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Fresh cherries are a super healthy snack, but what about for dogs?
It’s a great question! The truth is there are pros and cons to canine consumption.
Perhaps you want to know about the benefits or simply if sharing cherries is no harm done.
Whatever the case, you’ll be happy to hear you can feed your dog a few. The cyanide factor is not a deal breaker!
Read more for the full scoop….
Your Dog Can Eat Modest Amounts of Prepared Fresh Cherries
Just be sure to remove any stems, pits and leaves prior to feeding.
Cherries, the pits in particular, do contain a bit of cyanide. To play it safe, don’t let your dog eat a whole bunch of them in one sitting.
And consider that while cherries aren’t exactly poisonous, regularly feeding them is not really practical or economical.
When you do share, it is highly recommended that you go with fresh cherries and certainly do the easy prep work.
Possible Health Benefits
Unprocessed cherries are a health food.
They contain plenty of vitamin A, vitamin C, fiber, powerful antioxidants and phytochemicals including melatonin.
More good news…
The cherry may reduce inflammation. This, at least in theory, means improved arthritis. Sleep and relaxation could also become better.
Prevention of cancer is even possible!
These are excellent attributes and quite possibly applicable to dogs. But still, take a close look at why cherries can be harmful…
Cherries Contain Cyanide
The ASPCA says cherries are toxic for dogs.
The Cyanogenic glycosides combines with this fruit’s natural enzymes.
In other words, it may release low levels of cyanide. Actually, all Prunus species contain cyanide.
Here’s the deal:
The amount in a cherry is likely nothing to worry about. But, it’s still best to not complicate the dog’s life.
Ration and prepare each cherry.
And keep the family’s stash in the refrigerator (where the dog can’t find them).
Watch For Symptoms
So a couple of cherries are unlikely to cause concerning symptoms.
Nevertheless, know certain telltale signs of poisoning (if perhaps your dog ate too many).
- Labored breathing
- Bright reddish gums
- Dilated pupils
While rare, serious cases could cause some dogs to go into shock.
Also keep a look out for what typically happens in cases of food poisoning ie. upset stomach and a bout of doggie diarrhea.
Two Cherry Alternatives
Apples are more appropriate than cherries.
Why is that?
They will better satisfy your dog’s appetite. They also make more sense economically.
Another excellent fruity option are blueberries!
Granted, they’re similarly small like cherries and aren’t as filling as apples.
The Bottom Line
You can feed your dog a small amount of unprocessed cherries.
Be moderate and remove stems, pits and leafs.
This fruit has antioxidants, natural melatonin, vitamins and lots of nutrients but from a practical standpoint cherries aren’t the greatest of treats for a pet dog.
On the bright side, cyanide is not a factor assuming you stick to modest portions.