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Can Dogs Eat Cherries? Vet-Verified Facts & Considerations

Written by: Ashley Bates

Last Updated on June 19, 2024 by Dogster Team

Can Dogs Eat_cherries

Can Dogs Eat Cherries? Vet-Verified Facts & Considerations

VET APPROVED

Dr. Paola Cuevas Photo

REVIEWED & FACT-CHECKED BY

Dr. Paola Cuevas

Veterinarian, MVZ

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

Learn more »

You’re reading this for one of two reasons: Either your dog scarfed down a few cherries, or you’re looking to add fresh foods to their diet. Either way, you want to know whether your dogs can eat cherries. The good news is that yes, your dog can safely enjoy cherries. However, only the flesh of a cherry is edible for dogs. They can’t eat the stems or pits of these scrumptious little fruits. Read on to learn how to let your dog enjoy cherries safely.

 

Dogs Can Eat Cherries

The cherry fruit itself is absolutely fine for your dogs to consume. This fruit has valuable vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to offer.

If you do feed cherries to your pup, just make sure to remove the pits and stems, since these parts have a certain toxicity level that can give your dog an upset tummy.

Woman removing pit from cherries
Image Credit: KIRYAKOVA ANNA, Shutterstock

Cherry Nutrition Facts

Nutrients Per 100-gram Serving:
  • Calories: 63
  • Protein: 2 g
  • Fat: < 1 g
  • Carbohydrates: 24 g
  • Fiber: 2 g
  • Sugar: 13 g
Vitamins & Minerals
  • Beta carotene
  • Vitamin B6
  • Vitamin C
  • Potassium
  • Magnesium

Benefits of Dogs Eating Cherries

When dogs eat cherries, the fruits can give them a punch of antioxidants and other nutrients that benefit their bodies. As a dose of fiber, cherries will help digestion and boost your dog’s good gut bacteria.

Cherries also have excellent antioxidant properties to keep all your dog’s tissue, muscles, and cartilage in tip-top shape.

Additionally, cherries can be great incentive treats if you run out of their usual snacks.

Freshly-pitted cherries in a bowl
Image Credit: Candice Bell, Shutterstock

Downsides of Dogs Eating Cherries

Even though this little red fruit has plenty of goodness to offer, you have to be careful. Cherries are high in sugar, and dogs tend to gravitate toward sugary foods, so you have to be mindful of giving too many sweet treats to your pup.

Cherries in large quantities might also cause gastrointestinal upset and discomfort. If your dog ate too many, they might have diarrhea, vomiting, or general discomfort. The last thing that you want is for your pup to be in pain and for you to clean up piles of cherry-related “accidents” from your carpet.

Potentially Dangerous Cherry Pits & Stems

As with many other fruits, the pits and stems of cherries can pose issues for your dog. If you plan to offer them a sweet cherry snack, make sure you remove the pit and stem.

Choking Hazard or Bowel Obstruction

Every unpitted cherry could be a choking hazard for those dogs that gulp without chewing their food. Also, if your dog eats a large number of unpitted cherries, the pits could lodge in their intestines, causing a blockage in the bowels. If the blockage is severe enough, it might require surgery (which can be expensive). However, this is not the only concern since your dog is also at risk of toxicity.

Cyanide Poisoning

Cherry pits contain a compound called amygdalin. When the pit is chewed and crushed, the body converts the amygdalin to cyanide. While one cherry pit won’t cause much harm, many pits at once could cause toxicity.

If you know that your dog ate multiple cherries with pits or stems, get them to your veterinarian right away, even if they aren’t showing any clinical signs.

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Cherry Foods to Avoid Feeding Your Dog

If you want to give cherries to your dog, it’s best to feed them the natural raw fruits and nothing artificial.

Steer clear of foods like:
  • Cherry pie
  • Cherry ice cream
  • Cherry candies
  • Cherry pastries
  • Chocolate-covered cherries

Not only are human foods bad for our pups, but they can also contain other harmful ingredients that you might not suspect. Xylitol is a popular artificial sweetener that is toxic to our four-legged friends. It’s best to avoid these foods altogether.

 

Summing Up

Now you know that cherries are perfectly safe for your dog, as long as the stems and pits are removed. It is best to only give your pup the ripe cherry flesh in digestible portions.

Don’t let your dog have sweet human treats that are cherry flavored. Most of these items contain artificial sweeteners and other harmful additives. Even with fresh raw cherries, though, moderation is key, so don’t let your dog go overboard.

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