Can dogs eat tomatoes? The short answer is yes, dogs can eat tomatoes, but there are some big exceptions and things you should know before you give them to your dog.
It’s important to note that tomatoes are in the nightshade family, and parts of them contain substances that are toxic in high amounts. Poisoning from overeating tomatoes is rare in dogs, but it can happen, especially if dogs get into gardens with unripened tomatoes, which are more dangerous.
In general, plain, ripe tomatoes that are free of stems and leaves are safe for dogs to eat, but you should always consult your veterinarian before sharing human foods with your dog.
Here is what you should know about feeding tomatoes to dogs.
How Are Tomatoes Good For Dogs?
Tomatoes are rich in nutrients that are good for dogs if consumed in appropriate quantities. They are low in calories and high in fiber, which is good for digestion.
Tomatoes contain lycopene, which reduces the risk of heart disease and promotes strong bones, beta-carotene, which can improve cognition, vitamin A, which helps with vision, and vitamin C, which is good for skin.
They also have minerals such as folate and potassium, which helps with blood pressure and muscle health.
When Are Tomatoes Bad For Dogs?
The green parts of tomatoes, including stems and vines, as well as unripened tomatoes, contain a toxin called solanine. Generally, they have small amounts of solanine that won’t harm dogs. However, when eaten in large quantities, they can cause problems.
This is a concern for owners who have tomato gardens where there may be many unripened tomatoes where dogs can eat them. If you have a tomato garden, keep your dog away from it.
The most common sign of tomato poisoning in dogs is gastrointestinal upset, but dogs may also suffer from vomiting, diarrhea, drowsiness, confusion, an abnormal heart rate, and other symptoms. If you see signs of tomato poisoning in your dog, get to the vet.
Products that contain tomatoes, such as sauces, soups, or juices, may be unhealthy for dogs, especially because they often contain salt, sugar, artificial flavors, or other ingredients that are harmful. It is best to avoid giving your dog these products.
You can even make your own tomato products, instead, so you know what’s in them. A little bit of these items will probably not cause much harm, but there’s no point in risking your dog’s health.
As with almost all foods, there is a risk your dog may be allergic to tomatoes. In rare cases, an allergic reaction may lead to anaphylaxis, a potentially life-threatening condition. If you see signs of tomato allergies in your dog, such as coughing, sneezing, hives, swelling, difficulty breathing, or other symptoms, stop giving them to your dog and contact your vet.
Some dogs have medical conditions, like acid reflux or gastrointestinal issues, that tomatoes may aggravate. It is always best to ask your veterinarian before giving your dog any new kinds of foods to make sure your pup can safely eat them.
How Should You Give Tomatoes To Your Dog?
If your veterinarian tells you it’s okay to serve tomatoes to your dog, make sure you choose ripe, red ones that have the stems, leaves, and vines removed.
Serve them to your dog fresh without any additives like salt, as these can be harmful to dogs. Make sure you know the source of the tomatoes, too, so you can avoid pesticides and herbicides that can make your dog sick.
If you serve your dog a tomato-based product like sauce or soup, check the ingredients for anything that can hurt your dog. It is best to stick to fresh tomatoes that you prepare, yourself, just to be safe.
Do you ever give your dog tomatoes? Does your dog enjoy them as a treat? Let us know in the comments below!