Believe it or not, there was a time when there was no such thing as “dog food”. In the beginning, domesticated dogs survived off of table scraps and foods that humans ate.
The more we learned about our canine counterparts, however, the more we discovered what vastly different digestive systems they have from us.
While there are human foods that dogs can still eat and enjoy in moderation, we now know that many human foods are unhealthy and sometimes even unsafe for our four-legged friends.
But what about fruits? Fruits are often considered a healthy snack for people, and they are even considered (mostly) healthy for dogs.
Of course, not all fruits are safe for dogs, and not all forms of fruits are safe for dogs. So, can dogs eat cherries?
Let’s find out!
Can Dogs Eat Cherries?
Cherries are a tasty treat for people, but they can be dangerous for dogs.
The answer to can dogs eat cherries is not so black and white, considering there are different types of cherries and different ways cherries can be prepared that may make them harmful to our pets.
In short, if your dog just got a hold of a single cherry, he should be fine, though we do encourage you to scroll down to what to do if your dog swallowed a whole cherry.
For the most part, the flesh of cherries can be safe for dogs. This means that a cherry without the pit, leaves, or stem can be a healthy treat.
Still, experts warn to use extreme caution when considering sharing a cherry or two with your dog. And because they are one of the potentially more dangerous or hazardous foods that dogs can consume, many experts point out that it’s generally easier to just say no to can dogs eat cherries altogether.
In order to understand more about can dogs eat cherries, it’s easier to first understand what cherries are.
What Are Cherries?
Cherries are drupes that grow on trees.
Cherries are a type of drupe that grow on cherry trees. There are different types of cherries that belong to different plants in the genus Prunus.
Commercial cherries, (or cherries we buy at the supermarket), come from several different species of Prunus, some of the most popular being sour Prunus cerasus and sweet Prunus avium.
Though they are an American favorite, cherries are actually not indignious to the United States. They are originally cultivated from Eastern Asia and regions nearby.
For the most part, cherries are packed with nutrients that can be beneficial to both people and dogs. This is something to note if you’re looking into can dogs eat cherries! However, it should be noted as well that cherries include hard pits in their center that are designed to protect the cherry seed.
This pit contains something known as prussic acid, aka cyanide. As you probably already know, cyanide is highly toxic to humans and animals. This chemical compound works by stopping the cells in the body from using oxygen properly. When this happens, the cells die, as do organs in the body that rely on oxygen to function.
The most commonly affected organs in the body affected by cyanide poisoning for both people and pets are the heart and brain.
But it’s not just a cherry pit you need to worry about when wondering can dogs eat cherries. The stem and the leaves of cherries are also known to contain cyanide, which if consumed by dogs in large amounts can be dangerous.
With all of that being said, even if you do remove the pit, the stem, and the leaves from cherries when asking can dogs eat cherries, it’s still important to understand that there are different ways of preparing cherries and different types of cherries that dogs can and cannot eat.
Types Of Cherries Dogs Can Eat
Most cherries without the pit and stem are safe for dogs to eat.
There are more than 1,000 types of cherries that are grown commercially in the United States for consumption.
Some of the most popular include:
- Bing Cherries
- Skeena Cherries
- Rainier Cherries
- Chelan Cherries
- Lambert Cherries
- Queen Anne Cherries
- Sweetheart Cherries
- Tulare Cherries
- Lapins Cherries
- Van Cherries
- Black Cherries
- Benton Cherries
- VBalaton Cherries
- Morello Cherries
- North Star Cherries
- And Montmorency Cherries
Can dogs eat cherries of the above variety? The answer is yes, when it comes to can dogs eat cherries, they can eat the flesh of any of the above types. In fact, most experts point out that dogs can eat the flesh of any of these types of cherries grown in the United States.
But only the flesh. Remember, cherry pits, stems, and leaves are toxic for dogs.
When given to your dog in moderation, cherries can actually have several health benefits for your canine counterpart.
Take a look!
Are There Any Benefits Of Cherries For Dogs?
Cherries can have some health benefits for dogs when shared with them safely.
Cherries are not only a tasty fruit, they are also one of the healthiest. When prepared properly for dogs, cherries can actually have quite a few benefits.
Of course, when asking yourself can dogs eat cherries, remember that, as with most human foods, dogs should only eat cherries in moderation.
On their own, cherries are loaded with nutrients, vitaminas, and minerals that could be very beneficial for your dog.
Some of these nutrients include:
- Vitamin c
- And Copper
Several benefits of cherries in moderation for dogs are listed below:
- Cherries may help improve the immune system
- Cherries can boost muscle recover after exercise
- Cherries can promote heart health
- Cherries can help reduce obesity
- Cherries can improve symptoms of arthritis and other joint issues
- Cherries can help improve sleep
- And Cherries have anti-inflammatory compounds
With all the health benefits, it is good news that dogs can eat most types of cherry flesh. But what about the types of cherries dogs should stay away from when asking can dogs eat cherries?
Let’s find out!
Types Of Cherries Dogs Should Not Eat
Maraschino cherries are loaded with sugar and should not be given to dogs.
Although we know that pits, leaves, and stems are not safe for dogs, we also know that the flesh of almost all cherries are safe and even packed with nutrients.
However, there is one exception to this that you should be aware of and that may come as a surprise.
When it comes to can dogs eat cherries, we already know that the pit is bad. So why can’t dogs eat maraschino cherries, which already have their pits removed?
Maraschino Cherries are the types of cherries you commonly find in sweet recipes or candies. They are also the cherries you’ll find in bar drinks or adorning cupcakes or ice cream cones.
Although maraschino cherries do have their pits removed, they are still not recommended for dogs.
Maraschino cherries, often made from rainier cherries, royal ann cherries, or gold variety cherries, are preserved and sweetened cherries that contain quite a bit of sugar and other ingredients that could be harmful for your dog.
If your dog does get a hold of a single maraschino cherry, he’s likely to be fine. However, he may also suffer from some gastrointestinal upset. If your dog eats several maraschino cherries, we recommend monitoring him for symptoms of illness and contacting your veterinarian.
Can dogs eat cherries that have been coated in candy or chocolate? This is a very obvious no, as sugar is not good for dogs and chocolate is actually toxic for dogs.
Canned cherries like cherry pie filling are also often coated in a sugary syrup. They usually contain other ingredients like preservatives that are unhealthy for our dogs and could make them sick. For this reason, it’s best to say no to canned cherries.
Whole Cherries With Their Pits, Stems, or Leaves
And of course, when asking can dogs eat cherries, never give your dog a whole cherry with the pit inside. While one whole cherry is not likely to make your dog dangerously sick, the pits could lead to intestinal blockages and other issues, especially if your dog is small.
If your dog did eat a whole cherry, read below for what to do next.
My Dog Swallowed A Whole Cherry! Now What?
If your dog ate a cherry pit by accident, it’s best to monitor him and contact your veterinarian.
If your dog did swallow one or two whole cherries, don’t worry. Your dog is likely going to be just fine and the pits are likely to simply pass through his digestive tract naturally.
However, several whole cherries could lead to symptoms of cyanide poisoning, so it is important to know the signs of this type of poisoning if your dog has gotten into a bag or bowl of whole cherries.
It’s also important to note that the smaller your dog is, the more at risk he is for suffering from intestinal blockages from cherry pits.
If your dog swallowed a cherry or two, watch for the following symptoms.
If your dog ate several whole cherries, we suggest contacting your veterinarian and watching for the following symptoms of cyanide poisoning.
- Bright red gums
- Difficulty breathing
- Dilated pupils
- And Hyperventilation
Luckily, cyanide poisoning from cherries in dogs is rare, especially if you are careful about where you keep cherries and you are aware of if your dog consumed cherries or not.
However, it can happen. Remember, cherries are sweet and can be enticing to dogs, even those who are picky eaters.
The best rule of thumb would be to ensure you keep cherries and discarded cherry pits out of reach of your dog and only provide your dog with the flesh of cherries when you are there and can monitor how much you are giving to your four-legged friend.
How To Prepare Cherries For Dogs Safely
Before you share cherries with your dog, be sure they are free of the pit, stem, and leaves.
While some forms of cherries can be unsafe for dogs, cherries given in the appropriate amount and cherries prepared the correct way can offer many health benefits to dogs.
Can dogs eat cherries raw or uncooked? Yes. One of the simplest ways to give cherries to your dog is to simply wash whole cherries and slice them into smaller pieces, remove the pit, stem, and leaves, and offer them to your dog in small amounts.
You can even dice the flesh of cherries and freeze them for frozen snacks during hot days, or mix them into your dog’s regular dog food for a tasty treat or dessert.
But when it comes to asking can dogs eat cherries, how many cherries can your dog eat a day?
While cherries do have health benefits, they are also a sweet and sugary fruit that can lead to digestive upset in your dog if he eats too many.
If you are giving your dog cherry flesh, only give them to him in moderation. This means that your dog should not consume bits of cherry that equal two or three whole cherries a day. And of course, the smaller your dog is, the less cherries he should consume in a single setting.
Can Dogs Eat Cherries? Other Fruits That Are Safe For Fido
Dogs can eat other fruits like apples and watermelon.
Can dogs eat cherries and other types of fruits? Actually, while there are some types of cherries that dogs should not eat and some forms of cherries dogs should stay away from, the cherry flesh can be safe for your dog.
Other types of fruits can also be safe, healthy, and tasty treats for your four-legged friend when prepared correctly and offered in moderation.
Are you wondering what other fruits your dog might enjoy along with cherries? Here are some of our favorite fruits for Fido.
Apples are rich in a number of vitamins and minerals, and they contain no fats while being high in fiber. Dogs can eat a number of different types of apples as well!
However, just as you would when you ask “can dogs eat cherries”, remember that whole apples are not safe for dogs.
Apple seeds also contain cyanide, and the stem can be unhealthy as well. However, the flesh of apples is perfectly safe, and a slice or two a day can have many benefits.
Pumpkin is incredibly beneficial for dogs, but only if it’s prepared correctly. Avoid pumpkin pie filler or sweetened or seasoned canned pumpkin.
Instead, choose pumpkin puree that is free of any added ingredients, seasonings, sweeteners, or preservatives.
Pumpkin is rich in fiber and can help alleviate stomach upset and digestive issues in dogs. You can also serve pumpkin to your dog raw, and dogs may even enjoy eating unseasoned cooked pumpkin seeds!
Strawberries are another tasty and healthy treat for dogs in moderation! Like many of the fruits on our list, strawberries contain a good amount of fiber and vitamin C, which can help boost your dog’s immune system and digestion.
These tasty fruits are also unique in that they even contain an enzyme that can help strengthen your dog’s teeth and freshen his breath!
However, just like cherries and many other fruits on this list, strawberries do have lots of sugar. So they are best only when given in moderation to your dog.
Bananas are a delicious fruit you can offer your dog, and we like that you can offer it in a few varieties. Some dogs will enjoy pieces of banana plain, but you can also use bananas to make homemade dog treats that are sweet and healthy at the same time.
However, dogs should only have a few small slices of bananas in a single serving, even large dogs. Bananas are high in sugar and this could lead to stomach upset. We should also note that banana peels should not be served to dogs as they can serve as choking hazards and lead to digestive issues.
Blueberries are not only incredibly healthy for people, but they are also quite beneficial for our pets. Blueberries contain antioxidant properties including flavonoids that help reduce inflammation, boost your dog’s immune system, reduce the risk of cancer, and more.
Blueberries are also low in calories and small, making them perfect and healthy treats for dogs in moderation.
However, remember that blueberries do contain a good amount of sugar. Too many blueberries in a single serving can lead to digestive upset, so keep this in mind.
Other Fruits You Can Share With Your Dog
Other fruits your dog may enjoy that might surprise you include blackberries, cantaloupe, kiwis, pears, rasberries, cranberries, oranges, and watermelon.
Fruits To Avoid Sharing With Your Dog
Avocados contain a toxin that could be harmful to your dog in large amounts.
Although many fruits are safe for dogs to eat, some are dangerous and even toxic for your dog. Just as you took precautions in looking up “can dogs eat cherries” it’s also important to look up other fruits you are thinking of sharing with your four-legged friend, especially if you’re not sure if the fruits are safe.
Some fruits that are not good for dogs are listed below.
Grapes and Raisins
Grapes and raisins are especially dangerous for dogs and, in some cases, deadly. For a long time the reason behind why grapes and raisins were so dangerous to dogs was a mystery, but recently the ASPCA announced that it is actually the tartaric acid in grapes that is known to lead to serious symptoms in dogs who consume these fruits.
Grapes are known to cause vomiting, diarrhea, and other serious symptoms in dogs. In very serious cases, grapes can even cause acute kidney failure.
If your dog does get into grapes or raisins, it’s important to monitor your dog for serious symptoms and to contact your veterinarian right away.
Can dogs eat cherries? The answer is yes and no, and the same is true for avocados. Avocados are fruits (as all fruits contain seeds), and while they are a healthy food for many people, they contain a fungicidal toxin known as persin, which is deadly to a number of different animals.
It has been found that dogs are more resistant to parsin than many other animals, though veterinarians still recommend dogs stay away. With that being said, if your dog ate a very small amount of avocado, it is not likely to harm him.
Last, we do not recommend that your dog consume tomatoes. Although the red and ripe tomatoes are likely safe, unripe tomatoes contain toxins that can be harmful to your dog if ingested.
While a small amount of ripe tomatoes will be fine, most experts suggest you just say no to sharing tomatoes with your furry family member altogether.
Dog Safe Products For Can Dogs Eat Cherries
Tart cherry extract can help enhance bone and joint health in your dog.
Can dogs eat cherries? Dogs can eat cherry flesh in moderation, and cherries can even offer several health benefits to dogs!
Cherries are even rich in anti-inflammatory properties and other nutrients that can help reduce symptoms of bone and joint issues like arthritis, as we mentioned above.
So it comes as no surprise that you might come across a number of dog treats and other products you can invest in that contain cherries when looking into can dogs eat cherries.
But which products are best? We have listed some of our favorites for you to consider below.
Hip Bones Cherry Treats
No products found.
We know cherries are great for dogs with hip and joint issues, which is why we like Hip Bones Cherry Treats by NatuVet.
These treats contain quality ingredients like tart cherry concentrate, calcium, and ground flaxseed to help enhance bone and joint health in adult dogs that are small to medium in size.
They are also full of other vitamins and minerals including amino acids, fatty acids, and even ingredients to help enhance dental health and freshen breath.
Wellness Petite Treats
No products found.
Wellness Petite Treats are a grain free dog treat that is ideal for breeds of all sizes and ages. They are made with all natural ingredients and are made with cherry, chicken, and spearmint. These treats are also crunchy, which many dogs enjoy.
We love that these treats are made with all natural ingredients and they don’t contain any by-products, artificial flavors, or preservatives, and they are not only ideal training treats, but they are great for dogs who struggle with sensitivities to grains.
We also like that these treats can help enhance a healthy skin and coat. Best of all, these chery treats for dogs are made by canine nutritionists.
Nutro Crunchy Natural Dog Treats
No products found.
These dog treats are made with a variety of mixed berries and fruits including blueberries, cranberries, and cherries. They are crunchy, tasty, and healthy for dogs, ideally suited for dogs who struggle with food allergies or sensitivities. You can order them in other recipes as well including apple, peanut butter, chicken and carrot, or banana.
Like most cherry treats you’ll find when looking up can dogs eat cherries, you will find that these traits are designed to help improve skin and coat health, and are even able to help promote healthy bones and joints.
NaturVet Hip Flex Soft Chews
No products found.
Large breed dogs are often more susceptible to hip, bone, and joint issues, which is why we recommend a glucosamine supplement for large breed dogs and dogs over the age of seven to help combat these types of skeletal issues.
The above bone and joint supplement by NaturVet is specifically designed for bone and joint health in dogs. It is made not only with tart cherry extract, but also other ingredients like omega fatty acids, glucosamine, and dark berry bio-actives. They also contain cranberries, which can help support a healthy bladder.
This product is ideal for large breed dogs, highly active dogs, and aging dogs. The supplements come in the form of soft chews that are sweet and tasty for dogs.
The Honest Kitchen Parmesan Pecks
No products found.
The above dog treats are mini dog treats that are wonderful for training or for simply spoiling your dog. These treats are made with natural ingredients and can come in several recipes including beef, parmesan and blueberry, chicken, parmesan and cranberry, or duck, parmesan and cherry.
We like that these treats are low in calories and are healthy for dogs and help promote all the things cherries can do including promoting a healthy immune system and stronger bones and joints.
So, Can Dogs Eat Cherries? Let’s Sum It Up!
Can dogs eat cherries? The answer is yes and no.
Asking can dogs eat cherries goes beyond just a simple yes or no answer. As we’ve covered, cherries can have both serious pros and serious cons.
Can Dogs Eat Cherries? Pros You Should Consider:
- Cherries are loaded with vitamins and minerals that can be good for dogs
- Cherries and cherry extract can help support a healthy heart and immune system
- Cherry extract and cherries can help promote healthy bones and joints in dogs
- Cherries are a low calorie snack that dogs will enjoy
- There are several ways to prepare cherries for your dog
Can Dogs Eat Cherries? Cons you Should Remember:
- Not all forms of cherries are safe for your dog
- Cherry pits, stems, and leaves contain cyanide
- Too many cherries can lead to digestive upset
- Dogs should only consume cherry flesh
- Dog parents must be extremely careful when giving cherries to their dogs
Can Dogs Eat Cherries? The bottom Line!
The bottom line? When giving your dog any human food, it’s important to do your research and speak with a professional if you’re ever unsure. And as always, be sure you are only sharing human foods with your dog in moderation.
So, what do you think about can dogs eat cherries? Would you share cherries with your dog or would you prefer to stick with other types of health fruits and treats for dogs?
Share your thoughts about can dogs eat cherries in the comment section below.
Jen Jones is a professional dog trainer and behavior specialist with more than 25 years of experience. As the founder of ‘Your Dog Advisor’ and the ‘Canine Connection’ rehabilitation center, she applies a holistic, empathetic approach, aiming to address root causes rather than merely treating symptoms.
Well known for her intuitive and compassionate approach, Jen adopts scientifically-proven, reward-based methods, encouraging positive reinforcement over punishment. Jen specializes in obedience training, behavior modification, and puppy socialization. Her innovative methods, particularly in addressing anxiety and aggression issues, have been widely recognized. Jen has worked with many of the world’s leading dog behaviorists and in her free time volunteers with local animal shelters and rescue groups.