Can My Dog Eat Cherries?
Picture this: you’re busy in the kitchen, baking a cake and making ice cream. Ingredients are spread all over the countertop and table. In comes your dog snooping around, looking for something to steal and snack on.
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Your pet finds a basket full of bright red cherries and goes for it. After a while, you notice they are acting strange, so you bring them to the vet.
Thanks to the vet, you find out the whole basket of cherries they ate was the culprit.
Use Extreme Caution When Feeding Dogs Cherries
Cherries are delicious and healthy. You love eating them, but can you give them to your dog? Vets would recommend against it.
The main danger of giving your dogs cherries is that the stems, leaves, and pits contain cyanide, a poisonous substance that can be potentially lethal when consumed in high quantities.
Cherries are also likely to get lodged in your pet’s digestive tract, causing intestinal blockages.
You might be wondering if you can give them maraschino cherries since the pits have been removed. Maraschino cherries may not have pits, but they are still not ideal because they are sweetened with tons of refined sugar.
What now? Can you give your dog cherries or not?
Can my dog eat cherries? The answer is generally NO, but it’s actually more complicated than that. The risks far outweigh the benefits.
Can Dogs Eat Cherries?
While most people don’t recommend cherries, the flesh of the cherry is actually safe to feed to your dog. Cherries are packed with Vitamin A, Vitamin C, antioxidants, and fiber. They are nourishing for dogs. However, the flesh of the cherry may result in an upset stomach.
Like we said before, it’s the stems, leaves, and pit that all have cyanide, which is toxic when ingested in large quantities. While one piece of a cherry pit or stem is not enough to cause poisoning in dogs, there is no reason to risk it. Pits may also cause intestinal obstruction.
Potential Side Effects of Giving Your Dog Cherries
Cherries may be nutritious, but feeding them to your dog may put their health at risk. Here are the cons of giving your dog cherries:
- High levels of sugar. Dogs love flavorful food (especially sweet flavors), so they might enjoy cherries. However, cherries should be a special, occasional treat for your pet dog. You shouldn’t feed your dog cherries often because of their high sugar content.
- The seeds and stems contain toxins. If you don’t remove the stems and seeds, these might pass through your dog’s digestive tract whole, making them ill.
- Intestinal obstruction. If pits, stems, or other parts of the cherry build up in the digestive tract, it can cause severe obstruction.
- Rotting fruit might make your dog drunk. Since cherries contain so much sugar, they are prone to fermentation. This means that rotten cherries can hold a moderate amount of alcohol. Ingesting rotten cherries or fermenting fruit may cause your dog dizziness from alcohol.
- May damage teeth. Cherry pits are quite hard and can potentially damage your dog’s teeth.
How Can Cherries Be Bad for Dogs?
It is harmful to feed your dog large quantities of cherries.
Aside from cyanide poisoning, cherry pits may cause intestinal blockages when they accumulate. Symptoms include vomiting, straining to defecate, reduced appetite, and low fecal production.
First-time cherry eaters can experience gastrointestinal upset. Vomiting and diarrhea may occur because the digestive system cannot adequately process the new food.
Processed cherries contain large quantities of sugar, which could potentially increase your dog’s insulin levels. This is followed by a tremendous drop in their blood sugar, making your dog lethargic despite being fed repeatedly.
The Nutritional Value of Cherries for Dogs
Listed below are the nutrients found in cherries that can benefit dogs:
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin E
Your dog needs all of these vitamins and minerals. Let’s explore the health benefits below.
Health Benefits of Cherries for Dogs
- Anthocyanin, an antioxidant found in cherries, helps strengthen your dog’s immune system. It may also minimize degenerative conditions like cardiovascular disease, canine arthritis, and even canine cancers.
- Vitamin A is good for the eyesight. It can sharpen your pet’s vision. It also promotes overall eye health in dogs.
- Vitamin C also enhances the immune system.
- The melatonin in cherries is a good antioxidant. It helps regulate your dog’s sleep and wake cycles. It may also help lower blood pressure.
- The fiber in cherries can aid weight loss.
- The potassium in cherries helps strengthen many bodily functions, including blood vessel performance, electrolyte replacement, and muscle development.
- Cherries contain large quantities of magnesium, which your dog’s body requires for proper nutrient absorption. It also helps protein production and bone growth in dogs.
- The iron in cherries is essential for the manufacture of hemoglobin for oxygen transport.
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How Many Cherries Can Dogs Eat?
You can feed your dog cherries, but only in small amounts. They should only be given cherries as an occasional special treat because of the potential risks.
Are Cherries Good for Dogs?
Generally, cherries are good for dogs, but only in moderation. You should proceed with extreme caution when you prepare them as treats.
How to Give Your Dog Cherries
You should give your dog fresh cherries. Stay away from processed cherries.