dog with tomatoes

Can Dogs Eat Tomatoes? It’s Honestly Healthy!

Highlights of Tomato Blog for Dogs

  1. Understanding the nutritional value of tomatoes for dogs
  2. Guide on how to feed tomatoes to your dog

  3. Recommendations, tips, and alternatives 

  4. Quick and easy recipes


Introduction

We are huge believers at Dog Child in feeding our dogs fresh whole food. I often get asked whether tomatoes are safe for dogs or not. Even though they have so many health-benefiting properties, it is important to know if tomatoes are safe for dogs or not. So, without further ado, let’s get into the nitty-gritty today and talk about all of your common questions (and probably even some you hadn’t thought of yet!) on dogs and tomatoes…and of course, a few recipe ideas that contain them! 

Can Dogs Eat Tomatoes?

So, the answer is “Yes, your dog can eat it, but with some precautions.” In most cases, ripe tomatoes are safe for dogs to eat in small amounts. They are a good source of antioxidants like lycopene and beta-carotene. Vitamins A and C also provide support for the immune system and overall health. However, it is important to note that while the tomatoes themselves are not physically harmful, the green parts of a tomato plant contain a substance called solanine which can be toxic to dogs. Also, green/unripened tomatoes should not be given to dogs

Nutritional Benefits of Tomatoes for Dogs

Ripe tomatoes have many nutritional benefits. That’s right; it’s a healthy snack because they are low in calories and full of nutrients. Key nutrients found in tomatoes include:

  • Vitamin A: Supports vision and immune function.
  • Vitamin C: An antioxidant that also strengthens the immune system.
  • Vitamin K: Important for protein synthesis, blood clotting, and bone health.
  • Folate: Helps cells function and aids tissue growth.
  • Potassium: Helps keep fluid levels balanced and supports muscle function.
Antioxidants in Tomatoes

Tomatoes are a good source of antioxidants that help in fighting free radicals and inflammation. Lycopene, a powerful antioxidant largely responsible for tomatoes’ color, has many potential health benefits. According to a study published in the National Library of Medicine, lycopene significantly assists in reducing the risk of chronic diseases, though more evidence is needed. Another study published by Biology (Basel). suggests that lycopene may also help to improve gut health. Incorporating small amounts of ripe tomatoes in your dog’s diet can be good for your dog's longterm health.

Risks of Feeding Tomatoes to Dogs

Solanine and Tomatine Poisoning:


Tomatoes belong to the nightshade family, which contains plants that have solanine and tomatine. These substances occur in high levels in unripe tomatoes and the tomato plant, especially stems and leaves, which contain neurotoxic alkaloids. If ingested in large enough amounts, these components can lead to tomatine poisoning in dogs. Symptoms of excess levels of tomatoes include:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Drooling
  • Lethargy
  • Lack of coordination
  • Muscular weakness
  • Labored breathing

When consumed in significant amounts, ripe tomatoes can cause gastrointestinal issues in dogs, such as vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. Therefore, it’s crucial to not over-feed tomatoes. 

Unsafe Tomato Products

Not all tomato products are safe for your dog. For example, tomato sauces, ketchup, and cooked tomatoes frequently contain extra items like sugar, salt, onions, that may be harmful to dogs. These additives not only cause an upset stomach or gastrointestinal issues but can turn into severe problems and give rise to toxicity. Fresh, ripe tomatoes are best—or plain unflavoured canned tomatoes. 

Some of Our Dog Child Recipes with Tomatoes

Check Out Some Quick and Easy Recipes for Dogs with Tomatoes:

If you’re looking for more recipes for your pup, find them in our recipe community. Nutritionist developed, vet reviewed & dog approved. Find them here! 

This healthy mix of lean ground turkey, tomato puree, and beans is the perfect food your dog can enjoy. Get the full recipe here!

Make these healthy dog-friendly burgers made of lean ground beef, eggs, oats, kale, mushrooms plus our essential nutrient mix. The patties are baked to form a delicious meal that is nutritionally balanced. To see and save the full recipe, click here!

Dog Child's Mixed Veggie Meal Mix

At Dog Child, we believe in providing our dogs with the best nutrition possible. Our Mixed Veggie Meal Mix  is a fantastic option for dog parents looking to add a variety of vegetables to their pup's diet. This mix is easy to prepare and packed with essential nutrients that support your dog's overall health. Just add protein, water and oil for a nutritionally balanced meal. Give it a try and see the difference fresh food can make in your dog's life!

Dog child essential nutrient mix
How to Feed Tomatoes Safely to Dogs

Picking the Right Tomatoes

Use these tips when you want to give tomatoes in their diet:

  • Serving Only Ripened Tomatoes: Serve red, ripened tomatoes only. Avoid green tomatoes or the green parts of the tomato plant.
  • All in Moderation: If feeding tomatoes, feed small amounts to prevent an upset tummy.
  • Watch for Allergies: Some dogs are allergic to tomatoes. Look out for signs of an allergic reaction including itching, swelling (particularly of the face or throat), severe dizziness, or trouble breathing.

Cherry Tomato FAQs


Can dogs have cherry tomatoes?


In moderation, yes. Dogs can eat cherry tomatoes. Make sure your tomatoes are ripe and have no green on them. The cherry tomatoes should be the appropriate size for use as a treat but must be washed properly and the stems removed.


Are tomatoes good for dogs?


Yes, in small amounts ripe tomatoes can be good and provide essential vitamins such as Vitamin A & C with added antioxidants.


Can dogs have canned tomatoes?


In moderation yes, as canned tomatoes can be high in sodium. Also always ensure they have no seasoning especially onion which is toxic. With any food you’re feeding your dog it is important to read the labels.


What do I need to do if my dog eats green tomatoes or tomato plant materials?


If you suspect your dog has eaten unripe tomatoes or the green parts of a tomato plant, keep an eye on them for signs of tomatine poisoning. Contact your veterinarian as soon as possible if you notice any symptoms.

Conclusion

As a fellow dog parent who cares about the well-being of your dogs, I can tell you that feeding fresh and wholesome foods (including tomatoes) can improve your dog’s long term health. If you give them in moderation, ripe tomatoes can be a healthy and safe treat for your pet dog. They provide essential vitamins and antioxidants that help keep their body healthy. However, you’ll want to steer clear of the green parts—the leaves and stems of a tomato plant—and be mindful of any allergies. To find out more tips about feeding your dog good and healthy treats, you can visit our  blog  as well as our recipe community.


More Safety Tips for Dog Parents That Grow Tomatoes at Home

If you also grow tomato plants in your garden, make sure they are off-limits to your dog. Fencing off a garden area or using raised beds will help keep your dog away from the plants. Unripe tomatoes and the green parts of some other nightshade family members can be toxic to dogs.

Other Vegetables to Feed Your Dog

If you are interested in feeding your dog a variety of safe vegetables, other good options would be cucumbers, carrots, or green beans. If you’re craving something tomato-ey but avoiding nightshades, try beets and carrots. They provide good fiber and essential nutrients without the risks associated with nightshades. Find more spring veggies to feed your dog here.