Although dogs are known for their loyalty to their owners, they are also just as steadfast (if not even more so- *gasp*!) to their stomach.
A curious and hungry dog may sit, stare and drool longingly at that just-baked cherry pie sitting enticingly on the table.
Just biding its time…
Given the chance, you just know that it’s going to take a big chomp of the pastry dessert- crust, filling, and all.
The big question then, is: Can dogs eat cherry pie?
Although cherry pies are generally harmless to canines, you should never really consider giving any to your dog.
Just like with pecan pie, Cherry pies are not recommended for a canine’s diet due to the high sugar and fat content as well as the possible presence of potentially toxic ingredients such as xylitol.
Introducing new foods to a dog’s stomach suddenly can also cause digestive issues as they will not have the appropriate enzymes to break down the ingredients in cherry pie.
There are always better, healthier alternative treats available for your pooch which don’t come with all the issues that go hand in hand with eating cherry pie.
Ultimately, feeding your dog small amounts of cherry pie as an occasional treat should be alright from a “well, he won’t die” perspective, but it is definitely not ideal.
- Can Dogs Eat Cherry Pie?
- Should My Dog Eat Cherry Pie? What Happens If A Dog Eats A Cherry Pie?
- Can Dogs Eat Cherry-Flavored Products?
- Healthier Alternatives To Cherry Pie
- In Summary
The short answer: Yes, cherry pie is relatively safe for dogs to eat.
The longer answer, with caveats:
Yes, but only if the pie does not contain xylitol, and only if it is given in small amounts and as a rare treat.
Cherry pies have cherries (duh) which are commonly known for their high fiber content, antioxidant properties and its range of vitamins including A, B, C and E.
The healthiest cherry for dogs that is most suitable for canine consumption is the tart cherry, which is also known as the Montmorency cherry.
Other types of cherries such as the Maraschino cherry, Bing, and Rainier cherries have higher sugar content and are not as appropriate.
Not only do tart cherries have one of the lowest natural sugar content levels, they also provide various other benefits including promotion of quality sleep, maintenance of a healthy gut, and joint mobility support.
You may be worried about the cherry pits, but you’ll be glad to know that there is no risk of cyanide poisoning from eating cherry pies.
Cyanide toxicity originates from the cherry’s pit, stem and leaves, which would all normally be removed prior to baking the pie. The flesh of cherries does not contain cyanide and therefore is not toxic to dogs.
Despite the health properties that these summer fruits possess, it would require consuming a substantial number of actual cherry pies before any notable benefits would take effect.
Now, this is an entirely different story.
Although cherry pies are delicious and may provide small amounts of vitamins, minerals, and other essential nutrients, it is best to avoid feeding your dog any pies at all.
The beneficial effects of cherries should not blind you from the fact that cherry pies can be quite detrimental to your dog’s health.
The primary factors you will need to consider before giving a piece of cherry pie to your dog are the sugar and fat content, presence of xylitol, and very real potential for stomach upset.
Cherry pies are full of processed sugar, and excessive consumption can cause your dog’s blood sugar levels to exceed a healthy range.
Over time, your dog will be at significant risk of obesity and diabetes if you continue to incorporate cherry pies into its diet.
Regular consumption of pies can also cause pancreatitis, which may lead to severe complications such as organ failure and even death.
This is due to the fact that the pancreas processes most of the fat a dog ingests (more on the impact of fat below).
Overeating foods that are high in fat such as cherry pies and orange chicken can overload the pancreatic enzymes, which then leads to cell damage and internal inflammation.
Another important factor to keep in mind is that sometimes you do not know exactly what was added into the cherry pie- especially if it was a pre-made pastry.
Certain store-bought pies can include ingredients that are harmless to people but extremely toxic to canines.
A common example of this is the artificial sweetener xylitol, which can cause life-threatening toxicoses in unsuspecting pups.
Xylitol is a chemical sweetener that is often found in sugar-free foods such as chewing gum, mints, and “sugarless” candy. It’s also often included in the formulations of many medicines, toothpastes, and mouthwash.
(That’s why it’s vital to use only doggy-approved toothpaste when cleaning your dog’s mouth of unhygienic materials!)
A dog that consumes a significant amount of xylitol will experience a huge surge of insulin levels. This surge can subsequently cause hypoglycemia, which is a life-threatening condition.
It is extremely important that dogs are not allowed to get their paws on anything that contains xylitol, and any food items that do should be kept on tall shelves or in closed cupboards.
Other than the high levels of sugar contained inside cherries, the pie itself also has ample amounts of fat included in its construction.
These will typically include such luminary artery-clogging ingredients as butter and lard.
The components that make a pie so irresistible to the canine palate are the exact same ones that can pose the greatest danger.
In the above section, we’ve already briefly touched on the hazards associated with weight gain and pancreatitis and how they can negatively impact a dog’s wellbeing both in the short and long-term.
We’ll delve deeper into the topic here.
It’s an indisputable fact that an appropriate amount of fat is necessary for the maintenance of optimal skin, eye, and coat health in canines.
In fact, the average 33-pound dog should be consuming approximately 14 grams of the macronutrient every single day, if the National Academy of Sciences are to be believed (Author’s note: They are to be believed.)
However, when a dog consumes an excessive amount of fat daily, it will likely gain weight quite rapidly. This will result in an increase in pressure on the body’s joints, bones, and vital organs.
The more weight that is gained, the more problems that will start to emerge. Conditions such as diabetes, obesity, and heart complications will become more probable.
In the short-term, acute pancreatitis is an ever-present possibility during periods of rapid fat consumption. Symptoms that may show include lethargy, vomiting, stomach pain, and fever.
In serious cases of the disease, it will need to be treated by a vet with IV fluid administration, anti-inflammatory medication, and painkillers.
Apart from that, If the fat source is dairy-based (i.e. butter), the dog may also find the pie even harder to digest.
This is because dogs are naturally lactose intolerant, and those with more serious cases of intolerance can experience reactions such as gastric intestinal upset, indigestion and diarrhea. Just like us humans!
A dog that takes a large chunk out of a cherry pie will also likely experience GI upset as their system adjusts to the foreign food.
The resulting consequences will be even more severe if your dog has a naturally sensitive stomach.
Mild symptoms of a digestive issue include vomiting, diarrhea and loss of appetite.
In the worst cases of gastrointestinal upsets, vomiting and diarrhea can continue over a span of 48 hours and beyond!
That’s something you definitely don’t want to deal with, especially if your dog has a thing about not wanting to go to poop outside.
A common issue when suddenly introducing new foods such as cherry pie into your dog’s diet is diarrhea. The dog may also vomit and display other digestive issues after enjoying a slice of cherry pie.
To treat this issue, you should carry out at least one of following three actions:
- Provide Pepcid AC (famotidine): Famotidine is a safe medication to support stomach issues in canines.
There are no notable side effects, and it can be found in your local drug store as an over-the-counter product.
The recommended dosage of Pepcid AC for dogs is 2.5 mg for every 10 pounds, every 24 hours.
- Feed a bland diet: A bland diet is one that can be easily digested and reduces intestinal inflammation.
Typical meals can involve boiled ground beef or chicken breast with cooked rice. The ratio of the meal should be two parts rice to one part meat.
It’s a good idea to continue feeding your dog a bland diet until their bowel movements return to normal.
Another great option is to feed your dog one of these Top Alternatives to the popular Hills Prescription Diet I/D range for optimal digestibility!
- Include high fiber foods in their diet: Foods such as bran or canned pumpkin will help to firm up and develop quality stools.
Your dog should be fine after a few days of being treated with one (or a combination) of the suitable treatment methods above. However, do be sure to monitor your dog to ensure that the issue does not escalate!
If you have any kefir at home, an extra tip is to try giving some to your dog as long as it is made from either goat, coconut or almond milk.
In rare cases of prolonged stomach upsets, consult your vet ASAP for immediate medical attention.
(Side note: I am a member of the Amazon Associates program. From time to time I like to recommend products in my posts that I feel may truly be helpful to readers and their pets. If you do end up buying something by clicking the links on my site, I may receive a tiny amount of commission from the big guys.
And if you do end up buying something- Thank you! I really appreciate your support and I’ll always do my best to put out more quality content for you 🙂 )
In most cases, cherry-flavored products are fine for canines to eat- but that doesn’t mean they should be consuming them on a regular (or even irregular) basis.
Most cherry-flavored products incorporate processed cherries, which have higher sugar content than natural cherries and therefore will skyrocket blood sugar levels even more.
Whether it be dried cherries, cherries in a jar, processed cherries, or canned cherries, they will all generally have greater sugar content than fresh cherries.
Higher blood sugar levels will increase insulin production in the body and may cause some dogs to experience a sudden drop in blood glucose. As a result, they may eventually become lethargic or appear ill.
Some dogs may also be allergic to certain foods, especially those that are made from dairy products such as cream of mushroom soup. General symptoms of an allergic reaction include digestive irritation and a skin rash.
Other pups may be intolerant to specific ingredients such as lactose in ice cream and yoghurt.
As we’ve already discussed above, ingredients that are toxic to dogs such as the artificial sweetener xylitol are also often incorporated into cherry-flavored products.
Another factor worth considering is the artificial flavoring and preservatives that are often used to formulate cherry-flavored products.
Before feeding your dog any new foods, always consider asking a canine nutritionist or your vet first to determine which foods are suitable or not suitable for your pup.
Yes, a dog can technically eat cherry yoghurt, including black cherry yoghurt.
However, it is not recommended as there are definitely better alternatives out there for your best pal.
Starting to notice a common theme yet?
Although yoghurt is an excellent source of probiotics, protein, and calcium, it does contain the sugar lactose.
As many dogs cannot digest lactose, your pup will likely experience an upset stomach which can result in bloating, diarrhea and vomiting.
The amount of fat in certain yoghurts can also cause GI upset and acute pancreatitis.
Excessive and prolonged consumption may eventually lead to diabetes, obesity– and even death.
If you really want to feed your dog yoghurt, try to aim for plain and sweetener-free yoghurts. For any type of yoghurt, you’ll also want to check the ingredients first to ensure that it does not contain xylitol.
The best option out there is Greek-style yoghurt. Not only does it have a considerable number of healthy bacteria to improve gut health in a dog, but it also has low lactose content.
If probiotics are the main reason as to why you are looking to give your pup yoghurt to eat, consider feeding it a supplement called FortiFlora instead!
FortiFlora by Purina is a probiotic supplement formulated for dogs and recommended by vets all over.
It incorporates healthy gut bacteria to support your dog’s digestive system, but doesn’t have the inclusion of problematic ingredients such as lactose which can otherwise cause stomach issues.
Whether it is regular cherry juice or tart cherry juice, dogs can have small quantities of the drink as an occasional treat.
Canines generally can drink cherry juice and expect to experience minimal negative consequences.
However, it is still not recommended to regularly feed your dog cherry juice. This is because most store-bought juices contain added sugars which increases the risk of diabetes and obesity.
If you do want to let your dog drink a little bit of cherry juice, aim for whole juice as it is much healthier. However, always remember that juice is not necessary for their diet.
It is also crucial to avoid juices with additional coloring, additives and flavoring. Additionally, though they may look somewhat alike, make sure that you NEVER feed a grape juice mixture as grapes (and raisins) are extremely toxic to dogs!
In the end, the best choice for hydrating your dog will always be clean, fresh water.
Although there should be no immediate issues with feeding your dog black cherry ice cream, you should avoid doing so unless it’s literally the only thing left in your fridge!
Black cherry ice cream is loaded with sugar due to the sweet trifecta of milk, cream, and processed sugar.
As you surely know by now, excessive sugar consumption in dogs will increase the risk of weight gain, obesity, diabetes, and potentially fatal issues.
Even sugar-free ice cream can be dangerous as it may contain the toxic artificial sweetener xylitol.
Besides xylitol, you’ll also want to keep an eye out for common ice cream add-on culprits such as chocolate, coffee, and nuts. Even artificial flavorings of chocolate, coffee and grapes should be actively avoided.
If you really want to feed some ice cream to your dog on a hot summer’s day, your best bet would be to provide plain vanilla ice cream.
This will prevent any toxicity issues that are associated with the aforementioned nut, and chocolate or coffee flavors. It’s also a great idea to opt for dairy-free varieties or ice cream formulated especially for dogs!
The presence of caffeine and theobromine makes chocolate and coffee a sufficiently toxic product for any dog.
Toxicity caused by eating cocoa products such as chocolate powder can cause:
- Behavioral irregularities such as restlessness and hyperactivity;
- GI issues such as vomiting & diarrhea;
- Heart complications such as Tachycardia, cardiac arrhythmia, hypertension;
- Other physiological responses such as hyperthermia and muscle tremors.
In the worst cases, coffee and chocolate consumption can lead to heart failure and death.
When it comes to nuts, a few varieties of the fruit (such as the delicious macadamia) are toxic to canines and will disrupt nerve and muscle activity significantly.
If consumed, your dog may exhibit signs of toxicity including:
The consequences of macadamia nut consumption don’t end there. Due to the high fat density of most nuts, ingestion can lead to acute pancreatitis as the pancreas becomes overloaded with trying to process fat.
Dogs usually do not have the digestive enzymes to break down the lactose present in ice cream.
Always check the ingredients to make sure there is no xylitol. Xylitol is typically present in sugar-free ice cream.
Xylitol is an artificial sweetener which is often added to sugar-free foods. Eating xylitol will cause an upsurge in insulin that will dramatically decrease blood glucose levels.
This can lead to hypoglycemia and the associated symptoms including vomiting, lack of energy, and seizures. It can also result in liver damage and failure.
What’s A Viable Alternative To Black Cherry Ice Cream?
Although black cherry ice cream isn’t recommended for pets, a suitable ice cream alternative that can be recommended for pooches is the Hoggin Dogs Ice Cream Mix.
Hoggin is grain-free, lactose-free and has no sugar added to prevent stomach issues and excessive weight gain. It is also formulated specifically for dogs using natural and human-grade ingredients.
Hoggin’s ice creams are made in the USA and have a variety of flavors to suit all breed sizes and life stages. Not only is it easy to prepare, but it also lasts for a long time in the freezer.
With 4.6 out of 5 star rating on Amazon from 550+ global customers, Hoggin Dogs Ice Cream Mix is an undeniably excellent option if you want to give the frozen food to your dog as a treat on those scorcher days.
Though pups undoubtedly love the flaky pastry of a good pie crust, there are a range of healthier food options available which are more suitable for a dog’s diet.
If you would like to give your dog a cherry-flavored alternative to cherry pie… You can simply give it some fresh cherry flesh- revolutionary idea, I know!
Although dogs can have sugary treats, they should be limited in frequency to once per week or so.
Other options to choose from that are safer and healthier for your dog include fruits such as:
- Peeled and pitted mangoes
- Apples without the core and seed
- Bananas without peel
- Carrots cut into small sizes
- Oranges without the stem, pulp, or seeds
Or, you can stick with a traditional dog treat (like the teeth-cleaning Dentastix) that has been specially formulated for pets with strict guidelines.
Another good option is the Blue Buffalo Range of treats.
They are suitable for most dogs regardless of dietary requirements, as they do not incorporate grain, corn, soy, wheat, or any by-products. This in turn means your dog is unlikely to experience any digestive issues- always a plus!
Blue Buffalo treats combine real meat with DHA, Omega 3, and Omega 6 fatty acids to provide a nutritional treat that is soft and moist to suit both puppies and older dogs.
With recommendations from dog trainers and owners all over the world, it is no wonder it has received a 4.6 out of 5 star rating from around 13,000 reviews on Amazon.
Although dogs can technically eat cherry pie, it is still recommended that you avoid giving any to your pup- however small the amount.
Cherry pies generally have high sugar and fat content, and the recipe may also have incorporated ingredients that are toxic to canines such as xylitol.
Even if the pie does not contain any toxic ingredients, it is still unhealthy and can increase the risks of weight gain, obesity, and diabetes if you consistently feed your dog the pastry.
There are always better alternatives, whether it be homemade concoctions or products formulated for canines specifically.
Always check to see if a particular food is suitable for dogs. If you are ever unsure, don’t hesitate to check online (here at Joy Pet Products- shameless plug!), or ask for help from your friendly neighborhood vet or canine nutritionist!
Heather Abraham is an owner of two dogs, one cat, a leopard gecko, and a parrot (who her dad still cannot teach bad words to), and an avid blogger. From the time she was a young girl, she always felt a connection with pets. She brings her love of every type of pet to you, with information on animal nutrition, medication, toys, beds, and everything else in between. Along with newly-on-board veterinarian DVM editor Elena, she puts pups first while offering other various fun tidbits along the way.