Have you ever wondered about what more treats your dogs can consume? Or, perhaps, does your dog accidentally gnaw on other things except for his or her daily treat, like tomatoes? No need to panic if it’s the situation. Many have asked: can dogs eat tomatoes? How do they affect our furry friends?
What is In Tomatoes?
Originated in western South America, these blood-red fruits are actually classified botanically as berries. Tomatoes contain essential minerals like magnesium and potassium, as well as tons of vitamins and 95% water.
Besides being low in calories, fat, and cholesterol, tomatoes also consist of lycopene that contributes to its bold color and antioxidant properties. With your very own tomato garden, you can expect to harvest these nutrient-rich fruits within 50-80 days since the plantation.
Tomato Nutrition facts
Here are the nutrients in a small (100-gram) raw tomato.
- Calories: 18
- Water: 95%
- Protein: 0.9 g
- Carbs: 3.9 g
- Sugar: 2.6 g
- Fiber: 1.2 g
- Fat: 0.2 g
How Do Tomatoes Affect Dogs?
Can dogs eat tomatoes? Well, yes, they can. However, first, let’s learn about the good and bad effects of allowing your dog to consume tomatoes.
Quoting from the Pet Poison Helpline, “tomatoes are barely poisonous and are generally pretty safe to feed dogs.” By paying attention to the fruit condition and safety feeding procedure, tomatoes can be a beneficial snack for your dog.
The first thing to note is that it’s essential to feed your dog ripe tomatoes in a reasonable amount. Overeating tomatoes will lead to poisoning, and it can get more dangerous if they’re unripened. However, can dogs eat tomatoes? Yes, they absolutely can!
To elaborate, the tomato color is the key. Tomatoes have high levels of solanine when they are young and green—a.k.a unripened. This particular substance, along with alpha tomatine, is considered poisonous. For those who plant tomatoes at home, you must keep an eye on your dog. You don’t want to risk having them accidentally eat the green ones!
With the high levels of lycopene, tomatoes can help boost their bone improvement. The various antioxidant vitamins in tomatoes work differently, but vitamin A, in particular, is excellent for their vision. Beta-carotene, on the other hand, prevents metabolic syndrome.
Have you ever read over the ingredients listed on your dog food bag? Sometimes you can find “tomato pomace” there, especially if it’s dry dog food. It’s made from the ripe tomatoes and incorporates seeds, pulp, and skin, making it a typical food production—even for humans.
Tomato pomace brings no adverse effect on dogs’ feces consistency, meaning: that it’s completely safe and beneficial for your dog to eat. Thanks to its high soluble fiber, your dog can have steady blood sugar levels and healthy digestion. It’s also why food manufacturers love to keep incorporating this particular ingredient.
When it comes to people’s assumptions about how tomatoes can be poisonous, it’s because tomatoes belong to the nightshade family of plants. Nightshade refers to a genus consisting of around 2,300 flowering plant species, where most of them are considered poisonous. Hence, the conclusion.
Unless they are ripened, there are toxic substances named tomatine and solanine in tomatoes that can’t be ingested in large quantities. As alkaloid elements, this poisonous substance can be found in green tomatoes and any of their green parts: stalks, leaves, etc.
When these substances are consumed in a large amount, dogs generally suffer a higher toxic impact compared to humans. Tomatine poisoning can get your dog many side effects like digestive problems and nervous system ailments. Digesting tomato greeneries can at least cause mild gastrointestinal (GI) upset for your furry friend.
However, it doesn’t necessarily mean that ripe tomatoes are entirely free from tomatine. It’s just that they contain a much smaller amount. A little bit of overconsuming doesn’t pose much danger as far as toxicity goes.
Solanine poisoning is rarer to be found in dogs. Besides GI upset, some symptoms to watch for are tremors, muscle weakness, and loss of coordination. Fortunately, poisoning is also treatable.
Tomatoes can sometimes encourage allergic reactions from dogs, but again, this circumstance is infrequent. Some usual results include coughing, wheezing, hives, and even difficulty breathing. The bottom line is, you should warrant a call to the vet if any unusual symptoms or behaviors occur.
How to Feed Dogs Tomatoes?
When it’s down to feeding your dogs some tomatoes, always check for everything green because that’s a big no. As long as they’re ripe and free from green parts, you can rest assured that your dog can safely consume tomatoes.
It’s always recommended, however, to consult your vet first to hear his or her opinion about adding tomatoes as a new treat beside your dog’s daily meal or diet. Proceed slowly, and give tomatoes in a moderate amount just like any other treats.
Observe your dog’s reaction every time they consume tomatoes. There’s a chance that they may just run toward any pile of tomatoes you have at home, which can be dangerous if there’s still greeneries on them. It’s always essential to ensure that your furry friend has control over their appetite.
How to serve your dogs the ripe tomatoes:
- If your tomatoes are non-organic, it’s better to rinse them first. There’s a big chance they’re already sprayed with pesticides.
- Feel free to peel off the tomato skins as well before serving.
- Cut the tomatoes into bite-size pieces. Besides preventing your dog from getting choked, it can also help you locate any leftover greeneries you might have missed before.
- If you’re feeling creative, start experimenting in making some dog meals like cheesy tomato dog biscuits or dog-friendly pizzas!
Therefore, can dogs eat tomatoes? It suffices to say that yes, they can, but with certain precautions. If you follow the guide from the professional vets or experts, you’ll surely succeed in feeding your dogs this delicious treat. We hope your dog has a happy tummy after this!