If you love cherries, you may be wondering whether you can share these deliciously sweet, and fresh fruits with your pup too.
The answer to the question – can dogs eat cherries – is yes, but with all the necessary precautions taken.
Cherries can be harmful and even toxic to dogs if they eat them with pits, stems, or leaves. The reason is that these parts of the cherries contain cyanide, which can be dangerous and even fatal for dogs.
Plus, the cherry pits, stems, and leaves can cause blockages in the dogs’ intestines.
So, if you want to treat your pup with some delicious fresh cherries, make sure that you remove all pits, stems, and leaves beforehand. And, make sure that any cherries which haven’t been pitted are stored safely away from reach by the pup. You should not feed your dog with maraschinos, even though they do not have pits, because they have been sweetened with added sugar.
In other words, if you want to treat your dog with some cherries – use fresh unsweetened cherries, with their pits, leaves, and stems removed.
Or to stay on the safe side, steer clear of cherries altogether and give your dog other fruits or human foods which are much more suitable for pups than cherries are instead. As a dog parent, you should make sure that you get to know which human foods are a no-no for canines.
What makes cherries bad for dogs?
As mentioned earlier, it is not the actual cherries that are bad for dogs, but rather it’s their pits, leaves, and stems which contain cyanide.
Cyanide can be highly toxic and lethal when consumed in quantities that are high enough to poison your dog.
And when consumed in larger quantities, or depending on the size of your dog, the ingestion of cherry pits and stems can also lead to intestinal blockage.
Some vets claim that even when all necessary precautions are taken, and the pits are removed, cherries can cause some stomach upsets in pups.
The general recommendation is to avoid feeding cherries of any kind to your dog and switch to healthy and safe fruits and veggies like carrots and apples instead.
Can dogs eat cherries without pits or other cherry – flavored foods?
Fresh cherries which have been de-pitted and have all their stems and leaves removed are rich in antioxidants, vitamins A and C, melatonin, and other healthy nutrients. So, if you want to feed your dog with a few cherries from time to time, make sure you remove all potentially dangerous parts of the fruits first.
To stay safe, you can give your pup other safer fruits like apples (without seeds and cores), blueberries, and other beneficial fruits.
Related: What Berries Can Dogs Eat?
As for cherry-based foods, such as sweetened Maraschino cherries – you shouldn’t give your dog any similar products with added sugar and artificial sweeteners ever. Feeding canines with sugary treats can lead to obesity, diabetes, and other serious and often fatal gastrointestinal disorders and problems.
Some artificial sweeteners like xylitol and cocoa in chocolate can be toxic and deadly for dogs as well.
What to do if your dog has eaten cherries with pits, stems, and leaves?
If your pup has somehow managed to ingest a few or many cherries along with the pits and stems, you should keep a close eye on it for any worrying symptoms of cyanide poisoning or intestinal blockage.
The most common symptom of cyanide poisoning in dogs include:
- Labored breathing
- Bright red colored gums
- Dilated eye pupils
- Toxic shock
Your dog may also have diarrhea and an upset stomach from the cherries, even if it has not been poisoned.
In any case, you should contact your veterinarian right away if you suspect cyanide poisoning.
Another potential danger of eating cherries by dogs is a blockage of the intestines from the pits and stems.
The most common symptoms of gastrointestinal blockage in dogs include:
- Lack of appetite and anorexia
- Abdominal discomfort or pain
- Sticky gums
If your pup is showing signs of a gastrointestinal obstruction that continue for 24 hours or longer, you should contact your veterinarian as soon as possible because the issue can cause severe problems and may even lead to death if left untreated.
To be sure that you are feeding your dog with the safest and best treats and food possible, you can sign up for a delivery of dog food and treats, like the one offered by NomNomNow or another healthy dog food delivery subscription.