Can Dogs Eat Tomatoes? Are Tomatoes Poisonous For Dogs?

Can Dogs Eat Tomatoes? - Are Tomatoes Poisonous For Dogs?

Can dogs eat tomatoes? The short answer is yes. Dogs can eat anything as long as they are edible, and tomatoes are the surely one. However, it doesn’t mean that tomatoes are completely safe for your dogs. There are exceptions and risks that dog parents should know before feeding their babies with tomatoes. 

Read this article till the end to provide your dogs with fresh and healthy tomatoes and keep them safe from poison.

Nutrition Value of Tomatoes

Tomatoes are the rich-nutrition vegetable that is good for both humans and pets. They are low in calories and high in fiber, which will promote the digestion of dogs. Besides, this vegetable contains lycopene, a useful element in preventing heart disease and supporting strong bones. 

Meanwhile, beta-carotene in tomatoes will improve cognition and prevent metabolic syndrome. Vitamin A is good for vision, and vitamin C helps develop a strong immune system. Lastly, potassium will aid in regulating blood pressure.

Tomatoes are nutritious for dogs

Tomatoes are nutritious for dogs

In many dog foods, tomato is used in the form of tomato pomace as a minor ingredient. Containing the skin, pulp, and crushed tomato seeds, it is widely used as an additional source of fiber and vitamins. 

In terms of flavors, dogs love the sweet and juicy taste of tomatoes. People often feed their dogs with some tomatoes here and there as a type of snack. 

When Tomatoes Can Harm Your Dogs?

Eating Unripe Tomatoes

Although tomato brings your dogs a bunch of benefits, there are risks and exceptions that dog parents should know. But before we start, let’s take a quick look at tomatoes themselves. 

If you don’t know, tomatoes are from the nightshade family with a scientific name of Solanaceae. Plants from this family contain a toxin, called solanine, which can be harmful to dogs if consumed too much. 

For tomatoes, certain parts like the stems, vines, and leaves contain solanine, which is toxic in high amounts. Green, unripe tomatoes even have more solanine than these above parts. The amount of solanine reduces slowly when tomatoes ripen and turn red.

Dogs should eat only ripe tomatoes

Dogs should eat only ripe tomatoes

This is where dog parents should give additional concerns to make sure that their dogs don’t consume these parts in large quantities. 

Many of you might ask, “Why do people feed their dogs with unripe tomatoes?”. Dog parents, of course, will never do that. But their pets, who might love tomatoes and be hungry, will unintentionally get to unripe tomatoes and poisonous parts for a snack in the yard. 

Thus, dogs parents should pay extra attention to their home-grow garden before their dogs get into trouble. You can prevent your dogs from eating green tomatoes by putting the plants away from their reach or cover the plants with nets. 

Dogs with Tomato Allergy

In fact, tomatine poisoning due to solanine is quite rare. However, tomatoes can lead to other health problems if dog parents do not pay enough attention.

Like many other food, there is a risk of allergies for dogs when eating ripe tomatoes. Although tomato allergy is not common for dogs, there are still chances. The bad news is there’s no way to predict whether your dogs have tomato allergies or not. 

The only way to make sure about this is to feed your dog with tomatoes and wait for the symptoms. Here are the most significant symptoms of tomato allergy:

  • Coughing
  • Sneezing
  • Itchy rashes
  • Red ear skin
  • Vomiting
  • Growling stomach
  • Gas
  • Diarrhea
  • Difficulty breathing

Tomato allergy can lead to anaphylaxis, a potentially lethal condition in dogs. So, if you see any signs of allergy in your dogs, stop giving them tomatoes and take them to the nearest vet immediately.

Dogs with Gastrointestinal Issues

If your dogs have medical conditions, like acid reflux or gastrointestinal issues, you should not feed them with too much tomato. 

As tomatoes contain citric, malic, and ascorbic acid, they can aggravate some gastrointestinal issues in dogs. They can even lead to stomach upset for dogs with a sensitive stomach.

It’s best to ask your vet about your dog’s gastrointestinal status before giving him tomatoes to make sure your pup can safely eat them. Also, you should start with small amounts to see your dog’s reaction just like what you would do when introducing new food. 

How To Serve Tomatoes To Your Dogs

The answer to the question of can dogs eat tomatoes is similar to can dogs eat strawberry yogurt, can dogs have pears, or can dogs eat fish. Dogs can eat mostly any edible thing that people can eat. However, feeding dogs with tomatoes need extra cautiousness. 

So, the question is, how to feed your dogs with tomatoes in a healthy manner? The answer is quite simple. You can find a detailed guide for serving tomatoes to dogs in this section. We will mention fresh tomatoes first, and then tomato products like sauce, and ketchup.

How to feed fresh tomatoes to your dog safely?

How to feed fresh tomatoes to your dog safely?

Fresh Tomatoes

Before feeding your dogs with tomatoes, you should make sure about the source of your tomatoes. It’s best to choose organic fruits without the use of chemicals. 

When it comes to tomatoes, color is the crucial key. You must choose the ripe and red ones. Remove vines, steams and leave before giving tomatoes to your pets. 

Moreover, it’s important to rinse tomatoes well, especially when they are not organic. Rinsing the tomato carefully, especially where the sepal comes to connect with the fruit to remove residual pesticides and herbicides. For more safety, you can peel off the tomato’s skin.

Tomato Sauce and Ketchups

So, what about tomato sauce and ketchups? Will they harm your dogs? Can you use them for cooking dog foods? 

Let’s talk about tomato sauce first. You shouldn’t use it for dog food, especially pasta sauce. It’s not the tomatoes’ fault, but the sauce contains other ingredients, which can be detrimental to your pet’s health. Tomato sauce often contains too much sugar and salt, along with other ingredients like onions, chives, and garlic in large quantities. 

What about ketchup? Luckily, ketchup seems to be safer for your dogs. But you need to keep it as simple as possible. The best option is to use plain ketchup and avoid spicy flavors like jalapeno or sriracha. However, you should note that ketchup has no nutritional value. Thus, it’s no point feeding your dogs with ketchup unless they want a bite of your hot dog. 

Happy Pomeranian dog on bright orange backdrop with giant bread tomato prop

Happy Pomeranian dog on bright orange backdrop with giant bread tomato prop

Another important thing to note down, dog parents should read the ketchup’s ingredient list carefully. Generally, ketchups will contain sugar. But some manufacturers use xylitol as a substitute, which is lethal to your dogs. 

Xylitol is quickly absorbed into your dog’s bloodstream after they are eaten. A small amount of xylitol can lead to low blood sugar, seizures, liver failure, or even death. If you suspect that your dogs have consumed xylitol-containing products, you need to take your dogs to the vet as soon as possible.

Tomato Poisoning In Dogs

In the last section of this article, dog parents will find detailed information about tomato poisoning in dogs. Not only you will be provided with the symptoms of solanine poisoning, but you will receive useful advice from experienced vets.

Tomato toxicity in dogs

Tomato toxicity in dogs

Symptoms

If your dog has been poisoned by tomatoes, he is likely to get gastrointestinal irritation or stomach lining upset. Watch your dogs carefully for these following signs if somehow, they happen to have consumed a large quantity of green parts of tomatoes plants: 

  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Lethargy
  • Muscles weakness / Tremors
  • Loss of coordination
  • Abnormal heart rate
  • Dilated pupils
  • No appetit

The good news is tomato poisoning is rare in dogs, and the prognosis for dogs with tomato toxicity is good. But it doesn’t mean that your dogs are safe from tomato toxicity. It’s better to watch your dogs carefully if you suspect that they have consumed large amounts of tomato green parts.

Treatment

The most common treatment vets may recommend for tomato poisoning is fluid therapy. Pumping the mixture of electrolytes and fluids into your dog’s body will prevent your dogs from dehydration as well as aid in flushing the toxins. Fluid therapy through the veins, under the skin, or through the abdominal wall is extremely effective if your dog is vomiting and experiencing diarrhea.

Another possible treatment when you cannot induce your dog vomiting is gastric lavage, or commonly known as pumping the stomach. This treatment will place a tube through the stomach and flush out the toxins. And in some serious cases that dogs have difficulty breathing, the veterinarians will offer an emergency airway to avoid asphyxiation.

Conclusion

Can dogs eat tomatoes? Both Yes and No. Ripe and mature tomatoes are nutritious and beneficial for dogs. While consuming a large quantity of green tomatoes and other parts of the plants can lead to severe tomatine toxicity. So, dogs can eat tomatoes, if and only if they are red. 

However, dog parents should give extra cautiousness when feeding their puppies with tomatoes as there are chances of tomato allergies and stomach upsets. Generally, giving tomatoes to your dog in moderation as a snack is not a bad practice.

Further reading:

Is cheese bad for dogs?
Can Dogs Eat Bread? – American Kennel Club