As human’s best friends, dogs have always been intrigued by what we eat and put in our mouth. If we eat it, then it must be yummy, right? But can dogs eat cherries?
Well, the answer is a simple no. Even though your puppy may have consumed one or two cherries in the past, a large number of cherries are not suitable for them.
It’s a fact that most dogs love the refreshing, sweet taste of most fruits. Although fruits such as watermelon and bananas are not harmful to dogs, there are several varieties that you should not attempt to give your dogs.
For instance, cherries provide healthy nutrients contents such as fiber, vitamin D, Vitamin A, and other antioxidants but also contain a hazardous chemical known as cyanide.
Reasons Why Dogs Can’t Have Cherries
There are a number of reasons why dogs can’t eat cherries, the main ones are listed below.
Stems, leaves, and seeds of cherries contain some quantities of amygdalin, which can easily be converted into cyanide when eaten. While the human body can tolerate low amounts of this chemical, dogs cannot.
This is because it may inhibit their oxygen uptake and prevent the blood from carrying enough oxygen that’s sufficient to meet their daily needs, according to Purina’s veterinary experts.
Stems and seeds that accumulate in the dog’s body could get stuck and form an obstruction. The dogs may, therefore, start experiencing symptoms such as diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and loss of appetite.
According to veterinarians, this is a widespread problem among dogs eating cherries, especially with small dog breeds and puppies. But this does not mean that large breeds are not at risk.
Eating these fruits may still be an issue, especially if the dog has ingested a lot of them. If they do not get removed as soon as possible, then the dog is likely to suffer severe poisoning.
Since seeds are quite hard, the dog is likely to break his teeth, mainly if he eats attempts crunching down on this fruit. This will not only lead to infection but also excreting pain. Puppies and other smaller breeds are again usually at high risk.
Most fruits ferment, especially when they rot. With this in mind, if your dog eats a lot of rotten cherries, he has the potential to become intoxicated. It is essential to keep a close eye on your pup if you are out in a fruit orchard full of overripe fruits.
Most cherry fruits contain mold spores. Although some molds are not dangerous, others can lead to severe stomach upset. Dogs with sensitive stomachs are even more likely to experience this since you’ll be introducing a foreign body.
Are There Safe Cherries for Dogs?
The most common types of cherries out there include black, bing, and maraschino. Although maraschino cherries do not contain a lot of chemicals, they have a lot of sugar, which may also not be suitable for dogs either.
But can dogs eat cherries? Although it’s not wrong to give your dog canned fruits that contain preservatives or sugar, giving them a lot of sugar may lead to obesity, diabetes, cavities, and even digestive issues.
Before giving your dog any fresh cherries, you need to remove the stem, pit, and leaves. But, because your dog will not get a lot of benefits from it, it’s not worth it.
With that said, several alternatives do not come with the risks associated with cherries that you can always give your dog. The best part is that they do not even require you to remove seeds or stems.
Some of these examples include blueberries, apples, and mangos.
To make sure that your dog enjoys the berries, you just need to scatter a few of them into its food. Although these fruits are good, it’s not good to overdo it. It’s crucial to just give them a few of these as a treat. Otherwise, you may end up giving them too many, which can lead to diarrhea.
Another vital thing to note is that your dog can get his vitamin A from carrots. Carrots will not only improve their skin but also help to protect against muscle degeneration and boost their vision.
Apart from these, carrots are also among the best source of fiber. You can give your dog a carrot by either feeding him directly from your hand or breaking it up and putting it inside their food. So while cherries are not suitable for dogs, there are many other popular options.
Diagnosis of Cherry Poisoning Among Dogs
Since cyanide poisoning can be dangerous, you need to contact the veterinarian as soon as possible. If you are sure that your dog has eaten cherries whole, then you should explain to the vet exactly how many he has eaten.
In addition to a complete examination, he may do a blood test and urinalysis. The blood test will show the amount of cyanide contained in the blood. If the amount of cyanide is above an acceptable amount, then he will commence the treatment as soon as possible.
If your dog is experiencing severe symptoms such as difficulty breathing and convulsions, then he may need to assess him further before starting the treatment.
He will also test samples of vital body organs such as the kidneys and liver.
What to Do If Your Dog Ate Cherries
According to Andrea Trafny, the number of cherries needed to produce the cyanide toxicity generally relies on the size of the dog. Besides, this also depends on whether the dog has chewed the seeds or not.
For the fruits to release amygdalin, a chemical that’s converted to cyanide, the dog must either ingest or chew the seeds. The leading cause of cherry poisoning among the dogs is from eating cherry seeds that contain cyanide.
So, if you have a huge dog that has just eaten one or two cherries there should be no cause for alarm. This is because one or two cherries may not lead to a severe problem.
Although it requires more significant quantities of cherries to get your dog sick, it’s still important to call a veterinarian in case you feel that your dog has eaten more cherries than known.
Because of their small gastrointestinal tracks, small terrier breeds and puppies are usually at high risk. Cyanide poisoning, stomach upset, and intestinal obstruction may occur at any time.
Signs That You need to keep an Eye On
- Rapid or difficulty in breathing
- Dilated pupils
- Bright red gums
- Increased salivation
- In serious cases, the dog may even go into shock
It’s, therefore, important to watch your dog and keep a keen eye on these symptoms for at least 24 hours. If you realize that the dog has started experiencing gastrointestinal blockage, you need to call a veterinary doctor as soon as possible.
Your vet will decide on the best cause of action for the animal. This may be the prevention of toxicity of induced vomiting.
Treatment of Cherry Poisoning
Since you must stop the bonding of the chemical as soon as possible, the treatment of the dog should be your number one priority in case your dog has experienced cherry poisoning.
To put the dog on the path of recovery, you need to induce Fe3 into its hemoglobin. You also need to put in IV fluids with nitrates together with amyl nitrates.
Sodium nitrates and amyl nitrated. Sodium nitrates and amyl nitrates are some of the best antidotes for this kind of poisoning. In most instances, this is the first step that a veterinarian will take, especially when a dog is brought in after eating cherry.
Detoxification. The doctor may also use Rhodanese and thiocyanate to detoxify the dog. According to the doctors, either one of these methods can be given through IV fluids.
Sodium Thiosulphate. It’s also essential to provide the dog with sodium thiosulphate orally. This is because it will significantly help to stop the production of cyanide in the dog’s body. It does this by helping the cells to change cyanide into a different chemical that can easily be eliminated by the body.
Other Antidotes. Other antidotes may be used to detoxify the dog’s systems. While some of them are effective, others are still in the research phase to see whether they are viable options or not.
If your dog has eaten cherry seeds and you’ve not had time to call the veterinary, then the healing process may be slowed. If you can get a jump start on your dog’s care, then you’ll find that the above treatment options are quite effective.
In terms of drugs and other medications, he will explain to you the importance of sticking to the schedule and ensuring that your dog takes the right dose.
Once you are back home, you should keep an eye on your dog for any new symptoms or behavioral changes that need to be addressed by the physician as fast as possible.
So, the ultimate answer about can dogs eat cherries, is that while they can technically eat them, the cherry’s stem and seeds contain cyanide, which is dangerous to dogs if consumed in large quantities. Also, due to their small gastrointestinal tracks, small breeds and puppies are at high risk.
Even if you remove the pits from the cherries, there is still no need to feed your dogs this fruit. But if your dog eats cherries by accident, you need to seek veterinary assistance as soon as possible.
This will not only prevent further damage but also preserve their lives.