This site is supported by our readers. We may earn a commission, at no cost to you, if you purchase through links.
Tomatoes are one of the most flavorful vegetables for humans. This versatile ingredient forms the basis of various meals, from a pasta sauce to a healthy salad, but can dogs eat tomatoes too? There are some important exceptions and things to know before giving them to your dog.
It is important to note that tomatoes belong to the nightshade family, which means that the plants contain substances that can be toxic to dogs if consumed in large amounts, including solanine.
Solanine, a substance found in the stems and leaves of tomatoes and related plants, is harmful to dogs in large amounts.
There is a lot of confusing information on the subject, so here is what you need to know about each part: the ripe fruit, the stems, and leaves, as well as the flowering plant.
Table Of Contents
Can Dogs Eat Tomatoes?
Dogs can eat tomato fruit. If you want to give a dog a tomato, small amounts will not hurt. Many dogs love them for the same reason that people do; They are tasty!
Although they are not toxic, please do not give your dog too much tomato because it can cause an upset stomach. Tomatoes are notoriously acidic, which could cause problems for a dog with a sensitive stomach.
Make sure to start small to see how your dog reacts, just as you would when introducing any new food.
Are Tomatoes Good for Dogs?
Tomatoes are rich in nutrients that are good for dogs if eaten in adequate amounts. They are low in calories and high in fiber, which is good for digestion.
Tomatoes contain lycopene, which can reduce the risk of heart disease and promote strong bones; beta carotene, which can improve cognition; vitamin A, which helps with vision; and vitamin C, which is good for the skin.
They also have minerals like folate and potassium, which help with blood pressure and muscle health.
Are Tomatoes Bad for Dogs?
Tomatoes belong to the nightshade family of vegetables (also known as nightshades). They contain alpha tomatine and solanine, two toxic compounds found in other nightshade plants such as eggplants and green potatoes. The highest concentrations of solanine are located in the green parts of the plant: leaves, stems, and vines.
As with other human foods, there is a risk that your four-legged friend may be allergic to tomatoes. Even if they are ripe, if you notice signs like sneezing, coughing, hives, diarrhea, gas, or itchy rashes, stop feeding your pet tomatoes and contact your vet. In rare cases, an allergic reaction can lead to anaphylaxis, a life-threatening condition. Signs like swelling, hives, and shortness of breath can be signs of a severe allergic reaction and should prompt you to seek emergency veterinary care.
Some dogs have medical conditions, such as gastrointestinal problems and acid reflux, that tomatoes can worsen. This is why it is best to consult your vet before giving your pet any human food.
The tomato itself contains high doses of solanine when it is unripe and green. As the tomato ripens, solanine concentrations drop rapidly, which means your dog can safely eat ripe tomatoes, but you should stay away from green ones. If you have a tomato plant in your garden, you need to be very careful as your furry friend could eat the poisonous green parts.
Signs of Tomato Poisoning in Dogs
Symptoms of tomato poisoning, which are likely to occur only in dogs that eat the whole plant, many plants, or unripe fruit, include:
- Lack of coordination
- Uncontrollable heartbeat
Treatment of Tomato Poisoning in Dogs
If your dog experiences the above symptoms related to tomato poisoning, take him to the vet as soon as possible.
One of the treatments vets may recommend for poisoning (especially if your dog is vomiting and has diarrhea) is fluid therapy. Fluid therapy pumps electrolytes and fluids into your dog’s body to treat the dehydration associated with poisoning and help the body flush out the toxins. Fluid therapy can be administered through the veins, under the skin, or through the abdominal wall, depending on your pet’s needs.
Another treatment includes gastric lavage (also known as “pumping the stomach”). Gastric lavage involves placing a tube through the stomach to flush out toxins when vomiting is not possible. The vet will create an emergency airway to prevent choking in very severe cases, such as a dog having trouble breathing.
Avoid the risk when it comes to tomatoes and start prevention. Do you have a tomato plant? If this is the case, restrict your dog’s access to these. If you have a tomato plant in your home, make sure it is in a pot off the ground and out of their reach. If you are growing a tomato plant in your garden, stake it off. Taking precautions is the best way to avoid a trip to the vet.
How Many Tomatoes Can My Dog Eat?
Ripe red tomatoes of all kinds are a healthy snack to share with your puppy. This includes cherry tomatoes, Roma tomatoes, and your large, standard-sized red tomatoes from the grocery store or garden.
But like all treats, Wismer advises pet parents to keep them. Tomatoes like this: a treat. Share ripe tomatoes in moderation with your dog as a fun snack, or make them homemade treats for your furry friend.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Can Dogs Eat Cooked Tomatoes?
Cooked tomatoes or sauces made from tomatoes may be safe for your dog to eat, but you need to make sure they haven’t been cooked with other toxins. Avoid garlic and onion, which are often added to sauces, or cooked foods seasoned with spices, such as salt and pepper, which can cause your pup to have an upset stomach.
Can Dogs Eat Tomato Sauce or Ketchup?
Skip the tomato sauce, especially the pasta sauce. Not because of the tomatoes, but because the sauces contain all kinds of other ingredients that could harm your dog’s health. Most red sauces (including tomato soup) contain several other harmful news ingredients for your dogs, such as onions, chives, and garlic in high doses.
Can dogs eat cherry tomatoes and grape tomatoes?
There are many varieties of tomatoes, from grapes to cherries, and everything in between. But are some of these varieties more or less toxic to your pet?
The answer is no. Grape Tomatoes, Cherry Tomatoes, Beefsteak Tomatoes, and other varieties are safe for dogs to eat in moderation as long as they are red and ripe and the green parts (stems and leaves) have been removed.
Can dogs eat canned tomatoes?
Canned tomatoes are very high in sodium. In large quantities, this can lead to dehydration. It is better to feed the mature and fresh tomatoes. If your dog eats canned tomatoes, monitor symptoms such as increased urination, excessive thirst, fever, loss of appetite, and nausea.
Can Dogs Eat Green Tomatoes?
When are tomatoes bad for dogs? When they are not ripe. You should never let your dog eat green tomatoes. With the high concentration of tomatine, even a few can be very toxic and dangerous to your dog’s health.
If your dog inadvertently walks into your garden and eats green tomatoes, it is best to see a veterinarian immediately. If your regular vet isn’t available, take your dog to an emergency or poison control vet clinic.
So, Can Dogs Have Tomatoes?
Dogs eat all kinds of crazy things (even when they are not edible). In the end, yes, dogs can eat tomatoes. But if – and only if – they are red tomatoes. If they want you to share these cherry tomatoes that you build or a piece of this Brandywine tomato that you are sliced from the counter and on the ground, the fruit must be red.
Red tomatoes can be an occasional treat, but you should avoid the potential risk of GI by feeding your puppy tomatoes in moderation. Remember that if you suspect that your pet may have ingested a potentially toxic substance, call the animal poison control, the support line of pet poisons, or your veterinarian as soon as possible.