Can Dogs Eat Cherries? (Nutritional Guide)
As a dog owner, it’s very tempting to give your dog a share of what you eat. Sometimes, it’s even more tempting when they start to show their puppy dog eyes just for you to give them what’s in your hand. However, dog owners should always exercise caution in feeding dogs human food. Like it or not, not every human food is good for them.
Can Dogs Eat Cherries?
Cherries are rich in Vitamins A and C and it has huge amounts of antioxidants that make it an ideal snack for people. But, can dogs have cherries? In spite of the health benefits, is it safe for dogs to eat cherries?
Unfortunately, it’s not safe for dogs to eat cherries. This is because some parts of the cherry can cause serious effects on the dog. Specifically, the cherry pit, stem, and leaves contain cyanide. When ingested by dogs the cyanide can trigger cyanide poisoning. Removing them is possible, but the amount of work you have to do just to make it dog-safe is not worth it when there are other alternative snacks to give them.
If you’re wondering whether are cherry pits poisonous to dogs, the answer is yes. Cherry pits can cause blockage of the digestive tract or the intestines. Ingesting one cherry pit might not be fatal but it is still important to observe what your dog.
Are There Other Cherries that Dogs Can Eat?
What about pie? Can dogs eat cherry pie? If the cherries you’ve put in the pie are maraschino cherries, then they are not that dangerous to your dog because they are pit-free. However, maraschino cherries are loaded with sugar, so it’s not a very healthy food choice for your dog.
What to Do When Your Dog Eats a Cherry
It’s important to know that the effects of a cherry differ in small and big dogs. Smaller dogs can easily get affected even by just eating one piece. If you have a much larger dog, then usually it won’t cause a big reaction especially if your dog just ate one piece. Nonetheless, you should know how to deal with your dog whenever they accidentally eat a cherry.
If your dog ate one cherry, you should not panic. For larger dogs, a whole cherry will not cause cyanide poisoning. On the other hand, smaller dogs could already show bad effects. Whatever the size of your dog is, you should observe for the following symptoms: decreased appetite, constipation, vomiting, or decreased fecal production. The effects will show within 24 hours, so it’s best to keep them under observation. If your dog shows bad effects, bring them to the vet immediately.
If your dog ate a number of cherries, then this is where you should be on the lookout more often. The chances of getting cyanide poisoning are high, so watch out for symptoms like bright red gums, dilated pupils, or labored breathing. As much as possible, call your vet even if there are no symptoms yet to know if it is possible to induce vomiting to let the cherries out. For cases like this, it is better to take a proactive approach, especially before the poisoning kicks in.
5 Alternatives to Cherries
If you’re wondering about what other alternative fruits your dog can eat, here are 5 fruits that are absolutely safe for them.
An apple is a great source of Vitamins A and C just like cherries. They are also filled with fiber which will help improve your dog’s digestive system. If you want to give your dog some apples, make sure that you remove the core and the seeds so they don’t choke on them. You can even slice them into smaller pieces especially if you are feeding it to a small dog.
Another fruit that is packed with so many nutrients is a banana. It is rich in potassium and copper as well. Although it is naturally sweet, it is not too sweet to cause your dog any harm. What’s great about it is it’s soft so you don’t really need to slice them before giving it to your pets. However, you might want to regulate how many bananas you give them a day to make sure they don’t overload on sugar.
A similar fruit to cherries, blueberries are great swaps for the former. They are rich in antioxidants which help reduce the toxins in your dog’s body. They’re also a hint of sweet and sour which gives your dog a new flavor to be excited about. Adding blueberries to your dog’s diet will also help reduce the risk of getting cancer.
Just like bananas, mangoes are naturally sweet which is why they should be given sparingly. Some mangoes are sour, so you might want to steer clear of them and not serve them to your dogs.
Since mangoes are soft, you don’t have to slice them into smaller pieces. However, you do have to take off the stone in the middle because it contains cyanide. Just like cherries, they can cause vomiting and red gums.
And finally, you have oranges. Oranges have acid on them, so it’s better to choose an orange that isn’t too sour. They have natural sugars, so feeding your dog with this fruit all the time is also not a good idea. However, since oranges are citrus fruits, they contain a lot of Vitamin C perfect for boosting the immune system.
When feeding your dog with oranges, make sure that they are peeled and you remove all the seeds. This makes sure that your dog doesn’t choke on them. It would also help that you remove each piece before giving it to your dog.
There are other alternatives that you can give them, but it’s always best to consult your vet before feeding your dog with human food.
In a nutshell, are cherries bad for dogs? Yes, they are, but there are other fruits and snacks that you can give them as an alternative. Just remember that while cherries taste good, your dog’s health is much more important. Besides, they will love other snacks you’ll give them anyway.