Can dogs eat tomatoes? Yes, dogs are allowed to eat tomatoes, but there are some big exceptions and things you should know before giving them to your dog.
It is important to know that tomatoes contain parts of substances that are toxic in large amounts. Dogs should never eat tomato leaves or stems and green, unripe tomatoes should not be eaten either. Tomatoes belong to the nightshade family, which means that they contain a substance called solanine in the stem and leaves of the tomato plant. This substance is also present in unripe tomatoes before they become ripe and red. Solanine is dangerous to dogs in large amounts, but once the fruit is ripe, the solanine content in the flesh of the tomato is no longer toxic. Poisoning from excessive consumption of tomatoes is rare in dogs, but can occur when eating unprepared and unripe tomatoes.
In general, cooked ripe tomatoes that are free of stems, leaves and the skin are safe for dogs to eat, but you should always consult your veterinarian before sharing human foods with your dog.
Are tomatoes good for dogs?
Tomatoes are rich in nutrients that are good for dogs when consumed in appropriate amounts. They are low in calories and contain lots of fibre, which is good for digestion.
Tomatoes contain lycopene, beta-carotene, vitamin A and vitamin C. Lycopene can reduce the risk of heart disease and promote strong bones. Beta-carotene supports cognitive abilities. Vitamin A is known to support vision and vitamin C is good for skin and coat.
In addition, tomatoes contain minerals such as folic acid and potassium, which support blood pressure and muscle health.
Risks of Tomatoes
The most common sign of tomato poisoning in dogs is gastrointestinal upset, but dogs can also suffer from vomiting, diarrhea, drowsiness, confusion, an abnormal heart rate and other symptoms. If you notice signs of tomato poisoning in your dog, you should go to the vet.
Products that contain tomatoes, such as sauces, soups or juices, can be unhealthy for dogs, especially because they often contain salt, sugar, artificial flavours or other harmful ingredients. It's best not to feed your dog these products.
Instead, you can make your own tomato products so you know what's in them. A little bit of these products probably won't do much harm, but there's no point in risking your dog's health.
As with almost all foods, there is a risk that your dog may be allergic to tomatoes. In rare cases, an allergic reaction can lead to anaphylaxis, a potentially fatal condition. If you notice signs such as coughing, sneezing, hives, swelling, difficulty breathing or other allergy symptoms, you should stop giving your dog tomatoes and contact your vet.
Some dogs have health problems, such as acid reflux or gastrointestinal problems, that can be made worse by tomatoes. It's always best to check with your vet before giving your dog any new foods.
How should you prepare dog tomatoes?
If your vet tells you it's OK to give your dog tomatoes, make sure you choose ripe, red tomatoes that have had the stems, leaves, tendrils and skin removed.
Only use ripe or overripe tomatoes. The safest way is to cook the tomato and then peel it. Serve them to your dog without any additives such as salt, as these can be harmful to dogs. Also, make sure you know the source of the tomatoes so you can avoid pesticides and herbicides that can make your dog sick.
When serving your dog a tomato-based product like sauce or soup, check the ingredients for anything that can harm your dog. It's best to stick to fresh tomatoes that you prepare yourself.
Symptoms to look out for
The good news is that solanine poisoning in dogs is rare. If you suspect your dog has consumed raw tomatoes, including stems and leaves, watch out for the following symptoms:
- Effects on the heart (such as arrhythmia or irregular heartbeat)
- Gastrointestinal distress (stomach upset)
- Loss of coordination
- Weakness of the muscles
Unfortunately, this type of reaction is rare and poisoning is treatable. Your dog would probably have to eat large amounts of the stems and leaves of the tomato to become seriously ill. However, mild symptoms, including gastrointestinal distress, can occur with even small amounts. If your dog has eaten green tomatoes or tomato leaves or stems, especially in large quantities, keep an eye on him and call your vet to be on the safe side. And if your dog shows any of the above signs, go to the emergency vet immediately.
Summary: Are dogs allowed to eat tomatoes?
Dogs can eat tomatoes, but there are some things that are important to be aware of as they are not completely safe.Tomatoes belong to the nightshade family, which can contain solanine, which is toxic to dogs. Unripe, green tomatoes as well as stems and leaves contain solanine. Therefore, you should only use overripe red tomatoes. Remove the leaves and stem first and then cook the tomato. To be on the safe side, remove the skin afterwards. In addition, you should only feed your dog small amounts.