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Can Dogs Eat Tomatoes?

Updated: Apr 8

Tomatoes, can dogs eat tomatoes?

Can dogs eat tomatoes?


In the world of canine nutrition, understanding what our furry family can safely eat is important. This article delves into a specific area of a small dog's diet - tomatoes. 

We'll explore the various types and forms of tomatoes, including cherry, plum, sun, baby, and sundried tomatoes, as well as their raw, cooked, canned, tinned, and sauce forms. 

The aim is to provide a comprehensive guide for dog owners and pet parents in the UK and beyond, shedding light on the suitability of these different types of tomatoes for small dogs. 

Remember that each small breed dog is different, so what suits one may not suit another. Therefore, understanding your dog's dietary needs and restrictions is crucial. 

can dogs eat tomatoes

The Nutritional Value of Tomatoes


Whether fresh, dried, or chopped, Tomatoes are packed with essential nutrients.

Together with minerals like potassium and folate, they are a great source of K, C, and A vitamins.

These nutrients can contribute to a small dog's overall health, supporting their immune system, vision, and heart health.

However, it's important to note that not all forms of tomatoes are equally beneficial for dogs—the preparation method, whether the tomatoes are cooked or raw, can significantly affect their nutritional value.

In the UK, for instance, it's common to feed dogs a mixture of raw and cooked foods.

Raw tomatoes contain more vitamin C, which can be beneficial for a dog's immune system.

However, cooking tomatoes can increase the availability of certain nutrients, like lycopene, a powerful antioxidant.

Despite their nutritional benefits, tomatoes also pose potential risks for dogs.

They may become poisoned if they ingest significant quantities of solanine, which is found in the green sections of the tomato plant, such as the leaves and stems.

Furthermore, some dogs may experience an allergic reaction to tomatoes, which manifests as irritation, redness, and upset stomach.

Therefore, while tomatoes can be a healthy addition to a dog's diet, they should be served in moderation and prepared appropriately.

To lower the chance of contracting solanine poisoning, always cut off the green sections of the tomato and cook it thoroughly.

can dogs eat tomatoes

Different Types of Tomatoes and Dogs


In this section, we'll delve into the different types of tomatoes and their suitability for dogs.

We'll discuss cherry, plum, sun, baby, and sundried tomatoes and how dogs can safely consume them - raw, cooked, canned, tinned, or as a sauce.

Cherry Tomatoes

These small, round tomatoes are a favourite in many households. Dogs can eat cherry tomatoes, but they should be ripe and red.

The green parts of the plant are not safe for dogs.

Cherry tomatoes can be served raw, cooked, or in a sauce, but always ensure they are thoroughly washed and the green parts are removed.

Plum Tomatoes

Plum tomatoes, also known as Roma tomatoes, are a popular choice for sauces and tinned tomatoes due to their rich flavour.

They can be served to dogs in cooked form or as a sauce. However, they should not be served raw or tinned as they may contain additives that are not safe for dogs.

Sun Tomatoes

Sun tomatoes are not a specific variety but rather tomatoes that have been sundried.

Sundried tomatoes are often used in cooking for their intense flavour. However, they are typically preserved in oil and spices, which can be harmful to dogs.

Therefore, sun tomatoes should not be fed to dogs.

Baby Tomatoes

Baby tomatoes, or grape tomatoes, are smaller and sweeter than regular tomatoes.

They can be a tasty treat for dogs when served in moderation.

Like other tomatoes, they should be ripe and red, and the green parts should be removed.

They don't have to be canned; they may be served anyway.

Ripe tomatoes that have been sun-dried are known as sun-dried tomatoes. T

hey have a sweet, tangy flavour and are often used in Mediterranean cuisine. However, they are typically preserved in oil and spices, which can be harmful to dogs.

Therefore, sundried tomatoes should not be fed to dogs.

Tomatoes in Dog Food


In the realm of dog food, both homemade and store-bought, tomatoes often feature as an ingredient.

Their rich nutritional profile makes them a beneficial addition, provided they are used correctly and in moderation.

In homemade dog food, tomatoes can be used in various forms.

Fresh, ripe tomatoes can be added to a dog's meal for a burst of flavour and a dose of essential vitamins and minerals; cooked tomatoes, whether cherry, plum, or baby tomatoes, can also be used. 

Cooking makes the tomatoes easier for dogs to digest and enhances the availability of certain nutrients, like lycopene.

However, it's important to remember that any green parts of the tomato should be removed before cooking, as they can contain harmful substances.

Tomato sauce is another form in which tomatoes can be incorporated into homemade dog food.

A simple sauce made from ripe tomatoes, with no added onions, garlic, or excessive salt, can be a healthy addition to a dog's meal.

However, care should be taken when using store-bought tomato sauce, as it often contains additives and spices that can be harmful to dogs.

Tinned tomatoes are a convenient option for adding tomatoes to a dog's diet.

They're already cooked and ready to use, making them a time-saving choice for busy pet owners.

However, like with tomato sauce, it's crucial to check the ingredients of tinned tomatoes.

Many brands include additives like salt and spices, which are not suitable for dogs.

Opt for tinned tomatoes with no added salt or spices, and always rinse them before use to remove any excess sodium.

Store-bought dog food can also contain tomatoes. They're often listed in the ingredients as 'tomato pomace.'

This mixture of tomato skins, pulp, and seeds is left over from making tomato products like juice or sauce.

It's a source of dietary fibre and antioxidants, but its nutritional value is less than fresh tomatoes.

If choosing a store-bought dog food that contains tomato pomace, ensure it's from a reputable brand that uses high-quality ingredients.

Tomatoes can be a beneficial addition to a dog's diet, whether in homemade meals or store-bought dog food.

However, they should be used correctly and in moderation. Always opt for ripe, red tomatoes and avoid any green parts of the plant.

When using tomato products like sauce or tinned tomatoes, choose options with no harmful additives and always check the ingredients. 

can dogs eat tomatoes?

Tomatoes and Dog Allergies


Although adding tomatoes to a dog's diet might be beneficial, it's crucial to remember that certain dogs may be sensitive to them.

Dog food allergies can present in various ways. Because the symptoms can vary widely, diagnosing them can occasionally be challenging.

Small dogs with food allergies may have a range of symptoms, including hives, redness, and itching on the skin.

Additionally possible are digestive issues, including vomiting and diarrhoea.

Though they are less frequent, more serious reactions in dogs might occasionally include respiratory problems or anaphylaxis.

Suppose a dog owner suspects their pet is allergic to tomatoes.

In that case, the first step is to remove tomatoes from the dog's diet and observe if the symptoms improve.

It's important to remember that symptoms may not disappear immediately, as allergens can take some time to leave the dog's system.

The next step is usually a food trial if the symptoms improve after tomatoes are removed from the diet.

This involves reintroducing tomatoes into the dog's diet in a controlled way to see if the symptoms return. This should be done under the guidance of a vet to ensure the dog's safety.

If the food trial confirms a tomato allergy, the simplest solution is to keep tomatoes out of the dog's diet.

This includes fresh tomatoes and any food products that may contain tomatoes, like specific types of dog food or treats.

While tomatoes can benefit a dog's diet, they're unsuitable for all dogs.

Some may have allergies or intolerances that make tomatoes a poor choice.

As usual, it's crucial to speak with a veterinarian or a pet nutrition specialist when making food decisions for dogs to ensure they're eating the healthiest possible.

can dogs eat tomatoes

The Role of Tomatoes in a Balanced Dog Diet


In the realm of canine nutrition, achieving a balanced diet for your dog is paramount.

In addition to guaranteeing that your dog receives all the nutrients required for good health and wellness, a balanced diet also improves your dog's enjoyment of life in general.

One food that can contribute to this balance is the humble tomato.

Tomatoes, in their various forms - be it cherry, plum, sun, baby, or sundried, raw or cooked, fresh or dried, canned or tinned, or even as a sauce - can be a beneficial addition to a dog's diet.

They are abundant in vital minerals and vitamins and provide a good source of antioxidants. However, like all foods, they should be included in a dog's diet with care and moderation.

The key to incorporating tomatoes into a dog's diet is understanding their nutritional content and how they can complement other foods.

For instance, the lycopene in tomatoes is a powerful antioxidant that can help combat harmful free radicals in a dog's body.

Vitamins A and C, also found in tomatoes, are essential for a dog's vision and immune function.

However, it's important to remember that while tomatoes are a healthy addition, they shouldn't replace other crucial components of a dog's diet.

Dogs need a variety of foods to get a complete range of nutrients. This includes high-quality proteins, carbohydrates, fats, and a mix of fruits and vegetables.

In terms of serving tomatoes to your dog, the form they are served in matters. Homemade dog meals can benefit significantly from including fresh, ripe tomatoes.

Cooked tomatoes can be easier for dogs to digest, whether used in a sauce or served independently.

Canned or tinned tomatoes can be convenient, but choosing versions without added salt or spices is essential.

Sundried tomatoes, while flavourful, are often preserved in oil and spices and are not a suitable choice for dogs.

Tomatoes may be a component of a dog's balanced diet if fed correctly and in moderation.

However, they are not a necessity, and a dog's diet can be complete without them.

If you choose to include tomatoes in your dog's meals, do so thoughtfully and always observe your dog for any adverse reactions.

As always, it's best to speak with a veterinarian or a pet nutrition specialist when deciding your dog's food.

can dogs eat tomatoes

Tomatoes and Dog Health: Myths and Facts


There are a lot of myths and misunderstandings in the field of canine nutrition that can cause difficulty for small breed dog owners and pet parents.

One such topic is the role of tomatoes in a dog's diet.

Let's address some of these myths and provide accurate information.

Myth 1: All Tomatoes Are Bad for Dogs 

Fact: Not all tomatoes are bad for dogs. In general, dogs may safely consume ripe red tomatoes in moderation when they do so.

However, solanine, dangerous to dogs if ingested in high quantities, is present in green tomatoes and the tomato plant's leaves and stems.

Myth 2: Tomato Sauce Is Always Safe for Dogs 

Fact: While tomato sauce itself isn't harmful to dogs, many pre-made sauces contain ingredients like onions, garlic, and certain spices that can harm dogs.

If you're considering feeding your dog tomato sauce, checking the ingredients first is important.

Myth 3: Dogs Can Eat Any Type of Tomato 

Fact: While dogs can eat many types of tomatoes, some are unsuitable.

For example, sundried tomatoes are often preserved in oil and spices, which can be harmful to dogs.

Always research and consult with a vet before introducing a new type of tomato to your dog's diet.

Myth 4: Tomatoes Can Replace Vegetables in a Dog's Diet 

Fact: While tomatoes can be a healthy addition to a dog's diet, they should not replace other vegetables.

Dogs need a variety of fruits and vegetables to get a complete range of nutrients.

Myth 5: Canned or Tinned Tomatoes Are a Good Option for Dogs 

Fact: While canned or tinned tomatoes can be a convenient option, many contain additives like salt and spices that are not suitable for dogs.

Always choose options with no harmful additives and check the ingredients.

While tomatoes can be a part of a balanced diet for small dogs, it's important to serve them correctly and in moderation.

Always opt for ripe, red tomatoes and avoid any green parts of the plant. Choose options with no harmful additives when using tomato products like sauce or tinned tomatoes. 

faqs can dogs eat tomatoes

Can dogs eat tomatoes?

Dogs may safely consume ripe tomatoes in moderation. Still, before giving your dog tomatoes, you should know a few things.

Tomatoes can present health hazards to your dog, just as other fruits and vegetables like pineapples and cucumbers can be given to them without danger.

To safeguard your pet, knowing how tomatoes can be eaten without risk is crucial.

Our post covers all you need to know about dogs eating tomatoes, whether you want to give them as a healthy snack or are just trying to ease your mind in case your dog has scavenged a tomato off the street.

Similar to giving your dog any human food, it's always wise to consult your veterinarian in advance.

Are tomatoes good for dogs?

Dogs may benefit from a modest amount of ripe red tomatoes.

But whether tomatoes are good or bad does depend on whether they are appropriately ripened and given in proportion.

There are several varieties, such as cherry tomatoes, cooked tomatoes, canned or tinned tomatoes, and even tomato sauce.

Therefore, it's critical to understand the specifics.

High levels of antioxidants, potassium, fibre, and vitamins A, C, and K will be found in ripe tomatoes, all beneficial to your dog's digestive system.

Additionally, tomatoes are a fantastic source of vitamin B9, often known as folate, which supports normal tissue and cell growth.

Regular tomato snacks also benefit a dog's skin, vision, heart, and immune system.

A word of caution: if your dog eats too many tomatoes or the leaves and stems are swallowed, giving them tomatoes might result in stomach problems or even hazardous poisoning.

Can tomatoes harm dogs?

Yes, tomatoes may harm your dog in several ways, including choking dangers, allergies, and toxicity of tomatoes.

Learn how to give tomatoes to your dog correctly and what to do if you think your dog may have been poisoned by reading the information below.

Are tomatoes poisonous for dogs?

Tomatine, a chemical found in large amounts of ripe and unripe tomatoes, can be toxic to dogs.

Tomato leaves and stems contain a significant amount of tomatine.

Tomato leaves must always be removed before giving them to your dog, much like other warning signs like taking out the seeds before giving your dog a watermelon.

While tomatine poisoning is a hazardous illness, your veterinarian may provide many supportive therapies, so it's a good idea to be aware of some of the majority of symptoms, including fatigue, confusion, nausea, diarrhoea, and even seizures.

On rare occasions, allergies to tomatoes can also affect pets.

See your veterinarian immediately if your pet eats tomatoes and then develops a rash in their ears, itchy skin, flatulence or an upset stomach.

What is Tomatine Poisoning?

Tomato poisoning, often called tomatine poisoning, can result from consuming a significant quantity of tomatoes since they contain trace levels of toxins.

That being stated, there is very little chance that dogs will eat enough of the tomato plant to result in serious harm.

However, because of their small stature, small breeds and pups can become poisoned by even a tiny amount of tomato. So caution is advised.

What are the symptoms of tomatine poisoning?

Your dog may exhibit some or all of the following signs if they have eaten tomatoes and are experiencing tomatine poisoning:

  1. Lethargic and uninterested

  2. Feeling sleepy or perplexed

  3. throwing up or diarrhoea

  4. Absence of hunger

  5. weakened muscles

  6. Seizures or tremors

  7. Decreased synchronisation

  8. dilated eyes

  9. excessive drooling

  10. Modification of conduct

  11. disproportionate heart rate

  12. breathing difficulties / gasping

What to do if you suspect your dog has tomatine poisoning?

See a veterinarian right away if you think your dog may have tomatine poisoning from eating tomatoes so that their physical state may be evaluated.

The veterinarian will look for overt poisoning symptoms, such as dilated pupils, profuse drooling, and fatigue.

A dog may be made to vomit by a veterinarian or look into any vomiting while your dog is being assessed to reduce the risk of poisoning.

A stool sample might be obtained to exclude further possible reasons for the illness, such as germs and parasites. 

A complete blood test may be necessary to determine the health of internal organs, and a urine test will inform the veterinarian of the kidneys' regular functioning.

Even so, tomatine toxicity is usually only harmful when significant amounts of tomatoes have been consumed (mainly if they are unripe).

Still, it is advisable to treat suspected poisoning carefully because even a tiny amount can harm a small dog or a puppy that is easily injured.

How to safely feed your dog tomatoes?

Only the flesh of a ripe tomato—without the stems or leaves—should be given to your dog.

Dogs should never be fed unripe tomatoes since they are far more likely to contain the poisonous chemical tomatine than ripe tomatoes.

Additionally, washing the tomatoes before giving them is crucial, particularly if they are not organic.

This is because non-organic tomatoes could have been grown with artificial chemicals, which could be dangerous for your dog to eat.

You may always peel the tomato before giving it to your spoiled dog; just be extra careful!

Can dogs eat tomatoes whole?

When giving tomatoes to your dog, it's preferable to chop them into little pieces because a large tomato might become stuck in their throat.

The safest action is to chop and prepare tomatoes before giving them to your dog or incorporating them into their usual diet.

This prevents the tomatoes from becoming a choking danger, especially for smaller dogs.

How much tomato can dogs eat?

Understanding the correct amount is essential when considering whether your dog may consume tomatoes.

One or two tiny, ripe tomatoes each week is plenty for most dogs.

Tomatoes are not something they should eat every day; instead, they should be considered an occasional snack.

This should be lowered to roughly one ripe tomato each week if your dog is little, elderly or a puppy.

Still, it's advisable to consult your veterinarian about the appropriate amount for your pet.

Try giving your dog modest amounts of new foods when introducing them to ensure no adverse health effects before adding them to their diet.

How Not to Give Your Dog Too Many Tomatoes

Dogs ought to be kept from the numerous delights in your garden, including tomatoes.

Keep your home's garden gated off to prevent dogs from accessing it and being enticed to taste the food.

If you plant tomatoes inside, place them somewhere they can't be easily knocked over and out of the reach of dogs, such as on a table or counter.

Additionally, if you're cooking with tomatoes, constantly watch your dog to ensure they're not helping themselves while you're not looking.

Can dogs eat tomatoes raw? 

Dogs can consume raw tomatoes, but only when they are deeply red and ripe.

Dogs may be harmed by the toxins found in the green sections of tomato plants, such as the leaves and stems, which include solanine and tomatine.

Can dogs eat tomato sauce? 

Tomato sauce itself isn't harmful to dogs.

However, many pre-made tomato sauces contain additives like onions, garlic, and certain spices that can be harmful to dogs.

Can dogs eat tomatoes cooked? 

Yes, dogs can eat cooked tomatoes. Cooking tomatoes can make them safer for dogs by reducing the levels of solanine.

Can dogs eat tomato soup? 

It depends on the ingredients of the soup.

If the tomato soup contains only tomatoes and dog-safe ingredients, it should be safe for dogs.

However, many tomato soups contain ingredients like onions and garlic, which are toxic to dogs. It is advisable to inspect the ingredients before giving tomato soup to your dog.

can dogs eat tomatoes

Final Thoughts


In this comprehensive exploration of dogs and tomatoes, we've delved into various aspects of this topic.

We've discussed the nutritional value of tomatoes, the different types and forms of tomatoes, and their role in a balanced dog diet.

We've also addressed common myths and misconceptions about dogs and tomatoes, providing factual information to debunk these myths.

Throughout the article, the importance of understanding a dog's diet and the potential effects of different foods has been reiterated.

While adding tomatoes to food can be a nutritious dog's diet, they should be served correctly and in moderation.

The form they are served, whether raw, cooked, canned, tinned, or as a sauce, can significantly affect their nutritional value and suitability for dogs.

Disclaimer: This article is intended for educational and informational purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for veterinary advice. For specific veterinary dog health advice, contact a veterinary pet healthcare provider.

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Mary Puppins, can dogs eat tomatoes?

mary puppins can dogs eat tomatoes?

mary puppins can dogs eat tomatoes?

Kate Phillips, Chief Editor

BSc (Hons), MSc

Kate is the UK's very own Mary Puppins, a professional Dog Nanny, an expert in small breed dogs and a pet parent to her own beloved small dogs.

With over 30 years' experience and successfully helping high profile celebrity pet parents raise their furry families,

Kate shares her top tips with you.

Kate guides readers on small dog breeds, dog health, dog training, dog nutrition, dog food, dog walks, dog accessories, dog enrichment, rescue dogs, dog behaviour, dog grooming and the best products for dog mums and dog dads to create the ultimate lifestyle for their small dogs.



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