Can dogs Eat Cherries?
Pet owners often like sharing their meals with their four-legged buddies but have doubts like, can dogs eat cherries? The short answer is yes, but under strict supervision.
Are Cherry Pits Bad for Dogs?
Cherry pits or stems might prove hazardous, as they contain cyanide, which is poisonous and potentially lethal if consumed in high quantities. Therefore, never feed your pup the whole cherry, only the flesh of this delicious little fruit is edible for dogs.
Read on to know how you can safely treat your canine to this yummy fruit.
Nutritional Facts About Cherries
Cherry is a storehouse of Vitamin C, B6, magnesium, and potassium. Given below is its nutritional value per serving (one cup or 154 grams):
- Calories: 97
- Protein: 2 g
- Fat: < 1 g
- Carbohydrates: 24 g
- Fiber: 3 g
- Sugar: 20 g
Benefits of Cherries For Dogs
- Digestive Properties – Cherries carry a high fiber count that can boost your dog’s good gut bacteria, aiding digestion. It creates a feeling of satiety, regulates intestinal transit, and helps maintain intestinal microbiota and stool consistency.
- Anti-inflammatory Properties – Senior dogs often succumb to arthritis which can be extremely painful for our four-legged friends. Cherries carry excellent anti-inflammatory properties to keep your canine’s cartilage, muscles, and tissue in tip-top shape.
- Regulate Sleep Cycle – It is believed that cherry fruit contains an adequate level of melatonin which helps regulate the dog’s sleep-wake cycle. This sugary snack can be a gift from heaven for your hyperactive and sleep-deprived doggy as you substitute it for cookies. It is also believed that melatonin controls heart rhythms and reduces canine blood pressure.
- Antioxidant-Rich – Cherries reduce your dog’s chances of succumbing to chronic illnesses courtesy of their antioxidant load. The cell-defending attribute of antioxidants helps tackle cell damage triggered by oxidative stress in canines.
- Moderate In Calories – Cherries have an average caloric value compared to other fruits. You can use it as a treat since it doesn’t require much energy-burning post-consumption.
- Improved Eye Health – Vitamin A in cherries can strengthen and sharpen your dog’s vision.
- Improved Immune System – Vitamin C increases the efficacy of white blood cells in your canine’s body, strengthening their immune system and benefits their overall well-being.
- Rich In Potassium – Cherries have a high potassium count, which helps strengthen various bodily functions, including blood vessel functioning, muscle development, and electrolyte replacement.
- Rich In Magnesium – Magnesium is essential for protein production, proper absorption of vitamins, and bone growth in dogs.
- Rich In Iron – Iron is necessary to adequately function the canine body’s enzymes and create hemoglobin for oxygen transport in the blood.
When Are Cherries Bad for Dogs?
Cherries are delicious, yet they can do more harm than good if fed incorrectly to dogs. Read all the possible dangers listed below before you let your canine eat a bowl of cherries:
- Stomach Troubles – Those wondering, if dogs can eat cherries, need to understand that overeating can induce tummy ache or an upset stomach. This also holds if it’s your canine’s first time tasting this fruit.
- Sugar-Related Diseases – Though this little red fruit offers tons of goodness, it carries a high sugar count. Dogs have a natural affinity toward sugary foods, and excess consumption can cause tummy problems, obesity, tooth cavities, and even diabetes. Pet parents need to think twice before letting their canines consume maraschino cherries that carry low nutritional value, are artificially colored, and have high sugar content.
- Intestinal Blockages – You should remove cherry fruit seeds, pits, and stems for your pet’s risk-free munching session. These can be hard for your pet to digest and can lead to intestinal blockages by getting stuck on your dog’s digestive tract and airways. The obstruction is most common among smaller breeds and occurs within 24 hours of swallowing a cherry or pits. Pet parents need to monitor symptoms like constipation, reduced appetite, less pooping, and vomiting and contact the vet immediately.
- Cyanide Poisoning – Dogs run at serious risk of facing cyanide toxicity. Cherry pits have a compound called amygdalin which converts to cyanide when crushed or chewed on by our dogs. Though the flesh is safe for consumption, the leaves, pits, and stems contain hazardous toxins. If you have a cherry tree in your backyard, you should keep your dogs away as the plants produce hydrogen cyanide which can prove deadly for your dog. Some symptoms of cyanide poisoning are dilated pupils, difficulty breathing, convulsions, salivation, and bright red gums.
- Tooth Damage – Your pooch might injure its teeth on consuming cherry pits, causing pain and discomfort.
ٰFrequently Asked Questions – FAQs
What Are Some Good Alternatives To Cherries?
Apple slices without seeds and skin, strawberries, bananas without peel, oranges without stem, seeds or pulp, carrots in a non-choking size, and blueberries serve as excellent alternatives to cherries. These fruits are rich in enzymes that can help whiten your canine’s teeth. Pet parents who are concerned about their canine’s dental health can consider these cherry-free treats.
How To Give Cherries To My Dog?
- Wash them thoroughly with water to remove all traces of contaminants or pesticides present on their surface.
- Next, remove their stem and cut them into small slices to avoid your pet from choking.
What To Do If My Dog Swallows A Whole Cherry?
Your dog might swallow a whole cherry while you aren’t looking. However, this isn’t a cause to panic as your canine won’t get cyanide poisoning from a single cherry pit. On the contrary, you should look out for signs like decreased appetite, vomiting, constipation, and decreased fecal production. These symptoms might take up to 24 hours to appear and the chances of intestinal blockage increase in smaller dogs on swallowing a small pit. However, if your dog eats multiple cherries, then there is adequate reason to worry about the canine falling prey to cyanide poisoning. Each pit contains nearly 0.2 grams of cyanide. The symptoms include bright red gums, labored breathing, and dilated pupils. If your pooch consumes multiple cherries without pits, consult your vet at the earliest as a precaution as he can decide the best course of action like inducing vomiting to prevent cyanide poisoning.
How Many Cherries Are Considered Toxic For Dogs?
While feeding just one or two cherries won’t induce any harm to your dog, you need to make sure your pet doesn’t find its way into a bag of cherries as the pit contains toxic cyanide. Regular consumption of cherries can be hazardous for your dogs. Rather, you can include cherry in their diet sporadically, like as a reward or treat during training. You can provide a maximum of 2 to 4 cherries depending on the size of your dog once a week.
Are Ground Cherries Safe For Dogs?
Ground cherries, also known as nightshades contain solanine and other forms of solanidine alkaloids which can be poisonous to your pooch. These compounds are found in the leaves and flesh of the fruit and should be avoided by pets and humans altogether.
What Type Of Cherries Can You Feed Your Dog?
Cherries are of different types including rainier, black, and maraschino. While Maraschino/ Glacé cherries don’t have a pit, they have a high sugar count which isn’t suitable for canines. These cherries can cause stomach aches and oral distress while putting your pooch at risk for obesity and diabetes. Processed, dried, or syrup-laden cherries contain added sugar, colors, and additives which can be dangerous for your dog.
Keeping your dog happy is extremely important. However, you shouldn’t sacrifice your canine’s health. If you wish to feed your dog cherries, you should stick to organic and natural ones. Artificial foods like cherry candies, cherry pie, cherry pastries, cherry ice cream, and chocolate-covered cherries should be avoided at all costs.