Can Dogs Eat Tomatoes? Are Tomatoes Healthy for Your Dog?

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Yes, dogs can eat tomatoes. Tomatoes are packed full of nutrients, vitamins, and antioxidants that help support your pet’s whole body health.

They are low in protein and calories, making them a healthy treat for senior dogs. But as with all treats and dog food, tomatoes should be given in moderation.

Yorkshire Terrier with a basket of tomatoes

This article discusses how tomatoes are beneficial for our dog’s overall health, including their digestive and immune systems, skin and coat, weight management, and dental health.

What are the Benefits of Tomatoes for Dogs?

Yorkshire Terrier puppy smelling the tomatoes
Cute Yorkshire Terrier puppy smelling the tomatoes – Image source

Tomatoes are a great addition to your dog’s diet. These delicious, nutritious, and juicy treats are just as healthy for your canine companion as they are for you. Here’s a list of health benefits that your dog can get from tomatoes. 

1. Tomatoes are loaded with antioxidants that can help your dog live longer: Tomatoes are major sources of health-protective antioxidants, such as lycopene, that are beneficial for your dog’s immune system. Lycopene is a powerful antioxidant found in tomatoes that may reduce the possibility of cancer in dogs and can also be good for canine vision. 

2. Tomatoes help improve your dog’s cardiovascular health: Tomatoes contain potassium and Vitamin B, which are essential nutrients for your dog’s healthy heart. These nutrients help to control your dog’s cholesterol and blood pressure levels, ultimately putting less pressure on the heart muscle.

3. Fiber in tomatoes will boost digestive health: Tomatoes are a good source of fiber for dogs, providing about 1.5 grams per average-sized tomato. Feeding your dog with foods that are high in water content and fiber, such as tomatoes, may help support normal bowel movements and reduce constipation in dogs.

4. Tomatoes are good for your dog’s eyesight: Tomatoes contain Vitamin A and beta-carotene which help protect your dog against degenerative eye diseases such as blindness and cataracts. 

5. Tomatoes keep your dog’s skin healthy: Tomatoes are a great natural source of Vitamin C and Vitamin A. These vitamins help keep your dog’s skin healthy and their coat shiny. 

What nutrients in tomatoes are beneficial for dogs?

Tomatoes are a great source of vitamins and minerals for dogs. Here are some of the nutrients your dog can get from tomatoes.

  • Vitamin C: A medium-sized tomato (about 123 grams) contains about 20 milligrams of Vitamin C, which helps boost your pet’s immune system. This powerful antioxidant also helps reduce cognitive aging in senior dogs.
  • Vitamin A: A 100 gram of tomatoes offers your pet 833 IU of Vitamin A, which supports your dog’s skin and coat, the development of its muscles, and healthy brain function.
  • Potassium: This fruit is well-known for its potassium content which helps keep the dog’s heart, nerves, and muscles functioning optimally. Tomatoes offer about 292 mg of potassium per medium tomato.
  • Vitamin K: One cup of tomatoes only gives your dog up to 11 micrograms of Vitamin K. Still, we can thank this essential nutrient for a dog’s normal blood clotting.
  • Calcium: Tomatoes also contain 15 mg of Calcium, which can help keep your pet’s bones and teeth strong.
  • Phosphorous: One medium tomato has around 15 mg of phosphorus, which is critical for the strong bones, joints, and mobility of your dog.
  • Iron: Tomatoes are an abundant source of iron, containing about 0.5 mg per cup. Iron plays a vital role in keeping your dog’s blood circulating properly.

What are the Health Risks of Tomatoes for Dogs?

Flat Coated Retriever chewing tomato
Brown Flat-Coated Retriever dog chewing a tomato – Image source

There are a few health risks that tomatoes pose to dogs, especially if not served correctly. 

  1. Choking: Due to the stems and leaves of tomatoes not being removed. This can also cause a blockage in your pet’s digestive system. 
  2. Tomatine Poisoning: Certain substances in tomatoes can be harmful to your dog if consumed in large amounts. Although tomato poisoning is rare it can happen, particularly if your dog gets hold of unripe fruit.

What’s in tomatoes that are harmful to dogs?

Tomatoes contain elements that can be harmful to dogs when consumed in high amounts, especially if they have an existing health condition, like diabetes or cancer. 

  1. Solanine: Solanine is a substance found in nightshades like tomatoes. It is particularly prevalent in the green parts of tomatoes, such as the leaves and stems, and is harmful to dogs if consumed in large quantities.
  2. Alpha tomatine: Alpha tomatine is another toxic compound for dogs that are also present in nightshades plants and contains higher concentrations in the green portions of tomatoes.
  3. Sugar: A cup of tomato contains about 4 grams of sugar. Too many tomatoes can lead to the stomach upset of your dog due to an increased sugar intake.
  4. Fiber: While this is good for most dogs, too much fiber may cause a negative reaction for some canines. 

Can Tomatoes Be Toxic for Dogs?

Yes, tomatoes can be toxic for dogs if they have consumed the green parts of a tomato plant which caused them to have tomatine poisoning.

The solanine component found in the leaves and stems of tomatoes is considered the highest in concentration that can poison dogs in large quantities.

Thankfully, ripe tomatoes contain such a small amount of this harmful compound. So feeding your dog ripe tomatoes is generally safe for your dog and it’s not really a concern as far as toxicity goes. 

What are the signs of tomato poisoning in dogs?

While tomato poisoning in dogs is rare, it is possible. If your dog exhibits any of the below symptoms, be sure to consult your vet right away. Here are some of the signs of tomatine poisoning that you need to consider for your dog.

  • Gastrointestinal upset
  • Muscle weakness
  • Tremors
  • Seizures
  • Cardiac effects
  • Loss of coordination

Can Dogs Be Allergic to Tomatoes?

While tomatoes are not a common allergen, some dogs could have an allergic reaction to ripe tomatoes. Dogs that are allergic to tomatoes can experience digestive problems, such as gas and diarrhea.

An allergic reaction could also cause them to have hives, wheezing, coughing, difficulty breathing, excessive thirst, or in rare cases anaphylaxis shock which can be fatal.

If your dog exhibits any of these symptoms after eating tomatoes, be sure to take him to the vet immediately. Some pet insurance plans cover the costs of allergy tests if you want to check what your pet may be allergic to.

Does Dog Size Matter When Eating Tomatoes?

Yes and no, while no dog should be given large quantities of tomatoes, obviously the amount you can give your dog will differ based on your dog’s size.

Small dogs are more susceptible to tomato poisoning as it takes much fewer unripe tomatoes to have an effect on their tiny bodies. 

That said, for all pups red, ripe tomatoes are only okay for dogs to consume in small quantities and aren’t meant as a regular treat.

What Happens If My Dog Eats Too Many Tomatoes?

Tomatoes are highly acidic containing malic and citric acid, which can produce too much gastric acid to your dog’s stomach.

Dogs that eat too many tomatoes will likely suffer from acid reflux, heartburn, or gastrointestinal issues, particularly with dogs with a sensitive stomach.

When feeding tomatoes to your dog, be sure to start with small amounts and see how it will react, just like what you do when introducing any new food to your pet.

How Should Dogs Eat Tomatoes?

Dogs excited to eat the fresh tomatoes
Two dogs excited for the newly pick tomatoes – Image source

Tomatoes can be served to your dog raw or you can add them to a variety of homemade pet-friendly treat recipes.

You can also blend tomatoes with a mix of other dog-safe fruits and vegetables for a tasty topper to your dog’s daily kibble.

Always be sure to pick ripe, red tomatoes that don’t have any leaves or stem attached. These tomatoes should be fed to your dog plain and without additives like salt and sugar which are bad for canines.

It’s also recommended to opt for organic tomatoes if you can so that you avoid any harmful chemicals, pesticides, and herbicides that can make your dog sick. 

Is Tomato a Good Treat for Dogs?

Yes and no, tomatoes are a healthy treat choice for most dogs, but they should not be offered daily. A small bite-sized treat of tomato is fine for your dog to eat every now and again but tomatoes should rather be reserved for the occasional treat rather than a regular part of your dog’s diet.

When should dogs eat tomatoes?

There is no specific time of the day that is best to feed your dog tomatoes.

If you want to try feeding your dog tomatoes for the first time, why not turn it into a special occasion and give him tomatoes on 6 April, which is Fresh Tomato Day!

When should dogs not eat tomatoes?

As mentioned, although rare, some dogs can develop an allergy to tomatoes. If this is the case with your dog, you should stop feeding him tomatoes immediately. 

What are the Food Recipes made with Tomatoes for Dogs?

You can try making some delicious blended tomato smoothies at home for a tasty topper to your dog’s daily kibble.

To do so, simply mix tomatoes with oatmeal and a variety of other pet-safe fruits or vegetables. You can even freeze the mixture for a delicious pupsicle for your pet. 

Can Dogs Eat All Parts of a Tomato?

Border Collie loves to eat raw tomatoes
A Senior Border Collie dog loves to eat raw tomatoes – Image source

No, dogs can’t eat all parts of a tomato. You should never serve your pup a tomato whole. The leaves and stems can be particularly dangerous for your furry friend.

1. Tomato Soup

Store-bought tomato products like tomato soup should not be given to your dog.

These are not safe for your dog to consume because they typically contain additives like garlic or onion which can be toxic for your dog, as well as unhealthy levels of salt and sugar.

2. Sun-Dried Tomatoes

You can feed your dog plain sun-dried tomatoes as long as they haven’t been prepared using a recipe that contains any salt, garlic, or onion.

Sun-dried tomatoes can be fed directly from the jar or chopped up finely and added as a topper to your dog’s meal. Be cautious to only feed your dog one to two pieces of sun-dried tomato per day.

3. Tomato Sauce

Your dog should not eat tomato sauce or any other pasta sauce prepared using tomatoes. Like soup, tomato sauce typically includes ingredients that aren’t good for your dogs such as sugar, salt, garlic, onions, and chives.

4. Tomato Paste

If you want to feed your dog tomato paste, be sure to make it at home. That way, you can control what ingredients you add to your tomato paste and be sure not to include anything harmful to canines.

Tomato paste typically has more fiber than regular tomatoes as the water has been cooked out.

5. Tomato Leaves

As mentioned, the highest concentrations of solanine are found in the tomato leaves, stems, and vines. These parts of the fruit are thus not safe for your pet to eat and should be removed completely before serving. 

6. Tomato Juice

Once again, store-bought products like tomato juice are not recommended for your pet.

Store-bought tomato juice typically has a very high sugar content which can cause numerous problems for your dog including an upset stomach, tooth decay, weight gain, and diabetes.

7. Tomato Skin

Dogs can eat tomato skins. Lycopene, a powerful antioxidant and phytochemical that gives tomatoes their signature red color and is mainly found in the skin. 

Is Cooked or Raw Tomatoes Better for Dogs? 

Cooked and raw tomatoes that are free of stems and leaves are both safe for your dogs to eat.

But a few slices of raw, mature, ripe tomatoes are better for your pets as an occasional treat than cooked tomatoes as cooking this fruit for just 2 minutes can decrease their Vitamin C content by 10%.

If you want to feed your dog with cooked tomatoes or sauces from tomatoes, be sure that they don’t contain any ingredients such as salt, pepper, garlic, and onions that are harmful to your dogs and could give your pup an upset stomach.

What Foods Can be Mixed with Tomatoes for Dogs?

Dog drooling while watching for the spaghetti
Hungry dog drooling while watching for the food

You can also try mixing tomatoes with several other fruits and vegetables to make them interesting and engaging for your dog.

Or you can even freeze small bites of tomato alongside some of these other ingredients to make a summery fruit salad for your pet.

1. Pasta

Tomato pasta normally contains added sugar and so shouldn’t be fed to your pet. In addition, some tomato pastas include raisins which are highly toxic to dogs.

Raisins can cause your dog to show signs of lethargy, have a loss of appetite, vomit or have diarrhea, or even seizures. If your dog shows any of these symptoms, be sure to contact your vet immediately.

2. Pizza

Tomato pizza should not be given to dogs. While delicious for humans, this treat is way too salty and fatty for your dog. Also, most pizzas contain flavorings like onions and garlic which your dog can’t eat.

3. Lettuce

Tomato and lettuce are the perfect salad compliments. While most dogs don’t like lettuce, it is perfectly healthy for them to consume.

Lettuce of all varieties doesn’t contain anything that can harm your dog. Made of 90 percent water, tomatoes are a great low-calorie snack for older or overweight pets.

4. Basil

Like tomatoes, basil is safe for your dog to consume in small quantities.

Basil has a range of health benefits for pets from helping to prevent illnesses, to working as an anti-inflammatory, preventing cellular damage, easing arthritis pain, and acting as an anti-anxiety.

5. Cheese

When feeding cheese to your dog, avoid processed cheeses which can be unhealthy to your pet, or store-bought cheese sauces that contain a high level of salt and fat for your dog. Too much fat and calories might lead to gastric distress.

Are foods made with tomatoes safe for dogs?

A variety of human foods include tomatoes as their main ingredient and you might be wondering if these foods are safe for your dog to eat.

Most human foods are not safe for your dog to consume due to their elevated sugar and salt content and the fact that they typically include ingredients like garlic, onion, and chives which as mentioned are toxic to dogs. 

These often are also loaded with artificial flavors, colors, and chemicals. Some artificial sweeteners, such as xylitol, can be extremely toxic for your pet.

Also, the high sugar content of these foods can cause tooth decay, weight gain, and even diabetes.

Are dog foods made with tomatoes healthier for dogs?

Tomatoes are loaded with plenty of benefits for your pet, however, if your dog is eating a balanced diet, there is no reason why you have to give him a tomato.

If your dog won’t eat fresh tomatoes, you can look for pet food that includes this nutritious ingredient in their formula, although even that isn’t 100% necessary for your dog to lead a healthy life.

What is the Amount of Tomatoes that Dogs Can Consume a Day?

Dogs should not be given tomatoes daily. A slice or two of tomato every now and again will be more than enough for your furry friend.

While most canines love the crunchy texture and juicy flavor of tomatoes, be careful not to let your dog overdo it. Too much of a good thing can cause your dog to have an upset stomach, bellyache, or diarrhea. 

Your dog’s treats, tomatoes included, should not make up more than 10% of their daily calorie intake.

What are the Dog Treat Recipes that Contain Tomatoes?

Pug mix dog sniffing the fresh tomatoes
Meet Mona, a Pug mix dog sniffing the fresh tomatoes – Image source

There are various delicious tomato-based dog treats that you can try making for your pet at home. Check out these recipes if you want to whip up something fun for your dog.

  1. Tomato Chicken Parmesan Dog Treat
  2. Tomato Cheese and Pepperoni Dog Biscuits
  3. Tomato Liver Dog Treat

What are the dog food products that contain tomatoes?

If your dog loves the taste of tomatoes, you can consider feeding him a pet food that has tomatoes in the recipe. There are plenty of delicious dog-safe recipes online that contain tomatoes.

You can try out a few at home to see which ones take your pup’s fancy. Here are three of our favorite dog foods with tomatoes that you may consider.

  1. Nutro Hearty Stew Adult Chunky Beef, Tomato, Carrot & Pea Canned Dog Food
  2. Purina Beneful Chopped Blends With Lamb, Brown Rice, Carrots & Tomatoes Wet Dog Food
  3. Purina Beneful IncrediBites With Beef, Tomatoes, Carrots & Wild Rice Canned Dog Food

You can also try looking for a delicious commercial pet treat that includes tomatoes. Here are some treats that are sure to satisfy your dog’s taste for tomatoes.

  1. Trick or Snack Beef & Tomato Flavored Jerky Dog Treats
  2. Trick or Snack Salmon & Tomato Flavored Nugget Dog Treats
  3. Trick or Snack Chicken & Tomato Flavored Steak Dog Treats

Can Dogs Eat Derivatives of Tomatoes?

No, be careful if you have tomatoes growing in your garden. As mentioned, solanine and alpha-tomatine are present in this fruit, particularly in the green skin of unripe tomatoes, as well as the leaves and stems of the plant. 

If you have a vegetable patch in your garden with tomatoes growing in it, be sure to fence it in so your dog can’t get to the plants, or better yet, raise the beds up in planter boxes.

If you suspect your dog has eaten parts of a tomato plant, watch him carefully for signs of poisoning.

What diseases in dogs can tomatoes help?

As mentioned, tomatoes are packed full of antioxidants which will help your dog to fight numerous diseases.

Antioxidants from tomatoes help ward off certain diseases like cancer by combating harmful free radicals. Because of the high potassium content, they also help with reducing the symptoms of heart conditions.

What Other Foods that Dogs Can Eat are Similar to Tomatoes?

If your dog isn’t a fan of tomatoes, you can try some other delicious fruits and vegetables that also have a range of health benefits for canines. You can also try rotating tomatoes with these fruits and vegetables to make training interesting and engaging for your dog. Here are some great alternatives to tomatoes that you can consider for your pup.

  • Strawberries, which can make a tasty treat for pet’s with a sweet tooth and are particularly great served frozen on a hot summer’s day
  • Watermelon, a dog-safe, refreshing and hydrating treat that contains plenty of water
  • Peas, which are an excellent source of protein, vitamins A, B1, B6, C, and K, minerals, and dietary fiber for your dog
  • Carrots, which are high in fiber, low in calories, and work to clean your dog’s teeth thanks to their crunchy texture
  • Beets, which are an excellent source of nutrients that help your dog’s body ward off diseases. These include vitamin C, fiber, folate, manganese, and potassium.
  • Celery, which is an excellent source of antioxidants for your pup, helping to fight diseases like cancer. Celery is also rich in Vitamin A and C.

Conclusion: So, Can My Dog Eat Tomatoes?

Shih Tzu having kibble food stuffed with tomato
A Shih Tzu dog having kibble food stuffed with tomato – Image source

As you can see, there are many benefits of feeding your dog tomatoes. These fruits can help fight off disease, aid with digestion, and weight management, and supply your pet with plenty of nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. 

When feeding your dog tomatoes, or any new food for that matter, it’s best to first consult with your vet.

You’ll also want to keep an eye out for any allergies and be sure not to overdo it, as tomatoes can be toxic for your dog in large amounts. 

Do you feed your dog tomatoes? Does your furry family member enjoy them raw, as a tasty topper to his daily kibble, or mixed into a homemade recipe or commercial dog treat? Let us know in the comments below!

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