Has your dog ever shown a doe-eyed expression while you ate your tomatoes from your salad? I know it can be quite tempting at times to share some of these juicy fruits with your pup but, can dogs eat tomatoes? Is it safe for them? While it’s true that tomatoes can provide many benefits for humans, there are some things you should know as a dog owner before feeding those tomatoes to your dog.
Here’s is a list of 10 things you should do before feeding tomatoes to your dog.
1. Make Sure the Tomato is Always Ripe
Ripe tomatoes have been known to have several health benefits for humans as well as dogs. They are high in potassium, which reduces blood pressure and cholesterol levels in your dog and maintains their nerve health. Ripe tomatoes have a ton of lycopene, which is a powerful antioxidant that keeps your dog’s immune system strong by reducing their risk of cancer. Likewise, Vitamin A and Vitamin C in ripe tomatoes are good for your dog’s skin and coat which also help with eye-related problems in your dog and provide them with better vision respectively.
2. Avoid Tomato Leaves
It may come as a surprise to humans, but a substance called solanine found in the leaves of the tomato plant can be fatal to dogs. Dogs can’t digest solanine as well as humans can because they lack the enzyme necessary to break down this chemical. Most of the time, tomato leaves also have a high concentration of natural pesticides, which can be highly toxic to your dog. They also contain thiamine, which is needed for normal brain function but in large amounts, can cause symptoms like vomiting, restlessness, and seizures in your dog. So it’s best if you don’t feed tomato leaves to your dog at all!
3. Avoid Tomato Stems
Just like tomato leaves, the stems of tomatoes also contain solanine. So, if your pup consumes tomato stems in large amounts, solanine builds up within their body and upsets their central nervous system which can lead to problems like vomiting, diarrhea, drooling, or just passing out for hours at a time.
Tomato stems also contain a substance called psoralen, which can cause the skin of those who come in contact with it to become sensitive to sunlight. This means your dog can suffer from painful burns if they eat tomato stems and go out in the sun.
4. Avoid Unripe Green Tomatoes
Unripe tomatoes and their stems and leaves contain very high levels of Solanine. So, if your dog is already anemic or has liver disease then they are at severe risk for solanine poisoning. Unripe tomatoes also have a lot of seeds that aren’t generally harmful in small quantities, however, it can cause diarrhea and stomachache in your dog if eaten in large amounts. So, if you want to use unripe tomatoes to treat certain ailments such as constipation or diarrhea, it’s best if you carefully remove all of the seeds before feeding them to your dog.
5. Make Sure Your Dog Doesn’t Have an Allergy to Tomatoes
In some cases, your dog may have an allergic reaction when you serve them tomatoes. If you notice that your dog is having digestive problems after eating some of these juicy fruits or if they start showing signs of an allergic reaction (such as vomiting, diarrhea, or rashes) it’s a good idea to see your veterinarian.
Also, if your dog has a history of stomach or food allergies, you may want to consult with your vet before feeding tomatoes as part of your dog’s diet.
6. Don’t Overfeed
Tomatoes are generally beneficial for dogs if given in small amounts, however, they can prove to be fatal if overeaten. Also, the problem with tomato overdose is that you might not see any symptoms right away. The right amount of tomatoes that your pup can eat depends on their size and age, however, sometimes you may not realize that your dog has eaten an unsafe amount until it’s too late.
Hence, make sure to monitor the amount of tomatoes you’re feeding them and ensure that they don’t eat too many of them too often!
7. Make Sure to Rinse the Tomatoes Well And Avoid Any Additives
It is important to rinse the tomatoes well before feeding them to your pup especially if it’s not organic. This is because non-organic products are usually sprayed with pesticides and herbicides that can make your dog sick. One important thing to remember when feeding tomatoes to your dog (or eating them yourself) is that tomatoes are included in the “Dirty Dozen” list, which means that pesticides are often found on their skin. Also, make sure to only serve fresh tomatoes without any additives like salt.
8. Never Give Your Dog a Rotten Tomato
Rotten tomatoes can be highly toxic to dogs and other animals. This is because they contain a high concentration of acetic acid, which can damage or even kill your dog’s digestive system if eaten in large amounts. If you’ve fed such tomatoes to your pup and you notice any kind of signs like vomiting, bleeding gums, or diarrhea, make sure to take them to the vet immediately!
9. Make Sure the Tomato is Not Stored Near Garlic or Onions
Both garlic and onion are known to be toxic to dogs. If you have stored tomatoes with them together or near each other for too long, especially in warm conditions, chances are your dog will develop breathing difficulties after consuming either one of them. Tomato sauces, tomato soups, tomato paste, and tomato ketchup likewise contain garlic and onions that can also be extremely harmful. Therefore, it is best to avoid giving your dog these tomato products.
10. Consider the Type of Tomato You’re Giving Your Dog
You can feed any variety of tomatoes to your pup as long as they are fresh and ripe. Make sure to avoid feeding the green parts of the tomato. Grape tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, roma tomatoes, and gourmet tomatoes are some of the most common types of tomatoes you might try feeding your dog. But remember, each type has its own particular set of benefits and risks. For example, grape tomatoes are rich in lycopene, which is known to prevent cancer in humans and dogs alike. However, Roma tomatoes are much richer in vitamin A, making them much better for your dog’s skin and eye health. So make sure you pick the right one for your dog’s needs!
So now that you know what to do before feeding tomatoes to your dog, are you ready to try it out? Well, go ahead! ! But make sure not to feed the stems, leaves, and unripe ones since they can cause tomatine poisoning in your dog!
Thank you for reading the article.
To explore more, check out our other tomato-related dog articles.
Have you ever fed tomatoes to your pup? What was their reaction after eating it? What did you observe in your dog after feeding it? We’d love to hear your story. Please leave a comment below to let us know!