Have you just come back from cherry picking and are thinking about giving your dog some of the delicious fruit? After all, cherries are considered to be very healthy. But are they also beneficial for dogs? Can dogs eat cherries at all?
Dogs should not eat cherries if possible. Cherry pits and stems contain cyanide, a poison that can make dogs very ill. And even if you remove the pits and stalks and only give your dog the flesh, your dog will ingest a lot of sugar through the cherries. Although one or two cherries probably won’t harm your dog, it’s best to leave cherries out altogether.
Dogs somehow manage to eat all sorts of things they shouldn’t. Even though cherries are small and handy and contain lots of healthy nutrients, they are one of those things that dogs shouldn’t eat.
This article explains why dogs shouldn’t eat cherries, why exactly they are dangerous for dogs, and how to tell if your dog has a health problem after eating cherries.
We also discuss what to do if your dog has eaten your cherries.
Are Cherries Poisonous to Dogs?
Some parts of the cherry are actually poisonous to dogs. While the flesh is not poisonous, the stems, pits, and leaves of the cherry are toxic to dogs as they contain cyanide.
Cyanide is found in the pits of plums and many other types of fruit. It can even be fatal if too much is ingested.
Cyanide prevents the body’s cells from using oxygen, which they need to function.
The signs of cyanide poisoning in dogs appear very quickly after ingestion. Symptoms include:
- Excessive panting
- Difficulty breathing
- Bright red gums
- Dilated pupils
In extreme cases, your dog may even die from cyanide poisoning.
While it’s unlikely that one or two whole cherries will be enough to cause cyanide poisoning, why risk it? Every dog reacts differently to toxins.
Another aspect is the cherry pits. Cherry pits are not digestible, so your dog’s stomach does not break them down. If your dog swallows them whole, cherry stones can cause an intestinal blockage.
This is more likely with small dogs or if the dog has swallowed several pits at once. However, if your dog swallows a cherry stone, you should ask your vet for advice.
Regardless of the size or number of cherry stones swallowed, you should keep a close eye on your dog. Look out for the following symptoms:
- Straining during bowel movements
- Gagging and dry vomiting
- Reduced or absent appetite
What Should You Do if Dogs Have Eaten Cherries?
If your dog has swallowed a whole cherry, the safest thing to do is to call your vet immediately. Depending on the amount ingested and the size of your dog, it may be advisable for the vet to induce vomiting.
This will hopefully make the dog spit out the swallowed cherries, and you can prevent him from ingesting any more cyanide.
You must call your vet as soon as possible, as there is only a tiny window of time for this to work. After a few hours, it could be too late.
It is also essential that you should never try to make your dog vomit at home unless you are told to do so by your vet.
This can be very dangerous and can result in your dog inhaling vomit, limiting your vet’s options.
It is only appropriate to attempt this yourself in particular situations. It would be best to let your vet decide when it is appropriate.
Are Cherries Good Or Bad for Dogs?
The flesh of the cherry is healthy. It contains fiber, vitamins A and C, calcium, folic acid, and antioxidants. All of these things are good for dogs.
How many cherries a dog can eat depends on the size of your dog and his current weight. For example, if he’s overweight and on a diet, it’s better to avoid cherries.
For most medium-sized dogs, five cherries are sufficient. Remember that only the flesh is suitable for dogs to eat. You must, therefore, remove the stem, stone, and all leaves before offering them.
Even though the flesh has a certain nutritional value, many other healthy fruit alternatives exist that suit dogs better. It is, therefore, better to avoid cherries and give your dog one of these alternatives as a snack.
Can My Dog Safely Eat Cherries?
You may be wondering how many cherries are dangerous for dogs. However, this question is difficult to answer as it depends on many factors.
How many cherries a dog can tolerate depends on body weight, breed, individual susceptibility, and general health, among other things. However, it is unlikely that one or two whole cherries will cause any harm.
Nevertheless, it would be best not to take the risk and never deliberately feed your dog whole cherries. Of course, accidents can happen, and dogs don’t always do what they are supposed to.
Therefore, always call your vet if your dog has eaten something that could be poisonous or cause an obstruction.
The pulp is the only part of the cherry that is not poisonous. However, it can cause stomach upset if your dog has never eaten cherries before or if he eats a lot of them.
This often results in your dog having diarrhea the next day. In this case, a light diet and a call to your vet would be advisable.
So, Are Dogs Allowed to Eat Cherries?
There is no simple answer to the question of whether dogs are allowed to eat cherries. If at all, dogs are only allowed to eat the flesh of the cherry, as all other parts are poisonous and can cause constipation.
Nevertheless, it would be best not to give your dog cherries. There are many healthier alternatives on the fruit shelf. Instead, give your dog bananas, kiwi, or papaya.
If you want to offer your dog cherries, you must remove all the other parts carefully and only provide the flesh. This is quite a lot of work and makes your fingers dirty, which is for a relatively small amount of fruit.
Due to the small size of a cherry, your dog would have to eat a considerable amount to get any benefit from the cherry’s nutrients.
There are many more suitable fruits that you can choose as an alternative treat. In addition to those mentioned above, blueberries and pineapple can also be excellent alternatives.
However, always remember that whatever treats you choose, you should only give them in moderation as part of a balanced diet.
Conclusion: Can Dogs Eat Cherries?
As with any other food that can harm your dog, it’s best to keep cherries out of your dog’s reach. They smell sweet and are, therefore, very attractive to him.
It is common for dogs to eat fruits that could harm their health. These fruits that can harm dogs include grapes and tomatoes in excessive quantities.
If you want to give your dog fruit, add a little variety to his diet. You can also use healthy vegetables to give your dog additional nutrients and antioxidants.
However, if your dog has eaten whole cherries with cherry pits, you should consult your vet immediately.