Can dogs eat tomatoes? The easy answer to this question is yes. However, there are a few things you want to make a note of before feeding tomatoes to your dog.
Tomatoes are a part of the nightshade family, and there are certain parts of the fruit that are toxic in high amounts. Poisoning is possible if dogs overeat tomatoes; however, it’s extremely rare. Most cases involve dogs getting into gardens and eating unripened tomatoes and the vines attached to them.
Your best bet is to give dogs fully ripened tomatoes that have the stems and leaves completely detached from the fruit itself. Just like with any other food, you should always consult your veterinarian before introducing new foods to your dog’s diet.
The following article outlines the most important information regarding feeding your dog tomatoes.
When Can Dogs Have Tomatoes?
The part of the tomato that’s toxic for dogs is the leaves and stem area. If you’re going to give your dog tomatoes, you should only give them fresh, all-natural tomatoes that are fully ripened. These should come from your local grocery store’s produce department.
You should never give your dog tomatoes from a can or with anything added to them. Preservatives and other chemicals used in canned and processed tomatoes can be harmful to your dog’s health.
However, fresh tomatoes can have significant health benefits for your dog.
How Are Tomatoes Good for Dogs?
Tomatoes contain several nutrients that are beneficial to your dog if they’re consumed at moderate levels. These fruits are low in calories but contain high amounts of fiber, which can help your dog with digestion.
Lycopene is also found in tomatoes, which may substantially reduce your dog’s chances of developing heart disease. Additionally, lycopene also promotes strong and healthy bones.
Tomatoes also contain beta-carotene, which is great for your dog’s cognitive functions. Vitamins A and C are also found in tomatoes which help with your dog’s vision and skin.
Your dog may also obtain blood pressure relief and added muscle health because of tomatoes’ folate and potassium levels.
Can Dogs Eat Tomatoes from the Vine?
Can dogs eat tomatoes straight from the vine? Naturally, most dogs are curious about anything they come across outdoors that may provide a tasty snack. However, if you have tomato plants, you should exercise caution when your dog is in the area. It’s not a bad idea to put up some type of protection to prevent your dog from roaming the area where your plants are housed.
The vines and leaves of tomatoes, as well as the fruit itself when it’s unripened, contain a toxin known as solanine. In small amounts, solanine will have no effect on dogs. However, if this chemical is ingested in large quantities (like if your dog attacks your tomato plants), it can pose some serious health consequences.
If your dog ingests too much solanine, there are some telltale signs that can alert you to this. Their stomach will become extremely upset, and they may develop diarrhea, become confused, develop an abnormal heart rate, vomit, and other dangerous symptoms.
When you notice these signs in your dog, especially if you own tomato plants, you should immediately take them to the vet. As we mentioned previously, tomato juices, soups, and plain canned tomatoes should be avoided in your dog’s diet.
The high levels of salt and sugar, as well as other artificial ingredients, can be dangerous to your dog. However, if you want to create your own homemade tomato topper for your dog’s food, this is safe without any added ingredients, assuming you use fresh tomatoes.
It’s also important to note that just like humans, dogs have allergies as well. There is a chance that your dog may be allergic to tomatoes. If this is the case, your dog may develop anaphylaxis, which can potentially be dead.
If your dog eats tomatoes and suddenly begins coughing, sneezing, developing hives, or has difficulty breathing, contact your vet. Stop feeding tomatoes to your dog immediately.
I’m sure some of you have eaten tomatoes and developed heartburn or acid indigestion. Did you know dogs can have acid reflux just like humans do? Tomatoes could potentially aggravate these symptoms if they are present in your dog. This is why it’s important to contact your vet before changing your dog’s diet in any way.
How Should I Prepare Tomatoes for My Dog?
Can dogs eat tomatoes prepared in any fashion? Assuming your vet has given you the okay to feed tomatoes to your dog, always make sure they are ripe and free from stems, leaves, and vines. Don’t add any types of seasonings or other flavors to the tomatoes before you give them to your dog.
If you don’t use organic produce, make sure you rinse the tomatoes thoroughly before feeding them to your dog. This will wash off any potential pesticides that linger from when the tomatoes were harvested.
There are healthy, all-natural alternatives you can feed your dog without risking the chance of allergic reaction or stomach issues. Ruff Greens make a great topper for your dog’s normal food and contain vitamins, minerals, probiotics, enzymes, and Omega-3 acids your dog needs. This supplement allows your dog to reap the benefits of healthy, organic vegetables without the risk of potentially harmful allergies or stomach side effects.