Are you looking for ways to incorporate fresh fruits and veggies into your dog’s diet? Maybe you are wondering can dogs eat tomatoes.
The answer to this question is – yes, they can but with the necessary precautions and some exceptions.
Tomatoes can contain some components which can be harmful to dogs and other animals, such as solanine. This is a substance that is commonly found in the stems and leaves of tomatoes. It can be harmful when ingested in large quantities, but thankfully it is located in the green parts of the tomatoes rather than in the ripe fruit itself, so the tomatoes themselves (when ripe) are safe to be given to dogs.
As with any other human food, it is best if you consult with your veterinarian before adding it to your dog’s diet.
If you are wondering how to treat your dog with some tomatoes and what are the benefits and potential risks of adding tomatoes to your pup’s diet, read on.
What are the benefits of tomatoes for dogs?
Unlike the common belief that tomatoes are vegetables, they are actually fruits from the nightshade family, which originates from South America.
Tomatoes are rich in vitamin C, folate, vitamin K and potassium. Vitamin C is an essential nutrient and an efficient antioxidant. Vitamin B9 (folate) is beneficial for tissue growth and the functioning of the cells. Potassium is a mineral that helps control blood pressure levels and prevents heart disease.
Vitamin K is beneficial for proper blood clotting and for bone health.
Tomatoes and are an excellent resource of lycopene which is an antioxidant that can reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease.
Tomatoes are also high in fiber and low in fat and calories, and one average tomato has less than 5g of carbs.
In moderation, the tomato is an excellent addition to your regular dog’s diet, as it will provide it with natural nutrients, fiber, and antioxidants without too many calories and carbs.
What are the risks for dogs from eating tomatoes?
As mentioned at the beginning of the article, the stems, leaves, vines, and other green parts of the tomatoes contain some solanine. While the solanine is in small quantities per tomato, there is a risk for dogs if they happen to ingest large quantities of tomato plants. This means that you should keep pups away from your tomato garden or plants.
Plus, make sure you treat your dog with nice and ripe tomatoes because green tomatoes can contain harmful quantities of solanine as well.
If you suspect that your dog has eaten unripe tomatoes or has ravaged one or more of your tomato plants, you should look for signs of tomato poisoning in dogs, which include:
If you spot one or more of these symptoms, you should contact your veterinarian as soon as possible.
Please keep in mind that processed foods and products which contain tomatoes can be harmful to dogs, as many of them contain sugar, salt, artificial colors, flavors, preservatives, or other potentially harmful or dangerous ingredients for canines.
Instead, you make your own homemade sauce or juice to give to your dog.
As with any other food product, there is a risk of an allergic reaction of your dog to tomatoes. If your dog happens to be allergic to tomatoes, it may display one or more of these common allergic symptoms:
- Breathing difficulties
- In rare cases – anaphylaxis which is severe allergic shock should be considered an emergency and treated immediately
If you notice any symptoms of a possible allergy of your dog to tomatoes, you should quit feeding it tomatoes, and if the symptoms are severe – call your vet.
Keep in mind that tomatoes may worsen preexisting health conditions in dogs, such as gastrointestinal problems, acid reflux, and others.
So, make sure you speak to your veterinarian before adding any new food, supplement, or other ingredients to your regular diet.
How to properly give tomatoes to your dog?
If your veterinarian has said OK to your idea of adding tomatoes to your dog’s diet, then you should take some precautions to minimize the risk of any harmful effects before giving it the tomatoes.
First of all, choose a nice red and ripe tomato without green parts and with all of the stems, vines, and leaves carefully removed.
You can serve it to your pup sliced, in cubes, mashed, or however you prefer, but do not add salt or spices because they can be harmful to your pup.
If you want to treat your dog with a tomato-based product like tomato soup or tomato sauce, check the label for any additives and ingredients that can be harmful and even toxic to the dog.
In order to be safe, it is best to feed your dog with fresh organic tomatoes, which have not been treated with pesticides, insecticides, and other chemicals.
Wash the tomato thoroughly and let your pup enjoy the fresh and sweet taste.
If you want to ensure that your fur baby gets only the best fresh and safe food, you can subscribe to a fresh dog food delivery service like NomNomNow, or other. This will help eliminate the guesswork and save you time and worrying about your dog’s diet.