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Can Dogs Eat Tomatoes? Everything You Need to Know

Yes. Dogs can eat ripe tomatoes in moderation as an occasional snack since they are considered nontoxic. On the other hand, you should avoid unripe tomatoes and tomato plants.

What Is A Tomato?

Tomatoes are edible fruits that come in many different shapes, colors, and sizes. They are botanically classified as fruit because they form from a flower and contain seeds. Still, they’re usually used as a vegetable in cooking. They are used in a wide variety of dishes on their own or as an ingredient. 

According to the Supreme Court (the US), the tomato should be classified as a vegetable-based on its culinary uses. According to scientific definitions, culinary practices often blur the lines between fruit and vegetables. Likewise, there are many plants considered vegetables but are fruits.

Tomatoes are a fruit that belongs to the family Solanaceae. They are the fruit of the nightshade Solanum Lycopersicum in the family Solanaceae. Tomato was initially domesticated from the wild Mexican tomatillo by native people in Mesoamerica.

Tomatoes are usually red when ripe but can also be yellow, orange, or green, depending on their harvest. They have a typical acidic taste that complements both savory and sweet dishes. Tomatoes are not only good for humans, but they can also be good for your dog. However, we should not forget that tomatoes are fruits, and it is vital to feed your dog only ripe tomatoes in moderation.

It is best to not feed your dog tomato sauce or ketchup because these contain excess sugar and sodium that may not be healthy. Also, unripe tomatoes must be avoided.

Nutrition Value

Nutritional information for a small raw tomato (100-gram):

NutritionValue
Calories18
Water95%
Fiber1.2 grams
Fat0.2 grams
Sugar2.6 grams
Protein0.9 grams
Carbs3.9 grams

Tomatoes contain about 95% water. The rest consists of carbohydrates and fiber.

Is Tomato Safe for Dogs?

Dogs can eat tomatoes, but they should not eat too many as the tomato’s acidity may cause stomach upset.

Some people believe that tomatoes can be toxic to dogs as they contain high acidity levels. However, the truth is that tomatoes are safe for dogs. In addition, there are some benefits from feeding them tomatoes as it contains vitamin C, which helps keep a dog’s immune system strong and healthy.

Tomato is a fruit, and fruit does not contain enough sugar or fat to make it a healthy food for dogs to eat. In addition, dogs should only have small amounts of tomato at one time – one to two tablespoons each day at the most – because the acidity level can irritate their stomachs, leading to an upset stomach or diarrhea.

Dogs can eat ripe tomatoes as an occasional snack in moderation since they are considered non-toxic. In contrast, unripe tomatoes or tomato plants should be avoided. Also, tomato sauce and ketchup should not be fed to your dog, as these contain excess sugar and sodium that may be unhealthy.

Types of cooking methods that make tomatoes bad

Many cooking methods may result in a tomato being bad and harmful for your dog. These cooking methods are boiling, frying, grilling, and steaming.

1. Boiling

Boiling tomatoes will make them mushy and watery. Doing so will take away the flavor and texture of the fruit.

2. Frying

Frying tomatoes can result in a loss of nutrients and texture due to the high heat. It’s best to cook them at a lower temperature and use less oil, resulting in a sweeter and better-tasting tomato. 

3. Grilling

Grilling the tomatoes can result in a dry or burnt product depending on how it’s executed at high or low temperatures. 

4. Steaming

Steaming can cause a loss of flavor and color, while roasting may result in an imperfect texture if not executed correctly with little oil.

Parts of tomatoes that are bad for dogs

Tomatoes have high water content and low-fat content, making them a good source of water. However, some parts of the tomato are bad for dogs. These parts include the seeds, the skin, and the seeds in the fruit.

  • Seeds: Tomatoes are a delicious fruit, but the seeds of the tomato plant are poisonous to dogs and must not be given to them. Eating a few of these seeds can result in illness or even death.
  • Skin: The skin of the tomato is fragile and should not be eaten by dogs. The skin is made of a wax-like substance, irritating the stomach, even though it contains no toxins.

Why is Tomato Good for Dogs?

Tomatoes are a portion of healthy and nutritious food for dogs. They have a lot of benefits.

Tomatoes have a lot of nutrients, such as vitamin C, soluble fiber, and potassium. These nutrients help dogs stay healthy and maintain strong bones. In addition to that, tomatoes also provide dogs with significant doses of antioxidants. As a result, it helps fight off diseases from the inside out.

  • Fiber and Antioxidants – Tomatoes are a fantastic food to include in our diet due to their high levels of dietary fiber and antioxidants. The fiber helps improve digestive health, while the antioxidants reduce the risk of developing many diseases, helping them fight off diseases from the inside out.
  • Lycopene – Prevents or slows down cancerous growth, supports vision in dogs, helps in skin health. Tomatoes are rich in lycopene, one of the essential benefits of feeding this fruit to dogs.
  • Beta Carotene – A pigment that gives the rich red color to tomatoes. Dog’s body uses this pigment to produce Vitamin A.
  • Vitamin A – Tomatoes are low in calories and can be used in various ways. They also provide many essential nutrients, including vitamin A and potassium. Both Vitamin A and Vitamin C help boost your pet’s vision and promote healthy skin.
  • Vitamin B – Tomatoes are a good source of vitamin B. These vitamins are vital for dogs, especially their skin and coats.
  • Vitamin C – Tomatoes are rich in vitamin C, folate, and potassium. These nutrients help dogs stay healthy and maintain strong bones.
  • Potassium – Tomatoes also have a lot of potassium, which helps dogs maintain their fluid levels. Dogs that are dehydrated can be very weak and have trouble exercising.
  • Iron – Tomatoes are also a good source of iron, vital for a dog’s body. Iron is a necessary component of hemoglobin, the protein that carries oxygen throughout the body.
  • Calcium – Tomatoes also contain a lot of calcium required for healthy bones and teeth.

Why Is Tomato Bad for Dogs?

Tomatoes are bad for dogs because they can cause inflammation and digestive issues. The acidity in tomatoes also lowers blood sugar levels in pets. Therefore, dogs should never eat tomatoes unless their veterinarian advises them to do so.

Tomatoes contain vitamin A, which is a good source of vitamin A. However, the levels of vitamin A in tomatoes are high enough to cause inflammation in the body. Hence dogs can eat tomatoes only in small quantities.

When a large amount of the green parts of the tomato are consumed, dogs may get tomatine poisoning, but this is extremely rare. Dogs with this condition will display the following symptoms:

  1. Abnormal heart rate
  2. Gastrointestinal upset
  3. Seizures
  4. Tremors
  5. Weakness
  6. Lack of coordination

If your dog shows any of the symptoms listed above, you should contact a vet right away.

How Much Tomato to Feed Your Dog?

The amount of tomatoes your dog should eat depends on its size and weight. Tomatoes are a healthy snack for dogs. However, it would be best to feed your dog in the correct quantity and frequency.

Quantity and Frequency

The portion of tomato should be about the size of one cherry tomato and should be fed only 1-2 times a week, never on a daily schedule.

Dog’s WeightQuantity
15 pounds or less1 tsp/day
16-30 poundsHalf a cup
31-45 pounds¾ cups/day

Still, if you have no idea about it, you can consult your vet.

How to Serve Tomatoes to Your Dog?

Red, ripe, fresh,cooked tomatoes can be pureed or cut into bite-sized pieces and served to your dog as toppings or as a part of your delectable dog food recipes in safe quantities. Here is a homemade tomato treat for your favorite dog:

Tomato Liver Treats

Ingredients

  • 1/2 pound Beef Liver- boiled and diced
  • 1 6 ounces Tomato Paste
  • 1 cup Brown Rice Flour
  • 1/2 tbsp dried parsley
  • 1 tsp dried basil 
  • 1 cup shredded Mozzarella Cheese

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. 
  • Spread a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
  • Take a bowl and blend all the ingredients one at a time.
  • Combine the mixture well after each ingredient is added.
  • Knead the dough made out of brown rice flour into a ball.
  • Roll the balls onto a floured surface 1/2 inch thick.
  • Cut with the cookie cutter of your choice and place it on the baking sheet.
  • Bake for 15 to 20 minutes. 
  • Cool and refrigerate.

What if My Dog ate Tomatoes?

Tomatoes are among the vegetables that are not safe for dogs when served in large quantities. They contain a toxic chemical called Solanine which causes gastrointestinal irritation that may lead to vomiting and diarrhea.

The effects of solanine poisoning on dogs are quite dangerous. So, it is important to take drastic steps if your dog has eaten many tomatoes in one day. It is best to call a vet immediately and let them know what has happened. You should also monitor your dog’s appetite, vomit, and stool for signs of increased or decreased frequency.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it okay to give my dog tomatoes?

The tomato fruit is absolutely safe for dogs to eat. Giving a dog a tomato in small amounts won’t hurt them at all.

Also, keep in mind to feed your pet only ripe tomatoes as they are considered non-toxic, whereas unripe tomatoes and tomato plants should be avoided.

How long does tomato poisoning last in dogs?

It may cause some gastrointestinal upset. So if your dog vomits or has diarrhea, it would be best to consult your veterinarian.

As long as your dog is drinking and eating normally and just seems a little quiet, he/she may be fine in 24 hours.

Can dogs eat tomato Sauce?

No. Dogs should not eat tomato sauce, ketchup, soup, or juice. They aren’t healthy for dogs because of the added salt, sugar, artificial flavors, and other chemicals they might contain.

Can Tomatoes Hurt My Dog?

Tomato contains an alkaloid called tomatine, and atropine which causes tremors, heart arrhythmia, and dilated pupils

What happens if a dog eats tomato sauce?

Anemia can be caused by these vegetables, damaging your dog’s red blood cells. Dogs that eat too much spaghetti sauce can become dehydrated and suffer salt poisoning if they consume too much sodium. Additionally, tomato stems, leaves, and unripe fruit contain tomatine.

Final Thoughts

Tomatoes are among the best fruits to include in your dog’s diet. However, it is safe to say that dogs can eat ripe tomatoes in moderation as an occasional snack since they are considered nontoxic.

It is also essential to keep in mind that they should not be consumed in large quantities or at any time of the year. Eating tomatoes may cause your dog to develop some digestive problems. If your dog displays any symptoms of illness, you should contact your vet immediately.

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