As a dog owner, you are hopefully aware that while dogs can stomach most “human foods,” there are some that can be quite dangerous for your furry friend to consume. Before you decide to offer your pooch some table scraps, make sure you know what’s on the safe list.
So then, can dogs eat tomatoes? The vegetable certainly seems harmless enough, but there are still some associated risks to feeding your pup tomatoes. Generally speaking, you can give your dog small amounts of tomato without any problems, depending on his size and weight. But ultimately, you won’t want to make tomatoes a regular part of his diet.
What’s the Deal with Tomatoes?
So, tomatoes are both safe and harmful to dogs, easy right? Tomatoes are in the nightshade family of vegetables, which means these food sources contain some chemicals that can be harmful to certain animals, including solanine. This chemical component is what makes tomatoes harmful to dogs. However, the majority of solanine is found in the green parts of tomatoes – think leaves and stems, and young, unripened green tomatoes. The components of the plant contain the highest concentration of solanine. Since you normally feed your dog just a slice of the actual tomato, it’s easy to avoid solanine altogether. However if your dog tends to get into your tomato garden in the backyard, then you might have a problem. When in doubt think about feeding red tomatoes only and also being wary of the quantities served. Additionally, it is important to make sure your pup does not have an allergic reaction to tomatoes. Although this is extremely rare, dogs can be allergic to tomatoes just like humans.
If your dog does consume an overabundance of tomatoes or their green components, watch him carefully for the signs and symptoms of solanine poisoning, more commonly referred to as tomatine poisoning. The clinical signs of this condition include:
- Gastrointestinal upset, including vomiting or diarrhea
- Cardiac distress, such as panting or shallow breathing
- Loss of coordination
- Muscle weakness
Thankfully, these symptoms are rare and the prognosis for dogs with tomatine poisoning is generally good when treated. If your pup begins to display these symptoms or you suspect he has eaten tomatoes or their plants, contact your veterinarian immediately. These symptoms can be life-threatening to your dog if they are actually suffering from an ulterior issue.
Feeding Your Dog Fruits & Vegetables
Choosing to feed your pup whole fruits and vegetables offers many health benefits for him in addition to being fun treats to mix up from your regular bagged treats. The nutrients contained in each of these foods can help to fill any gaps in your dog’s daily diet, including providing vitamins and minerals your canine might not otherwise be getting through his standard dog food. Fruits and vegetables are also an excellent source of fiber and water which can help increase your dog’s digestive health.
However, when it comes to your dog’s health, there are a number of fruits and vegetables which can be especially harmful and should not be given to your pup:
As we mentioned before, not all fruits and vegetables are safe for dogs so it is imperative that you understand what your pup can and cannot eat. Here is a list of produce that is dangerous for your dog:
If your pet gets ahold of any of these foods, monitor his behavior for any changes. Becoming lethargic or withdrawn may indicate your dog is experiencing adverse effects from something he ate. In those cases, contact your veterinarian for further assistance. If your dog is reacting out of the ordinary to any type of food, you should contact your vet to make sure your pup didn’t have something that’s toxic to dogs.
Generally speaking, tomatoes are safe for your dog in moderation. Be sure to keep your dog away from any green parts of the plants and take swift action if you see any signs of tomatine poisoning. If you have a tomato plant in the backyard that your dog can get ahold of, make sure to put up fencing to deter him from eating any of the leaves. Otherwise, tomatoes can be a fun treat to give to your dog. They may even become a favorite for your pup!