Can Dogs Eat Tomatoes?
Tomatoes are typically safe for dogs as an occasional treat. Just be sure to feed them tomatoes that are red in color and ripe.
We recommend avoiding green, unripe tomatoes and the tomato plant itself since they often contain two potentially harmful chemicals.
How often can dogs eat tomatoes?
Daily, if you want — though of course in small doses. While the ripe fruit is non-toxic and nutrient-dense, the natural acidity of tomatoes could leave your pup with an upset tummy if they overindulge.
Though as an occasional treat, you could do a whole lot worse. In fact, ripe tomatoes are full of nutrients and phytonutrients that benefit dogs:
- High levels of Lycopene may reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer down the line. It’s also what’s responsible for the bright red color of tomatoes.
- High levels of fiber can help with digestion, weight management and overall immunity
- Moderate levels of vitamin A can help protect your pet’s eyes, skin and body
- Moderate levels of vitamin C, an antioxidant, can help defend the dog from the effects of aging, keeping them limber and sharp
What type of tomatoes should I feed my dog?
Whether your dog eats cherry tomatoes, roma tomatoes or even tomatoes right off your own vines, the most important thing is that they’re fresh, unprocessed, and free of any green.
Tomato-based products like ketchup, hot sauce, soup and canned chilis may look appealing to your pup, but could be packed with sugars, lab-made sweeteners, preservatives and other mystery ingredients that won’t play nice with your dog’s GI tract. Best to avoid these.
What makes some tomatoes poisonous for dogs?
Solanine and tomatine are found in the plant’s stems, leaves and green, unripe fruit. That's why we’d advise against feeding your dog any tomato that isn’t fresh, healthy and fully reddened.
Keep a particularly close eye on your dog when you’re strolling through your backyard plot or anywhere else they might have access to the whole plant.
In large quantities, solanine and tomatine may incite seizures, muscle weakness and — most commonly — GI issues like vomiting and diarrhea. Solanine ingestion from unripened tomatoes has even caused hospitalization in humans.
The good news is that it takes quite a bit of solanine or tomatine to cause any of those symptoms in dogs. Studies have shown that our canine family members can bounce back quickly from even moderate, consistent doses of solanine.