Are Cherries Bad For Dogs?

red cherry fruits on white ceramic bowl

Key points

  • Cherries are not the best fruits to offer your dog, and they can be dangerous if consumed without caution.
  • Cherries can cause intestinal blockage or cyanide poisoning in dogs. The symptoms of intestinal blockage include vomiting, constipation, lethargy, and decreased fecal production. The symptoms of cyanide poisoning include salivation, panting, and even convulsions and paralysis.
  • Avoid giving your dog cherry-flavored products, as they are packed with chemicals, artificial flavors, and sugar.
  • Safer fruit alternatives to cherries for dogs include bananas, apples, cantaloupe, cranberries, blueberries, and mango.

High levels of vitamins A, C, and K, minerals like potassium, magnesium, and calcium, as well as antioxidants, beta-carotene, and melatonin make cherries a perfect tasty snack. Cherries can also help with different health conditions, from improving blood sugar control to reducing hypertension and providing pain relief. However, to experience any of these benefits, a dog would have to eat a significant amount of these berries. But is it safe for dogs?

dog biting brown wood on road

While generally adding fruits to a pet’s diet is a great way to provide it with the necessary vitamins and minerals, cherries may bring more harm than benefits to canines.

Can Dogs Have Cherries?

The short answer is no, you should avoid giving your dog cherries even if the pet feels fine after eating some. Cherries can be dangerous to your dog, as cherry stems, pits, and leaves contain cyanide which is toxic to dogs and can even cause death if ingested in large amounts. Additionally, cherry pits can potentially be a choking hazard, or they can get stuck in your dog’s digestive tract and cause intestinal blockage.

red cherry fruits

Seedless cherries such as maraschino cherries are not suitable for your dog either because they contain a lot of sugar. If a dog eats them, it can cause gastrointestinal upset in the short term and diabetes and obesity in the long term.

My Dog Swallowed A Cherry – What to Do?

Don’t panic if your dog swallows a cherry without you noticing because one cherry isn’t dangerous. However, you should look for symptoms such as vomiting, constipation, loss of appetite, and decreased fecal production. These symptoms may appear up to 24 hours after your dog has consumed a cherry and indicate intestinal blockage (which can be lethal).bunch of red cherries in brown bowl

Be aware that dogs are more likely to experience intestinal blockage even from a small pit. Also, remember that puppies are more likely to suffer both from intestinal blockage and cyanide poisoning. If, on the other hand, your dog ate a few cherries, then you should watch out for cyanide poisoning. The symptoms include difficulty breathing, bright red gums, and dilated pupils. If you notice any of the symptoms mentioned above, take your dog to your vet as soon as possible to ensure its well-being.

Even if your dog has ingested multiple cherries without a pit, you should still call your veterinarian as a precaution. Your vet will decide how to proceed further and whether it’s necessary to induce vomiting.

pink Popsicle with cherries on ice

Cherry Flavored Foods

Cherry flavored foods are usually loaded with sugar, artificial flavoring, and other chemicals, so you should not give them to your dog. Even naturally flavored foods contain a lot of sugar most of the time.

To Sum Up

The bottom line is you can give your dog unprocessed cherries but not regularly and not intentionally. Always use extreme caution if your dog happens to be around cherries, and make sure to clearly separate de-pitted cherries and the ones that have not been pitted.

There is a great variety of dog-friendly foods that will provide just as many health benefits as cherries, so giving these berries to your pet is not worth the risk. For example, seedless apples are a great source of fiber and vitamins, while blueberries will serve as great antioxidant-rich treats. Other dog-friendly fruits include bananas, cantaloupe, cranberries, and mango.

Of course, you need to take precautions when feeding a dog these fruits, and they shouldn’t be consumed in large quantities, but nevertheless, they are much safer options than cherries. Finally, you should always consult your vet before giving your dog any human food.


What happens if a dog eats cherries?

If your dog eats one cherry, it might experience intestinal blockage from the pit. Conversely, ingesting a few cherries can result in cyanide poisoning.

Are cherries without pits good for dogs?

Yes, de-pitted cherries without stems are safe for dogs.

What should I do if my dog ate cherry pits?

If your dog consumed whole cherries, look for symptoms of cyanide poisoning such as difficulty breathing, bright red gums, even shock or convulsions. The pet may also develop intestinal blockage from the pit.

How many cherries can a dog eat?

Consuming one or two cherries without stems and seeds is not dangerous to your dog, but you should still look out for the symptoms of cyanide poisoning.