Can Dogs Eat Tomatoes?

For us human beings, there are many health benefits to eating tomatoes. This vegetable, or fruit (to be accurate), is a good source of vitamins and minerals such as vitamin B9 (folate), vitamin C, vitamin K, and potassium for the human body. Best of all, tomatoes also contain compounds that prevent cancer and reduce the risk of heart disease

However, while tomatoes are high in fiber, which helps with digestion given the benefits of eating tomatoes and the popularity of feeding pets humans' organic snacks, you may be wondering -as we at Cornocupia Pet Foods have-can dogs eat tomatoes too?

Can my dogs eat tomatoes?

Cornucopia Pet Foods is just as enthusiastic about pet health as you are. With an experienced licensed and practicing veterinarian who has been active for over 50 years in our corner, you can be assured that we know what your dog can and cannot eat.

So, to answer the question above, after extensive research and inquiries, we are here to inform you that: yes, you can to a certain extent allow your dogs to eat a tomato or two. But to also educate you on why it should be done in moderation, secondly, why you should never allow your dog too many of them, and lastly, why should you never allow your pooch to eat tomato plants. 

So, yes, dogs can eat ripe tomatoes in moderation, especially mature ripe ones. Mature tomatoes are non-toxic and can be an occasional snack. Dogs can also eat ripe tomatoes as tomato pomace, or they can eat them cooked. Tomato pomace is the skin, pulp, and seeds leftover from making tomato-based products

However, much as your dog can eat a tomato or two, please don't let it eat too many tomatoes as this will cause gastrointestinal issues. Although too many ripe tomatoes are not poisonous, they are still quite acidic.

What happens if my dog eats tomatoes?

Aside from causing your dog's stomach to be upset, allowing it to eat tomato greenery or a lot of ripe tomatoes can lead to tomatine poisoning. Although the latter rarely happens as there is a very low chance of your dog eating a large enough amount of tomatoes to have any negative effect, it is still a possibility depending on the size of your beloved pooch. 

Size matters when it comes to tomatine poisoning. The bigger the dog, the less likely, the smaller the dog, the more likely. Due to their size, smaller dogs can experience ill effects from eating even a small amount of tomatoes so be careful.

Tomato-based products such as tomato sauce should also be avoided because they contain additional ingredients like garlic and onion which may cause gastrointestinal distress. Similarly, tomato plants should also be avoided as they are also potentially lethal. 

Tomato plants are part of the nightshade family of vegetables. Nightshade plants are toxic to dogs. Tomato plants contain the toxins solanine and tomatine in their leaves and stem. Green, unripe tomatoes also contain tomatine so dogs cannot eat them. 

Unfortunately, as with most things in life, you can never be sure whether your dog can eat tomatoes, until it does, experiences and shows signs of tomato toxicity. And which are they you ask? Thanks to the American Kennel Club, we at Cornucopia can answer that question as well.

Signs of tomato toxicity

According to the American Kennel Club symptoms of tomatine poisoning in your dog would include:

  1. Loss of coordination
  2. Loss of appetite
  3. Muscle weakness
  4. Hyperventilation
  5. Dilated pupils
  6. Tremors
  7. Seizures
  8. Lethargy
  9. Abdominal pain
  10. Irregular heartbeats
  11. Diarrhea and vomiting

Albeit uncommon, it is also possible for dogs to have an allergic reaction from eating tomatoes, the symptoms of which include hives, coughing, wheezing, and difficulty breathing. So, should any of the above manifest themselves in your dog after seeing or suspecting that it has eaten tomatoes, then please, urgently consult your veterinarian. To diagnose tomato poisoning, a veterinarian will either do a full physical examination on your dog or do blood work or an ECG. If a dog is diagnosed with tomatine poisoning the veterinarian may induce vomiting or monitor it.

Fortunately, tomatine poisoning is rare and non-fatal. Almost all dogs that have experienced tomatine poisoning have fully recovered. That as it may be, however, prevention is better than cure. How can you avoid your dog eating tomatoes? 

How to avoid your dog eating tomatoes

Now that you know the possible dangers of having your dog eating too many ripe tomatoes, tomato-based foods, and tomato plants, how do you prevent them? Here are THREE tips to prevent your dog from eating tomatoes.

  1. Keep your garden fenced off. That way your dog will not have access to it and want to eat the tomatoes growing there.
  2. Tomatoes grown inside should be kept out of reach from dogs and where they cannot be knocked over.
  3. When cooking with tomatoes, keep an eye on your pup to ensure that they are not helping themselves to the tomatoes.

That said, can dogs eat tomatoes? Our educated response here at Cornucopia Pet Foods is an ambivalent yes and yet no.

Last, but not least, we at Cornucopia Pet Foods understand how much your dog means to you. That’s why we prioritize educating you on what your dog should eat or snack. With this in mind, we strive and will continue to provide you with preventive nutrition, easy to digest, No GMOs, and No preservatives organic pet food guaranteed to keep your dog happy and healthy. Just a few of the many reasons why you should choose Cornucopia Pet Foods for your pet food needs.

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