Yes, life (or even just your ice cream) is a whole lot better with cherries on top. But do cherries have the same effect on dogs? Can dogs eat cherries?
If you’re among the many pet owners who love cherries, then you’re probably wondering if giving your pup (or your cat) a bite of cherry fruit is safe. Good thing, Dog Food Guide is here to answer that, plus much more.
So stick with us for a few minutes and keep on scrolling down the page. Our goal is for you to stop the needless site hopping and use of resources and end your search here.
Yummy & Juicy Cherry Facts
Whether it’s sweet, tart, or a mix of both, adding cherries in a sweet dessert or savory meal makes it insta-worthy and worth cherry-shing all the more.
Too bad they’re not available all year round. But this is one of the reasons why these fruits are so special.
Also known as stone fruits, these heart-shaped fleshly drupes are among the most loved fruits worldwide. Its nutritional profile isn’t bad as well.
While it is true that you might need to eat a lot in one sitting or consume a good number for a few days before you can feel its positive health effects kicking in, this fruit still deserves a thumbs up.
Apart from its low-calorie content, cherries are also packed with fiber, antioxidants, and other nutrients. in fact, you’ll find vitamin A, C, K as well as magnesium, potassium, and calcium in each cup of sweet, fresh cherries.
Can Dogs Eat Cherries?
For humans, cherries are hearty apart from being yummy and instagrammable. But does the same apply to your dog? Can dogs eat cherries? Are cherries safe for dogs?
The short answer here is IT DEPENDS.
Cherries can be safe for dogs, but this fruit can also be bad for dogs. Simply put, letting your dog eat cherries come with risks.
But the good thing here is that your dog can still enjoy one or two cherries, as long as you make sure that your dog eats them the RIGHT way.
Benefits Of Cherries To Your Pet Dog
If you already did a Google search, you may have noticed a lot of online resources stating that stone fruits are not good for dogs (and even for your pet cat). Well, they’re not entirely wrong, but this isn’t quite true as well.
As mentioned, cherries are safe and good for dogs (as well as your cat), provided that you only give your furry friends the cherry flesh – the soft, juicy part of the cherry that people usually eat and not the pit stems and leaves.
So, if you’re snacking on some fresh, raw cherries, you might as well give your pup a bite. Dogs can eat cherries and will be A-okay as long as you get rid of the seeds or cherry pit, cherry leaves, and stems.
What’s more? Since cherries contain fiber, vitamins A, and other nutrients, your dog may also enjoy some of the cherries’ paw-some health benefits:
May Decrease The Risk Of Getting Chronic Diseases
Thanks to cherries’ antioxidant load, your dog’s chances of getting sick can be lowered. Antioxidant’s cell-defending feature might just help your pets deal with cell damage caused by oxidative stress.
Can Improve Your Dogs’ Sleep And Keep ‘Em Calm
If your hyperactive, sleep-deprived dog needs a sugar-y snack, instead of giving them cookies, you might want to give your dog some cherries.
Cherry contains melatonin and antioxidants that help improve sleep quality and relieve stress for humans, dogs, and even your cat.
May Help Boost Joint Health
Arthritis is common among senior dogs, and it can also be painful. The same goes with gout – although dogs rarely contract this disease. Cherries’ anti-inflammatory properties might help reduce the pain and alleviate discomfort.
Dangers Of Giving Your Dog Cherries
Now, let’s get on to the more serious matter – the downside of cherries.
True, cherries are among the “people” foods or plant products your dog can eat. But like any other foods, eating it the wrong way can do more harm than good. So, before you let your pets devour a bowl of cherries, read all the possible dangers below:
Tummy ache or stomach upset is one risk you need to watch out for. This may happen if your dog overeats or if it’s your dog’s first time to taste this fruit.
For a risk-free cherry munching session, the cherry pits or seeds and stems must be removed. Those pits or seeds and stems are hard to digest and can get lodged on your dogs’ airways and digestive tract, causing intestinal blockages.
Obstruction often happens in small breeds and within 24 hours after swallowing a cherry pit or pits. If your dog eats a pit or a couple of pits, keep an eye on these symptoms and contact your vet right away.
- Reduced appetite
- Less pooping
Sweet cherries are among the top fruits with the highest sugar levels. Excess sugar can lead to tooth cavities, obesity, tummy problems, and even diabetes.
NOTE: Fresh cherries are alright for your pup as long as they’re given occasionally, but canned, dried, maraschino cherries and other preserved cherry products are a No-no.
Apart from its high sugar content, maraschino cherries, in particular, are often artificially colored and have low nutritional value.
One serious risk your dog might face is cyanide toxicity.
While the flesh is safe to eat, the cherry pits, leaves, and stems contain deadly toxins. So, if you have a cherry tree somewhere in your backyard, make sure to keep your dogs away from it.
The hydrogen cyanide produced by cherry trees protects the plant, but it can kill your dog.
Ingesting one or two cherry pits might be harmless since cyanide poisoning only happens after consuming a considerable amount. But remember that this varies from dog to dog.
As such, it’s a good idea to check for any symptoms or signs of cyanide poisoning. Symptoms include:
- Difficulty breathing
- Dilated pupils
- Bright red gums
If you notice your dog’s pupils dilating or any other symptom, contacting your veterinarian is your best course of action since cyanide poisoning will require immediate pet care services.
If your vet is out of reach, you can also contact ASPCA Animal Poison Control.
Yes, cherries (without pits) are among the foods or products your dogs can eat. However, we encourage you to seek the advice of your vet.
Since this contains sugar, it’s wise to practice portion control. Keeping your dog happy is, of course, important. But, your dog’s health and quality of life should always be a priority. So, make sure to give just a few cherries (or other cherry flavored foods) and be sure get rid of the pit.