Are cherry pits really poisonous to dogs?
August 4, 2008 12:46 PM Subscribe
My yard contains lots of cherries dropped from my tree, and thousands of cherry pits from dropped cherries of yore. My puppy finds them irresistible. Googling indicates that the pits contain cyanide and are potentially harmful to dogs . . . but are they really?
posted by HotToddy to Pets & Animals (13 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Once I realized last night that he was actually swallowing the cherries and not just playing with them, I became concerned about the possibility of a physical obstruction, and in researching that learned about the cyanide thing. This morning I got up and raked up as much of the tree litter as possible, and have been picking cherries all morning--but it's an impossible task to get them all. There are thousands! And even though I thought I got all the dropped cherries and pits up, every time I turn around my puppy has one or two in his mouth (which he very nicely lets me remove in exchange for peanut butter, good boy!). He's closer to the ground than I am and is obviously a more skilled cherry pit hunter.
I called the vet hospital (one of the top vet hospitals in the country) last night and they said it was too late to make him throw up, so just keep an eye on him and he'd probably be fine. They didn't actually seem that worried about it. And so far he is fine. I'm sure he's been eating them since I brought him home six days ago.
I think he is just sort of rolling them around in his mouth and lightly chewing them. I went around with a baggie and squished all the poop I could find, and so far have found five whole pits but no crushed pits.
It is now apparent that the cherry pit problem is insurmountable short of chopping down the tree. Every year will bring more cherries, and I will never be able to eradicate all cherries and cherry pits from my yard. The tree is a major landscape feature and cutting it down would be a SERIOUS blow to my already not-lovely abode. However, poisoning my puppy is not an option.
So here are my questions:
1) What is the real risk here? Does anybody know how many he'd need to eat before it's a problem? Are whole ones dangerous or just ones that are chewed up?
2) Is there a way to keep the tree but keep it from making cherries? Some kind of tree hormone or something?