Can Dogs Eat Tomatoes?
Most pups are so curious about what we’re eating, they’ll want to try it too. Whether that means stealing a piece of food off your plate or gobbling up something that falls on the floor, dogs can get into tummy trouble if the snack isn’t good for them. Luckily, with tomatoes, the red fruit itself is not toxic. Plain, ripe tomatoes that have the stems, leaves and any other greenery removed are safe for dogs to eat. There are exceptions, however.
What are the nutrients in a tomato?
Tomatoes are a low-calorie food that are high in fiber, folate, and potassium, and contain lycopene (good for the heart), beta-carotene (good for the eyes), and vitamin C (good for just about everything). But your dog doesn’t necessarily need to get these great vitamins and minerals from a tomato; most pets fulfill their nutritional requirements through other foods like peas, carrots, sweet potatoes, and meat.
What is toxic in a tomato?
Tomatoes are part of the nightshade family, which means in high amounts, tomatoes can be toxic because they contain solanine, a substance found in the stem and leaves of the tomato and related plants. A pup who overeats tomatoes will need vet attention – especially if those tomatoes are not ripened (nosy dogs in a garden can get into all sorts of mischief). The most common symptoms of tomato poisoning in dogs include:
- Gastrointestinal upset, vomiting and diarrhea.
- Signs of lethargy, drowsiness or confusion.
- Cardiac issues and an abnormal heart rate.
There is a chance your pup could be allergic to tomatoes, which can lead to swelling and trouble breathing, with more minor symptoms such as coughing, sneezing, scratching and hives. It’s also good to remember that much like humans, tomatoes can trigger acid reflux or heartburn, so if you have a pup with medical conditions, they may find eating a tomato disagrees with them.
Tomatoes in Sauces & Soups
Sauces and soups that are created from the tomato are usually delicious for humans, but may be unhealthy for dogs. They are usually full of salt, sugar, or other ingredients like garlic and onions which aren’t recommended for dog consumption. So, for example, the tomato sauce in pizza makes it a not-so-great option for pups. Should your dog ingest pizza or your spaghetti dinner, vets say that you can expect vomiting and diarrhea over the next 24 hours, and you may need to feed him or her a bland diet of boiled chicken and rice. If the symptoms continue, you may need to pay your vet a visit (or at the very least, a phone call). However, if your dog has eaten tomato sauce to excess, like say, an entire pizza, call your vet immediately.
Curious about what is okay and not okay for your dog to eat? Check out our comprehensive guide on what human foods are safe and not safe for dogs.