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Tomatoes can be a safe fruit to give to your dog, but there are certain conditions and risks you need to take into account before letting your dog have a taste.
Can I Give My Dog Tomatoes?
Generally speaking, tomatoes aren’t toxic for dogs as long as they’re offered in moderation. Tomatoes belong to the nightshade family, but they produce more tomatine and less solanine, which means they’re not as toxic as other plants in this family.
What Parts of a Tomato Can I Give My Dog?
As we mentioned above, tomatoes contain tomatine and solanine which are toxic compounds. The good news is that these compounds are mostly concentrated in the green parts of the tomato: the stems, roots, and leaves.
Since these parts contain a lot more tomatine and solanine than the actual fruit, your dog will be at a greater risk of poisoning if it eats any of the green plant parts.
Additionally, unripe tomatoes contain more tomatine and solanine than ripe ones. Although it’s still a small amount, it’s best to just stick to ripe tomatoes for extra safety.
What are the Signs of Tomato Poisoning in Dogs?
Tomato poisoning mostly happens only when dogs eat the whole plant, many plants, or unripe fruit. If you suspect that your dog has done that, watch out carefully for the following signs of tomatine/solanine poisoning:
- Gastrointestinal (GI) upset
- Lack of coordination
- Muscle weakness
- Uncontrollable heartbeat
What Should I Do If My Dog Eats Tomato Plants or Unripe Tomatoes?
Unless your dog is on the very small side of the size spectrum(15 pounds or less), even eating a couple of leaves or several unripe tomatoes probably won’t cause a serious issue.
That being said, if you do find your dog eating the green plant’s parts or unripe tomatoes, the first thing you need to do is make sure they can’t eat anymore. You can achieve this by putting a barrier that keeps your plants off-limits.
In case your dog is very small, very young, or very old, it’s best that you call your vet for additional guidance. Otherwise, it should be perfectly safe if you just observe your dog for 48 hours and contact your vet if you notice any of the symptoms we listed above.
Can I Give My Dogs Cooked Tomatoes?
Yes, you can give your dog cooked tomatoes or even sauces made from tomatoes. These foods can be safe for your dog to consume as long as you’re sure that they haven’t been cooked with other toxins.
For example, if the tomatoes have been cooked with garlic or onion, you should avoid feeding them to your dog because they can cause gastrointestinal (GI) upset. The same goes for tomatoes cooked with spices such as salt and pepper, which are commonly added to sauces.
Can I Give My Dog Tomatoes from My Garden?
You can occasionally give your dog a ripe tomato from your garden, but make sure there are no fertilizer or pesticides lingering on them.