Can Dogs Eat Tomatoes? We covered that question in our previous article and the answer was yes; dogs can safely eat tomatoes as long as they’re ripe and the green parts of the plant are avoided. Tomatoes can even provide your dog with many health benefits such as a reduced risk of cancer, better vision, and diabetes management. So, these juicy, umami-packed delicacies could be perfect as an occasional treat for your pup.
So if tomatoes are a safe bet, what about cherry tomatoes? Can Dogs Eat Cherry Tomatoes too? The answer to that question is basically the same as that for tomatoes: Yes, dogs can eat cherry tomatoes, but only in small amounts. Just like tomatoes, cherry tomatoes can lead to tomato poisoning in canines if consumed in large amounts.
Keep reading to find out how cherry tomatoes can be harmful to your dog and how you can safely feed them some.
What Are Cherry Tomatoes?
Cherry tomatoes are simply tiny, bite-sized versions of regular tomatoes. They are sweeter than regular tomatoes, so they’re added to salads and cocktails as a garnish or snack. Scientifically known as Solanum lycopersicum var. cerasiforme, cherry tomatoes are even believed to be the direct ancestor of modern cultivated tomatoes. They’re also the only wild tomatoes found outside South America.
The size of cherry tomatoes ranges from the size of a thumb tip to that of a golf ball and can come in both spherical and slightly oblong shapes. The oblong-shaped ones share characteristics with plum tomatoes and are known as grape tomatoes. Similarly, cherry tomatoes also come in a range of colors including yellow, green, and black. And as you’d expect, red is the most common color.
Can Dogs Eat Cherry Tomatoes?
Yes, cherry tomatoes are safe for canine consumption. However, many people would advise against giving your dog cherry tomatoes as they can be harmful if consumed in large amounts. This is partly because, just like regular tomatoes, cherry tomatoes are also a part of the nightshade family.
Nightshade, also known as the Solanaceae, is a family of plants, most of which are toxic. They’re known to have multiple potent alkaloids that can harm animals even at low doses. Among them, the alkaloids present in cherry tomatoes are solanine and tomatine. Since the doses of the two alkaloids in ripe tomatoes aren’t too high, one or two tomatoes won’t hurt your dog. However, constant consumption can lead to disastrous consequences.
Symptoms of Tomato Poisoning in Dogs
If your dog has had too many cherry tomatoes, they’re likely to show the following symptoms:
- Gastrointestinal upset
- Loss of appetite
- Cardiac effects
If you notice these signs or anything similar, contact your vet. They will help your dog out and let you know if the core of the problem really was cherry tomatoes.
Can Cherry Tomatoes Be Bad for Dogs?
In small amounts, no, cherry tomatoes aren’t bad for dogs. Your pooch munching on one or two cherry tomatoes is nothing to worry about. The problem arises when your dog frequently consumes them. The increased concentration of tomatine and solanine can severely harm your dog.
The green, leafy part of cherry tomatoes, their unripe fruit, and even the foliage of the plant contain higher doses of solanine. Thus, your pup chomping on any of these could lead to solanine poisoning. Even in humans, there have been multiple cases of solanine poisoning that have led to casualties. So, it would be wise to keep your dog away from your cherry tomato plant if there’s one growing in your garden.
The size of cherry tomatoes also poses a risk in dogs. Since they’re so small, your dog might not properly chew on the tomatoes and directly gulp them down. This leaves a high risk of choking. The higher concentration of sugar compared to regular tomatoes also means that frequent consumption could lead to obesity, diabetes, and other complications.
Due to these reasons, many people choose not to give their dogs cherry tomatoes at all. But if you’re careful to ensure your dog is not eating many cherry tomatoes, you don’t have to worry.
How to Feed Your Dog Cherry Tomatoes
Although not 100% safe, some owners won’t mind feeding cherry tomatoes to their dogs. And what’s more, dogs seem to love chomping on these tiny red fruits. So, if you’d like to give your furry friend some cherry tomatoes to see if they’d like it, here are some tips that can come in handy:
- Remember to only use ripe tomatoes.
- Thoroughly wash the tomatoes to remove dirt and pesticides.
- Cut off all the greens.
- Chop them into smaller pieces to make them easier to swallow for your pup. You can also try mashing them.
- Always start off with a very tiny serving. If your dog seems to like it, you can give them more next time.
In a nutshell, yes dogs can eat cherry tomatoes, but only in small amounts. Do note that for queries like these, your vet is the most reliable source. Remember to get their opinion before feeding your pooch some cherry tomatoes or any other human food. Don’t forget to keep your pup away from all tomato foliage and unripe fruits.
For more information on the different types of tomatoes that dogs can eat, check out these articles.