We all enjoy eating ice-cold cherries during the hot summers. But what about our dogs? Can dogs eat cherries? Are there any health benefits to feeding cherries to your dogs? In this blog, we’ll discuss the 7 hidden health dangers about cherries, so you know the facts about ingredients and nutrition before using them as a fun snack for your dog.
Cherry pits and stems are dangerous because they contain cyanide and can also cause intestinal blockages. As for maraschino cherries that are pit-free, they’re loaded with sugar, and dogs should also not consume them.
The flesh from a cherry is safe and packed with antioxidants, so if you’re prepared to remove the pit and stems, they’re fine to consume. That said, summer fruits like blueberries, peeled and pitted mangoes, and apples are better options.
Benefits of a Pitted Cherry
If you’re going to feed your furry best friend a pitted cherry, and prepare them properly and feed in moderation, you’ll find that there’s plenty of nutrients and vitamins in a cherry. Here’s the take with cherries. They contain the following:
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin E
Cherries as an Antioxidant
Cherries contain an antioxidant called anthocyanins that’s beneficial for a dog’s immune system. Cherries may help with degenerative conditions like canine arthritis, cardiovascular disease, cardiovascular health and may be beneficial in combatting canine cancers in dogs.
Vitamin A helps with good eye health. Providing Vitamin A can help your dog’s vision, and it may increase overall eye health in our furry best friends.
Vitamin C Optimizes Immune System Health
Like anthocyanins, Vitamin C in cherries optimizes white blood cell function. Vitamin C strengthens your dog’s immune system and helps his overall well-being.
Can dogs eat cherries as a sweet treat after you’ve shared a few licks of your ice cream, or will you make your dog sick from things like the sugar and preservatives in those colorful red maraschino cherries floating in a glass jar that taste delicious on top of a hot fudge sundae or in a nice cold cosmopolitan…? This could give your dog a sugar high and lead to chronic health conditions like diabetes?
The American Kennel Club (AKC) explains that “If your dog gets his paws on a whole cherry when you’re not looking, don’t panic. A single cherry pit will not cause cyanide poisoning. But you should look out for symptoms of intestinal blockage, including vomiting, decreased appetite, constipation, and decreased fecal production.” They add that symptoms tend to occur up to 24 hours after your dog has consumed a cherry pit and that smaller dogs are more likely to suffer from intestinal blockages from a small pit.
Can Dogs Eat Cherries? 7 Dangerous Ingredients
Sweet cherries from your grocery store are a popular fruit; however, they can be quite dangerous for your dog because the leaves, pits, and stems contain cyanide, which could be deadly if your dog eats large quantities.
Purina explains that “there are many different types of cherries out there, including bing, rainier, black, and maraschino. Although maraschino cherries don’t have a pit, they contain a lot of sugar, which isn’t good for dogs. “Generally, it isn’t a good idea to offer your dog any canned fruits, as they often have added sugars or preservatives,” says Purina Senior Nutritionist Jan Dempsey. Excess sugar can lead to diabetes, obesity, digestive upset, and even cavities. You could feed your dog a fresh cherry, but you’d have to remove the pit, stem, and any leaves first. That’s a lot of work, considering your dog won’t eat enough to see any benefits from this fruit,” via Purina.
Here’s the take with dogs consuming cherries:
Cherry pits might also get stuck in your dog’s digestive tract and cause intestinal blockage.
Here are the 7 dangerous ingredients in maraschino cherries for dogs.
- High Fructose Corn Syrup: Sugars are bad for your dog and can result in hyperactivity, obesity, and diabetes.
- Citric Acid: This ingredient causes bloat and can give your dog a stomach ache and gas.
- Natural and Artificial Flavor: Can dogs eat cherries with artificial and natural flavors? Artificial flavors in maraschino cherries may promote liver inflammation and dysplasia. The natural flavor contains sugar, which is not good for your dog. Therefore, the answer is an undeniable no for these reasons alone.
- FD&C Red #40: One of the most common and recognized artificial food dyes is to make food look pretty and full of color. The bad news is that FD&C Red #40 food dye contains cancer-causing contaminants and has been linked to ADHD and hyperactivity.
- Benzoate of Soda: Sodium Benzoate is a preservative that can cause an allergic reaction or damage your dog’s organ system like his heart, pancreas, or liver.
- Potassium Sorbate: This additive is also a preservative that can cause cancer.
- Sulfur Dioxide: This type of preservative can cause vitamin B1 deficiency.
Note: Can dogs eat cherries and not get sick? Sure, 1 or 2 cherries may not do any harm; however, the toxic ingredients listed above should give you reasons not to give cherries to your dog as a table food or snack.
Nutrition Facts for 1 Maraschino Cherry
- Calories – 15
- Fat – 0 g
- Sodium – 0 mg
- Carbohydrate – 3 g
- Sugars – 2 g
- Protein – 0 g
Now you know the 7 health dangers of maraschino cherries for your dog and the nutritional facts. I hope you will use caution and avoid foods with sugar, food dyes, artificial flavors, and preservatives in your dog’s diet to keep him healthy.
You may want to eliminate these types of foods in your own diet as well. As long as your dog is not lactose intolerant, you can always share a lick or two or your ice cream and be safe.