Are Cherries Bad for Dogs? Cherry-Picked Diet

I’ll have my sundae with a cherry on top. But can my dog follow suit? While dogs can actually swap ice cream out for a canine approved yoghurt option, it’s a different story when it comes to the perfect sundae topper. Can dogs eat cherries? Are cherries bad for dogs? Today we will determine the effects of this fruit on a canine diet.


Can Dogs Eat Cherries?

While fruits such as apples, bananas, and oranges all appear safe for canines (and in fact are), the safety of cherries is not as evident. For one, you should never feed your dog fruits with pits intact. But can dogs eat cherries at all?

Dog blog Dogtime rules the short answer to be a no. Though it’s perfectly normal if your dog has been able to digest a cherry or two without any issues in the past, cherries are overall not a safe snack for dogs.


How Are Cherries Bad for Dogs?

Cherries do contain beneficial nutrients. After all, they are a healthy fruit option for humans. However, they do more harm than good when it comes to dogs. So why should you steer away from feeding cherries to your furry friend?

Why are cherries bad for dogs? Well, it turns out that the stems, leaves, and pits of cherries contain cyanide. This is toxic for dogs. When consumed in large amounts, it can cause poisoning in pups.

Therefore, while a cherry or two isn’t likely to have enough cyanide levels to harm your dog, it’s not worth risking it in the first place. There are many safe fruit options on the market that won’t cause such a health scare.

The more obvious reasons why cherries are dangerous for dogs are the pits. Cherry pits can cause choking hazards and intestinal blockage. This is a serious issue that shouldn’t be taken lightly.

Lastly, cherries are likely to cause stomach upset in the first place for dogs. So even if you can navigate the cyanide poisoning and pit danger, your dog might be left with stomach issues.


What About Maraschino Cherries?

We’ve been talking about the healthy, fresh option that you purchase in a carton. What about the gooey, brightly hued cherries that come packed in jars?

While they may seem like a safer option because they do not have pits or stems, these sweet treats also earn a thumbs down. This may not surprise you, but Maraschino cherries are loaded with sugar. Dogs who eat too much sugar are faced with issues such as obesity and diabetes in severe cases and upset stomachs in mild cases.

A single Maraschino cherry contains a whopping 1.9 grams of sugar according to the USDA. Remember that dogs eat far less calories in a day than humans, so this is a very high amount of sugar for dogs to eat in such a small snack.


Cherry Flavorings? Cherries Without Pits?

You really want to feed your dog cherries, don’t you?

Cherry flavored foods earn another no. Don’t serve your dog artificially flavored fruit treats that aren’t intended for dogs. They contain chemicals and sugars that dogs do not need in their diets.

Well, there is finally some good news for you cherry fanatics. Cherries that have their stems and pit removed are a safer option for canine snacking. Overall cherries have nutrients in them such as vitamin A and C, antioxidants, melatonin, and fiber.

However, there are many other safe fruit options that require less preparation and risk.


Help! My Dog Ate a Cherry

Ah, now you’ve finally understood that the answer to “are cherries bad for dogs” is a yes.

Unless you have an unusually polite pup, there’s a good chance your dog will steal food whenever she can. A cherry or two should luckily not cause much harm.

However, if your dog has managed to consume cherry pits there is a risk of gastrointestinal blockage. These symptoms include vomiting, constipation, and a decreased appetite.

Additionally, if your dog manages to consume several cherries, there might be a risk of cyanide poisoning. This risk increases with the number of cherries consumed.

Dogtime lists signs of cyanide poisoning in dogs to include breathing problems, dilated pupils, diarrhea, stomach upset, and bright red gums. In series cases this could result in your dog going into shock.

If your dog has eaten cherries, be sure to monitor him for a minimum of 24 hours. Do not hesitate to call your vet if you observe any of these symptoms.


Cordial Conclusions

Are cherries bad for dogs? It just isn’t worth the risk for canines to consume cherries. Elements of the cherry contain cyanide, and the cherry pit provides a doggie danger. With so many healthy and safe fruit and snack options on the market, cherries don’t need to be a contender for fulfilling your dog’s fruit cravings.

To read about healthier fruit options for dogs, check out can dogs eat blueberries.

Emma Polini