Can dogs eat cherries?

Answer
Dogs should not eat whole cherries due to the risks associated with parts of the fruit. The pits, stems, and leaves of cherries contain cyanide, which is toxic to dogs and can lead to cyanide poisoning if consumed in large quantities. Even a single cherry pit can pose a choking hazard or cause an intestinal blockage, particularly in small dogs124. Maraschino cherries, although pit-free, are also not recommended for dogs because they contain high amounts of sugar, which can lead to obesity, diabetes, and other health issues12. It is advised to keep all types of cherries, including bing, rainier, black, and maraschino, away from dogs1. If a dog accidentally consumes one or two whole cherries, it is unlikely to cause cyanide poisoning, but it may result in an upset stomach or diarrhea. Owners should watch for signs of intestinal blockage, such as constipation, decreased appetite, and vomiting, and be alert for symptoms of cyanide poisoning, including trouble breathing, red gums, and dilated pupils, if multiple cherries are ingested12. As an alternative, dogs can safely eat cherry flesh if the pit, stem, and leaves are removed. However, given the preparation required and the small benefit the dog would receive from the fruit, it may not be worth the effort14. Safer fruit options for dogs include blueberries, peeled and pitted mangoes, and apples without the core and seeds1. In summary, while the flesh of cherries can be safe for dogs if properly prepared, the risks associated with the other parts of the fruit make it generally inadvisable to feed cherries to dogs. Owners should consider safer fruit alternatives or traditional dog treats instead124.
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