Can Dogs Have Cherries? Let’s Chat Cherries

Maybe you’re the type of person who buys an ice cream sundae but doesn’t like to eat the cherry on top. Hey, no judgement from me! But there you are, full-bellied, wondering what to do with that cherry. You look at your furry friend. Can dogs have cherries?

The answer to the question, can dogs have cherries, is more complicated than you might think. So, let’s get into it.


Can Dogs Have Cherries, Or No?

Alright, here’s the deal. Most likely, your dog should not eat cherries. Especially cherries with the seeds still inside of them.

The primary danger of cherries comes with their seeds, stems, and leaves. But I’ve never seen a cherry with a leaf still attached to its stem, so let’s concern ourselves more with the seed and stem.

Inside of the stem and seed of a cherry is the toxin called cyanide. You likely know cyanide from spy movies where a discovered spy will chew the cyanide capsule to prevent anyone from questioning them. After all, you can’t question the dead.

So, with that spy movie knowledge you understand that high enough quantities of cyanide provide a dangerous risk for anyone, especially that precious pup of yours. Luckily, a single cherry contains only very small amounts of cyanide.

So one cherry doesn’t pose a risk to your dog’s health in that regard. However, if your dog eats a whole bunch of seeded cherries, look out for symptoms of cyanide poisoning:

  • Bright Red Gums
  • Dilated Pupils
  • Labored Breathing

A dog showing any of these symptoms needs medical attention, right away. With immediate treatment, the vet should fix them up and get them back in ship-shape.

While a single cherry can’t poison your pup, it still creates risk for your dog’s health due to a different reason.

The seed of the cherry runs the risk of getting stuck in your dog’s digestive tract. While the chances of this are quite low, the risk is enough to sway you away from feeding any seeded cherries to your dog.


Can Dogs Have Cherries Without Seeds?

A properly pitted cherry, where the seed and stem are safely removed, can be fed to your dog. By removing the stem and seed, you remove the cherry’s toxic risk and its blockage risk.

Primarily, the seed is the number one danger. Removing the seed gets rid of almost all of the cherry’s risks for your pup.

However, a pitted cherry still has the possibility of upsetting your dog’s stomach. states that a cherry with the seed removed still runs the risk of upsetting your dog’s tummy.

Andrea Trafny, an Emergency Veterinarian in New York, agrees with, “Anytime you start incorporating something different [into your dog’s diet], their GI tracts can be much more sensitive and they can get pretty sick.”

However, this all relies on those cherries being unprocessed. Unprocessed cherries contain zero added sugars and are therefore safer for your dog to eat than processed cherries.

Processed cherries with the seeds already removed, like maraschino cherries, contain too much sugar to feed them to your fur baby.


The Cherry On Top

So, maybe your better off eating that cherry on top, or giving it to a non-furry friend. A maraschino cherry contains a ton of sugar and isn’t good for your pup.

Can dogs have cherries? Well, unprocessed cherries, with the seeds removed, are safer for your dog’s consumption. However, they still run the risk of upsetting your pup’s tummy.

Overall, there are plenty of safer options to feed your pup for a tasty treat.

Chase Correll