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Can Dogs Eat Tomatoes? When Are Tomatoes Bad for Dogs?

Can Dogs Eat Tomatoes?

Before you share with your pup a bite from your fruit and vegetable salads with fresh ripe tomatoes or a spoonful of pasta sauce from your juicy beefsteak, we’re sure you’d want to know first if it’s safe for dogs. And besides, can dogs eat tomatoes?

Tomato plants are one of the staple ingredients in a lot of home-cooked meals and gourmet dishes, and this isn’t surprising considering their nutrition profile, their juiciness, and rich flavor that are reminiscent of summertime.

So, we can’t also blame our canine companions, if they’ve developed a liking for these tasty and nutritious plants. But again, are tomatoes safe for dogs?

Can Dogs Eat Tomatoes?

Most dogs love eating whatever food that we eat. So, as dog parents, it’s up to us whether to give in to their desire or not.

Veterinarians don’t recommend that we share our table scraps with our dogs, for the obvious reasons that our foods are most often seasoned and mixed with ingredients that can be harmful to them.

Nonetheless, there are human foods that are generally safe for dogs, and that includes ripe tomatoes. So, to answer the question, “Yes, dogs can eat tomatoes.”

However, there are still risks involved since tomatoes belong in the nightshade family, which means that they contain certain substances that can be harmful to dogs and even to us, humans. 

dog with veggies

Are Tomatoes Good for Dogs?

Tomatoes are loaded with nutrients that can be good for dogs when taken in appropriate amounts.

They are low in calories, and high in fiber, which makes them a good addition to your dog’s diet to help promote healthy digestion and maintain a healthy weight. And that’s also why tomato pomace is a common ingredient in many dog foods.

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Tomatoes are also rich in lycopene, which is good for your dog’s heart and bones, and they also contain other essential nutrients, such as vitamin C for good skin, beta carotene for brain health, and vitamin A, which supports your dog’s vision.

Additionally, a tomato plant is also packed with minerals like potassium and folate which are good for your dog’s blood pressure and muscle health.

Generally speaking, a plain, ripe tomato is safe and good for your dog’s health when taken in moderation.

You can also cook the ripe ones and make them as toppers on your canine companion’s favorite dog food, or you can give him cooked tomatoes as an occasional treat. 

When Are Tomatoes Bad for Dogs?

As dog owners, you should be mindful of the plants that can be dangerous to your pup, and sad to say, there are instances when tomatoes can be bad for dogs.

If you have a tomato garden in your front or backyard, you’d have to be extra careful not to let your pup eat unripe tomatoes, especially in large quantities.

The green parts of green tomatoes, including stems and leaves, as well as unripened tomatoes, contain a substance called solanine.

This is a potentially toxic substance, especially when consumed in large quantities. In addition to solanine, green tomatoes also contain tomatine, another potentially toxic substance for dogs.

The good news is that these substances are mostly found in the green parts of the tomato plants, and ripe red tomatoes even contain hardly any solanine and tomatine.

So, unless your dog ends up eating enormous amounts of unripe tomatoes with their green parts, you shouldn’t worry.

yorkie with tomatoes

What Happens If Your Dog Has Eaten Green Tomatoes?

Small amounts of unseasoned, cooked, or red raw tomatoes are safe for dogs to eat. However, if your pup has eaten large quantities of unripe green tomatoes, especially with their leaves and stem, it would be best to bring him to the vet immediately.

These parts of the tomato plant contain higher concentrations of the toxic substances solanine and tomatine. And when your dog ate a lot of these, he may suffer from solanine poisoning or tomatine poisoning.

Symptoms of tomato poisoning that you should watch out for include the following:

  • Muscle weakness
  • Tremors
  • Gastrointestinal upset
  • Lack of coordination or balance

Aside from an upset stomach, many dogs would also experience drowsiness, abnormal heart rate, confusion, and some dogs also exhibit allergic reactions. Common signs that you should watch out for include coughing, sneezing, difficulty of breathing, and swelling.

Additionally, the high fiber and sugar content from eating large quantities of tomatoes can also cause stomach upset, especially for dogs with a sensitive stomach.

In rare cases, an allergic reaction can lead to anaphylaxis, which can be fatal for dogs. Hence, if you suspect any of the signs mentioned, you should seek the guidance of an emergency vet right away.

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Can Dogs Eat Cooked Tomatoes or Tomato Sauce?

As mentioned earlier, cooked and even fresh tomatoes (ripe ones) are generally safe for dogs to eat in moderation.

However, it’s different when you are planning to serve cooked tomatoes or tomato sauce that has been seasoned with salt, spices, and other potentially harmful ingredients.

dog with tomato harvest

How to Safely Serve Tomatoes to Your Dog?

Tomatoes are rich in nutrients, and it would be a pity if dogs can’t experience these nutritional benefits.

So, it’s a good thing that we can share these nutrient-dense vegetables with them, as long as we also observe some safety precautions.

First, as pet lovers, we should know where the tomatoes came from so we can determine whether or not they have been exposed to herbicides or pesticides that can make our dog sick.

As mentioned earlier, you should also stay away from unripe tomatoes, as well as their green parts, such as the leaves and the stems.

So, if you have a tomato garden, it would be safer both for your dogs and your tomatoes to fence off your garden or to supervise your pup when he is playing in the tomato garden area.

Furthermore, if you are going to serve any tomato-based product to your pups such as a pasta sauce or soup, don’t forget to check the ingredients first.

Or to be sure, you can stick to cooked tomatoes that you prepared yourself, so you know exactly what is in the pet food.

Some dogs also have underlying health conditions such as gastrointestinal issues and acid reflux that can be aggravated by eating tomatoes.

Hence, it’s best to seek your vet’s advice before giving any human food to your canine companion to make sure that it’s safe for him.

Bonus Recipes

As promised, below are easy and delectable recipes that uses tomatoes. Enjoy making them for your beloved companion!

Can Dogs Eat Tomatoes? When Are Tomatoes Bad for Dogs? 1

Homemade Turkey Loaf Recipe for Dogs

SkinnyMs
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Total Time 55 mins
Calories 212 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 lb Turkey lean, ground
  • 1 large Egg
  • 1/3 cup Old fashioned oats
  • 1/3 cup Diced tomatoes (with liquid, no sodium)
  • 1/2 cup Carrots finely diced
  • 1/2 cup Green beans diced (fresh or frozen and thawed)
  • 1/2 cup Quinoa or brown rice cooked

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • In a large bowl thoroughly combine all ingredients. Spread mixture into a 5 x 7-inch loaf pan.
  • Bake for 45 minutes.
  • Slice and chop into bite sized pieces.
  • Store covered in the refrigerator, or freeze.

Notes

After the loaf has cooled, slice it into individual servings and store it in a freezer safe bag or container. Remove slices as needed and defrost them in the refrigerator the night before serving.
Can Dogs Eat Tomatoes? When Are Tomatoes Bad for Dogs? 2

Tomato Liver Dog Treats

Doggy Dessert Chef

Ingredients
  

  • 1/2 lb Beef Liver  cooked and chopped
  • 1 6  ounce can Tomato Paste
  • 1 cup Mozzarella Cheese shredded
  • 1/2 tbsp Parsley dried
  • 1 tsp Basil dried
  • 1 cup Brown Rice Flour

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
  • In a large bowl mix all ingredients one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
  • Knead dough into ball and roll onto a floured surface 1/2 inch thick.
  • Cut with the cookie cutter of your choice place on your prepared baking sheet.
  • Bake for 15 to 20 minutes. Cool and refrigerate.
Can Dogs Eat Tomatoes? When Are Tomatoes Bad for Dogs? 3

Beefed-Up Bourguignon Dog Biscuits

Clean Eating Mag

Ingredients
  

  • 1/2 lb Ground beef, lean cooked and drained
  • 2 slices Nitrate-free bacon crispy cooked & crumbled
  • 1/2 cup Carrot shredded
  • 2 tbsp Parsley chopped
  • 1 tbsp Tomato paste unsalted
  • 1 cup Brown rice flour

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
  • In a large bowl, mix beef, bacon, carrot, parsley, tomato paste, ¼ cup water and flour one at a time, kneading well after each addition.
  • Once dough is well mixed, roll into 1-inch balls and place them 1 inch apart on the prepared baking sheet.
  • Press down on the tops with a fork to flatten.
  • Bake for 15 to 20 minutes. Cool and refrigerate.

Can tomatoes hurt my dog?

Tomatoes can be fatal to dogs They contain an alkaloid called tomatine, which can be fatal to dogs. This substance is metabolized as the fruit ripens, so ripe tomatoes are less likely to cause problems for your dog. Tomatoes also contain atropine, which can cause dilated pupils, tremors, and heart arrhythmias.

Is cooked tomato good for dogs?

Cooked tomatoes or sauces made from tomatoes may be safe for your dog to eat, but you should make sure that they haven't been cooked with other toxins. Avoid garlic and onion, which are commonly added to sauces, or cooked foods seasoned with spices, like salt and pepper, which could give your pup an upset stomach.

Is tomato paste safe for dogs?

You can feed your dog plain tomato paste in small quantities, and it can be beneficial for certain health conditions that warrant extra lycopene in the diet, which we'll discuss below. The key to feeding tomatoes or tomato paste to dogs is to feed it in small amounts.

Can tomato sauce kill a dog?

Tomato sauces, ketchup, soups, or juices aren't particularly healthy for dogs because of the added salt and sugar, as well as artificial flavors or other chemicals they might contain. Small amounts of tomato-based products like sauce likely won't cause harm to your dog, however.

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