.

If you suspect that your dog has ingested something toxic contact your veterinarian or contact Pet Poison Helpline.

Are There Any Safe Cherries for Dogs?

There are different types of cherries that people just love. If you want to see how your dog reacts to cherries, serve him a single cheery of any type.

You can give him bing cherry, rainier cherry, or black and maraschino. Do not think about canned cherries, because canned products that people love are very dangerous to dogs.

Canned products are packed with syrup that is actually very sugary and as such dangerous to dogs.

Excess sugar can lead to obesity, diabetes, digestive disturbances, and even cavities.

Can Dogs Eat Maraschino Cherries

Did you know that maraschino cherries do not have a pit?

They may sound very safe for your dog but bear in mind that they are packed with sugar. As you may know already both sugar and salt are dangerous to dogs.

Are Cherries Healthy For Dogs?

There are several health benefits of cherries, when the pit, stems, and leaves are removed.

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 many cherries can also have some health consequences you don’t want your pup to deal with.

However, it might be 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 which improves the cell metabolism and strengthens 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 their metabolism and reach their desired weight.

The same is true 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.

A 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.

Cherries May Help To Prevent Diabetes In Dogs

Dogs with diabetes will drink a lot of water and have strong appetites.

They will eat large amounts and still lose weight as their bodies cannot use the nutrients in their food.

If left untreated, diabetes in dogs may lead to strong and increased weakness in the legs, malnutrition, ketoacidosis, dehydration, and eventually death.

It’s common for middle-aged dogs to experience this condition. Some of the reasons why diabetes in dogs appears include a lack of insulin in the dog’s body or even a poor biological response to it.

This is why it’s important to provide regular veterinarian check-ups and nutrition that will boost a dog’s overall health. Also, this is why providing food that naturally fights off diabetes is great.

One of the foods that may help to prevent diabetes naturally is cherries.

Cherries are rich in antioxidant content, which is why they can positively affect diabetes management in dogs. This doesn’t mean that you should feed your dog with cherries regularly, or that you should overfeed him with this fruit.

No, it just means that when the cherry season starts you should serve these fruits as a treat only to your Fido.

Side Effects Of Eating Cherries For Dogs

Just like cherries can bring plenty of health benefits to your dog when fed in moderation, going overboard with this delicious treat might bring some side effects as well.

1. Poisoning

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, and dilated pupils, and so on.

If you suspect your pup has taken a little bit too much cherries, go to your vet immediately to prevent more serious damage.

2. Intestinal Obstructions And Blockages

As mentioned above, ingesting 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 too 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.

What About Cherry Flavored Foods?

Cherries are often used as mandatory ingredients in pies, homemade cakes, and other baked goods that people adore. But… What about dogs and cherry-flavored foods?

Industrial cherry-flavored foods are commonly packed with a large amount of sugar, chemicals, and various artificial flavoring, followed by chemicals, and sugar. These are not good for dogs.

Know that food that is naturally flavored with real cherries is very sugary. Whenever you are in doubt if your canine should have a bite of some food or not, you better avoid feeding him with it.

Talk with your veterinarian if you have any food-related concerns. In the meantime, choose to serve your dog commercial dog food.

This is the best way to keep your dog safe and healthy, as this food is carefully created to meet the dog’s needs.

If you want to make some major diet changes, like switching to raw diet, make sure that you talk with your veterinarian.

Can Dogs Eat Cherry Pie?

If your dog grabs a bite of cherry pie he should be fine, but if he eats the whole pie he is most likely to experience some disturbances.

Once you bake it, keep it away from your Fido.

Cherry pie and pecan pie, are not recommended for a dog’s diet due to their high sugar and fat content.

Plus, there is always a possibility of the presence of toxic ingredients such as xylitol.

Can Dogs Have Cherry Yogurt?

If you are thinking about serving yogurt to your dog it should be plain, without any ingredients.

Yogurt in really small doses and can be a great summer refreshment. Always serve it without any artificial sweeteners.

Make sure that yogurt has no xylitol in it or any sort of added sweeteners or added sugar.

Do Dogs Like Cherry Flavor?

Dogs are not much of picky eaters. The chances are that your Fido will love the cherry flavor as well.

Just make sure that you do not leave a full bowl of cherries within the dog’s reach. If for some reason your dog refuses cherries do not force him to eat them.

Can Dogs Have Cherry Juice?

You may not love cherries, but you might enjoy a fresh and cold cherry juice.

Now, if this is the case with you, you might be wondering if this juice is healthy for your dog.

So far, it’s clear that cherries might lead to digestive distress in dogs. If a large amount of cherries is ingested, you can expect some really intense disturbances.

When it comes to cherry juice and dogs these two shouldn’t be mixed, because cherry juice isn’t safe for dogs.

This would fall heavy on your dog’s stomach and may lead to many (and heavy) health disturbances.

Think About Healthier Fruit Alternatives

If thinking so much about cherries and pits, and other cherry-related situations, stresses you, think about safer alternatives.

Luckily, there are plenty of fruit and vegetables that your dog might enjoy without any risk.

Apples without the core and seeds are a great choice. Peeled and pitted mangos, a small slice of banana, and even peeled cucumber and a fresh carrot are great options.

These options will provide not only needed nutrients but will also enrich the dog’s overall diet.

Of course, you can always check best homemade treats for dogs and make them yourself.

This way you will know that your dog’s snacks are 100%, fresh, and beneficial.

If you are thinking about any diet changes, like switching from dry to raw food, you should talk with your veterinarian first.

Make sure that your veterinarian is trustworthy, professional, and a true animal lover.

After all, when it comes to dog ownership, you will need proper support, and no one can help you keep your dog healthy as a great veterinarian can.

Not sure how to find the right veterinaraina? When you have the right direction it’s easy, which is why you should check these inputs and get your dog to the best veterinarian possible.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. 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.

2. Can Dogs Have Dried Cherries?

When it comes to dried cherries you should know that they contain added sugar or corn syrup, and 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 into your dog’s diet.