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Can Dogs Eat Cherries?

Person holding cherry in front of cute yellow labrador

Is it safe to give your dog cherries? Not really. If your pet eats one or two cherries, will it kill them? No, but a large number of cherries might. It's no secret dogs love the sweet, refreshing taste of most fruits. It's a good thing there are many fruits that you can share with your dog, like bananas and watermelon. On the other hand, there are plenty of fruits that are harmful to dogs. A common fruit that isn't safe for dogs to eat is grapes.

Why are cherries unsafe for dogs?

 

While cherries do contain healthy nutrients for dogs, such as vitamins A and C, fiber, and antioxidants, they also contain a deadly chemical called cyanide that can be found in the pits, stem, and leaves of cherries. Like mentioned above, there's not enough cyanide in cherries where ingesting 1 or 2 would be life-threatening to your dog, but if your dog managed to chow down on a bag or even a handful of cherries, it could be fatal.

 

When you eat cherries, make sure to keep them out of the reach of your pet. Even if your dog only has 1 cherry it could cause an intestinal blockage, especially in small dogs. Signs of an intestinal blockage can include vomiting, decreased appetite, and constipation. If notice your bag of cherries has suddenly depleted and your pet is looking satisfied, contact your vet immediately. Your vet might suggest inducing vomiting to prevent cyanide poisoning. Depending on the number of cherries your dog consumed, they might experience the following symptoms of cyanide poisoning:

  • Dilated pupils
  • Bright red gums
  • Diarrhea
  • Labored breathing

Can dogs eat cherries without pits?

 

If you remove the stem, pit, and leaves of cherries, you can safely give your dog a few without the worry of cyanide poisoning. However, is it really worth the time preparing a few cherries for your dog? Keep in mind that the only cherry flesh your dog is safe to eat is from natural cherries. Do not give your dog maraschino cherries, dried cherries, or cherries that are soaked in syrups. They are full of added sugars and preservatives that can be harmful to your pet.