Can Dogs Eat Cherries? Your Comprehensive Guide

can dogs eat cherries

Cherries are a delicious and nutritious treat for humans, but can your furry friend enjoy them too? While it may be tempting to share this fruity delight with your dog, there are important factors to consider before doing so.

Cherry pits, stems, and leaves contain cyanide, which is toxic to dogs. Ingesting these parts of the cherry can lead to cyanide poisoning and even intestinal blockages. It’s crucial to use extreme caution when it comes to feeding cherries to your beloved pet.

But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the risks and benefits of feeding cherries to dogs, how to safely incorporate them into their diet, and alternative treat options that are both safe and healthy.

Key Takeaways:

  • Cherries can be dangerous for dogs due to the presence of cyanide in pits, stems, and leaves.
  • Maraschino cherries, despite having the pits removed, are not safe for dogs due to their high sugar content.
  • Cyanide poisoning can occur if a dog ingests multiple cherries without pits.
  • It is best to consult with your vet before introducing cherries into your dog’s diet.
  • Alternative dog-safe fruits like strawberries, bananas, and blueberries can be healthier options for treats.

Are Cherries Safe for Dogs?

Unprocessed cherries can be a safe and healthy addition to your dog’s diet, but it’s important to be aware of the potential risks. Cherries are packed with antioxidants, melatonin, vitamin A, vitamin C, and fiber, which can offer numerous health benefits for dogs. However, it’s crucial to exercise caution and take necessary precautions to ensure your furry friend’s safety.

The primary risk associated with feeding cherries to dogs is the presence of cyanide in the pits, stems, and leaves. Cyanide is toxic to dogs and can cause severe health issues, including cyanide poisoning, intestinal blockages, and choking hazards. If your dog consumes these parts of the cherry, they may experience symptoms such as labored breathing, bright red gums, and dilated pupils, indicating potential cyanide toxicity.

To safely incorporate cherries into your dog’s diet, it’s essential to remove all pits, stems, and leaves before feeding them. Additionally, be mindful of the sugar content in cherries, as excessive consumption can contribute to upset stomach, obesity, and even diabetes in dogs. Prior to introducing cherries or any new food into your dog’s diet, it’s always wise to consult with your veterinarian for personalized guidance.

Benefits of Cherries for Dogs Risks of Feeding Cherries to Dogs
  • Rich in antioxidants and vitamins
  • Provides melatonin for better sleep and relaxation
  • Contains fiber for digestive health
  • Potential cyanide poisoning
  • Intestinal blockages
  • Choking hazards
  • High sugar content leading to upset stomach, obesity, and diabetes

Feeding cherries to your dog can offer various health benefits, but it’s crucial to remove all pits, stems, and leaves beforehand to avoid potential cyanide toxicity.

Remember, moderation is key when it comes to feeding cherries or any other treats to your dog. Treats should only make up 10% of their daily diet, while the remaining 90% should come from a balanced and nutritious dog food. If you notice any digestive issues, lack of appetite, or other concerning symptoms in your dog after consuming cherries, contact your veterinarian for further guidance.

How to Safely Feed Your Dog Cherries

When it comes to feeding cherries to your dog, it’s important to take certain precautions to ensure their safety. By following these guidelines, you can enjoy cherries as a treat for your furry friend without putting them at risk of harm.


Start by selecting fresh, unprocessed cherries that are free from any stems, leaves, or pits. It’s essential to wash the cherries thoroughly before offering them to your dog. Once cleaned, cut the cherries into small, bite-sized pieces that are easy for your pup to chew and swallow.

Serving Size:

The recommended number of cherries to feed your dog depends on their size. For smaller breeds, one to two cherries should suffice, while larger dogs can safely consume a handful. Remember that cherries should only make up a small portion of your dog’s diet—around 10%. The remaining 90% should come from a balanced dog food diet.


After your dog has enjoyed some cherries, keep a close eye on them for any signs of digestive distress. Watch for symptoms such as diarrhea, vomiting, lack of appetite, lethargy, or a distended stomach. If you notice any of these symptoms, it’s essential to contact your veterinarian for advice and guidance.

Dog Size Recommended Number of Cherries
Small Breeds 1-2 cherries
Medium to Large Breeds A handful of cherries

Note: The table above provides general guidance for feeding cherries to dogs. However, it’s always best to consult with your veterinarian before introducing any new food into your dog’s diet.

By following these guidelines, you can safely feed your dog cherries as an occasional treat. However, it’s important to remember that cherries should not replace a balanced and nutritious dog food diet. If you’re unsure about whether cherries are suitable for your dog, consulting with your vet is always a wise decision.

safe fruits for dogs

Alternatives to Feeding Cherries to Your Dog

While cherries can be potentially problematic for dogs, there are alternative options for providing them with safe and healthy treats. Instead of feeding cherries, you can consider making homemade treats using other dog-safe fruits like strawberries, bananas, and blueberries. These fruits offer similar nutritional benefits without the risks associated with cherries.

Additionally, there are commercially available dog treats made specifically for dogs that provide a variety of flavors and textures while ensuring their safety. It is always important to read labels and choose treats that are specifically formulated for dogs. Regularly consulting with your vet can also help guide you in finding safe and healthy snack options for your furry friend.

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