Can dogs eat tomatoes? The short answer is yes and no. Tomatoes should be given to your dog in moderation, and your pooch can only consume certain parts of the tomato plant. While dogs can have tomatoes, they can also be harmful to dogs in a couple of different ways.
Tomatoes are in the nightshade family, which means some parts are bad for dogs. You should always consult your dog’s vet before trying new foods with them, but let’s take a closer look at this juicy, red vegetable.
What parts of the tomato are dangerous for dogs to eat?
When ripe, the red flesh of a tomato is safe for your dog in small quantities. However, your dog may have a food allergy to tomatoes, resulting in sneezing, coughing, hives, swelling, or difficulty breathing.
The dangerous parts of the plant are the green parts. Green tomatoes (unripe tomatoes), tomato stems, and tomato plant leaves are what you want your dog to stay away from. This is because solanine is found in the stems and leaves of the plant. Solanine is toxic to dogs and, once the fruit ripens and turns red, this substance is no longer toxic.
This is why if you have a garden, then it’s a good idea to keep your dog away from the tomato plants. If dogs eat these parts, then keep an eye out for tomatine poisoning.
What is tomatine poisoning?
Tomatoes contain tomatine, which is a type of tomato poisoning. If your dog begins to show symptoms such as cardiac effects, gastrointestinal upset, loss of coordination, muscle weakness, tremors, vomiting, or diarrhea alert a vert immediately.
Luckily, this is rare to happen. However, if your dog eats large quantities of the fruit or a small dog with a small amount, it can affect them. Smaller dogs are more prone to getting sick from larger portions of human food than big dogs are. Still, you should be cautious about what you give your pooch, no matter what size they are.
What parts of the tomato are safe for dogs to eat?
Ripe tomatoes are the way to go. Raw, ripe red tomatoes are not only safe, but they have plenty of health benefits for your pooch. Plus, dogs love the taste.
So, what nutrients do tomatoes have for your pet? They’re low-calorie, high in fiber, which is great for easy digestion. Tomatoes contain lycopene (reduces the risk of heart disease and promotes strong bones), beta-carotene (improves cognition), vitamin A, vitamin C, folate, and potassium. This reasoning alone makes tomatoes a great treat for your pets, especially if you have a puppy that is still growing.
As long as you don’t give too many tomatoes to your young pup. This juicy food still needs to be given in small doses when added to your dog’s diet so their stomach won’t get upset.
How can you feed your dog tomatoes?
There are many ways you can feed your dog tomatoes. For instance, you can grow it yourself in the garden, as long as your pet stays away from the stems and leaves. If you buy fresh tomatoes from the store, be sure to get organic. This will ensure that there are no pesticides, making it safer for your dog to consume. You should still wash the tomato before serving it to your pets.
Tomato sauce and soup
If you can give your dogs fresh tomatoes, then what about cooked tomatoes? Dogs eat tomatoes in a few different ways, especially if you cut them into small chunks and add them to their dog food. Generally speaking, other ways to serve tomatoes shouldn’t be given to your pet.
For example, tomato sauce or soup may contain other additives or preservatives. They also typically have garlic and onions in them, which is harmful to your dog. If you want to feed your pet tomato soup along with their dog food, then you can certainly make it homemade. This way, there will be no added sugar or anything else that could potentially make your dog sick.
Giving tomatoes to your dog in moderation
Now you know the answer. Can dogs eat tomatoes? Yes, as long as they’re ripe and red. Any other part of the fruit or unripe tomato plants can potentially make your dog sick. When it comes to giving your dog human foods, there are always precautions to take. Luckily, tomatoes have many health benefits. You’ll be able to sprinkle a little bit of this fruit in their other foods for some extra nutrients.
Dogs can eat this yummy treat, but you should always consult your veterinarian before trying new food with your dog.
Rachel is a stay-at-home pet mom, caring for her dog, cat, turtle, tortoise, and fish. She’s a content writer in various niches but most notably in the pet field, educating pet parents on the health and wellbeing of their furry friends. When she’s not writing, she’s reading, playing video games, or organizing something.