There’s no doubt that fruit can be a tasty and healthy snack for your dog, but you should always keep in mind that not all fruits are safe for your pet. Cherries are rich in nutrients like antioxidants, Vitamins A and C, fiber, and melatonin, and they’re definitely a nice summer treat, but are they safe for your dog?
Can I Safely Give Cherries To My Dog?
Unfortunately, cherries are not the best fruit to share with your dog. Yes, they are nutritionally sound, but they can do more harm than good for dogs. In this post we’ll take a closer look at the dangers of feeding cherries to your loved pet.
You may be thinking that your dog has consumed cherries in the past and had no obvious adverse reaction at the time, but we now know that while cherries contain some beneficial nutrients, they can actually be very dangerous to your dog. The risks are certainly not worth it, especially when you understand why cherries are a danger to pets.
Why Cherries Are Dangerous To Your Dog
The main danger of dogs eating cherries is that the cherry plant, including its leaves, stems and of course the pit of the cherry, contain a poisonous and potentially lethal substance known as cyanide. Admittedly, your pet would need to consume a lot of cherries to suffer from cyanide poisoning, but most pet owners would not want to take this chance. Besides, there are plenty of other fruits that your pet can safely enjoy, and there are also plenty of human foods that are good for dogs; foods that are certainly a better choice than cherries.
The other problem with dogs eating cherries is that the cherry pit can become lodged in your dog’s digestive tract and cause a potentially life-threatening blockage.
How Dangerous Are Cherries?
We strongly urge you to contact your veterinarian prior to sharing human foods with your dog. You vet will advise which foods he should and shouldn’t have for his specific breed, weight, and any health issues he may have.
As mentioned above, the pits of cherries are a danger to your dog due to their potential to become lodged in your dog’s throat. In addition, the leaves, stems, and the pits of the cherry, contains cyanide, which is highly toxic and (when eaten in large quantities) can be extremely dangerous to your dog.
It’s true that the amount of cyanide in just one or two cherries is more than likely not sufficient to cause any damage to your pet, but our point is that why risk poisoning your dog when there are so many other delicious alternatives to cherries, many of which will provide the same or more health benefits to your dog.
The more urgent problem with dogs eating cherries are the pits, simply because a cherry pit can cause an instantaneous problem, and a serious one at that. Even if the pit is not consumed by your dog, cherries can still cause gastrointestinal upset in dogs.
What’s The Verdict On Cherries Without Pits, Maraschino Cherries, and Cherry Flavored Foods?
Cherries without pits: If they have been de-pitted and their stems have been removed, some dog owners are happy to give these to their pets because of the nutrients contained within the cherry. However, the fact still remains that there are other fruits and human foods that can be given to your pet without the risks associated with cherries. For example: blueberries contain los of antioxidants, and apples served without the seeds or core contain vitamins and fiber.
Both of these fruits contain sugar so shouldn’t be offered in large amounts, but they are definitely safer than cherries and provide many positive health benefits when served in the correct amounts. Again, we suggest you consult with your vet prior to introducing your dog to any new foods.
Maraschino cherries: These cherries have no pits and sometimes no stems; they’re the sweet fruits you’ll often see served in drinks. The main issue with maraschino cherries is that they’re full of sugar, which is a problem for dogs. Too much sugar in your dog’s diet can cause gastrointestinal issues in the short term and obesity or diabetes in the long term.
Cherry flavored foods: Foods that are cherry flavored are not good for dogs. They’re full of sugar, chemicals, and artificial flavoring, none of which are safe to give your dog. Foods flavored with natural cherries are also very sugary, so we suggest you don’t give these to your pet. Just stick with real food that contains ingredients that you’re not only familiar with but also that you know are safe and healthy for your dog. Again, we suggest you speak to your veterinarian about foods you’re unsure about.
If I want to give my dog fruit, what are alternatives to cherries?
At the end of the day, dogs should mostly stick to dog food. Pear and Watermelon are examples fruits that are not harmful to dogs.
What Should I Do If I Know My Dog Has Eaten Cherries?
If your dog has consumed just a few cherries your pet will likely be okay; however, keep a close vigil on your dog and check for symptoms of cyanide poisoning. The more cherries your dog has eaten, the higher the risk. Look for the following signs from your dog:
- Struggling to breathe
- Dilated pupils
- Bright red gums
- Upset stomach, including diarrhea (this may be due to eating cherries and may not be a sign of poisoning)
- Your dog may appear to go into shock
Any of these symptoms should be enough for you to immediately seek help from your veterinarian.