Read This Before Feeding Your Dog Tomatoes!

Last Updated on

Everyone knows that tomatoes are healthy, but does this also hold true for dogs?

Is there any toxic aspect to be concerned with?

Can I Give My Dog Tomatoes?Here’s the deal:

Your dog can benefit from eating nutritious tomatoes just as long as you go about sharing the right way.

Learn all you can about this very juicy topic!

Only Give Your Dog Ripened Tomatoes

There’s nothing harmful about feeding them ripe.

In fact, moderate tomato consumption may help your dog live a happier and healthier life.

Of course, it is also possible this food isn’t a good fit for your best buddy’s diet. Go easy and watch your pup very closely for any indications.

While not commonplace, some dogs do have allergic reactions (or digestive problems like diarrhea) from eating tomatoes. We’ll talk more about this later…

For now you should know this:

It’s a bad idea to give your dog tomatoes when they are unripened. 

Red And Ripe is Right

When feeding this fantastic fruit be sure to give your dog one that is deeply colored red.

The reason is straightforward.

Ripe tomatoes have a lower concentration of Tomatine which makes them safer for dogs.

The motto “Red, ripe, right” makes a lot of sense!

By contrast, small green tomatoes are usually not yet ripe.

No Nightshade Nightmares

Tomatoes are in the nightshade family.

But, to be clear, only the plant is dangerous for your dog. Toxicity is a concern specifically because of the levels of Tomatine and Solanine present.

So, yes, the plant could be harmful. In particular, it may cause inflammation — though this hasn’t been completely proven. 

Play it safe anyway…

Never let your dog eat anything other than the tomato — this could have implications for your garden and how you manage it.

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
  • Lack of coordination

Luckily, the amount generally needs to be significant to seriously harm your dog.

Head to your vet if you are concerned following such an incident.

Careful of Sauce Ingredients

Tomato sauce requires caution because it usually has some amount of onion in it.

That is just one example of ingredients to be on the lookout for. Some things really should be off limits for your dog.

Health Benefits of Tomatoes

Obviously there is a good argument for feeding tomatoes to your dog.

For one, they are a defense against cancer and degenerative diseases.

Like other reddish-colored fruits (such as watermelon and papaya) tomatoes contain lycopene.

And that’s not all!

Tomatoes are an excellent source of vitamins, especially vitamin C. The antioxidants are valuable as well and beta-carotene in tomatoes promotes overall good health.

These benefits apply to dogs too. Just don’t get carried away!

The Bottom Line

In moderation, ripened tomatoes are safe for dogs.

On the other hand, the plant parts (including vines, leaves and even stems) should be off limits due to Tomatine and Solanine being sources of toxicity.

Last but not least…

Scrutinize other ingredients that go with tomatoes before feeding them to your dog. For example, pizza could complicate your canine’s life.

What Do You Think? Have Your Say Below…

Was This Article Helpful?

23 thoughts on “Read This Before Feeding Your Dog Tomatoes!”

  1. My niece gave my 8 year old Yellow Labrador named Eli a ripened cherry last night while my wife was babysitting. Eli became extremely bloated. He’s fine this morning though 🙂

  2. My dog has ben showing symptoms of bloat. I Googled the veggies she ate prior to this including carrots, cucumbers and tomatoes. I will never feed her tomatoes again. We will have to pay a visit to her vet tomorrow morning. Bloat is the 2nd largest dog killer next to cancer.

  3. My Jack Russell Terrier loved ripe tomatoes and she lived to 14. I have no qualms about giving them to my Jackaranian puppy, Bella.

  4. I have a Chihuahua and she has eaten people food since she was born. She loves all kinds of fruit (no grapes) and what ever we have for dinner. After what I’ve heard they put in dog food, I will stick to the people food. I manage her food to a lesser amount than dog food and she is doing just fine.

  5. I was yelled at for giving our dog so-called people food. In this case, a tiny bit of a red ripened tomato. I checked here first and it’s great to hear that it is okay.

    I took the details to the person yelling at me and said, “it’s not like giving her ketchup where there’s all kinds of processed junk, spices and preservatives.” I use this site all the time and it’s great!

  6. We have tomato plants at my house and my dog is in love with them. Often we see him scavenging around looking for a fresh ripe one to eat. It has had no bad effect on his health and he’s looking as healthy as ever!

    1. Be safe, not sorry. I don’t think dogs can distinguish red from green. My little dog just died, this morning, and bloat from green tomatoes is what probably caused it.

  7. Our last dog, a Cocker Spaniel named Sugar, always flew to the garden when she knew the tomatoes were ripe. She only ate the ripe ones. She lived till 18, so they must not have hurt her. She never even touched the plants themselves, though. I still miss that pooch!

  8. I have 2 dogs of my own and I also foster several others. Every night I have a salad and it has become part of meal time that each of the dogs also has tomatoes and cucumbers. If I don’t give them their salad, they noisily let me know that they want theirs also. None of the dogs have had any adverse problems. Most of them prefer tomato over a regular dog treat.

  9. Elizabeth says:

    My 4 year old Maltese and Poodle mix has been eating my tomatoes right off the plant this season. He hasn’t had any of the side effects that you have mentioned but he seems to have an incontinence issue every night while he’s sleeping.

    It seemed to have started shortly after my tomato plants began producing. Could the tomatoes be the cause? He has been to the vet and they can’t find anything wrong and it only happens during sleep.

    1. There could be a hormonal imbalance or urinary stones. It could also be a kidney infection or even a prostate disorder. Only your vet knows for sure and a urinalysis may be in order to find out why this is happening. My 15-year old Poodle had a situation similar to this.

  10. My dog became very fussy about eating. I kept changing his diet to tempt him. He’d eat for a few days then stop. Finally, someone who ran kennels told me to put a tiny amount, half a teaspoon, of tomato juice on his food. Now he wolfs down his food! Now I worry that he’ll die from tomato juice if I continue giving it to him. But otherwise, he may die of starvation!

    1. I’m sure he won’t die from tomato juice. You just want to make sure it is pure tomato juice, or that any other items in there won’t hurt him. If there is garlic or onions in it then don’t use it because those are bad for dogs. The ASPCA posts a good reference on foods that are hazardous to dogs on their website. Good luck!

    2. Hi Brenda. Our Dachshund-Terrier started fussing over dry food and our vet said to mix in a finely chopped apple. Now she gobbles it right down. You have to get creative with these fussy-pants doggies.

  11. Our little dog is a very picky eater, but he loves tomatoes or any tomato-based food or sauce. Is it okay to feed him a little ketchup or spaghetti sauce mixed with his dog food?

    1. Ketchup and pasta sauces contain a lot of other ingredients and are often high in sugar and/or sodium, among other things. You’re better off getting crushed or strained tomatoes that only contain tomato. Also, as the article said, only give them in small amounts. I had a 12 pound Shih Tzu that loved pasta, he grew up in an Italian family before I got him. I used to put a teaspoon of plain sauce on his food and he never had any problems.

    2. Tai is right on point. Crushed tomatoes, in small amounts and not all the time, should be fine. But when you buy tomato spaghetti or pizza sauce, it contains onions and garlic which can be very dangerous to dogs. So just use plain tomatoes which could be mixed with ground meat like turkey, chicken or beef (although beef can be harder on the tummy).

    3. No! Ketchup and spaghetti sauce contain onions which will damage the kidneys. Your dog could even die. Even if your pet survives, his/her kidneys will be damaged!

  12. My big Rough Collie ate just two little cherry tomatoes that I left on a plate. She was seriously ill for four days, diarrhea, vomiting and lethargy. I was really worried. She’s okay now. Be careful with tomatoes and dogs.

  13. Fantastic article! Thank you for clearing this up. Dogs love tomatoes which provide them with endless health benefits primarily due to the high levels of antioxidants, especially lycopene, beta-carotene, vitamin C and phenols. One thing I wanted to add is that Tomatine and Solanine are naturally occurring alkaloids.

    Thankfully, alkaloids exist in all plants. They are defense mechanisms existing in all parts of the plant to protect against certain animals, insects, fungi, viruses and bacteria. Alkaloids are healthy, in moderation, as with anything else. I have always fed my dogs tomatoes and they have all lived long, happy and healthy lives.

    The only dangerous substances that poses a threat to our dogs are GMOs, byproduct and man-made chemicals that are pumped into commercial dog food. Thanks for the info and please continue to shine light on similar topics!

    1. GMOs are perfectly safe for dogs and humans. We’ve been consuming them for years. I agree this is an excellent article and much appreciated. Our dog keeps sneaking into our garden and eating them. We’ll have to do a better job of keeping him out as I’m sure he’s not choosy about whether they’ve been sufficiently ripened!

  14. I slit open a ripe grape tomato and insert whatever pill my Betty needs to take. Very easy administration.

  15. We had a chocolate lab who would go into our garden and take cherry tomatoes right off of the vine. Not enough to cause a problem, maybe two or three tomatoes per day during tomato season. Green beans too! She passed away at 15.5 years old so I think it didn’t hurt her. God we loved that dog.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *