Is your dog a fan of tiny treats that are easier to steal and munch on without leaving a trace? We bet they are fans of cherries, too! But wait – can dogs eat cherries? Or if they can, should they?
To answer this: Yes, dogs can eat cherries in moderation. But it comes with BIG risks. It has elements like its pit, which can be hazardous to a dog’s life. So, to answer this question correctly, we have covered all the risks, signs to monitor, and alternatives to cherries.
Why Are Cherries Bad For Dogs?
Cherries are a treat that’s hard to resist. But they can easily become fatal, especially for pets. Here’s how:
1. Cyanide poisoning
One of the major concerns surrounding cherries is the pits. The pits of cherries have cyanide in them. It is a poison that can be fatal to animals as well as humans if consumed in high amounts. And here we are not talking about 3-4 seeds, but it needs awfully massive amounts of cherry seeds.
Just like you must read for the apple seeds, the same poison can make dogs sick to death. If your dog accidentally ate cherry pits, seek veterinary attention immediately. Please do not wait for the symptoms to kick in.
2. Choking hazards
Another risk of feeding your dog cherries is the choking hazard. If your dog is an eager eater and eats 8-9 cherries together, they will likely choke on them. They might gag or cough them out. This can be a very discomforting feeling and should be avoided.
3. Not suitable for a diabetic dog
As cherries have natural sweetness, they are not suitable for diabetic dogs. Before feeding anything sweet to your dog, you must consult with your veterinarian.
Cherries may cause imbalances in blood sugar levels, which is harmful for dogs. Especially if their sugar levels fluctuate often and they are on meds, cherries might not be the fruit for them. You can check out other human foods that might work for your dog.
4. Cardiac arrest
The cherry extract has components directly or indirectly responsible for cardiovascular diseases (study). If the levels are high due to overfeeding, it can be very risky for dogs. Hence, please ensure to feed your dog cherries in moderation. Please consult your veterinarian immediately if you notice lethargy or increased heart rates.
What Are the Signs of Cyanide Poisoning?
If your dog has accidentally swallowed a cherry pit, there are sure shot ways of identifying cyanide poisoning:
- Increased heart rate
- Rapid breathing or breathlessness
These are some common signs that can occur in dogs after cyanide poisoning. The effect may differ in dogs as per the amounts of cyanide ingested. Their bodies may also absorb the poison and show signs of recovery (article). Please get in touch with your veterinarian immediately if you observe any such symptoms.
Are There Any Benefits of Serving Your Dog Cherries?
If you keep moderation in mind, cherries have multiple benefits for dogs. They have all the goodness of flavor and health benefits. Calling the relationship between doggos and cherries “flavor with benefits” would not be wrong!
1. Vitamins and minerals
Cherries are rich in nutrients. They are especially rich in Vitamins A, C, and K. The three vitamins together help with the proper functioning of a dog’s body. Vitamin A gives your pooch energy & better immunity, while Vitamin C helps to reduce inflammation, and Vitamin K helps to maintain blood health (article).
Moreover, cherries also have minerals like potassium, magnesium, and calcium.
These delicious, juicy treats are also famous for their antioxidant properties. They protect your dogs from daily harms like- banging their heads on the table, being bitten by ants, or pollution. These antioxidants help to rebuild the damaged cells in areas of the body. In addition, they improve the metabolism and reduce inflammation in damaged areas.
3. Tasty treats!
Your search for benefits ends here as cherries are hands down the tiniest tasty treats. From their texture to their flavor, dogs love everything about them. They come in handy, and you can toss them to your dog as training treats! It would be best to remember to remove the cherry pits. Rest, they are an enjoyable fruit to have.
Alternatives to Cherries and How to Serve Them
We will not debate how cherries are less delicious than other fruits- No. We understand that there is a different doggo fan base for cherries, and believe us- we get the hype! So we came up with five alternatives that are similar in texture and are healthier than cherries (tastier? Only your dog can tell).
Cool right? So here you go:
1. Blueberries and blackberries
If your dog loves the sweet, tangy flavors with juicy textures, we have a perfect alternative to cherries! You can serve them blueberries and blackberries. They are rich in nutrients and can be used as training treats.
You must ensure to remove the seeds before serving. They have a similar texture to cherries, and blackberry pits are not toxic. In rare cases, they can cause choking hazards, but they are far safer than cherry pits.
Another refreshing treat for your dog can be watermelon. The only catch is to remove the seeds before feeding them to your dog. They are more hydrating than cherries, and your dog is less likely to chew on the seeds accidentally. In the case of cherries, it is possible to burst open the pit and ingest cyanide.
You can easily pick out the seeds with watermelon to prevent choking hazards.
The closest we could find a safer “dupe” for cherries is strawberries! They have similar chewy skin with a fleshy texture inside. They both can give a blend of sweet and tangy flavors. So, it is a win-win for you and your pup.
Strawberry seeds are also edible for dogs and do not cause any health risks. The only catch is to feed your dog strawberries in moderation and chop them in small sizes.
4. Dog treats
Last but not least, commercial dog treats can give your dog the pleasure of juicy treats and the health benefits. Dog treats are specifically designed for dogs. If you check the ingredients labels carefully- you can bring the healthiest option for your dog.
They might not be as good as cherries, but they are a healthier and safer option for a change!
The only part of cherries that should not be fed to dogs is their pit. It contains a toxin named cyanide, which is highly deadly to dogs. But don’t worry your dog and you can share cherries’ fleshy, juicy part. Cherries are beneficial and can be a great addition to your dog’s treats menu.
However, please ensure not to make cherries a part of everyday meals or a substitute for main meals. They should only be given to dogs as an occasional treat.
Frequently Asked Questions
If your dog ate just one or two cherries, their pit will not cause any harm. Cyanide needs to be ingested in heavy amounts to be poisoning to dogs. However, small-sized dogs may react more to a few cherry pits than large dogs. You must watch for any reactions or signs of cyanide poisoning.
The amount of cherries a dog can eat depends on the size and diet of the dog. You should give your toy-sized dog at most 5-6 cherries and 8-10 cherries to your large-sized dog. Please ensure to remove the seeds and leaves before feeding your dog cherries. The only way to feed them is to serve them the cherry flesh with their regular nutritious diet.
Absolutely, yes. The seeds or pit and leaves are the toxic part of the cherries. They include cyanide in them, which is poisonous to dogs. Cherries can be a great addition if you feed your dog cherries safely without the seeds and leaves.
Cherry pits have a poison named cyanide that can be hazardous to dogs. 2-3 cherry pits do not have enough cyanide to be fatal to dogs. However, you can expect slight signs of digestive issues. Especially small dogs can get sick easily and may show symptoms like diarrhea, vomiting, and abdominal pain.
Yes, dogs can eat cherries and strawberries safely. You can toss these sweet treats to your dog unless they are canned or in syrup form. We do not recommend serving them to a diabetic dog as it can imbalance the blood sugar levels. Also, your dog should always eat them in moderation.