As much as we love our pooches like one of our own, their floofy bodies work very differently from ours. Some foods that we’d turn our noses up to are actually a poochy delight, whereas others that we might assume would be safe for them are in fact highly poisonous. But what about tomatoes? Can dogs eat tomatoes? Don’t share that slice of margherita pizza with your furry bestie just yet, read on to discover the answers to these impawtent questions.
Can Dogs Eat Tomatoes?
To answer the question of “can dogs eat tomatoes?”, it depends on the tomato itself. If you’re cooking up a tomato soup or getting cultured and tucking into a Greek salad, you can safely throw your pooch some tomato scraps as long as the tomato is ripe and all of the green bits have been cut off.
Ripe tomatoes are safe for pooches to eat in moderation, however, the green stem and leaves are poisonous for doggies. This is because like other nightshade plants, the stems and leaves of tomatoes contain the chemical compounds solanine and tomatine which are toxic for dogs. Therefore it’s impawtent to hide growing tomato plants from your dog and never feed them unripe green tomatoes.
Can Dogs Eat Tomato Plants?
Like we just said, you should never let your dog near a growing tomato plant in case their curiosity gets the better of them and they start nibbling on the green parts of the plant. Tomato plants are listed as poisonous summer plants by the PDSA due to the unsafe levels of solanine and tomatine in their leaves and stems. Therefore if you have a green thumb and are busy growing these plants, make sure to fence them off so that your pooch doesn’t get into them.
What is Tomatine Poisoning?
Tomatine poisoning can occur in your dog if they eat large quantities of tomato stems, leaves or unripe green tomatoes. Thankfully, tomatine poisoning is incredibly rare in dogs due to the sheer amount of tomato plants that they’d have to eat to become sick. Ripe tomatoes also contain tomatine, however in much lower quantities so toxicity from eating a ripe form of the fruit is even rarer. Nevertheless, little dogs may become sick from small amounts of green tomato so it’s always best to be safe than sorry when controlling your dog around this plant.
If you think your dog has gotten their nose into the tomato garden, symptoms of tomatine poisoning to be on the lookout for include:
- Muscle weakness and fatigue.
- Excessive drooling.
- Dilated pupils.
- Tremors or seizures.
- Vomiting and diarrhoea.
If you suspect your dog may have tomatine poisoning, contact your vet as soon as possible to ask for professional advice. Never try to make your dog vomit unless your vet has advised you to as this can hurt them. Luckily, tomatine poisoning is rarely fatal and pooches usually make a full recovery back to their happy and mischievous selves.
Are Tomatoes Healthy For Dogs?
The next time you’re wondering “can dogs eat tomatoes?”, you’ll know the answer is that they can safely eat small amounts of ripe tomatoes, but not the green parts. But are tomatoes healthy for dogs?
Tomatoes are a fruit that are rich in fibre which is beneficial for supporting healthy digestion in dogs. They also contain many essential vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin A, C, and K, potassium and folate which all play a part in bolstering your dog’s immune system and strengthening their heart.
Nevertheless, some dogs are best to avoid having tomatoes in their dinner bowl, in particular those with kidney conditions. Tomatoes have high levels of potassium and oxalates which are hard for a dog’s body to process if the kidneys aren’t working efficiently. This can lead to a build-up of potassium in the blood (hyperkalaemia) which can impair your dog’s heart function.