A dog with a curious expression looking at cherries without pits, indicating moderate safety for dogs.

Can Dogs Eat Cherries Without Pits?

Yes, dogs can eat cherries without pits, but there are important caveats to keep in mind. While the flesh of cherries does contain beneficial nutrients, the pits, stems, and leaves are a big no-no due to the presence of toxic cyanide. In moderation, and with pits removed, cherries can be a tasty, occasional treat.

A photo of Stefan Stumpfl, the co-author of this article.

By Stefan Stumpfl, in collaboration with Dr. Ali Raza.

Updated on Jul 1, 2024

Did You Know?

Cherries should always be pitted before offering them to dogs, as the pits contain cyanogenic glycosides which are toxic.

Cherries Without Pits



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Feeding Frequency


Allergic Risk


Benefits and Risks of Cherries?

Cherries offer nutritional benefits such as vitamins A and C, which contribute to a healthy immune system and skin. They also contain antioxidants that fight inflammation. However, the risks are notable: choking hazards, gastrointestinal blockages, and the presence of cyanide in pits can lead to serious issues. Moderation is vital.

How Many Cherries Can Dogs Eat?

For small dogs, one or two pit-free cherries are more than enough. Larger breeds might handle a few more, but even then, it's best to keep it minimal. Frequency-wise, cherries should be a rare treat rather than a regular part of the diet. Always observe for any adverse reactions when introducing new foods.

Common Misconceptions

Some believe that removing the pits alone makes cherries completely safe. While it eliminates the risk of cyanide poisoning, too many cherries can still upset their stomach due to natural sugar content and fiber. Misjudging the quantity can lead to digestive issues.

What If Your Dog Reacts Badly to Cherries?

If your dog shows signs of distress like vomiting, diarrhea, or lethargy after eating cherries, reach out to your vet immediately. More severe reactions may require urgent care, so never hesitate to seek professional advice.

What are Healthy Alternatives?

Cherries can be risky, but there are safer, equally tasty alternatives:

  • Blueberries: Antioxidant-rich and safe in small quantities.
  • Strawberries: High in fiber and vitamin C.
  • Apples (slice and remove seeds): Offer fiber and vitamins A and C.


While cherries without pits can be an occasional treat for dogs, moderation is crucial. Always monitor your dog's reaction, and consult with your vet for any specific health guidelines. When in doubt, safer fruits like blueberries or apples make excellent alternatives. Your dog's health is worth the extra caution!