Can Dogs Eat Cherries?

close up photo of cherries

Can Dogs Eat Cherries?

When dog owners enjoy their human food delicacies, they might consider sharing some with their beloved pets. Sometimes a sweet ice cream sundae with a cherry on top can be the perfect end to a nice warm day, and when the breeze hits you while you sit outside with your dog you’ll notice their sweet puppy dog eyes and adorable little tail wagging. You might be enjoying some of your tasty ice cream and maraschino cherries, only to wonder: can dogs eat cherries? 

You’re not alone if you want to give your dog a cherry. Many people share human food with their pets, and while this is okay sometimes, it is vital to always do research about any human food before giving it to your dog. 

Some human foods are more controversial than others, and cherries are one of them. These bad boys are hot-button-topics in the world of human treats for dogs, and it’s all because they are riskier than other fruits. There are plenty of safe fruits your dog can eat merrily, like cantaloupe, which has little to no health risks. But some other human foods, such as the adored cherry, can have many benefits and many health risks at the same time. The duality of cherries is the reason why many vets and scientists argue that cherries are not the greatest human food snack to give to your beloved pet. There are a number of reasons why you could choose to avoid feeding your dog these treats, but there are also many benefits your dog can get from eating moderate and safe amounts of cherries.

Are Cherries Safe for Dogs to Ingest?

Yes, cherries can be safe for dogs to ingest when they are eating them in moderation. Many dogs love fruit, and in a time when most adult pet dogs in the United States suffer from obesity, fruit can be an excellent and healthy choice of snack to give your pet. Fruit often has higher fiber contents as well as a bundle of different types of vitamins and minerals that can help your dog’s bodily functions. 

There are a variety of different styles of cherries people eat, including tart cherries, sweet cherries, and maraschino cherries. The latter two are often used with desserts because of their higher sugar content and can commonly be found in cherry pies. Because of how many styles of cherries there are, it is worth specifying that fresh cherries are the best option to feed your dog. Feeding them cherries that are used to make dessert will also give them all the added sugar in these types of fruits. 

While there are a few beneficial factors some cherries can offer a dog, most often, cherries aren’t the safest human snack dogs can ingest. Although cherries are tasty little fruits that your dog might enjoy, they can cause stomach discomfort if they are given to your pet too often or if they aren’t prepared correctly. However, don’t go hating on cherries just yet, because even though a dog’s body might have a few qualms with cherries, overall, they can offer some health benefits if given to your pet correctly. 

puppy with a flower behind its ear

Health Benefits of Eating Cherries

Like many other fruits, fresh cherries offer a wide variety of potential health benefits. These little fruits provide a lot of water with little calories attached, making them great treats for dogs struggling with weight issues. Even though these fruits can give your dog some nutrients, there are always healthier alternative options to feeding your pet cherries if you feel unsafe doing so. 

However, if you find that your pet is a fruit lover and you want to test the waters with cherries, you should know how beneficial this human snack can be. 

Cherry fibers can be a great aid in helping your pet lose weight. If you’ve been looking for foods to help your obese dog, a few properly prepared cherries every now and then are a great way to keep up with a hungry dog’s appetite while providing a variety of delicious treats.  

This little fruit also has melatonin, magnesium, and potassium. Melatonin is a helpful hormone that can help dogs with sleep issues or behavioral problems. This calming hormone is also great for a dog’s skin health and can potentially help animals that have non-allergy related hair-loss. Some breeds are far more affected by skin issues than others, such as Poodles, so some Poodle owners might find cherries to be beneficial in small portions. 

Magnesium is important in your dog’s diet to help energy production at their body’s cellular level. Basically, magnesium is necessary for helping your dog function in its everyday life. Every time they eat, play, move, or think, they’re using a little bit of this incredibly important mineral. This mineral is one of the only kinds that a dog needs for literally everything they do.

Also, potassium is incredibly important for a dog’s overall health. This is another vital mineral that is one of your dog’s primary electrolytes, and potassium helps maintain homeostasis in its body. 

Not only do cherries offer these benefits, but they are full of additional beneficial minerals like iron, and they have natural anti-inflammatory properties. Iron is one of your dog’s essential minerals as it helps carry oxygen on their red blood cells. Iron is a big factor in your dog’s energy levels, and it’s important to ensure your dog gets plenty of iron in its regular diet. 

Keep in mind that even though this fruit has a lot of nutritional benefits for dogs, it has to be given to them safely for it to provide these benefits. But in addition to these many minerals, dog owners should know that there are also tons of helpful vitamins in cherries. 

bowl of cherries on a grey table

The Many Vitamins in Cherries

It’s well-known that fruit is full of plenty of healthy vitamins. Cherries are full of vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin K. When deciding if a food is good enough for your pet or not, you should really consider the benefits the food offers. Fresh cherries offer plenty of helpful nutrients, as long as owners feed their dog this treat in the correct manner, which will be covered in this article later.

Vitamins A are essential for your dog’s overall health, and it plays a large part in your dog’s immune system and cell functions. This vitamin is best known for helping skin and eye functions, but all dog owners really need to know is that vitamin A is an important part of their dog’s regular diet. 

Another important part of your dog’s nutritional health is vitamin C. This vitamin is actually so essential that dogs can create it on their own, but it’s always better if they can get vitamin C in their regular diet. Most dog foods account for these important vitamins, but a special treat like a cherry can help your dog’s health and boost their mood. Also, vitamin C is an important antioxidant that plays a crucial role in reducing any joint inflammation your dog might be experiencing. This property means that even though cherries aren’t the best fruit option if your dog is a cherry lover and has any type of joint dysplasia, a few properly prepared cherries can help them with any pain symptoms.

Lastly, cherries contain vitamin K, an absolutely essential vitamin found in all mammals, and this vitamin helps blood clot and helps prevent heart disease. When vitamin K is in the body, it helps remove any built-up calcium that can cause plaque to appear in the arteries. 

Even though all of these benefits are in cherries, many health risks come with cherries as well. Because of the potential health risks cherries have, some vets and scientists advise owners to give their dogs other human food treats as an alternative. 

puppy sitting in the grass in a backyard

Health Risks of Cherries

Many vets advise against owners giving their pets cherries because these fruits are only beneficial if given to your dog correctly. Cherry pits contain cyanide which is toxic to people, dogs, and a whole lot of other critters. However, apple seeds also contain cyanide, but as humans know, accidentally eating an apple seed will not affect them very much, if it does affect people at all.

Obviously, a dog’s body works differently than a human’s, but the same idea stands when it comes to cherry pits. If your dog eats a cherry pit, it is not the end of the world. These pits need to be smashed open to cause any harm, and your dog would likely have to eat more than an entire bag of cherries and smash all of their pits for it to be lethal. 

But, dog owners know that seeing the world lethal next to food can be very alarming when it comes to what they feed their pets. This little stemmed fruit can cause gastrointestinal blockage issues and might cause more problems to appear in dogs. A small dog might have some upset stomach issues if they eat a large amount of cherries.

It is important to know that one singular fresh cherry will not harm your dog. If your dog nibbles up a whole cherry, pit included, you should not stress out and fear for your dog’s life. 

Even though the worst part of the cherry is the leaves, stems, and pits, these things need to be eaten in large quantities to cause gastrointestinal blockage issues. 

Some older articles on the internet will make pet parents fall into a fearful frenzy when they read that cherries can be lethal to dogs. Pet owners should always remember that science is constantly advancing, and scientists and vets are constantly learning more about dogs and their health. If you want to give your dog cherries, but you’re very worried about their health, that’s a good thing! You should care deeply about your pet’s health, and you should also feel fine talking to your vet about giving your dog any human foods like cherries.

a bowl of cherries on a blue plaid towel

How to Properly Prepare Cherries for Your Dog

If you know your dog loves fruit and you want to let them try some cherries, you should start by purchasing fresh cherries. You should always avoid giving your dog treats with a lot of added sugar, so giving your pet a maraschino cherry would be a bad idea. You can, however, give your dog a nice fresh black cherry, as long as you’re sure to remove any stems, leaves, and pits. 

Cherry flesh is perfectly fine for dogs to ingest, but you should still wash this fruit before giving it to your pet. Often, the fruit you purchase at the grocery store had made a long bacteria-filled journey before it ended up on your countertop. It’s better to feed your dog unpitted cherries versus pitted cherries. As explained earlier, a single cherry pit will not cause your dog any severe health issues. But, if you know that cherry seeds aren’t good for them, you should do your best to avoid feeding your dog any. 

Never give your dog any fruit in large quantities. Even when cherries are safely consumed, they can cause issues if a dog eats a large amount of them and might lead to some stomach discomfort. This fruit might cause issues like diarrhea if your dog eats many of them, but typically a dog eating a cherry pit or three will not hurt them much at all.

dog running through the grass

What Happens if Your Dog Eats a Cherry Pit?

If your dog eats a single cherry pit, the most likely outcome is that nothing will happen. Cherry poisoning is very rare, and your dog would have to eat large quantities of the toxins in cherries to experience these issues. If your dog does manage to chew down directly on a cherry pit, it might experience some minor symptoms like a decreased appetite or constipation. Some dogs might have a stronger response and might vomit or have episodes of diarrhea. Typically minor symptoms like these will disappear within 24 hours.

Even though your pet needs to eat a ton of cherry pits to be poisoned, it’s good for owners to know a pet poison hotline anyway. Cherry poisoning has happened before and is more likely to occur in dogs that will eat everything and anything. If you know your dog would eat a lettuce leaf that fell on the ground, you’ll want to be more careful with more delicate human foods around them. 

pet poison helpline can help comfort any worried owners if they find that their Husky has devoured fifteen cherries in one sitting. Even though it’s very unlikely your dog will face any serious health concerns, dog owners want to be sure their pets are safe. After all, it is your responsibility as a dog owner to make sure you take the best care of your pet. Staying informed about these human foods and the many benefits and risks they offer is one of the best ways you can help your dog live their best life. 

cherries in a white bowl on a taupe towel

Conclusion

As with many controversial topics, it is largely up to a dog’s owner whether their dog can eat cherries or not. These fruits can be given to your pet in a safe way and can be a great special snack whenever they’re ripe in the summertime. 

The most important part of the process of feeding your dog cherries is preparing them safely to get the maximum benefits of the food while decreasing the risks as much as possible. Removing the pits, stems, and leaves helps minimize the risk of your dog ingesting any toxins like cyanide. Washing any fruit your dog eats is also a great way to ensure no dangerous chemicals, pesticides, or other harmful bacteria enter your dog’s body.

This delicious red fruit can help obese dogs stay healthy and provide an excellent and exciting treat for your pet when done correctly. As long as owners don’t give their dogs any cherries with added sugars or any unripe fruits, they can maintain the maximum benefits that cherries offer. 

Some pet owners don’t want to feed their dogs any food that contains any health risks, and that’s completely okay. There are plenty of human foods and fruits that are much safer for dogs and contain the same amount of health benefits, if not more. This fruit can be excellent as a fun little snack one day. It’s also okay if your dog accidentally eats a handful of cherries and their pits. Owners shouldn’t beat themselves up over their dog’s enormous appetites, especially for something that can be as beneficial as cherries. 

Whether you decide to feed your pet cherries or not is entirely up to you as a dog owner, but keep in mind that there are many fruit alternatives to cherries if you don’t feel comfortable feeding them to your dog. Use these special treats as a time to create a deeper bond with your pet, rather than get anxiety sweats about the health risks your dog faces when eating one cherry.

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