It’s summertime, and that means bowls and bowls of delicious, shiny cherries. As you’re munching on this sweet summer snack, you might look down to find a pair of puppy-dog eyes staring up at you longingly and wonder: Can dogs eat cherries?
It’s important that pet owners are well-informed about dog nutrition and know what dogs can’t eat so they can keep their pets safe. Here, we’ll examine the burning question of whether cherries are safe and healthy for dogs. We’ll also look at some other foods to avoid for your dog’s safety and some great alternatives that will have your pooch begging for more.
Can Dogs Eat Cherries?
A common summer question among dog owners is whether they can share their tasty cherry treats with their canine companions.
While the flesh of cherries is packed full of antioxidants and vitamins, it will likely upset your dog’s stomach. The skin of a single cherry probably won’t cause an immediate reaction in your dog, but there are other risks when it comes to your pet and this summer fruit, including:
- Sugar content
- Choking and intestinal blockage from cherry pits
- Cyanide in the pits, stem, and leaves
Some Cherries Are Worse Than Others
There are many different types of cherries, from the fat, yellowy Rainier cherry, the canned variety, and the maraschino cherries that come in a jar and often top ice cream sundaes. No matter what type of cherry it is, you shouldn’t feed it to your dog, but the canned and jarred varieties are especially unhealthy because they often contain preservatives and high levels of sugar. Feeding your dog too much sugar has a number of negative health effects, many of which are similar to the ones experienced by humans, including diabetes, obesity, and tooth decay.
Cherry Pits Are Dangerous for Dogs
Cherry pits present a significant risk for dogs in two ways. Your dog might choke if they eat a whole cherry or a cherry pit, and it blocks their airway. Even if they can swallow it whole, cherry pits can cause an intestinal blockage. This happens more often in small dogs, but it isn’t unheard of in larger pets.
If your pet swallows a whole cherry or a cherry pit, call your veterinarian. You will need to monitor your dog for signs of a blockage, like constipation and vomiting.
Parts of the Cherry Contain Cyanide
It might surprise you to learn that cherries, a fruit regularly enjoyed by humans, contain a deadly compound! Many parts of fresh cherries, including the stem, leaves, and pits, contain cyanide, a highly toxic chemical that can easily kill an animal and even humans. You should keep these parts of the cherry away from dogs at all costs.
Cyanide in these parts of the cherry is mostly released through chewing and grinding. So, if these items are swallowed whole, they are less likely to bother your pet, but cyanide poisoning is still possible. Signs of cyanide poisoning in your dog might appear as dilated pupils, reddening of the gums, and difficulty breathing. If your dog accidentally ingests these parts of cherries, you should call your veterinarian.
What Dogs Can’t Eat
Learning that cherries present a significant risk to your furry friend might be overwhelming and leave you wondering: How do I know what dogs can’t eat?
Education is the key to being a better pet owner. This isn’t an exhaustive list of all the foods that dogs can’t eat, but here are some common household foods that are dangerous to our canine companions:
- Macadamia nuts and almonds
Macadamia Nuts and Almonds Are Unsafe for Dogs
Because peanut butter is such a popular treat for dogs, it might be surprising to learn that many other nuts are risky for our canine companions. Especially dangerous are macadamia nuts, which can cause leg weakness, vomiting, diarrhea, and sometimes pancreatitis in dogs. Macadamia nuts are often an ingredient in baked goods – another reason to be hypervigilant about reading the ingredient list before giving anything to your pet.
Almonds are not necessarily toxic to dogs in the way macadamia nuts are, but their small size, sharp points, and hard texture are a perfect storm for danger to your dog. Almonds might cut their gums, cause them to choke, or tear their esophagus as they are swallowing.
It’s True: Chocolate Is NOT Safe for Dogs
Chocolate is a more common food that many dog owners know is bad for their pooch. But why?
In addition to the sugar content of chocolate that is unhealthy for your dog, chocolate contains caffeine and a substance called theobromine, both of which stimulate the heart, nervous system, and respiratory system. While human bodies can process these substances, they can be very dangerous and even deadly for dogs.
Garlic Is Toxic for Dogs
Garlic is another common household food that humans find tasty and might want to share with their pooch. Don’t do it – garlic is highly toxic for dogs.
Garlic contains thiosulfate, which impacts your dog’s red blood cells and can cause anemia. Garlic relatives like onions, chives, and leeks are also toxic but far less so than garlic – it’s the savory ingredient you really need to watch out for exactly. So many things we cook or buy contain these ingredients, so always read labels and try to avoid sharing table scraps or your own snacks with your furry friend.
Choose from These Tasty Dog Treats
While there are many common household foods that dogs can’t eat, there are also a lot of tasty treats that are good for them! Rather than feeding your pet snacks from the human table and risking their encounter with a dangerous ingredient, try an alternative dog treat like:
- Peanut butter
- CBD dog chews
- Homemade dog treats
If summer really puts you in the mood for a fruity snack, and you want to share with your pet, blueberries are a great option. Rich in antioxidants, these berries are small and soft enough not to present a significant choking hazard for your pet. But it’s still a good idea to chop or mash them before handing them over to Fido.
Peanut butter is a classic dog treat, and rightly so – not only is it naturally salty and creamy, but it also delivers important protein and fats to your dog’s daily diet. Choose a peanut butter that is all-natural with no added salt or sugar to give your pet the healthiest option possible. For a one-two punch of wellness support, give them a spoonful of CBD peanut butter for dogs!
CBD Dog Chews
Dog biscuits that contain CBD make a great option for your dog’s daily wellness routine. These little snacks fit right into all the other healthy everyday things you do for your pet, like feeding them a great diet, giving them plenty of exercise and love, and keeping them safe.
Our CBD dog chews come in a variety of types and flavors, including
- peanut butter or baked cheese hard chews
- chicken-and-bacon-flavored soft chews
- bacon-flavored hip and joint formula for mobility support
- turkey-flavored calming CBD chew for dogs that need a little extra TLC
Can’t decide? Try a CBD bundle for dogs and create the perfect, diversified CBD wellness routine for your pooch!
Homemade Dog Treats
One of the best ways to keep your dog safe and healthy is by making your own dog treats at home. There are a variety of recipes using appropriate ingredients that are not only safe for your pampered pooch but also get tails wagging with excitement! From chewy sweet potato to frozen coconut bites, your pet is sure to taste the love in a homemade dog treat.
Give Your Best Friend the Best Diet
So next time you’re enjoying a bowl of cherries, you won’t have to ask yourself: Can dogs eat cherries? The answer is no, and you should also be wary of macadamia nuts, garlic, and chocolate in your house. Store risky foods well out of your pet’s reach and be sure they are secure. Put that bowl of cherries back in the fridge, and grab some blueberries, peanut butter, or a CBD dog chew to give a healthy and tasty surprise to your furry friend!