It's no secret that Americans love dogs. There are almost 100 million dogs owned by pet owners in the United States.
No matter how much people love their dogs, it's an unfortunate truth that food-wise, we don't always give them what they deserve.
Dogs have digestive issues and allergies, just like us. They suffer from gastroenteritis, amongst other food-related ailments. Plus, there are certain things dogs aren't meant to process.
From chocolate to cherries, there are many things most pet owners come to realize their dogs can't handle.
Can dogs eat cherries? In this article, that's what we're going to discuss. Keep reading to learn whether or not your pooch can eat cherries and why.
Can Dogs Eat Cherries?
Just like chocolate, the short answer to this question is "no." But, it also depends on the quantity and how the cherries are served. Before we discuss how and when it's ok to give your dog cherries, let's take a look at the reasons why cherries aren't a good idea for pups.
The Seeds and Stems Are Toxic
The seeds and stems of cherries contain cyanogenic glycoside (cyanide). While the concentration of this toxin is low, it's not worth the risk.
The toxin only gets released when those stems and seeds are broken through chewing. If a dog eats enough cherries, including seeds and stems, there's a high risk it'll be fatal.
There's always a chance your dog will just inhale them practically whole, but then you have to worry about those pits getting stuck in a dog's digestive tract, which will likely lead to intestinal blockages.
Of course, there's a chance they'd be fine, but is it worth the risk?
Your Canine's Canines Could Get Damaged
Cherry pits are brutally hard, even for a dog's chompers. If your pup bites down on cherries, she could damage her teeth and end up in a lot of pain.
They Could Get Sick From Mold
Certain types of mold can really make dogs sick. When it comes to cherries, it's possible for the flesh of the fruit to be fresh with a moldy pit inside.
Mold illness can cause an upset stomach, liver failure, and even tremors - another reason to only give your pup the flesh of the cherries.
They Could Get Your Dog Drunk
Your pet would have to eat a lot of rotting cherries to get drunk. But it's always possible, especially if your dog goes romping through a cherry orchard or you have cherry trees in your backyard.
When fruit rots, it can quickly start to ferment. Fermentation changes the sugars in the fruit to alcohol.
Eating the fermented cherries off the ground could give your dog a buzz from the alcohol. Alcohol isn't good for dogs, and symptoms can include vomiting, hypotension, decreased respiratory rate, incoordination, just to name a few.
Wilted cherry leaves are also toxic for your dog and other animals.
They're High in Sugar
A lot of dogs like sweet flavors, but cherries are high in sugar. If you don't want to give your pup a sugar rush, you could opt to give him just a few fresh pit-free, stem-free cherries on special occasions.
Your Dog's Esophagus Could Get Damaged
The possibility of a dog damaging his esophagus from a pit is more likely as it pertains to other stone fruits. Peaches, for example, have bigger, rougher pits.
However, there's still a possibility for your dog's esophagus to suffer damage from cherry pits and stems. A pit that gets stuck in or tears the esophagus lining can cause serious damage.
Some of these symptoms include lethargy, vomiting and regurgitation, gagging, and not eating.
Avoid a trip to the Vet!
Can Dogs Eat Cherries Without Pits?
Technically, you can give your dog cherries without the seeds and stems. Cherries are an extremely nutritious fruit. They're packed with things like dietary fiber, vitamin A, and antioxidants.
Because of their high concentration of sugar, however, you should only give your dog a few at a time. Plus, even the fruit of cherries can cause gastrointestinal (GI) issues in dogs. If you're giving cherries to your pup for the first time, be sure to observe to determine whether or not they're cherry sensitive.
Can Dogs Eat Black Cherries?
The same rules apply to black cherries when it comes to whether or not dogs can eat them. They are packed with good stuff, but they're high in sugar. Plus, if your dog eats the stems and pits, he could end up getting poisoned by the cyanide.
Can Dogs Eat Dried Cherries?
Dried fruit tends to have a higher sugar content than fresh fruit. It's probably in your best friend's best interest to avoid giving her dried cherries.
Not only are they too high in sugar, but they could also mess with her stomach.
If she loves cherries, and you know that it doesn't upset her stomach, opt to only give her fresh cherry fruit, without the stems and pits, and only a few at a time.
What Symptoms Occur From a Dog Eating Cherries?
If your dog eats just a few cherries, he should be ok, even if pits and stems were included. Any more than a few, though, and you might have to make an emergency trip to the vet.
It's up to you if you want to share your cherry treat with your pup. Just make sure you never give him the stems or pits and that he only enjoys the fruit from a few cherries.
If your pup does get into and ingest more than a few cherries, here are some of the cyanide toxicity signs to look for:
- Dilated pupils
- Difficulty breathing
- Brick red mucous membranes
- Convulsions or paralysis
- Cherry-red gums
If your dog's gums turn cherry-red from cyanide toxicity, what it means is that the oxygen in your dog's blood can't be released to the cells. This can lead to suffocation quickly, which is why you shouldn't hesitate to get your pet to the vet.
What Are Some Safe Alternatives?
If you and your pup love sharing delicious fruit together on a hot summer day, don't be discouraged! There is plenty of fruit that's not only safe but good for your dog!
Blueberries are a superfood. They're not as high in sugar as cherries, and they're rich in antioxidants, which can prevent cell damage in both canines and humans.
They're also packed with fiber and an excellent way to teach your dog to catch treats in the air.
Peaches, and Pears, and Apples, Oh My
Peaches can help fight infections, and they're an excellent source of vitamin A and fiber. Just remember, the pits also have cyanide, so be sure to remove those first. Avoid canned peaches because they contain high amounts of added sugar.
Pears are great for dogs too. They're high in vitamins K and C, copper, and fiber. Some people say it even reduces the risk of a stroke. Make sure that, just like peaches, you cut the fruit into small chunks and remove the pit.
Apples are great sources of vitamins A and C. They're full of fiber for your pup. Remember to remove the core and the seeds first, and cut them up first.
More Great Treats
Here are some other fruits that are safe for your dog to eat:
Just remember to always remove any pits, seeds, stems, leaves, and rinds from all fruit you give your dog. With raspberries, only give a small portion at a time as they do contain trace amounts of Xylitol.
Are you looking for a superfood treat? These strawberry and beet treats with koji contain all the essential amino acids your pup needs!
What Else Isn't Safe?
While we're on the subject, here are a few other fruits you should avoid giving your pet:
Don't EVER give your dog grapes. They're toxic regardless of the breed, age, or sex. They can lead to acute kidney failure and are never worth the risk.
We are Wild Earth
Thank you for stopping by! We're Wild Earth, a dog nutrition company that makes dog food and treats that contain zero animal ingredients. We make a high protein, high fiber dog food that has everything your dog needs and nothing they don't. Dogs love the taste and you can rest easy knowing you are giving the healthiest, cleanest food on the market. We also have treats that come in peanut butter, banana & cinnamon, and strawberry & beet.