Can dogs eat tomatoes and is it safe for them to enjoy the vegetable?
Well, this article answers all your questions about feeding tomatoes to dogs and the risks associated with letting your pooch enjoy the treat.
We are going to be covering everything that you need to know about the vegetable with regards to allowing your four-legged friend enjoy it as a treat.
Let`s get started.
The tomato plant specie originated in the Western parts of South America and the Central America region but it is now grown world wide for both commercial and non-commercial purposes.
Tomatoes are packed with nutrients like vitamins A, C and K that are crucial for body function and growth. The fruit has a lot of health benefits for both humans and animals.
Are Tomatoes Safe For Dogs?
Tomatoes are completely safe for dogs to eat but regardless of how good the vegetable might be for your pooch, it is important for dog owners to understand all the risks of letting dogs eat a large amount of tomatoes.
Treats should only be given to dogs in proportionate amounts and letting them eat too much can cause some serious health problems.
So it is extremely important for dog parents to watch the amount of treats they allow their fury children to enjoy.
And in the case of tomatoes it is not just a matter of quantity but also the parts of the plant they get to taste.
Dogs should only eat the ripe fruit of the tomato plant and it should be avoided when it is still green.
The leaves and stem of the tomato plant should also be avoided as they are dangerous for dog consumption (especially in large quantities).
Tomatoes are a member of the nightshade family of vegetables and these types of vegetables contain solanine.
Solanine is a chemical substance found in the leaves and stem of most nightshade vegetables including tomatoes.
Green parts ( leaves, stem and unripe fruit) of the tomato plant a highly concentrated with solanine and the substance is toxic for dogs if consumed in large quantities.
For that reason, all the green parts of the tomato plant should not be fed to dogs.
What Happens If A Dog Eats Tomatoes?
The ripe fruit of the tomato plant is safe for dogs to eat but all the other parts like leaves and stem are toxic to the four-legged animal.
When a dog eats the leaves, stem or unripe fruit of the tomato plant they are poisoned by a chemical found called solanine which is very active in these parts of the tomato plant.
Signs and symptoms of solanine poisoning in dogs include seizures, tremors, muscle weakness.
It is very important to immediately seek professional medical attention when your dog eats the stem, leaves or unripe fruit of the tomato plant because the symptoms can be very fatal and might lead to death.
Raw Vs Cooked
Dogs can safely eat both raw and cooked tomatoes. Cooked tomatoes are not toxic to dogs as long as you select the ripe fruit.
Raw tomatoes are packed with their natural nutrients but they tend to lose most of the nutrients during cooking so it might be a good idea to only give your dog a small slice of the raw tomato instead of cooking the fruit.
Can Dogs Eat All Tomato Products
We have already established the fact that dogs can safely eat ripe tomatoes but it is also important to understand that not all tomato products are safe for your pooch to eat.
Some tomato products are actually harmful to dogs and the next sections of this guide will explain why that is so.
1.Tomato Sauce And Ketchup
Dogs should not be allowed to eat tomato sauce or ketchup because apart from the tomatoes, these condiments are usually prepared using additional ingredients that are extremely harmful to dogs.
Tomato sauce and ketchup brands can use onions and garlic in their formulas to enhance the taste of their products but such ingredients have been proven to be toxic to dogs.
So it is extremely important for dog owners to keep tomato sauce and ketchup away from their dogs.
Tomato soup is not generally considered as a good option for dogs because of the ingredients that are mostly used to prepare it.
So if you decide to give your dog a good treat of tomato soup just remember not to add any salt or other ingredients when you are preparing the soup for your dog.
And since cooking oil is kind off a requirement you can use a little that is just enough to create good soup.
Avoid using a lot of oil as it can actually hurt your dog`s health.
It is very clear that the additives that we mostly use to prepare soup are harmful to dogs and for safety reasons, it is encouraged to only give plain tomato soup to your four-legged friend or completely avoid it.
Plain tomato juice is safe for dogs to eat and you should never add any salt, sugar or artificial flavors to the juice if you decide to let your dog enjoy the treat.
Seeds are generally not safe for dogs because they are difficult to digest and usually contain chemicals that can be toxic for animals when consumed in large quantities.
Therefore, it is actually safe for dog parents to remove seeds from tomatoes before they are served to dogs.
How Much Tomatoes Can Dogs Safely Eat
Tomatoes are considered to be dog treats because they cannot be they key food in the canine`s diet.
Vets and animal nutritionists suggest that treats should not make up of more than 10% of a dog`s daily food intake.
So dog parents can use this rule as a guideline to determine the amount of tomatoes that their dogs can eat depending on their size and daily food intake.
The general idea is that dogs should eat less treats and since tomatoes are a part of that list, we encourage you to never give your pooch too much tomato.
Health Benefits Of Tomatoes For Dogs
Tomato has a lot of health benefits for both humans and animals. There are a lot of reasons why you should include tomato on your dog`s diet and this section will cover some of the major ones.
1.A Great Source Of Vitamins
Tomato is a great source of vitamins A, C and K.
Vitamin A supports skin or coat health for your dog and it also helps with immunity and vision.
Vitamin C is crucial for repairing body tissues and enzyme production. Vitamin K is also important for producing proteins involved in blood coagulation.
The fiber and fluid found in tomatoes is very important for preventing constipation and improving digestive health.
3.Boosts Heart Health
The red color of tomatoes is a result of an antioxidant called lycopene which studies have revealed to be crucial for maintaining good heart health.
4.Improves Eye Health
Antioxidants like lycopene are not only important for heart health but they are also crucial for improving vision and eye sight.
Tomato Poisoning In Dogs
Tomato poisoning in dogs is most caused by a chemical called solanine which is mostly found in the leaves and stem of many plants.
For tomatoes, solanine is concentrated in the stem, leaves and young green tomatoes which are not yet ripe.
Solanine is not really toxic for dogs when consumed in small quantities but it is important to always avoid the stem, leaves and green parts of tomatoes.
The effects of solanine poisoning can be harmful and they vary from dog to dog.
Signs Of Tomato Poisoning In Dogs
Here is a quick list of the signs of tomato poisoning in dogs and remember to observe if your dog experience any of them after eating tomatoes.
- Gastrointestinal upset
- Cardiac effects
- Loss of coordination
- Muscle weakness
Dogs And Tomato: Precautions
Here is a quick list of the precautions that every dog owner need to take when feeding tomatoes to dogs…
- Your dog should not eat the stem and leaves of a tomato plant.
- Dogs should only eat ripe tomatoes and the green parts should be avoided.
- Do not add any salt or additives when feeding tomatoes to your pooch.
- Most tomato products like ketchup are not safe for dogs because of the ingredients used for their preparation.
- Avoid the seeds.
Verdict: Can Tomato Hurt Your Dog?
Dogs can actually eat tomatoes and pet owners can safely allow their dogs to enjoy the treat.
Just remember to avoid the stem and leaves of the tomato plant and only feed ripe tomatoes to your four-legged child.
The leaves, stem and green tomatoes contain a chemical called solanine which is toxic to dogs when consumed in large quantities.