Can Dogs Eat Cherries? When it is or isn’t an Emergency
Yes, dogs can eat cherries but only the flesh and without the pit. The pit, stem, and leaves of the cherry are toxic to dogs because they contain amygdalin, which converts into cyanide once it gets digested in the dog’s body. This applies to most varieties of cherries including sweet cherries and bing cherries.
What to do if your dog ate cherry pits
One or two cherry pits aren’t likely to make a dog sick but you may still want to exercise caution and call the vet, especially if this involves a puppy or small dog such as a chihuahua. It’s not just the risk of cyanide poisoning. Small dogs put themselves at risk of choking or becoming affected by intestinal blockage if they eat too many cherry pits. You should call the emergency vet immediately if your dog somehow swallowed many cherry pits, whether that be 5, 10, 20 or more!
In the meantime, keep a close eye on your dog’s behavior. It could take a few hours before the toxicity effect of cherry pits to kick in. Some dogs may suffer from mild symptoms like diarrhea and vomiting. Others may show symptoms that are more serious such as labored breathing.
Can dogs eat dried cherries?
No, you shouldn’t let your dog eat dried cherries, even if they don’t come with the pit. Dried cherries often come with preservatives and extra sugar, both of which aren’t healthy for dogs. 100% pitted cherries might be okay for dogs to eat in small, infrequent amounts as long as it’s free of unsafe preservatives and additives.