Can Dogs Eat Cherries?
Cherries are a delicious addition to your evening drink. But are cherries safe for dogs to eat? How about if they eat one or two cherries? When should you panic?
If your dog eats the flesh, you don't need to worry. It's the pits, stems and leaves that contain cyanide. These parts are potentially toxic to dogs if ingested in large quantities.
Despite this, there are some health benefits for your dog. Containing vitamins A and C, fibre and antioxidants, dogs can have cherries, in small amounts. So, as a rare treat, a couple of pitted cherries can provide some sweet nutrients to your dog's food.
Nonetheless, unpitted cherries aren't risk-free. It's possible your dog might experience an upset stomach, even if they only eat a few. If they do, stop giving cherries to your dog.
The more cherries your dog eats, the higher the risk of cyanide toxicity.
Symptoms of cyanide poisoning in dogs include:
- Bright red gums
- Difficulty breathing
- Dilated pupils
- Stomach upset
Large quantities can be toxic and cause cherry poisoning in dogs. So it's usually best to avoid cherries to reduce the risk of poisoning. Thus, don't allow your dog access to a cherry tree in the garden; it's an unnecessary hazard.
- A single cherry stone is not sufficient to cause cyanide poisoning. However, the pit could cause an intestinal blockage.
- Maraschino cherries in drinks are loaded with sugar. Too much sugar could cause digestive issues, obesity or diabetes. So whilst dogs are allowed cherries, it's better to avoid this specific type.
- Cherry flavoured foods are usually full of added sugars, artificial flavouring, and chemicals. These are not good for dogs.
The cherry pits or cherry stones pose a choking hazard and a potential obstruction in the digestive tract. If dogs eat cherries, then a blockage could occur even after 24 hours post-ingestion.
If your dog ate cherries, then monitor for several days. Clinical signs of intestinal blockages include vomiting, constipation, and decreased appetite.
The level of cyanide in a small number of cherries is unlikely to do severe damage. A more common problem is choking, intestinal obstruction or stomach upset in dogs.
Contact a vet if you witness any signs of cherry poisoning in dogs.