When it comes to cherries, they’re one of the most beneficial (and delicious) fruits known to mankind. Hey, ask me, I have a whole section in my fridge dedicated to cherries when the season arrives!
But, when it comes to your four-legged friend, one might ask, can dogs eat cherries? Are cherries good for dogs to eat?
Can Dogs Eat Cherries? The Short Answer
The short answer to this question is, YES, BUT ON SOME CONDITIONS (more on that in this article), you can feed your dog cherries.
If you were to abide by certain conditions and “check the boxes” to each one of them, then feeding your dog cherries is completely fine. But, if you don’t abide by these conditions, that’s when cherries become bad for your dog to eat.
By the end of this article, you may find that feeding your dog cherries isn’t worth your time (or money) and that you prefer to feed them another fruit for the same purposes, such as strawberry or apples.
This is so important that you don’t just close this page right here and now but continue to read on, so we’ll say it again, there are certain conditions you must meet before giving your dog cherries to eat.
What are they? Let’s get into it!
How To Give Dogs Cherries The Proper Way
Before you give your dog cherries to eat, you must meet certain conditions so they can consume it safely.
– First off, any cherry that will be fed to your dog must be freshly picked and in its most natural form.
Feeding your dog any other form of cherries such as dried cherries, cherries that come packed in a jar and drowning in their sugar-filled juice, processed cherries, etc .. should be off limits. Stick to the most natural form of cherries, and nothing but that.
– Remove any stems, pits and leaves that might be on the cherry. Make sure your dog only eats the flesh of the cherry and nothing but the flesh.
Feeding your dog whole cherries as they are is one of the most dangerous and risky things you could ever put your dog through in their entire life.
Yes – it’s that life threatening! All of the aforementioned parts of the cherry are toxic to dogs, and the pit even takes things further by risking having your dog choke on it and/or suffering from digestive problems after it enters their system.
– Remove the seeds from the cherry because they contain Cyanide, which can be toxic to your dog. Cyanide (when ingested in toxic amounts) limits the oxygen uptake by your dog’s body cells, causes dilated pupils, leads to difficulty in breathing, shock, and sometimes even death.
So make sure you remove any seeds from the cherry before you feed it to your dog!
If you were to check what the ASPCA has to say about cherries and toxicity in dogs, they specifically warn against having your dog get anywhere near the cherry stems, pits, leaves and seeds, as they are all toxic to dogs and could very well prove to be fatal to your dog.
How Much Cherries Should I Feed My Dog?
Start off by giving your dog a very small piece of cherry, and watch out for the following in your dog. If you notice any of these signs in your dog after they eat a very small piece of cherry, do not feed them cherries any more.
- Difficulty breathing
- Widened pupils
- Bright red gums
- Upset stomach
(Quick note: These symptoms may not appear right away after your dog ate a large amount of cherries or cherries that weren’t properly prepared for them to consume – these symptoms may take a little time to be clearly visible and may get worse as time passes. So, you have to actively monitor your dog for changes and act immediately once you’ve seen enough).
What To Do If Things Go Wrong
Besides diarrhea and an upset stomach (which could be properly dealt with at home and isn’t that serious of a sign), if your dog experiences any of the other mentioned signs, you should immediately get them to the veterinarian or the nearest emergency pet care center near you.
These signs could be signs of great danger, especially if you suspect/find out that your dog made their way into a big supply of cherries and had their heart’s desire.
In such cases, any reluctance in getting them professional medical treatment on time can put your dog’s life at great risk.
Keep your dog’s consumption of cherries a once-in-a-while occasion, and make sure it doesn’t become too frequent.
After all, cherries are very sweet (although the sugar they contain is 100% natural sugar), but you don’t want your dog getting used to something that’s so sweet, even if it’s only fruit and not some processed junk food.
Even though the aforementioned symptoms will almost always appear in your dog only if they’ve eaten a large amount of cherries all at once, or if they’ve eaten an acceptable amount of cherries but ones that didn’t have their seeds, stems, pits or leaves removed from them, there are some exceptions and some dogs will exhibit some of these symptoms when fed just a very small amount of cherries.
It all depends on whether or not your dog is allergic to cherries, and how much of an extra amount of cherries their body can tolerate.
In the most extreme of cases, your dog could get seizures and/or go into a potential state of coma, but in order for that to happen, they must eat an unheard of amount of cherries that weren’t properly prepared, and that instance rarely ever manages to take place.
Even when you make sure you remove the seeds from the cherry and don’t allow your dog to get anywhere near the cherry’s stems, pits and leaves, it’s argued that the cherry flesh in and of itself could potentially pose a cyanide toxicity risk for your dog.
While this may be technically true, you won’t have to worry about this if you stick to the recommendation of only feeding your dog a few cherry pieces and only on occasion. It’s the people that make a regular habit out of feeding their dogs cherries and in large quantities that have to worry about this issue.
Why Should I Give My Dog Cherries?
Even though cherries are one of the best fruits that people can eat, there isn’t really that much of a need for your dog to be eating them.
Sure, it’s completely safe for you to feed your dog some cherries now and then, or have them as part of the ingredients of a dog treat you prepare at home, but as far as your dog benefiting health wise from eating cherries, don’t get too excited about that.
With that being said, here are some of the characteristics that make cherries one of the best and healthiest fruits ever.
– Rich in Vitamins A, C, E, potassium, magnesium, iron, folate and fiber (even though the amounts of fiber found in cherry are a little less than the amounts of fiber found in some other fruits like apples and strawberry)
– Rich in antioxidants (most notably of which are anthocyanins and melatonin)
– Reduce risk of heart disease
– Reduce inflammation
– Reduce joint pain and soreness (perfect if you have a physically active dog)
– Regulates heart rhythms
– Improve quality of sleep
– Improves brain health
– Decreases memory loss
– Decrease possibility of arthritis
– Decrease possibility of cancer
Dogs Coming Across Cherry In Gardens
A word of caution must be said to anyone who has a garden at home and likes to grow plants/trees that yield fruit, make sure that your dog doesn’t have access to parts of your garden where the cherry tree is.
If your dog does have un-monitored access to that part of your garden, they’ll gladly treat themselves to some cherries from the cherry tree, all while eating the pits, leaves, seeds and everything bad that we’ve been talking about in this article.
Conclusion: Can Dogs Eat Cherries?
To wrap things up, YES you can feed your dog a small piece of cherry or two on rare occasions.
But, due to the cyanide in them and the potential toxicity risks they pose on your dog, I wouldn’t risk it.
There are a wide variety of different fruits that are excellent for your dog you could focus on, and feeding your dog cherries requires you to spend much more time and effort on the subject than you really should be spending.
If you insist on feeding your dog cherries, make sure to only give them 1-2 small pieces on rare occasions, and make sure to prepare it the right way, removing any stems, leaves and pits from them.
Also, ensure that any cherries you have at home are kept well out of your dog’s reach, because if you’re not there with them and they manage to make their way into a goldmine of cherries, they will eat everything in sight – and that only spells big trouble.