Can Dogs Eat Cherries?

Cherries are a delicious summer treat that many of us enjoy eating, but many pet owners may be curious about whether dogs can have cherries too. And if so, are cherries good, bad or just OK for dogs to eat? While cherries may be safe and even healthy for dogs to eat in moderation, it is very important that you remove any pits, stems, and leaves before feeding them to your canine. This is because cherry pits and seeds contain cyanide, and are poisonous to dogs when consumed regularly.

Below, we will discuss the good and bad aspects of your dog eating cherries (fresh and dried) without pits as well as what to do if your dog ate a cherry pit and how to detect cyanide poisoning in dogs.

Can Dogs Eat Cherries

Health Benefits of Cherries For Dogs

Let’s start out by saying that cherries are loaded with nutrients, such as vitamins A, C, and E. Furthermore, cherries are high in potassium, magnesium, iron, fiber, antioxidants, and melatonin.

That being said, dogs generally get the nutrients they need on a daily basis from their regular dog food, so it isn’t always necessary to supplement their diets with fruits and vegetables. Nevertheless, all dogs love treats, and cherries aren’t poisonous as long as you remove the pits and leaves, which also pose as choking hazards.

Now, let’s take a look at some of the health benefits provided by cherries.

Prevent Disease

Cherries are rich in the antioxidant anthocyanins, which can help to strengthen a dog’s immune system and even reduce the risk of certain diseases and health conditions, including arthritis, heart disease, and some cancers.

Eye Health

Because there is a lot of vitamin A in cherries, they are a good food for promoting better eye health. Feeding cherries to your dogs can help to improve their vision.

Strong Immune System

The vitamin C in cherries helps to improve the function of the body’s white blood cells, and can help to strengthen the immune system and prevent a number of illnesses.

Better Sleep

Cherries are one of the few foods that naturally contain melatonin, which is known to be a relaxant. It can help your dogs to sleep better, and it is also known to help lower blood pressure.

Prevent Diabetes

The antioxidants in cherries can help to prevent diabetes, in both humans and in dogs. If you have a dog with diabetes, cherries can help in the management of the disease.

Weight Loss

Overweight dogs can benefit from having cherries in their diets. They are high in dietary fiber, so they are filling while not being overly fattening. They are a great treat that won’t cause your dogs to gain weight.

Reduce Swelling

If your dogs suffer from joint inflammation, feeding them tart cherries can help. They have anti-inflammatory properties that can help older dogs, and dogs that have arthritis.

Source of Potassium

Cherries are a good source of potassium, which can help to strengthen body functions, such as muscle development and the function of blood vessels. Of course, they are going to get even more potassium from bananas, but cherries are still a good option.

Vitamin Absorption

Magnesium is necessary for the body to properly absorb vitamins and produce protein, and it can be found in abundance in tart cherries. It can also help with bone growth.

Healthy Blood

Dogs need iron in order to have healthy blood, and cherries contain this important mineral. Iron helps to create hemoglobin that transports oxygen through the blood.

Cherries For Dogs

Negative Side Effects of Cherries for Dogs

For the most part, cherries are a healthy treat to give to your dogs. But, there can be some negative effects from eating cherries. Make sure that you never let your dogs have the pits, as they contain cyanide and can kill your dogs.

Cyanide is also found in the leaves, so do not give these to your dogs either. Symptoms of cyanide poisoning can include dilated pupils, bright red gums, and breathing difficulties. If you think your dogs have eaten cherry pits or leaves, contact your vet immediately. Other negative side effects of cherries for dogs include:

  • Obstructions and blockages
  • Gastrointestinal upset
  • High blood sugar levels

Can Dogs Eat Dried Cherries?

Technically, since dogs can eat cherries, it stands to reason that they can eat dried cherries. But, if you are going to give them this treat, make sure that it is only in very tiny amounts. Dried fruits tend to contain a lot more sugar, albeit natural sugar, which your dogs don’t really need to have in their diets. It may be best to avoid giving them dried cherries and just stick with fresh or frozen.

Yes, Dogs Can Eat Cherries in Moderation

As long as you are giving them in moderation, cherries can be a healthy treat for your dogs once in a while. It is important to wash them well, as cherries tend to have more pesticides sprayed on them than other fruits (look for organic cherries grown without pesticides to be safe), and remove the pits and seeds to avoid cyanide poisoning.