Can Dogs Eat Cherries?

Cherries are rich in vitamins A, C, antioxidants, melatonin, and fibers. The rich nutritional content of this fruit makes it suitable for human consumption in the summer, but can you share cherries with your pets too? 

As a dog owner, any food that you eat is probably best shared with your dog. In light of that, it isn’t uncommon to wonder which foods are safe for your pet and which ones are not.  

So, if you’ve recently been wanting to give cherries to your dog, you may ask yourself questions like, “Can dogs have cherries?” or “Are cherries good for dogs?”. Read below to find answers to all the questions that are bugging you. 

Can Dogs Eat Cherries Safely?

No, dogs cannot eat cherries. The cherry flesh, although rich in antioxidants and fiber, can give your dog an upset stomach. Moreover, the cherry stem, leaves, and pits contain cyanide, a toxic substance potentially lethal to dogs when ingested in large amounts. 

Although a single cherry pit or leaf won’t kill your dog, it’s not worth the risk. Plus, cherry pits can also obstruct your dog’s intestines, causing gastric troubles. 

Furthermore, pet parents must not offer cherry-flavored foods to their dogs because these edibles are rich in artificial flavors and sugars. 

So, are cherries good for dogs? Certainly not. 

Risks Associated with Cherries – for Dogs 

First and foremost, cherries can cause cyanide poisoning. Plus, cherry pits can block your dog’s intestines. In some cases, your pet may need surgery to recover, especially if they’re a smaller breed. Some cherries, like the sweet maraschino cherries, are pitless.

So can dogs have cherries without pit? Unfortunately, no. 

Maraschino cherries still contain added sweeteners that could pose a health threat to your little friend. Some of the effects include diarrhea and obesity in the long run. 

Since these things are harmful to your dog, you should refrain from sharing them, even if the little guy is desperately eyeing your cherry-flavored gum. 

What is Cyanide Poisoning? 

Cyanide refers to any chemical that has a carbon-nitrogen bond. While it’s infamously a poison, its safe-to-consume forms are present in spinach, almonds, soy, and lima beans, among other foods. 

Moreover, cyanide is also a component of different medications like cimetidine. Most importantly, you exhale a small amount of cyanide every time you breathe out, and it’s also produced in different bodily reactions. 

So you may wonder that if cyanide is so commonly present in the body, how can it be a poison? Actually, cyanide is only poisonous when the carbon-nitrogen ion is released from the compound. Some deadly forms include: 

  • Potassium cyanide 
  • Hydrogen cyanide 
  • Sodium cyanide 

When someone is exposed to cyanide ions, they can experience the symptoms of cyanide toxicity. These include headache, trouble breathing, loss of consciousness, cardiac arrest, nausea, and seizures. 

What To Do If My Dog Eats Cherries Accidently?

If your dog has eaten cherries, there’s no need to lose your cool immediately. One pit won’t cause cyanide poisoning. Instead, your focus should be on stomach obstruction. 

Monitor your pet for the next 24 hours for the following symptoms: 

  • Less fecal production 
  • Lower appetite 
  • Constipation 
  • Vomiting 

However, if your dog has eaten a box full of cherries, there’s a risk of cyanide poisoning. The condition’s symptoms start showing in about 15 to 20 minutes. Some common ones include: 

  • Labored breathing
  • Diarrhea
  • Red gums 
  • Dilated pupils 
  • Also, dogs may go into shock at times 

If you notice the symptoms, talk to your vet and watch the pet for any other signs of unusual behavior. Depending on what your vet says, you may have to rush to the vet’s office or monitor your pup for the next few hours. 

Your vet may also tell you that the best way to tackle the situation is by inducing vomiting, as it will inhibit cyanide toxicity. 

Other Fruits That Are Toxic For Your Dog

Besides cherries, there are some other fruits and veggies that you should keep away from pets:

Avocados 

If you’re an ‘avocado toast’ kind of morning person, you should keep the fruit away from your furry friend. While avocados have a host of health benefits for you, they’re unsafe for your dogs due to the presence of a compound called persin

It can induce diarrhea and vomiting in dogs. 

Grapes 

Regardless of a dog’s breed or age, grapes are toxic for them. So if your fridge is always stocked with grapes, make sure to keep your dog at bay because grapes can cause acute kidney failure. 

Tomatoes

Another fruit you need to hide from your dog is tomatoes. Although the ripened part is considerably safer for dogs, the green parts have solanine, a toxin. Upon ingestion, tomatoes can make your dog sick. 

Alternatives to Cherries 

Although cherries are not safe for dogs, some other fruits can provide your pets with the much-needed nutrients. 

Oranges 

Oranges are filled with potassium, Vitamin C, and fiber. Fortunately, they’re safe for dogs to consume, as seen in research

Vets recommend removing the peel off the orange and only giving the flesh part to your dogs. Since the peel is hard on your dogs’ digestive system, it can upset the stomach of your furry fellow.

While you’re at it, also toss away the seeds.

Mangoes 

Did you know that mango is considered the king of fruits in many parts of the world? Luckily, it’s safe and healthy for your dogs since it contains Vitamin E, C, A, and B6. 

Additionally, mangoes are rich in alpha and beta carotenes. However, make sure that you remove the pit since it contains cyanide and could pose a choking hazard. 

Also, don’t make it a regular habit for your dog to consume mangoes as they’re high in sugar.

Strawberries 

Rich in Vitamin C and fiber, strawberries are an excellent alternative to cherries because they also have other benefits. For example, they contain a specific enzyme that whitens your pet’s teeth. 

However, feed your dog strawberries in moderation because they’re also rich in sugar. 

Pineapple 

After you’ve removed the crown and the prickly peel off the pineapple, you can feed the inner flesh to your dogs. Besides being rich in minerals and vitamins, pineapples also contain bromelain

It’s an enzyme that enhances protein absorption in dogs. 

Blueberries 

Packed with Vitamin C, fiber, antioxidants, and B6, blueberries are a great low-calorie fruit for dogs. 

These nutrients are sure to boost the immune system and the overall health of your pet. So, instead of considering dog treats with synthetic flavorings, you can give nutrient-rich fruits to your canine pal.

You can either give them blueberries with their regular food or give them frozen ones (especially in the summer).  

Cranberries

Since cranberries are rich in antioxidants and low in calories, you can safely give them to your pet. 

Here’s how cranberries improve the overall health of your dog.

Even though cranberries are pretty healthy for your pet, make sure not to overfeed your dog with the fruit. Your furry friend might get an upset stomach on consuming more than the usual amount. 

Peaches

The sweet and juicy flesh of peaches can make anyone’s mouth watery. So, your dog isn’t to blame for wanting a bite. 

Peaches are a great source of Vitamin A and C. However, they are also high in sugar. As such, you can feed your dog peaches only occasionally. It’s best not to add them to their diet. 

In addition, you should peel the peach; otherwise, the dog will find it difficult to digest. Lastly, make sure that you remove the pit, as its rough surface can choke your dog or cause mouth cuts.

Watermelon

The hot weather is stressful for us humans, but it’s just as hard for our dogs. So, what’s better than a refreshing watermelon? Besides, who doesn’t enjoy a slice of cool watermelon in the heat of the summer?

Watermelon is 92% water, thanks to nature. So, a slice of this fruit will cool your dog’s body and refresh him simultaneously. 

In addition, it will lift your dog’s spirits, and he’ll be ready to play catch with you!

Raspberry

Due to the high fiber content, raspberries can provide dogs with much-needed digestive support. Also, they are naturally sweet and not high in sugar. 

You can either sprinkle dried raspberries onto your dog’s food or give them frozen strawberries to beat the heat in the summers. 

Word of Caution. The fruits discussed above make up great treats for your dogs. However, veterinarians believe that a treat should make up no more than 10% of your dog’s diet. So, it is imperative that you balance out their diet and not overdo giving them treats. 

Conclusion

So, can dogs eat cherries? Not at all. Since different parts of the cherry plant contain cyanide, the fruit is a health risk for your pet. Nonetheless, you can feed your little friend some of the safer fruits we’ve discussed in this article. 

Lastly, consult your vet immediately if your dog vomits or shows signs of illness following fruit consumption.

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