Can Dogs Eat That

Can Dogs Eat Cherries? Here’s What You Need to Know

a bowl of cherries

What could be more tempting on a summer day than a bowl of ripe, juicy cherries? But before you let your pup indulge, you might be wondering: Can dogs eat cherries safely? 

The answer is not a simple yes or no. While the flesh of cherries themselves is not toxic to dogs, there are some important caveats and precautions to keep in mind. 

In this blog post, we’ll delve into everything you need to know about safely incorporating cherries into your pup’s diet.

The Benefits of Feeding Cherries to Dogs

Let’s start with the positive: the actual fruit of cherries, including both sweet cherries and tart cherries, is perfectly safe for healthy adult dogs to eat in moderation. In fact, cherries contain some beneficial nutrients that can be good for your pup, such as:

– Antioxidants: Cherries are rich in compounds like anthocyanins and quercetin that help fight cell damage and inflammation.

– Melatonin: This hormone, found in cherries, regulates sleep-wake cycles and may promote restful sleep.

– Vitamins A & C: These essential vitamins support vision, immune function, and overall health.

– Fiber: The flesh of cherries provides dietary fiber that aids in digestion.

So, fresh, pitted cherries fed in appropriate portions can serve as a healthy occasional treat for your dog. But there’s more to the story.

can dogs eat cherries

The Risks of Feeding Cherries to Dogs

While cherry flesh gets a green light, you’ll definitely want to put the brakes on letting your dog consume the pits, stems, and leaves of cherries. Why? One word: cyanide.

All of these parts of the cherry plant contain substances that can convert to cyanide in your dog’s body, which is highly toxic. 

brown and black german shepherd puppy sitting on gray

Symptoms of cyanide poisoning can include:

– Panting & hyperventilation

– Difficulty breathing

– Bright red gums

– Dilated pupils 

– Drooling

– Abdominal pain

– Vomiting & diarrhea

– Tremors & seizures

– Loss of consciousness

two red cherries on brown surface

Ingesting intact pits also poses a serious choking hazard or risk of intestinal blockage, especially for small dogs.

If you suspect your dog has eaten any dangerous parts of a cherry or is showing concerning symptoms, contact your vet or emergency clinic right away. Swift treatment is critical.


How Many Cherries Can Dogs Eat?

Even when you remove the hazardous pits, stems, and leaves, cherries are best fed to dogs in limited quantities. They have a high sugar content compared to your pup’s normal diet, which can spell tummy troubles if they overindulge.

depth of field photography of cookie with cherry toppings

Eating too many cherries may cause diarrhea, vomiting, and abdominal discomfort. The extra sugar can also contribute to obesity and diabetes if cherries become a frequent indulgence.

Puppies need to be especially careful, as their digestive systems are more sensitive. A good rule of thumb is to limit cherries to just 1 or 2 fruits (cut into small pieces) for every 10 pounds your dog weighs. So, a 20-pound dog could have 2-4 cherries as an occasional treat.

black and white short coated dogs

Signs to Watch for Digestive Issues after Eating Cherries

Even if you follow all the precautions, every dog is unique in what they tolerate. After feeding cherries, watch your dog for any signs of digestive distress such as:

– Straining to defecate

– Loss of appetite

– Lethargy

– Painful or distended abdomen

Some pups with sensitive stomachs simply may not do well with cherries or any novel fruit in their diet. Trust your instincts and lay off the cherries if you notice concerning symptoms. And, of course, always consult with your vet before introducing new foods, especially if your dog has any underlying health issues.

black and tan long coat dog

3 Fun Ways to Serve Cherries to Your Dog

Cherries can make a delightful treat for your pup, but why not take them up a notch and turn them into an engaging activity? Here are some creative and enriching ways to serve cherries to your furry friend:

1. Cherry Fruit Smoothie

A cherry smoothie is not only a tasty and hydrating treat but also a great way to pack in extra nutrients from other dog-friendly fruits. Simply blend fresh or frozen pitted cherry pieces with fruits like strawberries, bananas, and blueberries. You can serve this fruity blend on its own as a refreshing snack and use it as a topper for your pup’s regular food.

For the right portion, limit your dog’s smoothie intake to 2 tablespoons per 10 pounds of their weight.

woman holding a pink smoothie in a glass

2. Cherry Yogurt or Frozen Yogurt

Combining cherries with plain, sugar-free, and xylitol-free yogurt creates a creamy, protein-packed treat that’s sure to delight your pup’s taste buds. Simply mix fresh or frozen pitted cherry pieces into the yogurt, or take it a step further and blend the two together for a smooth, frozen yogurt-like consistency.

For an extra-special treat, you can even layer the cherry yogurt mixture with other dog-safe fruits like mashed bananas or blueberries in a lick mat or dog puzzle toys, then freeze it overnight for a delightfully refreshing and mentally stimulating snack on a hot day.


3. Homemade Dried Cherries

If you have a dehydrator at home, you can easily make your own healthy, preservative-free dried cherries for your pup. Simply pit and slice fresh cherries, then dehydrate them according to your dehydrator’s instructions until they reach a chewy, dried consistency.

Homemade dried cherries make a convenient and portable treat, and you can even mix them with other dried fruits or veggies for a nutrient-packed trail mix. Just be sure to introduce them gradually and in moderation, as the concentrated sugars can cause digestive upset if overdone.

black chihuahua

mental stimulation toys for dogs
Dog Puzzle Toys They’ll Love!
🧠 Provides Mental Exercise & Reduces Boredom: Puzzle toys keep curious minds occupied, preventing boredom that can lead to destructive behaviors like chewing or barking.
🔥 Burns Off Energy & Promotes Relaxation: Engaging mental activity can tire out your pup, making them calmer and less likely to engage in hyperactive behaviors.

Safer Fruit Alternatives to Share With Your Dog

While dogs can eat cherries safely in moderation, they may not be the ideal choice for every pup. If you’re looking for fruity treats to share, there are plenty of options with fewer risks and caveats:

– Blueberries are bite-sized, low in sugar, and packed with antioxidants.

– Apple slices (without cores and seeds) are a high-fiber option many dogs love. 

– Watermelon (seedless) is refreshing and hydrating on hot days.

– Strawberries are a vitamin C powerhouse perfect for small-portioned treats.

Bananas are easily mashable for stuffing puzzle toys or frozen treats.

As with any people food, check with your vet to get the okay first and introduce slowly to assess tolerance. And don’t feel bad about sticking to traditional dog treats either – chances are your pup will find them just as thrilling and tasty!

cheerful black woman embracing cute labrador near window


  1. Can Dogs Eat Dried Cherries?

While fresh, pitted cherries can make a healthy treat for dogs in moderation, the same can’t always be said for dried cherries. Store-bought dried cherries are often loaded with added sugars and preservatives that can upset your pup’s stomach.

The safest option is to make your own dried cherries at home using a dehydrator. This way, you can control the ingredients and ensure there are no harmful additives. Start with fresh, pitted cherries, slice them, and dehydrate them until they reach a chewy, dried texture.

2. Can Dogs Eat Maraschino Cherries?

While maraschino cherries themselves aren’t toxic to dogs, they’re far from an ideal treat. These cherries are heavily processed and packed with preservatives, artificial flavors, and excessive sugar content – all of which can lead to digestive upset and other health issues for your furry friend.

It’s best to steer clear of maraschino cherries and opt for fresh, pitted cherries instead when looking to treat your pup.

3. Can Dogs Eat Cherry Yogurt or Cherry Ice Cream?

Any cherry-flavored yogurt, ice cream, or other processed cherry-based product should be avoided when it comes to treating your dog. These items are typically loaded with excessive sugar, artificial sweeteners like xylitol (toxic to dogs), preservatives, and other additives harmful to your pup’s health.

Instead, stick to plain, sugar-free, and xylitol-free yogurt if you want to make a cherry yogurt treat for your dog. You can mix in fresh or frozen pitted cherries for flavor. As for ice cream, it’s best to skip it altogether due to the high sugar and fat content, which can lead to potential digestive issues and weight gain in dogs.

The safest bet is to treat your pup to fresh, whole cherries (with the pits removed) or homemade cherry treats using plain, dog-friendly ingredients. Always check labels and avoid any products containing artificial sweeteners, excessive amounts of sugar, or other questionable additives.

close up photography of a red cherry fruit

Final Words

With proper preparation and moderation, cherries can be a safe and nutritious treat for most dogs. Just don’t forget to remove the pit, stem, and leaves, cut them into bite-sized pieces, and follow portion guidelines based on your dog’s size. And, as with any new food, monitor your pup for signs of digestive discomfort and consult your vet if you have any concerns.


About Judith D. Swan

With a passion for pooch health and nutrition, I've dedicated myself to exploring every "Can dogs eat...?" scenario you can imagine. With a background in veterinary science and years of experience in the pet care industry, I bring a wealth of knowledge to the table. From the common to the curious, I've researched it all to ensure that your canine companion gets the best possible care. But hey, I'm not just about facts and figures. As a proud dog parent myself, I understand the bond between humans and their four-legged pals. That's why I'm committed to providing trustworthy, practical advice that keeps both tails wagging.