In this article, you will know the answer to the query “Can Dogs Eat Cherries? 10 Benefits and 4 Side Effects“.
Cherries are a favorite of many people when they are raw, prepared, or part of a dessert. Dogs can eat cherries too, so are cherries safe to consume by them?
Do cherries have any side effects on dogs and what are the health benefits?
Dogs shouldn’t eat cherries?
Here’s what we found.
Those wondering if they can feed their dog cherries should know that dogs can eat them, provided they are prepared properly and given in moderation.
Despite being full of great nutrients for both humans and dogs, giving dogs too many cherries or feeding them cherries that are not appropriate to their health can have negative effects on their health.
All of that is great, but why are dogs able to eat cherries and what are the benefits?
What are cherries?
A cherry is a type of summer fruit that belongs to the Prunus family, the same one as plums, apricots, and peaches. The two most common types of cherries are tart cherries (or Montmorency cherries) and sweet cherries (big cherries).
Raw or cooked, they are often used in pies and other desserts.
The Montmorency tart cherry can be seen on the right.
A (big) sweet cherry can be seen on the left.
This is because both cherries differ in their sugar content, which, in turn, affects their taste.
The big sweet cherries are, of course, sweeter and tastier.
We will cover the Montmorency tart cherries in this article, as they have been studied most extensively in terms of health benefits.
Cherries are best for your dog if you choose tart cherries because they have potential health benefits and have a lower natural sugar content.
Let’s talk about some of the facts about giving cherries to dogs, whether it’s okay for them to eat cherries, and why that’s the case.
Let’s dive deeper into the topic of whether dogs can eat cherries and why they may even benefit from eating this tasty berry fruit.
Can Dogs Eat Cherries?
Cherries can be eaten by dogs as long as they are properly prepared and fed in strict moderation. It’s important that you don’t overdo it with any dog food. Cherry pitted dog foods are recommended. Cherry pits contain cyanide, which makes them toxic in large quantities.
The following nutrients and vitamins are found in cherries that are most beneficial to dogs:
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin E
Cherries are packed with all of the essential vitamins and minerals your dog needs to stay healthy.
Hopefully, this answers the question can dogs eat cherries, but some owners may be curious about how exactly these nutrients can benefit their dog’s health?
Are cherries bad for dogs?
The flesh does not pose any health risks to dogs in small amounts. Despite this, whole cherries with the pit as well as the leaves can be toxic.
10 Health Benefits of Cherries for Dogs
So now you know that dogs can eat cherries, and if you do feed your dog cherries, do so sparingly and as an occasional treat.
You may provide your dog with the following ten health benefits by doing so:
1. Antioxidants reduce cell damage and help prevent diseases
Anthocyanins are antioxidants that strengthen dogs’ immune systems and may even reduce degenerative conditions like canine arthritis, cardiovascular disease, heart conditions, and possibly even cancer in dogs.
2. Vitamin A helps promote eye health
The health benefits of vitamin A are well known, but those relating to the eyes are of particular importance. Dogs may benefit from Vitamin A because it can sharpen and strengthen their vision as well as promote their overall eye health.
3. Vitamin C improves and strengthens the immune system
Vitamin C in cherries will promote the function of white blood cells in a dog’s body in the same way that anthocyanins do. The immune system of your dog is strengthened and his overall health is improved. It is for this reason that dogs should not be concerned about whether they can eat cherries, as vitamin C will greatly benefit their health.
4. Melatonin promotes healthy sleep patterns and heart health
Fruits like cherries are among the very few foods that contain melatonin.
As an antioxidant, melatonin helps to regulate sleep and wake cycles in dogs (the circadian rhythm). Besides lowering blood pressure and controlling heart rhythms, melatonin may also help dogs sleep better.
Some studies have also shown that big sweet cherries may improve heart health.
5. Cherries may help to prevent diabetes
The high antioxidant content of cherries is another good reason for dog owners to wonder if dogs can eat cherries – it may help improve canine diabetes management or reduce the risk of diabetes in dogs in general. Since cherries still contain fructose, it is important not to overfeed dogs on cherries.
6. Cherries have fiber that helps with weight loss and maintenance
Cherry (as well as many other fruits and vegetables) contain dietary fiber, which promotes weight loss and healthy weight management in dogs, among many other benefits related to digestion and digestive health.
By ensuring that your dog consumes enough fiber in his diet, you will be helping to regulate his digestive system, including his bowel movements.
7. Cherries can help reduce joint inflammation
Several studies have demonstrated that cherries have anti-inflammatory properties (see this, this, and this).
When tart cherries are given in sufficient quantity (yet in a moderate amount), active and especially older dogs can benefit from their anti-inflammatory properties.
Many owners have been wondering if dogs can eat cherries, and how this will affect their internal health, so the answer is that cherries are beneficial to them in the long run. However, big sweet cherries do not have the same anti-inflammatory properties.
8. Potassium, a vital nutrient, is found in cherries
Cherry juice still has a good amount of potassium, even though bananas have a better source. A dog’s body functions are strengthened with potassium, including muscle development, blood vessel function, and electrolyte replacement.
9. Cherries are a significant source of magnesium
Magnesium is another mineral found in tart cherries. The body of a dog requires magnesium for many functions, including the absorption of vitamins and production of protein.
10. Cherries contain iron needed for healthy body function
Cherries are also rich in iron, a mineral of vital importance. Iron is needed by the dog’s enzymes to work properly as well as to create hemoglobin for oxygen transport in the blood, among many other health benefits.
Is it safe for dogs to eat cherries? The answer is a resounding yes, and cherries provide a good amount of nutrition and vitamins for dogs. Here are some of the benefits of sweet cherries:
“So can I give my dog cherries?”
Cherries can benefit your dog’s health in significant ways, so you can give them cherries.
It shouldn’t be too difficult to feed cherries to dogs if they are asking if they can eat them.
Cherry treats are only appropriate if they are prepared carefully and fed in moderation as occasional treats, and there is a good reason for that (I’ll explain below).
Bottom line:. Small amounts of cherries are safe for dogs to eat. Cherries are sweet, so dogs like to eat them, but it’s important not to overfeed them.
4 Potential Side Effects of Cherries for Dogs
Cherry treats for dogs should only be given in small quantities and as occasional treats.
Cherries can have side effects on your dog if you feed them in large quantities or too often.
To answer your question, can dogs eat cherries safely, here are some potential side effects and health precautions about feeding cherries to dogs:
1. Cherry pits, seeds, and leaves are toxic to dogs
One thing you should know: cherry pits contain cyanide, which is both toxic and deadly not only to dogs, but also to humans. Cyanide can also be found in cherry seeds and leaves, so be sure to clean and de-pit cherries before feeding them to your dog.
Intoxication with cyanide prevents vital enzymes from transporting oxygen to the blood cells. The amount of cyanide the human body can tolerate before being poisoned is greater than that of the dog.
The most common symptoms of cyanide poisoning are inadequate oxygen levels, bright reddish gums, trouble breathing, and dilated pupils. In case your dog exhibits any of these symptoms or if you know that your dog ate cherry pits, seeds, or leaves, you need to take him to the vet immediately.
2. Cherry pits can cause obstructions and blockages
Cherry pits present more problems than just cyanide, however.
Although cherry pits are small, they can lodge in a dog’s gastrointestinal tract, resulting in an emergency situation that requires your dog to undergo surgery.
Symptoms of obstruction include vomiting, low fecal production, straining, and refusal to eat.
3. Cherries can cause gastrointestinal upset
Large amounts of cherries (and sometimes even the introduction of cherries into the dog’s diet for the first time) may cause your canine to experience stomach upset.
Additionally, dogs may experience mild vomiting, decreased appetite, and diarrhea since cherries are a new food that they are not designed to eat. You should give your dog very small amounts of cherries if you want to give him cherries.
4. Sugary forms of processed cherries can elevate blood sugar
Last but not least, it’s important to remember that only natural cherries for dogs are safe.
Cherry juice in jars, dried cherries, processed cherries, and cherries canned in sugary juice all contain added processed sugar (on top of the natural sugars in cherries). Don’t give your dog any cherry product other than natural.
These sugary foods may cause dogs’ blood sugar levels to spike, leading to an increase in insulin. Eventually, blood sugar levels drop suddenly. This situation may cause dogs to become lethargic, sick, or extremely hungry.
How do you handle a dog that swallows a whole cherry?
Can dogs eat cherry pie, maraschino cherries, or depitted cherries?
In short, dogs can eat cherries, but in my opinion, you should avoid feeding them processed human foods because dogs cannot process carbohydrates as well as humans do.
Since cherries are high in sugar, it is recommended that they eat depitted cherries in moderation. Cherry flesh has many health benefits.
Maraschino cherries are allowed in small amounts, but no more than that. In addition to being high in sugar, cherries also spike insulin levels, which impair the body’s ability to metabolize fat.
How many cherries are toxic to dogs?
You shouldn’t worry about your dog’s health if they eat one or two cherries a day.
Be sure to not put them in a bag of cherries since they contain cyanide, which is toxic.
Are ground cherries safe for dogs?
The cherries are nightshades (poisonous berries) that contain solanine and other forms of solanidine alkaloids.
These compounds are poisonous, and when the fruit is not ripe, they are found in the flesh and leaves in deadly quantities.
The berries should not be consumed by humans, pets, or livestock.
Can Dogs Eat Cherries?
Cherry pits, seeds, and leaves should be removed, and cherries should be fed in very small quantities and only as an occasional treat.
If you’re wondering if dogs can eat cherries, fear no more – cherries may be beneficial to dogs’ health in many ways, including cancer prevention, diabetes prevention, improved sleep patterns, weight management, and better joint mobility in active and senior dogs.
You should be aware of the potential side effects of giving cherries to dogs in too large quantities or not preparing them properly (e.g., leaving pits, seeds, and leaves on the ground).
If you want to read more about dog food tips, read here: Dog Food Tips and Tricks.