dog with a basket of tomatoes

Can Dogs Eat Tomatoes? Are Tomatoes Safe For Dogs?

Can Dogs Eat Tomatoes? Are Tomatoes Safe For Dogs?

Because tomatoes are so rich in vitamin C, many of us who are also dog owners may be curious about whether or not our canine companions can eat tomatoes. When you consider how many people in the United States own dogs and how frequently we feed them scraps from our plates, it is not hard to imagine that some people might be tempted to give their tomatoes to their dog. But can dogs eat tomatoes? Are tomatoes safe for dogs?

Tomatoes, in moderation, are fine for dogs to eat. Tomatoes contain a high amount of various vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, all of which are necessary components of the diet of a dog. Tomato fruit, when consumed in moderation, is not toxic for dogs; however, the tomato plant itself contains solanine and tomatine, two toxic substances that can lead to a variety of health issues in dogs when consumed in large quantities.

The solanine content of green tomatoes is significantly higher than that of red tomatoes, making red, ripe tomatoes the preferable option. Read on to learn all about tomatoes and your dog!

tomatoes on a table

Health Benefits Of Tomatoes For Dogs

Tomatoes offer numerous benefits to a dog's health. Tomatoes have a high nutrient density and provide many benefits to human and canine health, many of which are shared between the two species. Tomatoes can benefit your dogs in the following ways:

Better Eyesight

A deficiency in vitamin A in one's diet can lead to a number of issues with one's vision, including night blindness and cataracts. Tomatoes contain a high amount of vitamin A and beta-carotene, two nutrients that help reduce eye problems and delay the onset of macular degeneration.

Beta-carotene is a powerful antioxidant that protects the skin and coat from oxidative damage and helps keep the skin and coat in good health.

Enhanced Immune System

Lycopene, a phytochemical that is mostly concentrated in the skin of ripe tomatoes and is responsible for their characteristic red color, can be found in tomatoes.

This nutrient found in plants is a potent antioxidant that defends cells from damage caused by potentially dangerous free radicals and shields cells found in the blood, heart, lungs, nerves, and muscles. Additionally, it helps to maintain healthy bones and reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke.

small black dog eating tomato
Healthy Skin & Coat

Maintaining a healthy coat and skin, supporting the immune system, helping to promote joint health, enhancing bone density, and ensuring proper muscle development are all benefits provided by vitamins C and A.

Improved Cardiovascular Health

Tomatoes also have high concentrations of the mineral potassium, which is known for its ability to control levels of cholesterol and blood pressure, as well as maintain normal neural function and maintain normal blood sugar levels.

Tomatoes contain a lot of iron, which is important for healthy blood circulation. They also contain a lot of vitamin K, which is a fat-soluble vitamin that aids in the process of blood clotting. Tomatoes also contain a lot of soluble fiber, which encourages healthy digestion and regular bowel movements.

Are There Any Risks Of Feeding Your Dog Tomatoes?

Although a ripe, red tomato does not pose much of a threat to your dog, it is essential that you have an understanding of why it is essential for tomatoes to be nice and ripe. This is due to the fact that certain components of the tomato plant contain a chemical called Tomatine that is potentially toxic to dogs.

Dogs tend to have a high sensitivity to solanine and tomatine, which makes consuming large amounts of either of these potentially hazardous. Because of this, it is recommended that you only give your dog tomatoes as a treat occasionally and in small amounts. This is another reason why it is essential to ensure that your dog consumes only fully ripe, red tomatoes.

This is due to the fact that tomatine can be found in the green portions of the tomato. Although it is most prevalent in the plant's leaves and stems, it is also possible to find it in unripe and green tomato fruit. The concentration of tomatine gradually decreases as the tomato ripens and turns red. It is perfectly fine for a young dog to consume a ripe tomato.

Ingestion of a significant amount of tomatine is typically required before the substance can be considered dangerous. This means that it is possible to avoid tomatine poisoning very easily, provided that you do not feed your dog green tomatoes or any part of the stem or leaves of the tomato plant.

bunch of ripe tomatoes with a dog looking at them

Signs Of Tomatine Poisoning In Dogs

The severity of the toxicity will differ depending on the size of your dog, the amount that was consumed, as well as the individual sensitivities and allergies of your dog. In most canines, ingesting a small amount of the plant or an unripe tomato will not result in the development of symptoms of poisoning.

On the other hand, due to their size, it takes a lower concentration of tomatine to make smaller dogs sick. The following are some of the symptoms of tomatine poisoning:
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Lethargy
  • Loss of appetite
  • Excessive drooling
  • Muscle weakness
  • Loss of coordination
  • Seizures

If you suspect that your dog has consumed any part of the tomato plant or any unripe tomatoes, you should keep your dog under close supervision and get in touch with your veterinarian as soon as possible. If they exhibit any signs of being poisoned, it is imperative that they get to a veterinarian as soon as possible.

How To Safely Feed Your Dog Tomatoes

Always rinse tomatoes thoroughly before eating them to remove any dirt or pesticides. Tomatine is a substance that is harmful to dogs, and it can be found in the plant's stem as well as its leaves. Remove these parts from the tomato before giving it to your dog.

When trying a new food, it's best to start with a small portion at first. Watch your dog's behavior to see how they react to tomatoes before feeding them any more. Tomatoes are best utilized not as a replacement for a healthy diet but rather as a snack or reward. Treats should account for no more than ten percent of your dog's total daily calorie intake.

dog eating cherry tomato

Can Dogs Eat Cherry Tomatoes?

While most dogs can safely eat cherry tomatoes, there are a few things to keep in mind. First of all, cherry tomatoes are small and can be a choking hazard for dogs who tend to eat their food too quickly. Secondly, cherry tomatoes contain a compound called lycopene, which can be toxic to dogs in large quantities.

For this reason, it's best to give your dog only a few cherry tomatoes at a time. If you're concerned about Lycopene toxicity, you can always opt for another type of tomato that is less likely to cause problems. However, as long as you feed your dog cherry tomatoes in moderation, they should be fine.

Can Dogs Eat Tomato Sauce?

While most people think of tomatoes as being safe for dogs, the truth is that tomato sauce can be dangerous for our furry friends. The main ingredient in tomato sauce is, of course, tomatoes.

Tomatoes contain a substance called solanine, which can be harmful to dogs in large quantities. In addition, many brands of tomato sauce also contain onions and garlic, both of which can also be toxic to dogs. As a result, it's best to avoid giving your dog any type of tomato sauce.

Can Dogs Eat Cooked Tomatoes?

When feeding tomatoes to your dog, it's important to cook them first. Raw tomatoes can contain toxins that can be harmful to your pet, so it's best to play it safe and give your dog only cooked tomatoes. You can add cooked tomatoes to your dog's food bowl or use them as a healthy and delicious training treat. Either way, your dog is sure to love this juicy and nutritious snack.

sliced tomato on cutting board

Can Dogs Eat Green Tomatoes?

Some varieties of tomatoes are more acidic than others, and green tomatoes are generally more acidic than red ones. This can cause an upset stomach in some dogs. In addition, the tomato plant contains solanine, a substance that is poisonous to both dogs and humans.

Solanine is found in all parts of the plant, but it is concentrated in the leaves and stems. It is best to avoid giving your dog green or unripe tomatoes.

Review: Can Dogs Eat Tomatoes?

Tomatoes are not toxic to dogs; however, this fruit can cause digestive issues, so it is best to feed them in moderation if you choose to give them tomatoes. It is best to refrain from giving your dog green or unripe tomatoes because ripe tomatoes are not only more acidic but also have the potential to cause an upset stomach.

In addition, the stems and leaves of the tomato plant contain a compound that is poisonous to dogs. Because of this, you should always remove the stems and leaves before feeding a tomato to your dog. Tomatoes are an excellent source of vitamins A and C, as well as lycopene, an antioxidant that has been linked to a reduced risk of cancer.

When it comes to their positive effects your dogs health, tomatoes are a standout. However, before making any changes to your dog's diet, it is essential to discuss the matter with your veterinarian. If your dog does eat a tomato and experiences a negative reaction, consult your veterinarian.

Find the perfect gift for your dog