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Can Dogs Eat Cherries? The Truth Behind Cherries Uncovered

Can Dogs Eat Cherries

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

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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.

Can Dogs Eat Cherries? The Truth Behind Cherries Uncovered 1

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. 

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. 

Can Dogs Eat Cherries? The Truth Behind Cherries Uncovered 2

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:

Stomach Problems

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.

Intestinal Blockages 

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
  • Constipation
  • Vomiting
  • Less pooping
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Sugar-Related Ailments

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.

Cyanide Poisoning

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
  • Salivation
  • Dilated pupils
  • Bright red gums
  • Convulsions

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.

Can Dogs Eat Cherries? The Truth Behind Cherries Uncovered 3

Final Thoughts

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 and get rid of the pit.

Bonus Recipes

cherry berry apple dog treat

Cherry Berry Apple Dog Treats

Doggy Dessert Chef

Ingredients
  

  • 1/2 cup Apple Sauce
  • 1/2 cup Blueberries
  • 1/2 cup Cherries
  • 1 1/4 cup Oat Flour
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
  • Puree blueberries and cherries until smooth.
  • In a large bowl, add all ingredients and mix well.
  • Once well mixed, scoop dough into the prepared baking sheet.
  • Bake for 20 minutes.
  • Makes 3 to 4 dozen treats.

Notes

Any dog safe berries can be used.
Cherry Oatmeal Muffin Dog Treat

Cherry Oatmeal Muffin Dog Treats

Dog Treat Kitchen

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup Rolled oats
  • 1 cup Whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup Buttermilk
  • 1 Egg slightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup Applesauce unsweetened
  • 1 cup Tart cherries frozen, rinsed and roughly chopped

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 400° F
  • Spray muffin pan with non stick spray with flour.
  • Stir oats, flour, and cinnamon in a large bowl.
  • In a separate medium bowl, stir buttermilk, egg and applesauce.
  • Pour buttermilk mixture into the oats mixture.
  • Stir just until moist.
  • Stir in cherries (no need to thaw, they can go in frozen).
  • Fill muffin cups 2/3 full.
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.
  • Cool for 5 minutes in the muffin pan on a wire rack.
  • Remove from pan and cool completely on a wire rack before serving.

Notes

This cherry oatmeal muffin is a soft baked treat so they need to be stored in the refrigerator. They will stay fresh in the refrigerator for 2 weeks.
Only keep out what your dog will eat during that time. You can freeze the remainder for up to 3 months.
Can Dogs Eat Cherries? The Truth Behind Cherries Uncovered 4

Cherry Pumpkin Dog Treats

Doggy Dessert Chef

Ingredients
  

  • 1/2 cup Cherries pitted and chopped
  • 1/2 cup Pumpkin Puree
  • 1/4 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1 cup Spelt Flour

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
  • In a large bowl mix all ingredients by hand until well combined.
  • Once dough is well mixed roll dough into 1 inch balls and place them a onto the prepared baking sheet. Press down on the tops with a fork to flatten.
  • Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, cool and refrigerate.

Notes

Makes 2 to 3 dozen rounds.

Can cherries kill dogs?

Depends. Not only are these fruits completely different to what a dog would naturally eat, they are also quite dangerous. Consumption of too many cherry pits could potentially lead to cyanide poisoning.

How many cherries does it take to kill a dog?

The lowest known adult fatal dose of hydrogen cyanide was estimated to be 50 milligrams. One cherry pit weighs about 1 gram, so you're going to have to eat about 30 crushed cherry pits to die a horrible death.

How poisonous are cherry trees to dogs?

Cherry fruit, without stems or seeds, is safe for dogs. But the stems and seeds contain a low concentration of toxins called cyanogenic glycoside (cyanide, essentially). In order for the toxins to be released and to become toxic to a dog, the seeds and stems have to be broken by chewing.

What to do if dog eats cherries?

If your dog ate a handful or more of cherries, watch him for signs of cyanide poisoning, which include trouble breathing, red gums and dilated pupils. Whether he shows any symptoms or not, please call your veterinarian for further instruction.

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