can dogs eat tomatoes

Can Dogs Eat Tomatoes?

Dog owners commonly ponder about the toxicity of foods. The questions about the safety of different foods increased after learning that certain foods were toxic which led to a lot of press coverage. The most important foods are Grapes and Raisins and Peanut Butter. Exposure to the dangers of these foods have encouraged pet owners ask about other foods such as can dogs eat apples. Learn more about what dogs can and can’t eat in this article: The Ultimate Guide to What Dogs Can’t Eat.

Can Dogs Eat Tomatoes?

When researching the safety of tomatoes for dogs, there are two considerations that impact the danger. Different parts of a tomato plant, various kinds of tomatoes, and/or ripeness of tomatoes can have different levels of potentially toxic substances.

The stem and leaves of tomatoes contain Tomatine and Solanine. Tomatine and Solanine are classified as a “glycoalkaloids”. They both have natural pesticide properties that provide protection to the plants. Tomatine is primarily found in tomatoes. Solanine can be found in assorted vegetables including the potato, tomato, eggplant, and even plants such as nightshade.

Solanine and Tomatine are found highest in the leaves, stems, and in green tomatoes, but is also present in ripe red tomatoes. Ingestion of large quantities of green tomatoes or the stems and leaves can cause symptoms of toxicity.

The answer to the question, “can dogs eat tomatoes” is yes. Dogs can eat small amounts of tomatoes and some dogs enjoy tomatoes as a healthy snack. However, ingestion of large amounts of tomatoes, green tomatoes, or parts of the tomato plant can be toxic.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Any food can cause gastrointestinal upset in dogs. What may not cause illness in one dog may create sickness in another dog. The same can happen in people. Some foods that bother some people may not affect others.

The Dangers of Tomatoes to Dogs

Ingestion of large amounts of stems, leaves or green tomatoes can be toxic. Signs of Tomatine and Solanine toxicity can include drowsiness, depression, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, confusion, weakness, slow heart rate, and/or dilated pupils. A few small pieces of ripe clean tomato are not likely to be harmful.
Based on research about the true incidence of tomatoes, toxicity appears to be very low. However, if your dog ingested a tomato plant, green tomatoes, or large amount of tomatoes and is showing any of the symptoms listed above, please call your veterinarian or closest emergency clinic.

Do Dogs Need Tomatoes?

There is nothing in tomatoes that dogs require. What dogs do need is a high-quality AAFCO approved dog food. Learn more about Nutrition in Dogs.

The Safest Way to Give Tomatoes to Dogs

The safest way to give tomatoes to your dog is to offer a small amount of fresh ripe tomatoes cut into bite-sized pieces without the stem or leaves. The tomatoes should be washed carefully to remove any pesticides or fertilizers.

Can You Give Tomato Sauce to Dogs

Small amounts of pasta sauce or tomato sauce can be acceptable to give to dogs. However, some sauces contain other ingredients such as onions, chives, salt, pepper, and garlic can be more likely to cause gastrointestinal upset.