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Can Dogs Eat Cherries? What You Need to Know

Ashley Bates

July 16, 2021

We’re guessing you landed on this article for one of two reasons: either your dog scarfed down a few cherries, or you’re looking to add fresh foods to their diet. In either way, you want to learn whether your dogs can eat cherries. And the good news is, your pooch can safely enjoy the fleshy parts of cherries.

But keep in mind—only the flesh of the cherry is edible for dogs. They can’t eat the stems or pits of this scrumptious little fruit. Read on to learn how to let your dog eat cherries safely.

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Dogs Can Eat Cherries

The cherry fruit itself is absolutely fine for your dogs to consume. This fruit has tons of valuable vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to offer.

If you do feed your pooch cherries, make sure to remove the pits and stems since these parts have a certain toxicity level that can give your dog an upset tummy.

Cherry Nutrition Facts

Nutrients per serving:
  • Calories: 97
  • Protein: 2 g
  • Fat: < 1 g
  • Carbohydrates: 24 g
  • Fiber: 3 g
  • Sugar: 20 g
Vitamins & Minerals
  • Vitamin B6
  • Vitamin C
  • Potassium
  • Magnesium

Benefits of Dogs Eating Cherries

When dogs eat cherries, it can give them a punch of antioxidants and other nutrients that benefit their bodies. With a dose of fiber, cherries will help digestion and boost your dog’s good gut bacteria.

Cherries also have excellent anti-inflammatory properties to keep all of your dog’s tissue, muscles, and cartilage in tip-top shape. It’s even speculated that cherries regulate the body’s sleep-wake cycle because they contain an adequate dose of melatonin.

Cherries can also be a great incentive treat if you run out of their usual snacks.

See our full list of human foods your dog can eat here!

cherries in a basket
Image Credit: klimkin, Pixabay

Downsides of Dogs Eating Cherries

Even though this little red fruit has lots of goodness to offer, you have to be careful. Cherries are high in sugar. Dogs tend to gravitate toward sugary foods, so you have to be mindful of giving your pup too many sweet treats.

Cherries in large quantities might also cause gastrointestinal upset and discomfort. If your dog ate too many, it might cause diarrhea, vomiting, or general discomfort. The last thing you want is to clean up piles of “accidents” from your carpet.

Cherry Pits & Stems Are Potentially Dangerous

As with many other fruits, the pits and stems of cherries can pose issues for your dog. If you plan to offer them a sweet cherry snack, make sure you remove any pits or greens.

Bowel Obstruction

If your dog slams a slew of cherries, the pits could lodge in their intestines, causing a blockage in the bowels. If the blockage is severe enough, it might require surgery (which can be very expensive).

a white dwarf poodle eats cherries
Image Credit: Marina.Martinez, Shutterstock

Cyanide Poisoning

Cherry pits contain a compound called amygdalin. When the pit is chewed and crushed, the body converts the amygdalin to cyanide. While one cherry pit won’t cause much harm, many pits at once could cause toxicity.

If you know your dog ate cherries with pits or stems, get them to your veterinarian right away, even if they aren’t showing any symptoms.

Cherry Foods to Avoid Feeding Your Dog

If you want to give your dog cherries, it’s best to feed them natural, organic fruits—nothing artificial.

Try to steer clear of foods like:
  • Cherry pie
  • Cherry ice cream
  • Cherry candies
  • Cherry pastries
  • Chocolate covered cherries

Not only are human foods bad for our pooches, but they can also contain other harmful ingredients you might not suspect. Xylitol is a popular artificial sweetener that is toxic to our four-legged friends. It’s best to avoid these foods altogether and stick to the real stuff.

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Cherries and Dogs: Final Thoughts

So, now you know that cherries are perfectly safe for your dog—permitting they have the stems and pits removed. It would be best if you gave your dog ripe cherry flesh in digestible portions.

Try to avoid sweet human treats for your dog that might be cherry flavored. Most of these items contain artificial sweeteners and other harmful additives you might not know about. As always, moderation is key—so don’t let your dog go overboard.


Featured Image: Alfons Schüler, Pixabay

Ashley Bates

Ashley Bates is a freelance dog writer and pet enthusiast who is currently studying the art of animal therapy. A mother to four human children— and 23 furry and feathery kids, too – Ashley volunteers at local shelters, advocates for animal well-being, and rescues every creature she finds. Her mission is to create awareness, education, and entertainment about pets to prevent homelessness. Her specialties are cats and dogs.

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