Can dogs eat cherries? Are cherries safe for dogs? Dogs can have cherries, but these fruits should be fed to them with caution. Several parts of these fruits, including the pits, contain toxic compounds that can make pooches ill.
Discover what harm might happen to dogs if they are carelessly fed cherries.
4 Big Health Risks of Cherries to Dogs
Why are cherries dangerous to dogs? Cherries may seem like harmless fruits, but there are reasons why you should not feed your dog these fruits:
1. Induce cyanide toxicity
The biggest threat is the cyanide produced by certain parts of the fruit, particularly its pit, stem, and leaves. The cherry tree can create this toxic compound too.
The red cherry pits have about 3.9 milligrams of amygdalin for every 1 gram. This substance will be converted into cyanide once digested in the digestive system.
If ingested in small amounts, your dog may not experience any harmful side effects. However, large doses of cyanide can lead to poisoning.
A dog suffering from cyanide toxicity will have difficulty breathing, dilated pupils, bright red gums, fast heart rate, tremors, and seizures.
In severe cases, shock, collapse, and loss of life may happen. These symptoms may appear between 12–24 hours after ingesting the fruit.
If your dog has eaten cherries and exhibited these symptoms afterward, take him immediately to the vet. They will likely induce vomiting to get rid of the toxins.
Then proper medication such as anti-nausea will be administered to help your dog recover.
2. High levels of sugar
Some cherries, such as maraschino cherries, may be pit-free, but it does not mean your dog can have them without any restrictions. These cherry varieties do not contain cyanide but have high amounts of sugar.
3. Risk of choking and intestinal obstruction
Cherry pits are hard to chew and digest. Thus, it is very likely they will accidentally get stuck in a dog’s throat. Small breeds are more at risk as they have smaller windpipes compared to large breeds.
Cherry pits may also cause an intestinal blockage as they are difficult to pass through the digestive tract. Constipation, vomiting, and decreased appetite are common signs of gastric obstruction.
Pet owners need to call the veterinarian immediately if their dogs start showing these symptoms.
4. May trigger allergies
Cherries may trigger allergies in some dogs. If it is your pet’s first time eating the fruit, give it to him in small quantities. This will prevent any serious allergic reaction in case he is allergic to cherries.
Then watch out for allergic reactions such as inflamed skin, itchiness, hives, vomiting, and diarrhea. If he is showing these symptoms, keep cherries away from his diet and take him to the vet right away.
Does cherry offer health benefits to dogs?
Cherries have high concentrations of antioxidants, melatonin, and vitamins A and C. They also boast high water content and low calorie levels. Some of their well-known health perks are aiding in blood sugar control and soothing pain.
However, dogs metabolize nutrients in food differently from humans. They need to consume large amounts of cherries before they can reap the fruit’s health benefits.
What types of cherries are dangerous to dogs?
Some types of cherries are okay to share with dogs as long as it is done with extreme care. However, other varieties should never be fed to them as they can cause serious health issues.
Can dogs eat canned cherries?
No, they are not good for dogs. Canned cherries are packed with sugar and preservatives. The same goes for glazed cherries, dried cherries, and store-bought cherry-flavored snacks. Opt for fresh and organic cherries instead.
Can dogs eat ground cherries?
No, keep dogs away from ground cherries. Since they belong to the nightshade family, they contain solanine and other solanidine alkaloids.
These are toxic compounds that are highly concentrated in unripe ground cherries and their leaves. Dog, livestock, and humans should avoid consuming this fruit.
Can dogs eat rainier cherries?
Rainier cherries and all varieties of cherries should be fed to dogs with caution. They are potentially toxic to canines, as their pits, stems, and leaves contain amygdalin. Black cherries and bing cherries contain lower levels of amygdalin than red cherries.
However, if consumed in large quantities, they can produce deadly amounts of cyanide.
Can dogs eat dried cherries?
No, it is an unhealthy choice for the same reason, especially if your dog is diabetic. The high sugar content of these types of cherries can cause periodontal disease to develop.
How many cherries can a dog eat?
Consuming 1–2 cherries rarely result in serious health issues. Minor short-term effects that may occur are upset stomach and diarrhea.
At worst, it can cause stomach blockage, especially in small dogs. Putting your dog’s life at risk over a tiny fruit is not worth it. Thus, it is best to keep cherry off the dog treat list permanently.
If your dog ate a whole bag of cherries, that is another story. Inform the vet about the incident and watch out for signs of cyanide poisoning. If the symptoms manifest, it is a top priority to drive your pooch to the vet for treatment.
Can puppies eat cherries?
No, it is not a wise choice to give cherries to puppies. One cherry pit can cause fatal intestinal blockage.
Moreover, puppies have strict dietary needs. Adding cherries into their meals can cause a nutritional imbalance and result in poor growth and development.
What fruits are safe alternatives to cherries?
Do not worry if cherries are excluded from your healthy dog treats options. Other choices of fruits that are safe for dogs to eat include:
Bananas are a good source of potassium, supporting kidney functions, and fiber, which helps him maintain a healthy digestive system.
Strawberries offer a good amount of nutrients, including vitamins B1, B6, C, and K, as well as iodine and folic acid.
Cantaloupes are loaded with beta-carotene, thiamine, niacin, folic acid, and magnesium.
Watermelon is mostly composed of water and gives extra hydration to your pooch.
Pumpkin is very rich in fiber and is a good remedy for dogs’ digestive problems.
Blueberries are full of antioxidants that prevent cancer development.
What fruits are harmful to dogs?
Aside from cherries, here are other fruits you should never share with Fido:
Avocados contain persin, which is toxic to dogs and may lead to serious digestive issues.
Some berries in the wild, like rowan, holly, juniper, and elderberries, can cause poisoning in dogs.
Grapes are extremely poisonous to dogs as they can cause kidney failure.
Currants are just as deadly as grapes since they can greatly damage a dog’s kidney.