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Can Dogs Eat Cherries?

Updated: 4 days ago

can dogs eat cherries

Can dogs eat cherries?


As the proud parents of our furry family, we often wonder about their dietary habits.

Can they enjoy the same fruits that we do?

Today, we're focusing on a specific fruit that's a favourite for many of us—the cherry.

Cherries come in various forms—fresh, glazed, laced, dried, frozen, black, and even maraschino.

But the question remains: Can our dogs eat cherries without pits or seeds?

This article will explore this topic in-depth, referencing expert opinions from organisations like the RSPCA.

So, let's dive in and find out if cherries are safe for our furry family.

hand holding cherries, can dogs eat cherries

The Curiosity of Dogs and Cherries  


With their keen sense of smell and natural curiosity, dogs are often attracted to new and exciting scents and tastes.

Cherries, particularly fresh and glazed ones, can appeal to them.

Fresh cherries have a sweet and tangy aroma that can pique a dog's interest.

Their bright red colour can also be visually appealing to dogs, who see the world in shades of blue and yellow.

Glazed cherries, on the other hand, are often used in baking and confectionery.

The added sugars and sweet taste can make these cherries even more enticing to dogs.

However, it's important to note that while these cherries might be attractive to dogs, they may not be the best choice for their diet. 

can dogs eat cherries

Understanding Cherry Components  


Cherries are not just a delicious fruit.

They are composed of several components, each with its own characteristics.

Let's delve into these components and understand their effects on dogs.

Pits and Seeds:

The pit is the hard stone-like part in the middle of the cherry containing the seed.

These are potentially harmful to dogs.

They contain cyanide, a poisonous material that, if consumed in big enough doses, can seriously harm a dog's health.

Moreover, the hard pits can also pose a choking hazard or cause intestinal blockage.

Glace Cherries:

Glace cherries are candied cherries preserved in a sugar solution, then heated and coated with sugar syrup.

While they might be a delicious addition to our cakes and desserts, they are unsuitable for dogs.

Diabetes and other health problems, as well as obesity, might result from the high sugar content.

Maraschino Cherries:

Various cherries, known as maraschino cherries, are preserved in a flavorful sugar syrup, sometimes with food colouring.

Like glace cherries, maraschino cherries are also high in sugar and not recommended for dogs.

While cherries might seem harmless and tasty, not all components are safe for our furry family.

It's always best to consult a veterinarian before introducing new foods into your dog's diet.

bowl of cherries, can dogs eat cherries

Potential Risks of Cherries for Dogs  


While tasty and nutritious for humans, Cherries can present several risks to dogs.

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) highlights these potential hazards.

Cyanide Poisoning: 

When consumed, cyanogenic glycosides found in cherries' pits, stems, and leaves can produce cyanide.

Symptoms of cyanide poisoning in dogs include red mucous membranes, dilated pupils, difficulty breathing, panting, and shock.

Choking Hazard: 

The pits of cherries can pose a choking hazard as they are hard and may become lodged in a dog's throat or digestive tract, causing choking or obstruction.

Digestive Upset: 

Consumption of cherries may lead to digestive upset in dogs, resulting in vomiting or diarrhoea.

Tooth Decay: 

Cherries are high in sugar, which can contribute to tooth decay in dogs over time.

The flesh of cherries may be safe for dogs in moderation.

Still, the potential risks associated with other parts of the fruit make it generally unsafe.

It's advisable to consult a veterinarian before introducing cherries or any new food into your dog's diet.

small dog eating cherries, can dogs eat cherries

Small Dog Breeds and Cherries  


The Risk of Cherries

Cherries contain cyanogenic glycosides, which can convert into cyanide when ingested.

This can lead to cyanide poisoning, which manifests as laboured breathing, bright red gums, and dilated pupils.

However, a dog would need to consume a large quantity of cherries and specifically chew the pits for this to be a concern.

Extra Small Dogs

Even one cherry pit can pose a risk for small dogs under 10 lbs.

The pit can cause an intestinal blockage, a severe health concern.

Therefore, if a small dog consumes a cherry, monitoring them for any signs of distress is essential.

Prevention and Care

Pet owners play a crucial role in determining their pets' diets.

Understanding which foods are risk-free for dogs to eat and which might be harmful is critical.

It is advisable to remove the pits from cherries before feeding them to your dog.

Suppose your small dog has consumed a cherry pit. In that case, it's important not to panic but to monitor them closely and consult a vet if necessary.

bowl of cherries, can dogs eat cherries

Cherries Without Pits and Seeds  


Regarding dogs eating cherries, the primary concern lies with the pits and seeds.

These parts of the cherry contain cyanogenic glycosides, which can release cyanide when ingested.

The hard pits can also pose a choking hazard or cause intestinal blockage.

However, if the pits and seeds are removed, the flesh of the cherry itself is not toxic to dogs.

In fact, cherries are packed with nutrients like antioxidants and vitamins that can benefit dogs.

But it's important to remember that cherries also contain sugar, and too much can lead to health issues like obesity and dental problems.

So, if you want to give your dog cherries, remove the pits and seeds first.

Limiting the amount to avoid excessive sugar intake is also a good idea.

As usual, it's best to introduce novel foods to your dog's diet gradually and under a vet's supervision.

can dogs eat cherries

The UK Perspective  


In the UK, there are no specific regulations regarding dogs and cherries.

Still, there are general guidelines and common practices that pet owners follow for the safety of their dogs.

The consensus among UK pet experts is that while cherry flesh is safe for dogs, the pits, stems, and leaves are not.

These parts contain cyanogenic glycosides, which can release cyanide when ingested. This can lead to cyanide poisoning, which is a serious health concern.

Therefore, if UK pet owners choose to give their dogs cherries, they typically ensure that the pits and stems are removed first.

Some UK pet food companies even offer dog foods or treats that contain safe amounts of cherry flesh.

However, many UK pet owners avoid cherries altogether due to the potential risks and opt for safer fruits.

So, while there are no specific regulations in the UK regarding dogs and cherries, the common practice is to prioritise the safety and health of the dogs.

picnic with cherries, can dogs eat cherries

Alternatives to Cherries  


Because of their pits and seeds, cherries can be a dangerous treat for dogs, but many other fruits are safe and healthy substitutes.

Here are some recommendations:

Dried Apricots:

Dried apricots are a wonderful swap for cherries.

They may make a tasty dog treat high in vitamins and minerals.

But because they contain a lot of sugar, they should be given in moderation, just like any other snack.

Frozen Blueberries:

Frozen blueberries are another excellent choice.

They are antioxidants and can provide a refreshing treat on a hot day.

Plus, their small size makes them a safe option for dogs of all sizes.

Black Plums:

With their pits removed, they can also be a good alternative. They are high in vitamin C and fibre, making them a nutritious treat for dogs.

Remember, always remove any pits or seeds first to prevent choking hazards.

cherries in a pot, can dogs eat cherries

Expert Opinions  


Professional opinions are pretty important when determining whether cherries are safe for dogs.

Here are some insights from veterinarians and experts on the topic:

Cyanide Toxicity: Veterinary toxicologists emphasise that the risk of cyanide toxicity from cherries depends on the dog's size and whether they chew the stones.

RSPCA's View: The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) has listed cherries as one of the unsafe foods for dogs. This is mainly due to the cyanide in cherries' stems, leaves, and pits.

Health Benefits: Despite the risks, cherries can offer some health benefits. They are among the healthiest foods in the world and are well-known for their exceptional antioxidant content.

However, everything that isn't the flesh of the cherry is toxic.

faqs can dogs eat cherries?

Can dogs eat cherries?

Dogs can eat cherries, but removing the pits and seeds first is crucial, as they can be harmful.

The RSPCA advises against feeding cherries to dogs due to the risk of cyanide toxicity from the pits and seeds.

Can dogs eat glace cherries?

Glace cherries are not recommended for dogs.

Even though the pits and seeds are usually removed, dogs may not benefit from glace cherries due to their high sugar content and possible chemicals.

Can dogs eat cherries in the UK?

In the UK, dogs can eat cherries, but like elsewhere, ensuring they are free of pits and seeds is essential.

UK pet owners should also be mindful of the portion size and frequency when feeding cherries to their dogs.

Can dogs eat cherries without pits?

Yes, dogs can eat cherries without pits. However, moderation is vital, and it is best to consult with a veterinarian before adding cherries to your dog's diet.

Can dogs eat cherries without seeds?

Cherries without seeds are safer for dogs to consume than those with seeds. Still, due to their sugar content, they should be given in moderation.

Can dogs eat glazed cherries?

Glazed cherries, like glace cherries, are heavy in sugar and may cause dogs dental problems and obesity.

Therefore, they should be avoided or offered in minimal quantities as an occasional treat.

It is always best to consult a veterinarian for advice on feeding dogs human foods, including various cherries.

cherries on tree, can dogs eat cherries

Final Thoughts


The key points from the blog about safe diets for pets are:

  • Nutritional Balance: A balanced diet tailored to the pet's age, breed, and health is crucial for their well-being.

  • Quality Ingredients: Opt for high-quality, species-appropriate ingredients to ensure optimal health.

  • Avoiding Toxins: Be aware of foods toxic to pets, such as chocolate and grapes, and keep them out of reach.

  • Regular Check-ups: Regular veterinary check-ups can help detect dietary deficiencies or excesses.

We must be informed and cautious about what we feed our furry family members.

Disclaimer: This article is intended for educational and informational purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for veterinary advice. For specific veterinary dog health advice, contact a veterinary pet healthcare provider.

Before you go...!

Check out these related articles for your small dog's food here:

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mary puppins can dogs eat cherries

mary puppins can dogs eat cherries

mary puppins can dogs eat cherries

Kate Phillips, Chief Editor

BSc (Hons), MSc

Kate is the UK's very own Mary Puppins, a professional Dog Nanny, an expert in small breed dogs and a pet parent to her own beloved small dogs.

With over 30 years' experience and successfully helping high profile celebrity pet parents raise their furry families,

Kate shares her top tips with you.

Kate guides readers on small dog breeds, dog health, dog training, dog nutrition, dog food, dog walks, dog accessories, dog enrichment, rescue dogs, dog behaviour, dog grooming and the best products for dog mums and dog dads to create the ultimate lifestyle for their small dogs.



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