Can Dogs Eat Cherries

Can Dogs Eat Cherries: Is It Safe for Dogs?

Can dogs eat cherries? While the flesh is safe and full of vitamin C, the pit poses multiple health risks to your dog. Finn has alternatives.

cherry title card

Cherries might not be as common of a snacking fruit as apples or oranges, but they are still a common fruit to find in kitchens all across the United States. 

As a pet owner, you’ve probably wondered if it's ok to give your dog a bite or panicked if you’ve dropped one on the floor and watched them vacuum it up before you could grab it. Can dogs eat cherries? Should you panic if your dog accidentally eats one? Let’s take a look!

Can Dogs Eat Cherries? The Short Answer

While the flesh of the cherry may be safe to feed your dog, the fruit itself poses too much of a risk to be recommended because it’s a cyanide-dense choking hazard. With so many other safe fruits that dogs can eat, there is no reason to rely on cherries as any significant source of nutrition (or even as a regular treat) for your pet. 

Why Are Cherries So Dangerous?

There are specific hazards associated with cherries that all pet owners should know. While the flesh of the cherry is safe for dogs to eat in small quantities, other parts of the fruit pose significant dangers. 

The first danger to be aware of is the cherry pit. The pit is the most dangerous part of the cherry because it is a poisoning hazard, a choking hazard, and an obstruction hazard. 

article cherry pit toxic

Let’s address the poisoning potential first. Cherry pits contain nearly 0.2 grams of cyanide in each pit, and even just a few of them can be fatal to both humans and dogs. Contact your veterinarian or Animal Poison Control immediately if you suspect that your dog has eaten whole cherries for more guidance.

There are more dangers to the cherry pit than just the potential for cyanide poisoning, though. If the pit progresses into the intestines, it can create an obstruction hazard that often turns into a surgical situation. 

Even without the pit, the cherry itself can still be a choking hazard (especially for smaller-sized dogs). The fruit is just big enough to block the airway and can create a scary emergency situation very quickly. 

Both choking and obstruction can easily lead to death, so feeding your dog cherries just isn’t worth the risk to your dog.

What Are Signs of Potential Cyanide Poisoning in Dogs?

If you’re worried that your dog may have ingested a risky number of cherry pits, your first step should always be to pick the phone up and call your vet. 

However, if you see any of the following signs and symptoms, consider them red flags.

  • Brick red mucus membranes
  • Dilated pupils
  • Drooling
  • Uncontrollable excitement
  • Inability to catch their breath
  • Loss of urine or bowels
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Muscle twitching and spasms
  • Panting
  • Rapid breathing 
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Shock
  • Vomiting

article symptoms

One sign specific to cyanide poisoning is a particular odor to their breath that most people refer to as “bitter almond.” While this is one of the most recognizable signs, the ability to smell it is up to genetics, so some people may not be able to smell it at all. 

What High Vitamin C Foods Are Safe for My Dog??

Although it's not recommended to feed your dog cherries, there are other foods high in vitamin C that you can feed your dog with far less worry.

Vitamin C is one of the crucial vitamins for dogs for a variety of reasons. If you’re feeding your dog a healthy diet and using supplements when needed, you don’t need to be too concerned about deficiency. However, if your dog is a picky eater and you just want to ensure that they’re getting what they need, adding foods high in vitamin C can help.

The reason vitamin C is so potent is due to its status as an antioxidant. Antioxidants travel throughout the body, helping to scavenge up free radicals that can potentially become dangerous. The vitamin also helps support immune system health and functionality so that your dog is more likely to stay healthy for longer. 

article vitamin c


Carrots make great, healthy, vitamin C-rich snacks for dogs. Not only are they crunchy, helping to remove tartar from your dog’s teeth and keep them healthy, but they are also nutritionally beneficial. Crunchy snacks also help keep your dog’s diet interesting, and they’ll feel like they’re getting something special without you needing to worry about it causing them harm.


Pumpkin is one of the most recommended foods for dogs, not just for its nutritional properties. While it is packed full of vitamin C, it is pumpkin’s fiber content that helps it shine. Dogs with GI issues, especially diarrhea, may benefit from its natural stomach-soothing ability. It also helps to pull excess water from the GI tract and can be safely fed to your dog in its canned and raw form.

Sweet Potatoes

Like pumpkin, sweet potatoes are another excellent source of fiber and vitamin C. The only significant difference is that canned sweet potatoes aren’t available in a safe form for your dog. However, raw sweet potatoes, or sweet potatoes that you bake yourself without spices or seasonings, can be highly beneficial. 

What About Oranges?

When we think of vitamin C, we usually think of oranges first. But, while we can sit and enjoy a nice glass of orange juice with breakfast, our dogs aren’t quite as lucky. 

Oranges are considered safe for dogs in small quantities, but they can easily cause gastrointestinal upset if they eat too much due to the acid content. Oranges are also fairly high in sugar, which should be avoided as much as possible. 

What Other Fruits Can My Dog Eat?

The next time you’re making a grocery list, here are a few suggestions for what to add and what makes them so great!


Apples are one of our favorite easy yet still healthy snacks. They’re crunchy and sweet without adding many calories and have zero grams of fat. Dogs can enjoy apples the same way we can, but it’s essential that you cut the apples into small pieces first, and remove the core and seeds. 

They may even be able to help your dog with their dental hygiene, which can be a difficult task even for the best dog!


If your dog is getting older or has dental issues, bananas are an excellent option for a healthy snack that doesn’t require as much chewing. Bananas are rich in potassium, magnesium, and vitamins B6 and C. You can cut them into pieces or mash them into your dog’s regular diet. Just be aware of the sugar content.


Blueberries are considered a superfood, and they’ve earned that title for a good reason! Blueberries pack a lot of nutritional value in such a tiny package and are jam-packed with antioxidants that help reverse free radical damage in the body. Plus, you can feed more to your dog for the same nutritional value as smaller portions of other fruits because of their size. 


Like cherries, peaches have a pit that can be a danger to your dog. However, unlike cherries, peaches are far easier to separate from their pit and have enough vitamin A and fiber to make them a worthy, healthy snack. Just make sure that you’re feeding fresh pieces and stay away from canned (they have far too much sugar).


Fresh strawberries are an incredible treat for both people and pups. They’re healthy, full of fiber, and even have an enzyme that has shown potential at naturally helping to whiten your dog’s teeth. Make sure to feed them in small amounts, though, as they contain a large amount of natural sugar.

Why Should I Watch My Dog’s Sugar Consumption?

As we mentioned, part of the problem with some of the fruits that are “safe” is the amount of sugar they contain. But why is that an issue, and should you be concerned about keeping track of their sugar consumption?

For one, sugar is tied directly to obesity in both pets and people. More and more, pet obesity is becoming an epidemic, and the impact of obesity on your pet’s health can be catastrophic. Even just a few extra pounds can increase your pet’s risk of developing diabetes, heart issues, and elevated blood pressure. 

Sugar can also contribute to worsening dental problems. It’s already tough to get your dog’s teeth as clean as they should be, especially if your dog isn’t great at letting you brush their teeth. Excessive sugar consumption can do the same negative things to your dog’s teeth as they do to yours — create cavities. 

In Summary

Can dogs eat cherries? Although the flesh of the cherry is high in vitamin C and doesn’t pose any danger to your dog, the pit can be dangerous. 

For this reason, general recommendations don’t suggest feeding your dogs cherries. Luckily, there are plenty of other fruits that are safe, as well as other foods high in vitamin C that you can substitute for cherries. 


Cherry | ASPCA 

Animal Poison Control | (888) 426-4435 | ASPCA 

Pet obesity is an epidemic | AAHA



A Barking Good Newsletter

Thanks, welcome to the pack!