Saturday, 2 November 2013

Tart Red Cherry (Sour Cherry) - Alternative Medicine for Dogs and Cats

Safe to use as a dietary supplement, alternative medicine
for most dogs and cats.

In this article...
1. Tart Red Cherry
2. Health Benefits
2. Cautions
3. Side Effects
4. Drug Interactions
5. Daily Dosage

1.0 Tart Red Cherry
(also known as Cerise de Montmorency, Tart Cherry, Red Sour Cherry, etc.)

There are more than 270 varieties of sour cherry however only a few varieties are grown for commercial purposes. Montmorency is one of the most popular of the commercially grown tart red cherry varieties. The flesh and stem of the cherry fruit is used to make medicine.

Tart red cherry can be added to your dog’s or cat’s meal in the form of:
  • 100% pure tart red cherry juice – use organic;
  • Tart red cherry extract in liquid form;
  • Tart red cherry extract in gel, or capsule supplement form;
  • Dried, frozen, fresh cherries.
I prefer to use a combination of tart red cherry juice and frozen (finely chopped) tart red cherries.

Tart red cherry contains one of the highest antioxidant (anthocyanins) value of all fruits and vegetables.

On a scale that rates quantity of antioxidants in a food and the strength of the antioxidants (called the Oxygen Radical Absorption Capacity or ORAC) – tart red cherry sits at the top of the list...

Anti-Inflammatory Foods Ranked by ORAC Value

Top Ranked Fruits and Veggies
ORAC Value rates:
qty of antioxidants;
strength of antioxidants.
Tart red cherry juice concentrate
Dried tart red cherry
Tart red cherries, frozen
Canned tart red cherries, packed in water. Note – do not  use cherries packed in syrup as sugar is inflammatory!
Brussel’s Sprouts
Alfalfa sprouts
Broccoli (florets)
Beets (non-GMO beets!)
Grapes (red)
Red Bell Pepper
Pink Grapefruit
Grapes (white)


Note – all of the above fruits are safe for dogs and cats with the exception of the flesh and skin of grapes - particularly conventionally (non-organic) grown grapes - you can read about that in detail here. Grape seed extract is safe for dogs and cats as is grape seed oil.  My dogs eat all of the above fruits and vegetables (with the exception of grapes) on a regular basis. The homemade dog and cat food that I make also contains many of the fruits and vegetables from the list above.

2.0 Health Benefits - a partial list..
  • Anti-inflammatory, effective for relief from i.e.
    • Arthritis;
      • i.e. Osteoarthritus;
    • Gout;
    • Bladder and Kidney stones;
      • Reduce  inflammation, and;
      • Increase urine production;
    • Effective for relieving the pain of chronic inflammation;
    • Injury and pain to muscles and joints from over-exercising and from sudden trauma;
    • Insomnia;
      • Due to the relatively high melatonin content in tart red cherry;
      • Helps to regulate sleep patterns to normal;
  • Cholesterol lowering;
  • Digestive aid;
  • Heart Disease
  • Supports optimal brain function;
  • Triglyceride lowering ( health threatening type of blood fat);
  • Recovery from exercise induced muscle fatigue;
  • Weight reduction.

3.0 Cautions...
  • Allergic or intolerant of cherries - don't use.

4.0 Side Effects...
  • In some individuals the relatively high sorbitol content of tart red cherry juice may cause:
  • Abdominal discomfort;
  • Diarrhea.

5.0 Drug Interactions...
  • None

6.0 Dosage…

Dosage Non-Therapeutic:
  • Concentrated Extract:
    • Reduce to ½ of manufacture’s dosage by body weight/size.
  • Gel or Capsule Supplement:
    • Reduce to ½ of manufacture’s dosage by body weight/size.
  • Juice from concentrate:
    • Small dogs and cats – 1/2 tbs once daily with food;
    • Medium size dogs  - 1/8 cup once daily with food;
    • Large size dogs – 1/4 cup once daily with food;
    • X-Large size dogs – 1/3 cup once daily with food.
  • Canned, fresh, dry or frozen ( finely chopped/minced):
    • Small dogs and cats – 1 tbs once daily with food;
    • Medium size dogs  - 1/8 cup once daily with food;
    • Large size dogs – 1/4 cup once daily with food;
    • X-Large size dogs – 1/3 cup once daily with food.

Dosage Therapeutic:
  • Concentrated Extract:
    • Follow manufacture’s dosage by body weight/size.
  • Gel or Capsule Supplement:
    • Follow manufacture’s dosage by body weight/size.
  • Juice from concentrate:
    • Small dogs and cats – 1 tbs two times daily with food;
    • Medium size dogs  - 1/8 to 1/4 cup two times daily with food;
    • Large size dogs – 1/3 cup two times daily with food;
    • X-Large size dogs – 1/2 cup two times daily with food.
  • Canned, fresh, dry or frozen ( finely chopped/minced):
    • Small dogs and cats – 1 tbs two times daily with food;
    • Medium size dogs  - 1/8 to 1/4 cup two times daily with food;
    • Large size dogs – 1/3 cup two times daily with food;
    • X-Large size dogs – 1/2 cup two times daily with food. 

Holistic Support

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Article and graphics by Karen Rosenfeld


  1. Hi, I've been camping out on your blog for days now =) I have a 9 y/o Rottweiler with low grade 2 Mast Cell tumors in 2 of his stomach area lymph nodes. He's been on Prednisone for 2 weeks and ultra sound pictures show the 2 masses shrunk from 5 cm to 2 cm and the smaller went from a 3 cm to a 1 cm. I want him off the Pred asap and he has just begun his last tapering off to 20 mg every other day. He is also seen by an Eastern Medicine acupuncture DVM who has him on a 5 mushroom blend, Seven Forest Chih-ko & Curcuma Blend and an Oleander blend. He developed 3 dime sized skin masses and all three dried up and fell off one week (I think it's the new Eastern herbs and the Lord at work myself), the regular vet said he never saw them and doesn't think they were actually tumors, because tumors don't fall off that fast…I saw them, the acupuncture DVM saw them, they bled and yes they fell off ;-) I have started him on your #2 home cooked diet as well as all the supplement you have suggested. I was looking at the Tart Red Cherry you write about here and wasn't sure if he needed the therapeutic dosage or non-therapeutic. Perhaps therapeutic till the cancer "disappears" and then go to non-therapudic doses lifetime from there after…? The regular vet wants him to stay on the pred, but I didn't want him on it to begin with. The acupuncture DVM said it was ok for a couple months just to reduce the size of the tumors (they were huge and he couldn't walk well) and then wing him off as the Eastern herbs took up the weight as the Pred was winged off. I'm just looking for natural Pred alternatives to get the masses to shrink up. I will also be starting him on B17 next week with B15 to kick it into higher gear. I'll start the Rooibos tea as soon as I can get some. He is on Essaic 2 oz twice a day. Can I mix the Tart Cherry concentrated drops into the Essaic or Rooibos (I've been adding his milk thistle drops to the Essaic and was hoping I could add this to a tea as well). I've rad every page you have on herbs and your supplements. I read the tumor page as well. If there is anything you can suggest for Mast Cell Cancer I'd appreciate it. I'll pop over to a couple other pages and try to stay on subject with any further questions I may have. Thank you for the well spring of valuable knowledge you have given all of us and our furry loved ones. I know that even though they haven't met you personally, they will all come running up to you like long lost friends when we all get to Heaven. God Bless you for richly blessing all of us!!!

    1. Yes therapeutic TRC now and non-therapeutic later, and yes you can add it to the tea. I would also be adding a few more items. I would be pleased to advise you. If and when you are interested feel free to purchase consultation time.


Important Note

1.0 Use of Foods, Herbs, Alternative Medicines:

Safe use of items and protocols in the article above, is your sole responsibility.

Foods, herbs and alternative medicines have health issue, condition and conventional drug interactions. Safe use of all substances and protocol are your responsibility.

Before you use any substance or protocol do your research. Check for cautions, contradictions, interactions and side effects. Do not use substances or protocols not suitable to your animal's individual circumstances.

If your animal has an underlying condition substances and protocols may conflict.

2.0 Definition of Holistic…

Food, herbs, alternative medicines are NOT ‘holistic’ they are a substance and MAY, or may NOT be ‘NATURAL’.

If you use a ‘natural’ substance (ie. an herb) you are using a natural substance, not a holistic substance.

Holistic is not defined by use of one or several substances. Holistic is an approach.

Definition of “holistic” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press


"relating to the whole of something or to the total system instead of just to its parts"

"Holistic medicine attempts to treat the whole person, including mind and body, not just the injury or disease."

Holistic is a way of approaching life, and within that health, and well-being.

3.0 Expectation a natural substance remedies a health or behavioral situation.

A natural substance used to treat symptoms. But, if factors causing the underlying issue remain you do not have a remedy.

Remedy requires a comprehensive approach. It is necessary to identify root cause. Remove items that trigger, cause or otherwise contribute to issues. Holistic approach includes design, implementation to treat, remedy and maintain long-term health.

4.0 Leave a Comment

I review all comments and publish those deemed appropriate for this site.

I answer questions deemed appropriate when I have time to do so.

Wishing your dog and cat the best of health!

Karen Rosenfeld
Ottawa Valley Dog Whisperer
Holistic Behaviorist - Dogs
Holistic Diet Nutrition Wellness Adviser – Dogs and Cats