Tomatoes are one of nature’s most healthy foods. It’s no surprise that owners wonder about the safety of feeding their dogs this red berry-like fruit.
Most dogs enjoy biting into a juicy tomato. They can also benefit from the nutritious aspects. That said, nightshades are sometimes poisonous for pets.
Such contradictions create canine consumption confusion concerning tomatoes. You have to weigh all the pros and cons. Read more about this juicy topic for your dog’s sake.
Can I Give My Dog a Tomato? Answer: Yes, ripened only
There’s nothing harmful about occasionally feeding them ripe. Just do so in moderation.
Some ripe tomato consumption may actually help your dog live a happier and healthier life. That assumes this food agrees with them. Dogs that experience allergic reactions or digestive problems, such as diarrhea, from eating tomatoes should steer clear.
Unripened tomatoes shouldn’t be fed to your dog for reasons we’ll explain.
Health Benefits of Tomatoes
Tomatoes could be of benefit to dogs. They’re a defense against cancer and degenerative diseases. Like other reddish-colored fruits, such as watermelon and papaya, tomatoes contain lycopene.
Being a great source of vitamins, especially vitamin C, and having a variety of antioxidants makes tomatoes great. These elements may be lacking in the dog food you’re providing.
Beta-carotene in tomatoes promotes good health. There’s no reason why this can’t apply to dogs as well. This isn’t to say you should be feeding tomatoes all the time. Occasionally doing so is sensible.
No Nightshade Nightmares
Tomatoes are a member of the nightshade family, but only the plant is dangerous for dogs. Tomatine and Solanine, both of which are found in the plant itself, are toxic to canines.
So, the plant can be harmful. Never let your dog eat anything other than the tomato. This could have implications for the garden in your yard and how you manage it.
As with all human foods, learn as much as possible. Some foods are truly harmful, even fatal. Protect your dog by doing research and taking preventative measures.
K9 Reactions to Tomatoes
Symptoms associated with canine consumption of a tomato plant include upset stomach, vomiting, muscle weakness, increased heart rate, difficulty breathing, drooling, dilated pupils and lack of coordination.
That’s quite a scary list. Luckily, the amount eaten needs to be significant to seriously harm a pet dog. Talk with a vet if you’re concerned following a tomato incident.
Red and Ripe is Right
All tomatoes contain a degree of potentially harmful components. Your best bet, if you want to feed your dog this fantastic fruit, is to give them one that’s deeply colored red.
Such ripe tomatoes have a reduced concentration of Tomatine. They’re generally safer for dogs. Small green tomatoes are usually not yet ripe. The motto “Red, ripe, right” makes sense.
Conclusion on Tomatoes
Ripened tomatoes are safe for dogs in moderation. The plant including vines, leaves and even stems are off limits. The Tomatine and Solanine aspects have toxicity. Question other ingredients, that go with tomatoes, before feeding them to a pet dog. For example, Fido probably shouldn’t be eating pizza.