Can Dogs Eat Cherries?

Dogs are always fascinated about human food. Equally, there are pet owners out there that will always be curious about what fresh and/or human foods they can feed their dogs without imposing any danger. Unfortunately, there are a number of human foods that can really be damaging to a dog, and pet owners have to be careful about what give their pooch to consume. Cherries, for instance, have always been confusing for many owners. Some say it’s safe, while others say it’s not. The truth is there’s a short answer to it and there’s a long one. Here’s an explanation as to why the answer to this question is both a yes and a no: Can Dogs Eat Cherries? Find out the true answer and what the American Kennel Club recommends.

Cherry parts

There are specific cherry parts that dogs can eat—that’s the flesh and the skin. In fact, the flesh of the cherry is not toxic to dogs. It actually contains a good amount of Vitamins A and C, antioxidants, and fiber that your dog needs to stay healthy. So if your question needs a literal answer, the answer is this: Yes, dogs can definitely eat cherries. But here’s the catch: You should NOT feed your dog cherries even though your dog can eat them and for several reasons too.

A lot of cherries

Here’s the first reason why you shouldn’t even bother. The only edible parts of the cherry are the skin and flesh. In order for you to be able to feed your dog cherries, you’d need to take off the stem, the leaves, and the pit out of every single one. Even if you were to give cherries to you dog as a snack, you’d have to prepare at least a handful. To prepare a handful of cherries is just time-consuming and inefficient. Plus, a handful of cherries won’t provide your dog with anything positive. In order for cherries to count health wise, you’ll need a tremendous amount of cherries to get all the vitamins to make a difference in your dog’s body.

Tough flesh

That notion leads us to the second reason why you shouldn’t even bother with cherries for your dog. Cherry flesh is quite tough. It needs to be chewed thoroughly, and dogs just can’t do that with cherries. What would happen is your dog will accumulate all this cherry flesh in its stomach, and it will have a difficult time digesting it all—causing an upset stomach in the end. Even more, if your dog happens to consume whole cherries with pits still in them, the pits can cause an obstruction in the intestines. Even if your dog only ate 1 or 2 whole cherries, they can still become an obstruction.

More pit problems

Intestinal obstructions aren’t the only problems that a dog could have after eating cherry pits. Dogs can also get cyanide poisoning from consuming too many cherry pits. The other parts of the cherry that’s inedible for dogs—the pit, the stem, and the leaves—all contain cyanide. Although your dog is not likely to get cyanide poisoning from swallowing a couple of pits, you still never know how your dog will react to it. There’s also always the danger if ever your dog does consume a larger amount of pits.

What about maraschinos?

Here’s a good point: maraschinos already have their pits taken out. Here’s a counter: maraschinos have enough sugar to make your dog sick. A 5-oz serving of maraschino cherries has about ½ cup of sugar. It’s a sickening amount, and it’s also sickening for your dog. Excessive amounts of sugar in any diet can lead to obesity, diabetes, digestive issues, and also dental issues.

Cherry accidents

If your pup accidentally eats cherries, there are a few things you can do in order to remedy the situation. If you suspect that your dog has eaten just a couple of cherries, you can wait to see if your dog will pass the pits after a while. Make sure to keep an eye out on signs of intestinal obstruction just to be safe. This may present as one or a combination of any of these signs: decreased appetite, constipation, vomiting, and/or decreased fecal production. However, if you suspect that your dog consumed a lot more whole cherries on accident, you need to make sure your dog doesn’t inhibit signs of cyanide poisoning. If your dog is having trouble breathing, have bright red gums, and dilated pupils, you need to call your vet straight away. You might be asked to induce your dog to vomit in order to prevent your dog from fully getting poisoned.

Safer alternatives

Fresh fruits are amazing snacks and foods for your dog. It’s truly unfortunate that eating cherries is such a complicated activity for dogs. However, there are so many other safer alternatives that your dog can enjoy without the stress of worrying on your part. Some of the best fruit alternatives for your dog include blueberries and mangoes. Blueberries are much easier to serve and just as enjoyable. Even though mangoes would have to be peeled and pitted, they are at least 20 times bigger or more than cherries are. It’ll be easier for you to serve as well, and your dog would just love the juicy and tasty characteristics of mangoes.

Final thought

It’s not even worth the risk or the work to give your dog cherries, especially not when there are other alternatives that are just as yummy. So to give a final answer to the question—can dogs eat cherries, we’d have to answer a big juicy no. You should not give your dog cherries under any circumstances whatsoever. There’s too much at stake and so little to gain.

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