Can Dogs Eat Cherries 10 Benefits and 4 Side Effects

Can Dogs Eat Cherries? 10 Benefits and 4 Side Effects

Last Updated: August 18, 2023
correct answerThe Short Answer is:

Cherries can be eaten by dogs as long as they are properly prepared and fed in strict moderation. It’s important that you don’t overdo it with any dog food. Cherry-pitted dog foods are recommended. Cherry pits contain cyanide, which makes them toxic in large quantities.

In this article you will know the answer to the query “Can Dogs Eat Cherries? 10 Benefits and 4 Side Effects“.

Cherries are a favorite of many people when they are raw prepared or part of a dessert. Dogs can eat cherries too so are cherries safe to consume by them?

Can Dogs Eat Cherries 10 Benefits and 4 Side Effects

Do cherries have any side effects on dogs and what are the health benefits?

Dogs should not eat cherries?

Heres what we found.

Those wondering if they can feed their dog cherries should know that dogs can eat them provided they are prepared properly and given in moderation.

Despite being full of great nutrients for both humans and dogs giving dogs too many cherries or feeding them cherries that are not appropriate to their health can have negative effects on their health.

All of that is great but why are dogs able to eat cherries and what are the benefits?

What are cherries?

Cherry is a type of summer fruit that belongs to the Prunus family the same one as plums apricots and peaches. The two most common types of cherries are tart cherries (or Montmorency cherries) and sweet cherries (big cherries).

Raw or cooked they are often used in pies and other desserts.

The Montmorency tart cherry can be seen on the right.

A (big) sweet cherry can be seen on the left.

This is because both cherries differ in their sugar content which in turn affects their taste.

The big sweet cherries are of course sweeter and tastier.

We will cover the Montmorency tart cherries in this article as they have been studied most extensively in terms of health benefits.

Cherries are best for your dog if you choose tart cherries because they have potential health benefits and have lower natural sugar content.

Lets talk about some of the facts about giving cherries to dogs whether its okay for them to eat cherries and why thats the case.

Lets dive deeper into the topic of whether dogs can eat cherries and why they may even benefit from eating this tasty berry fruit.

Can Dogs Eat Cherries?

Cherries can be eaten by dogs as long as they are properly prepared and fed in strict moderation. Its important that you do not overdo it with any dog food. Cherry pitted dog foods are recommended. Cherry pits contain cyanide which makes them toxic in large quantities.

The following nutrients and vitamins are found in cherries that are most beneficial to dogs:

  • Anthocyanin
  • Melatonin
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin E
  • Potassium
  • Magnesium
  • Fiber
  • Iron

Cherries are packed with all of the essential vitamins and minerals your dog needs to stay healthy.

Hopefully this answers the question can dogs eat cherries some owners may be curious about how exactly these nutrients can benefit their dogs health?

Are cherries bad for dogs?

The flesh does not pose any health risks to dogs in small amounts. Despite this whole cherries with the pit as well as the leaves can be toxic.

10 Health Benefits of Cherries for Dogs

So now you know that dogs can eat cherries and if you do feed your dog cherries do so sparingly and as an occasional treat.

You may provide your dog with the following ten health benefits by doing so:

1. Antioxidants reduce cell damage and help prevent diseases

Anthocyanins are antioxidants that strengthen dogs’ immune systems and may even reduce degenerative conditions like canine arthritis cardiovascular disease heart conditions and possibly even cancer in dogs.

2. Vitamin A helps promote eye health

The health benefits of vitamin A are well known but those relating to the eyes are of particular importance. Dogs may benefit from Vitamin A because it can sharpen and strengthen their vision as well as promote their overall eye health.

3. Vitamin C improves and strengthens the immune system

Vitamin C in cherries will promote the function of white blood cells in a dogs body in the same way that anthocyanins do. The immune system of your dog is strengthened and his overall health is improved. It is for this reason that dogs should not be concerned about whether they can eat cherries as vitamin C will greatly benefit their health.

4. Melatonin promotes healthy sleep patterns and heart health

Fruits like cherries are among the very few foods that contain melatonin.

As an antioxidant melatonin helps to regulate sleep and wake cycles in dogs (the circadian rhythm). Besides lowering blood pressure and controlling heart rhythms melatonin may also help dogs sleep better.

Some studies have also shown that big sweet cherries may improve heart health.

5. Cherries may help to prevent diabetes

The high antioxidant content of cherries is another good reason for dog owners to wonder if dogs can eat cherries – it may help improve canine diabetes management or reduce the risk of diabetes in dogs in general. Since cherries still contain fructose it is important not to overfeed dogs on cherries. 

6. Cherries have fiber that helps with weight loss and maintenance

Cherry (as well as many other fruits and vegetables) contain dietary fiber which promotes weight loss and healthy weight management in dogs among many other benefits related to digestion and digestive health.

By ensuring that your dog consumes enough fiber in his diet you will be helping to regulate his digestive system including his bowel movements.

7. Cherries can help reduce joint inflammation

Several studies have demonstrated that cherries have anti-inflammatory properties (see this this and this).

When tart cherries are given in sufficient quantity (yet in a moderate amount) active and especially older dogs can benefit from their anti-inflammatory properties.

Many owners have been wondering if dogs can eat cherries and how this will affect their internal health so the answer is that cherries are beneficial to them in the long run. However big sweet cherries do not have the same anti-inflammatory properties.

8. Potassium a vital nutrient is found in cherries

Cherry juice still has a good amount of potassium even though bananas have a better source. A dogs body functions are strengthened with potassium including muscle development blood vessel function and electrolyte replacement.

9. Cherries are a significant source of magnesium

Magnesium is another mineral found in tart cherries. The body of a dog requires magnesium for many functions including the absorption of vitamins and the production of protein.

10. Cherries contain iron needed for healthy body function

Cherries are also rich in iron a mineral of vital importance. Iron is needed by the dogs enzymes to work properly as well as to create hemoglobin for oxygen transport in the blood among many other health benefits.

Is it safe for dogs to eat cherries? The answer is a resounding yes and cherries provide a good amount of nutrition and vitamins for dogs. Here are some of the benefits of sweet cherries:

“So can I give my dog cherries?”

Cherries can benefit your dogs health in significant ways so you can give them cherries.

It should not be too difficult to feed cherries to dogs if they are asking if they can eat them.

Cherry treats are only appropriate if they are prepared carefully and fed in moderation as occasional treats and there is a good reason for that (I’ll explain below).

Bottom line: Small amounts of cherries are safe for dogs to eat. Cherries are sweet so dogs like to eat them but its important not to overfeed them.

4 Potential Side Effects of Cherries for Dogs

Cherry treats for dogs should only be given in small quantities and as occasional treats.

Cherries can have side effects on your dog if you feed them in large quantities or too often.

To answer your question can dogs eat cherries safely here are some potential side effects and health precautions about feeding cherries to dogs:

1. Cherry pits seeds and leaves are toxic to dogs

One thing you should know: cherry pits contain cyanide which is both toxic and deadly not only to dogs but also to humans. Cyanide can also be found in cherry seeds and leaves so be sure to clean and de-pit cherries before feeding them to your dog.

Intoxication with cyanide prevents vital enzymes from transporting oxygen to the blood cells. The amount of cyanide the human body can tolerate before being poisoned is greater than that of the dog.

The most common symptoms of cyanide poisoning are inadequate oxygen levels bright reddish gums trouble breathing and dilated pupils. In case your dog exhibits any of these symptoms or if you know that your dog ate cherry pits seeds or leaves you need to take him to the vet immediately.

2. Cherry pits can cause obstructions and blockages

Cherry pits present more problems than just cyanide however.

Although cherry pits are small they can lodge in a dogs gastrointestinal tract resulting in an emergency situation that requires your dog to undergo surgery.

Symptoms of obstruction include vomiting low fecal production straining and refusal to eat.

3. Cherries can cause gastrointestinal upset

Large amounts of cherries (and sometimes even the introduction of cherries into the dogs diet for the first time) may cause your canine to experience stomach upset.

Additionally dogs may experience mild vomiting decreased appetite and diarrhea since cherries are a new food that they are not designed to eat. You should give your dog very small amounts of cherries if you want to give him cherries.

4. Sugary forms of processed cherries can elevate blood sugar

Last but not least its important to remember that only natural cherries for dogs are safe.

Cherry juice in jars dried cherries processed cherries and cherries canned in sugary juice all contain added processed sugar (on top of the natural sugars in cherries). Donot give your dog any cherry product other than natural.

These sugary foods may cause dogs’ blood sugar levels to spike leading to an increase in insulin. Eventually blood sugar levels drop suddenly. This situation may cause dogs to become lethargic sick or extremely hungry.

How do you handle a dog that swallows a whole cherry?

Can dogs eat cherry pie maraschino cherries or depitted cherries?

In short dogs can eat cherries but in my opinion you should avoid feeding them processed human foods because dogs cannot process carbohydrates as well as humans do.

Since cherries are high in sugar it is recommended that they eat depitted cherries in moderation. Cherry flesh has many health benefits.

Maraschino cherries are allowed in small amounts but no more than that. In addition to being high in sugar cherries also spike insulin levels which impair the bodys ability to metabolize fat.

How many cherries are toxic to dogs?

You should not worry about your dogs health if they eat one or two cherries a day.

Be sure to not put them in a bag of cherries since they contain cyanide which is toxic.

Are ground cherries safe for dogs?

The cherries are nightshades (poisonous berries) that contain solanine and other forms of solanidine alkaloids.

These compounds are poisonous and when the fruit is not ripe they are found in the flesh and leaves in deadly quantities.

The berries should not be consumed by humans pets or livestock.

Can Dogs Eat Cherries?

Cherry pits seeds and leaves should be removed and cherries should be fed in very small quantities and only as an occasional treat.

If you’re wondering if dogs can eat cherries fear no more – cherries may be beneficial to dogs’ health in many ways including cancer prevention diabetes prevention improved sleep patterns weight management and better joint mobility in active and senior dogs.

You should be aware of the potential side effects of giving cherries to dogs in too large quantities or not preparing them properly (e.g. leaving pits seeds and leaves on the ground).

Share on:
Amanda Dogs Trainer

Amanda (Author)

With over a decade of experience, Amanda is a distinguished dog trainer. Her expertise in canine behavior has transformed countless lives, fostering harmonious human-canine connections. Through compassionate and personalized approaches, she empowers owners to understand and connect with their furry companions, creating a legacy of joyful tails and transformed lives.

Osvaldo Maciel Dogs Trainer

Osvaldo Maciel (Content Reviewer)

Osvaldo Maciel, a stalwart in the field with 14 years of experience, is a revered dog trainer. His journey is defined by a profound understanding of canine behavior, shaping unbreakable human-canine bonds. Osvaldo guides owners to connect with their beloved pets, leaving an indelible mark of happiness and transformation. His legacy shines through the countless lives he has touched.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *