Nutrition

To Eat or Not to Eat? Should You Give Your Dog Tomatoes?

can dogs eat tomatoes

When Your Dog Wants What You Want

Have you ever tried to eat around a dog? They stare you down and their eyes can feel like laser beams burning into your inner conscience.

Their evil plan is to guilt you into sharing whatever yummy morsels you are chowing down on.

Dogs seem to be hungry whenever food is around, even if it isn’t theirs (especially if it isn’t theirs).

They want your food, even when they have their own readily waiting in their dog bowl.

In general, they typically will eat anything, especially if we (humans) are eating it.

According to Paula Fitzsimmons, a writer for PetMD, dogs commonly have a lot of digestive problems.

Since dogs’ digestive systems are different from humans’ digestive systems, we have to be careful when giving dogs human food.

Some foods may be okay for dogs to eat and can even provide vitamins and minerals for dogs. Others can poison them and make them sick or worse.

Tomatoes can be tempting for dogs because they are juicy and we eat them like they taste very, very good.

There may also be instances where we eat foods that contain tomatoes (such as burgers) and we may want to share a piece with our dogs.

Most people know that meat is generally safe, but if your burger has tomatoes, you will want to know if its okay to give to your dog.

Below are some questions and answers about feeding tomatoes to dogs. They have been broken down into sections for your convenience.

About Dogs Eating Tomatoes

1. Can Dogs eat tomatoes?

The answers to this question are yes and no. In general, dogs can eat certain parts of the tomato as long as they don’t eat large quantities of tomatoes.

Don’t panic if your dog ate a slice of tomato or if your dog ate a cherry tomato. That is a very small amount and he or she will most likely be fine.

However, if your dog ate your whole garden of tomatoes, that’s a different story.

According to Anna Burke, a writer for the American Kennel Club (AKC), certain parts of tomatoes contain a substance that, if ingested in a large quantity by your dog, can be very harmful. You may want to visit your local veterinarian as soon as possible.

2. Can Boxers eat tomatoes? 

Boxers can eat tomatoes just like any other dog and the same rules apply to them. You will want to prevent your dog from eating the green parts of the plant, but the ripe red part is ok as long as you don’t overdo it. Again, the key is moderation.

3. Can dogs eat canned tomatoes? 

Dogs can eat canned tomatoes and some dogs might actually enjoy the canned tomatoes more than the fresh ones. Make sure you watch the sodium content in canned tomatoes.

Although dogs do need sodium in order for their bodies to function properly, human food may possibly contain too much sodium for dogs.

4. Can you give a dog tomato soup? 

Giving tomato soup to a dog is definitely not recommended. First, you have the sodium problem.

Canned soups are usually very high in sodium. It is suggested that adult dogs should only eat 13 mg of sodium for every kilogram of body weight.

According to Sharon Perkins, a registered nurse with over 25 years of experience, a half cup serving of tomato soup has about 480 mg of sodium.

This means that in order for this size serving of soup to be safe for your dog, he/she must weigh at least at least 36.9 kg (81.2 lbs)!

Even big dogs don’t typically weigh this much, so you may want to avoid giving your dog tomato soup.

According to Dr. Amy Flowers, too much sodium can even lead up to death for your dog.

Another reason to not give tomato soup to your dog is the fact that it could give them diarrhea.

This can be very unpleasant for you as you will probably have a lot of messes to clean up, and it will be even more unpleasant for your dog who would have to deal with being ill.

5. Can I give my dog tomato sauce? 

The answer to this question is no. This is due to the same reasons that the dog can’t have tomato soup–too much sodium and development of diarrhea.

In general, just don’t give your dog any liquid forms of tomatoes unless you happen to puree a fresh one.

6. Can dogs eat cooked tomatoes? 

Dogs can eat cooked tomatoes depending on how they are cooked. Remember that sauces and soups aren’t good for dogs because of the sodium levels.

You can stew tomatoes and give some to your dog if you don’t add sodium. While stewed tomatoes are relatively safe for dogs, it may cause diarrhea.

Frying tomatoes aren’t typically recommended because of the oil content. That could be bad for your dog’s cardiovascular health.

A small quantity may not be extremely harmful, but you definitely don’t want to make it an everyday thing.

Baked tomatoes could be okay for your dog as long as the dish doesn’t have a high sodium content. In general, it is probably safer to feed your dog raw tomatoes.

Another safer choice is sun-dried tomatoes. These aren’t exactly cooked but this method can give the tomatoes a different texture, feel, and taste that your dog may like.

7. How should you give tomatoes to your dog? 

The best way to give tomatoes to your dog is raw slices. Although other ways can be safe for your dog, they may cause problems such as diarrhea or upset stomach.

Giving your dog a whole tomato could be too much at one time (especially for smaller dogs).

A juicy, red, fresh, raw slice is a great size and doesn’t have any added salt so it is ideal for your dog.

8. How many tomatoes can dogs eat? 

Just like with any other human food that you would feed your dog, moderation is key.

A few slices won’t hurt your dog, nor will a teaspoon or two of tomato sauce. To be safe, just limit the number of tomatoes your dog eats to one tomato.

Side Effects Of Dogs Eating Tomatoes

1. When are tomatoes bad for dogs? 

If your dog is having any type of gastrointestinal problems, you will want to avoid giving your dog tomatoes.

The tomatoes can make the problem worse, especially if they are liquid or have a lot of sodium.

You shouldn’t give tomatoes to puppies either. Their little bodies aren’t developed enough to handle human food.

2. Does it hurt a dog to eat tomatoes? 

Physically, no. Tomatoes are soft, so dogs won’t have any problem chewing them or swallowing them. Internally can be a different story. Eating the red, ripe part of a tomato won’t hurt a dog internally.

However, eating the green parts of a tomato or an unripe tomato can have bad consequences for your dog. If your dog ate a tomato plant, symptoms of toxicity will begin to show.

3. What is toxic in a tomato? 

When feeding tomatoes to your dog, make sure you only give your dog the red part of the tomato. All of the green parts such as the leaves or the foliage are toxic for dogs.

Similarly, if you give a dog an unripe tomato that is still green, this can be toxic also. You have to make sure that the tomato is fully ripened.

4. Can dogs get tomatine poisoning? 

Eating the green parts of a tomato or eating unripened, green tomatoes can give your dog tomatine (or solanine) poisoning.

For small dogs, they would only have to eat a small amount for the symptoms to show. Tomatine poisoning is serious.

If your dog begins to experience symptoms after eating tomatoes, take him/her to the vet right away.

Symptoms to Watch Out For 

  • Gastrointestinal problems including diarrhea
  • Weakness, lack of movement, or depression
  • Vomiting or gagging
  • Abnormal heart rate
  • Changes in behavior
  • Loss of appetite

Here is a useful YouTube video that tells you what to do if you suspect that your dog has been poisoned.

Benefits of Dogs Eating Tomatoes

1. How are tomatoes good for dogs?

Although tomatoes aren’t really dog food, there are some benefits that dogs get from eating tomatoes.

First, they get a break from their same, boring dog food. Tomatoes are a great, healthy treat for dogs when given in moderation.

Second, they can possibly have positive health benefits for dogs. Health benefits of tomatoes for dogs can include:

A healthy dose of vitamin A. Vitamin A is responsible for helping people (and dogs) with good vision. If you have a dog that is genetically predisposed to having eyesight problems, then tomatoes could be a good snack to add to their diet.

A healthy dose of vitamin K can help your dog develop strong bones and aid with blood clotting. Without vitamin K, a dog could possibly bleed to death if injured.

Do tomatoes make good dog treats?

Tomatoes can make great dog treats, especially if they are sun-dried. They are healthy, natural, and full of useful vitamins.

Of course, this all depends on whether or not your dog likes them and whether or not your dog’s body can tolerate them.

General Information

Can dogs be allergic to tomatoes?

When feeding tomatoes to your dogs, keep in mind that some dogs may possibly be allergic to tomatoes just like some humans are.

There are a few symptoms you can watch out for to determine if your dog is allergic to tomatoes:

  • Your dog has itchy, watery eyes.
  • Your dog has an itchy rear-end.
  • Your dog constantly licks their paws.
  • Your dog has chronic gas or gastrointestinal problems.

Your dog could also be intolerant to tomatoes which are different from being allergic.

It is easy to get the two confused because they have many of the same symptoms.

One of the biggest differences is that allergies can be life-threatening while intolerance is just mostly uncomfortable.

Dogs (and humans) that suffer from allergies are at risk of anaphylactic shock if the allergies become too severe.

Another difference is that your dog may be very itchy if its an allergy. Intolerance generally only affects the gastrointestinal system, so symptom anything outside of that such as itching can point to allergies.

Green Tomatoes and Dogs 

Fried green tomatoes are a very popular dish that is served all over the place. People also cook fried green tomatoes at home.

No matter whether you stew them, fry them, slice them, or dice them, it is not okay to give green tomatoes to your dog under any circumstances. This is a sure way to get your dog sick.

Let’s Sum it Up

There is no doubt that tomatoes aren’t a typical food to give to your dog, but sometimes your dog may be in need of something a little different than the same, old, boring dog food.

When given safely, tomatoes are okay for your dog to snack on. Don’t give them for a whole meal.

Using them as an occasional treat is the best way to let your furry friend enjoy them.

The most important take away from this article is to never give your dog any green parts of a tomato.

The green parts like the vine, leaves, and foliage can all be very toxic to a dog. The same goes for green tomatoes–make sure they are fully ripened before you feed them to your dog.

If you have a tomato garden, you will want to “dog-proof” your garden in order to protect your dog. Dogs, especially puppies, are very much like kids.

They get curious and excited about the pretty colors but the problem is that they tend to explore the world with their mouths.

According to Dr. Natália Kovalkovičová, dogs make up between 70% to 80% of all animal poisonings because they are so curious.

They may try to “explore” a juicy red tomato (or worse, a juicy green tomato) and accidentally eat the toxic parts as well.

Putting up a fence around your garden keeps your dog safe, and being mindful of how you feed your dog tomatoes keeps him/her healthy.

By using the tips in this article, you and your dog can enjoy a juicy tomato together safely.