Can Dogs Eat Pitted Cherries

By diets4dogs on
Can Dogs Eat Pitted Cherries

Can Dogs Eat Pitted Cherries

No, dogs should not eat pitted cherries. While the cherry flesh itself is not toxic to dogs, cherry pits contain cyanide, which is extremely poisonous to dogs even in small amounts. Additionally, the pits can cause gastrointestinal obstruction and pose a choking hazard. Always remove pits and stems from cherries before feeding them to your dog.

Can Dogs Eat Pitted Cherries: The Facts You Need to Know

As a dog owner, we are always looking for healthy and safe treats for our canine companions. You might be wondering, ‘Can dogs eat pitted cherries?’ In this post, we will explore the pros and cons of feeding your dog cherries and discuss important safety measures to follow.

The Nutritional Benefits of Pitted Cherries

Cherries offer a range of nutrients that can be beneficial for your dog’s health. They are rich in antioxidants, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Here are some key benefits:

  • Antioxidants: Cherries are high in antioxidants which help fight inflammation and may protect against diseases like cancer and heart disease.
  • Fiber: Cherries contain a good amount of fiber, which can benefit your dog’s digestive health.
  • Vitamins: Vitamin A, C, and K are present in cherries, aiding in skin and coat health, immune system function, and bone development respectively.
  • Minerals: Some essential minerals like potassium and magnesium can be found in cherries, which promote overall health.

Potential Risks of Feeding Pitted Cherries to Dogs

While the cherry flesh is safe for dogs to eat, there are some potential hazards you need to be aware of:

1. Cherry Pits Contain Cyanide

Cherry pits contain cyanide, a toxic compound that can be lethal for your dog if ingested. Cyanide interferes with the body’s ability to absorb oxygen, leading to symptoms such as difficulty breathing, vomiting, and even death in extreme cases. It is crucial to remove the pits from the cherries before offering them to your dog.

2. Choking Hazard

Although you may be offering pitted cherries to your dog, it is possible for small fragments or even whole pits to be mixed in unintentionally. These pits or fragments can pose a choking hazard, especially for smaller dogs. Make sure to thoroughly inspect and remove any traces of pits before feeding cherries to your dog.

3. Gastrointestinal Obstruction

Another possible risk associated with cherry pits is the potential for gastrointestinal obstruction. If a dog ingests a pit, it can become lodged in their intestines or stomach, requiring immediate veterinary intervention.

Precautions and Tips for Feeding Cherries to Dogs

Keeping the potential risks in mind, here are some tips to ensure your dog enjoys cherries safely:

  1. Always remove the cherry pits and stems before feeding to your dog.
  2. Inspect every cherry to ensure no pits or fragments are present.
  3. Limit the number of cherries you offer to prevent overconsumption of fruit sugars.
  4. Consider using fresh or frozen cherries, avoiding cherries soaked in syrup or other additives.
  5. Introduce cherries to your dog’s diet gradually to monitor for any adverse reactions.

Alternative Fruits Safe for Dogs

If you would like to explore other safe and nutritious options for your dog, here are some additional fruits you can consider offering:

Remember, these fruits should be offered in moderation and should not replace a well-balanced dog food as the primary source of nutrition for your pet.

Monitoring Your Dog’s Fruit Consumption

While fruits can provide numerous health benefits, it is essential to monitor the amount and frequency of fruit consumption for your dog. Too much fruit can lead to an upset stomach, diarrhea, or weight gain due to excess sugar. Keep fruit treats as occasional snacks and avoid feeding your dog a fruit-heavy diet. Always remember that a well-balanced dog food should serve as your pet’s primary source of nutrition.

When to Consult a Veterinarian

If you suspect your dog has ingested cherry pits or you notice any unusual symptoms after feeding cherries (such as vomiting, diarrhea, trouble breathing, or lethargy), it is crucial to consult your veterinarian immediately. With swift treatment, the chances of recovery from cyanide poisoning or gastrointestinal obstruction can be significantly improved.

Experimenting with Cherry Dog Treat Recipes

If your dog loves cherries, consider incorporating them into homemade dog treat recipes. Here are a couple of ideas to get you started:

1. Cherry and Blueberry Frozen Dog Treats

Create a delicious and cooling treat by combining cherries, blueberries, and plain Greek yogurt. Blend the ingredients together (ensuring cherries are thoroughly pitted), pour the mixture into ice cube trays or silicone molds, and freeze. These treats are perfect for hot summer days and can provide relief for teething puppies.

2. Cherry and Oatmeal Dog Cookies

Combine pitted and chopped cherries with oatmeal, whole wheat flour, and mashed banana to create a healthy and delicious dog cookie. Roll out the dough, cut it into your desired shapes, and bake at a low temperature in the oven until the cookies are crisp. This recipe is an excellent option for dogs with a sweet tooth!


Feeding your dog pitted cherries can be safe and beneficial when done correctly, as long as you take proper precautions such as removing the pits and stems. Moderation is key, and cherries should only be offered as an occasional treat alongside a well-balanced dog food. By taking these measures and monitoring your dog’s overall fruit consumption, you can provide a healthy and enjoyable snack for your furry friend.

Frequently Asked Questions

In this section, we will cover some of the most common questions asked by dog owners regarding cherries and their safety for canine consumption. Continue reading to learn more about the dos and don’ts of feeding pitted cherries to your beloved pet.

1. Can dogs eat cherry fruit without pits?

Yes, dogs can consume the flesh of cherries without the pits. The cherry flesh itself is not toxic for dogs and can even provide some health benefits due to its antioxidants and vitamins. However, always remove the pits and stems before feeding cherries to your dog.

2. How many cherries can dogs eat?

Quantity should be limited, offering a few cherries as an occasional treat. This is because overconsumption of fruit sugars can lead to weight gain and gastrointestinal upset in dogs. Always remember that a balanced dog food should be the primary source of your dog’s nutrition.

3. Can dogs eat cherry stems and leaves?

No, dogs should not consume cherry stems and leaves. Both contain cyanide, which is toxic to dogs. Make sure to remove all stems and leaves before offering cherries to your pet.

4. Is canned cherry pie filling safe for dogs?

No, canned cherry pie filling is not recommended for dogs, as it contains added sugars, artificial preservatives, and other potentially harmful ingredients. Stick to fresh or frozen cherries with pits removed for your dog’s safety.

5. How do I know if my dog has ingested cherry pits?

Signs your dog may have ingested cherry pits include vomiting, difficulty breathing, lethargy, or general distress. If you suspect that your dog has consumed cherry pits, contact your veterinarian immediately for guidance and treatment.

6. How can I safely introduce cherries to my dog’s diet?

Introduce cherries to your dog’s diet gradually and in small amounts to ensure they do not have an adverse reaction. Start with one or two cherries and monitor your dog’s behavior and digestion. If your dog does not show any negative signs, you can occasionally offer cherries as treats.

7. Are there any benefits to feeding my dog cherry juice?

Feeding cherry juice to your dog is not recommended, as it may contain added sugars, artificial preservatives, and other potentially harmful ingredients. Instead, stick to fresh, pitted cherries as an occasional treat.

8. Are maraschino cherries safe for dogs?

No, maraschino cherries are not recommended for dogs. They are processed with added sugars, artificial colors, and preservatives that may be harmful to your pet.

9. Can dogs have cherry-flavored medications or supplements?

Consult your veterinarian before offering any cherry-flavored medications or supplements to your dog. Some may contain artificial flavors, sweeteners, or other ingredients that may not be safe for dogs, while others might be safe and beneficial for their health.

10. Are other stone fruits safe for dogs?

Other stone fruits, like peaches and plums, can be safe for dogs to eat as long as the pits are removed. Similar to cherries, the pits of these fruits also contain cyanide and may pose a choking hazard. Always prepare stone fruits by removing the pits and ensuring no fragments remain before offering them as treats to your dog.

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