The answer to the question “can dogs eat tomatoes?” is that it is okay in some cases to feed a dog tomato but you have to be careful about which part of the tomato they are eating. If a tomato is not ripe, you should not let the dog eat it because it may be poisonous to them. There is a chemical in the green parts of tomatoes called Solanine which is usually fatal in large quantities to dogs so it is important to not feed those parts to the dog. On the other hand, feeding a dog ripe tomatoes should be generally safe if they don’t eat anything green and it is ripe.
Symptoms of Tomato Poisoning
Though it is ok in some cases to feed tomatoes to a dog, you should watch out for any symptoms they have if the dog did by accident eat tomatoes because it can be very serious. The symptoms could be muscle weakness, cardiac-related, tremors, seizures, GI-related, and loss of coordination. Tomatine is another chemical that is in the green parts of tomatoes and can cause these effects if you don’t watch what the dog is eating. Luckily, the chemical should not be fatal if they do ingest it but it is important to know the signs regardless. Also, if there are tomato plants in your yard it is generally a good idea to keep your dog away from that area, to avoid any potential accidents.
How Much Tomato Can The Dog Eat
Dogs should not be fed from the table because most food made for people has other ingredients in it. If you want to give your dog some tomato, make sure it is the fleshy part that people use to cook with because the other parts are usually poisonous. It is okay to give dogs a small slice of ripe tomato if you want to, and again, the stems and leaves should be removed first. Though anything like pizza with a premade tomato sauce should not be given to the dog, even if there aren’t any stems, because other ingredients in those may harm the dog.
The tomato is technically a fruit but is considered a nightshade vegetable like tomatillo, eggplant, red bell pepper, and white potatoes. This group of vegetables can be somewhat harmful to dogs if you feed them unknowingly. More importantly, dogs with kidney or arthritis should not be fed tomatoes at all because of oxalates. Oxalate is an acid that can make a dog’s kidney problems worse if they eat it so it is probably not a good idea to feed it to them. Also, dogs with arthritis should not be allowed to have any tomatoes or another vegetable in the nightshade family because those could make their arthritis worse too.
Tomatoes can be beneficial to dogs healthwise, more specifically if they need lycopene in their diet. It is okay to feed plain tomato paste to your dog if this is something it might need but always in small quantities. Tomatoes have a lot of lycopene, beta carotene, and vitamin C in them which can help a dog’s health greatly depending on what they need. For example, being high in fiber and low in calories, tomatoes can help a dog’s digestion. In addition to this, tomatoes have folate and potassium in them which are minerals that can build up healthy muscles in a dog. These are all different ways that feeding your dog tomatoes would help them.
The main vitamins and minerals in tomatoes are lycopene, beta carotene, and vitamin C. These are why feeding tomatoes to dogs can be a good thing if they are not given a whole lot.
The first one is Lycopene as mentioned before which is an antioxidant that has been tested and shown to fight cancer, improve eye health, and help with skin and coat health. Lycopene is thought to be one of the main benefits of feeding tomatoes to a dog since they have a high amount of it.
Making a tomato such a bright red color is the beta carotene which is a red-orange pigment. Bodies use this to create Vitamin A which also helps with a dog’s eye health and keeps their skin healthy too.
The last beneficial ingredient in a tomato would be vitamin C. It is a great antioxidant that boosts your dog’s immune system and is one good side effect of giving a dog tomato. Vitamin C also can help any dog that may have cancer or a weakened immune system which is a good thing.
Should You Feed A Dog Tomato?
Overall, it is not the smartest idea to be feeding tomatoes to a dog. One important thing to note is that tomatoes are usually on the “dirty dozen” list, and that means they could have pesticides on the outside. Whether it is you or your dog eating the tomato, make sure to buy organic ones because pesticides are one chemical you don’t want to ingest. Washing them thoroughly is a good idea too.
Written by Adriana Cavicchi