Are Cherries Bad for Dogs?

As a dog owner, you must be aware of the foods that are safe for your pet and more importantly, the foods that are dangerous for your pet. One dangerous fruit that you may find surprising is cherries. Cherries contain many beneficial nutrients, but the risks of your dog eating cherries outweigh the benefits. Continue reading below to learn about the risks associated with eating cherries and what to do if your dog eats them. 

Dangers of Cherries

Part of cherries contain cyanogenic glycosides which can turn into the toxin, cyanide. The leaves, stems, and pits all contain cyanide, while the flesh of the cherry is considered safe. Eating any of these parts can cause cyanide poisoning. On the off chance your dog swallows the cherry pit whole, they may not be poisoned because the cyanide will remain inside and pass through their stool. There’s also a chance that the pit can get lodged in the stomach which can cause a blockage and intense stomach pain. Unfortunately, if a dog is eating cherries, they don’t have the conscious ability to separate the pit from the flesh, making the risk of being poisoned only higher. Cherries grown for human consumption and sold in stores have a very low concentration of cyanide compared to wild cherries that contain a higher concentration of cyanide. If a dog consumes a large amount of cherries, the effects can come on quickly and be lethal within just one to two hours. 

Symptoms of Cyanide Poisoning

The clinical signs from poisoning depend on the amount of cyanide ingested. Possible signs of cyanide poisoning include:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Dilated pupils
  • Bright red gums
  • Shock
  • Inadequate oxygen levels
  • Constipation


If you find that your dog has eaten cherries, do not wait to see signs of poisoning and seek treatment immediately. Call Pet Poison Helpline at (855) 764-7661 and your veterinarian for first aid advice. If your dog is having difficulty breathing and has inadequate oxygen levels, they may be given oxygen supplementation to aid oxygen delivery to tissues and organs. In severe cases, surgery may be necessary to remove an intestinal blockage in the digestive system. Monitor your dog for any changes in behavior and watch what they eat. Fruity treats that your dog can enjoy include apples, mangos, bananas, and blueberries in moderation. Always consult your veterinarian before giving your pup anything new so you and your furry friend can avoid a poisoning accident.