Can Dogs Eat Tomatoes – A Complete Guide

Can dogs eat tomatoes

Tomatoes are a staple in homes all around the world. From pizzas and salads to curries and noodle dishes, they’re a really versatile fruit that’s packed full of flavor and goodness. And seeing as so many of us love to share our favorite foods with our furry friends, a big question for many pup parents is ‘can dogs eat tomatoes?’.

In this guide, we’ll dive into everything you need to know about feeding your dog tomatoes, the potential risks, and the benefits!

In Short – Can Dogs Eat Tomatoes?

The answer to that question is: kind of. Fully ripe tomatoes (the juicy red ones) are safe to feed your dog. They’re full of fiber and other vitamins which can aid your pup’s digestive system and health.

BUT, you should never let your dog eat tomato plants, the green stalk, or unripe tomatoes (the green ones). These contain a toxin called solanine which can cause poisoning in dogs.

Are Tomatoes Good for Dogs?

Yes. Ripe tomatoes can be a great added extra to your dog’s diet. Tomatoes have a good amount of water and fiber in them as well as some other nutritional properties. These include:

  • Vitamin C
  • Antioxidants
  • Vitamin K
  • Minerals (such as potassium)
  • Folate (Vitamin B9)

They’re also very low in fat and calories which makes them a great snack for overweight dogs too.

What Are The Risks of Feeding Dogs Tomatoes?

Even too many ripe tomatoes could give your pup an upset stomach. When it comes to healthy human snacks like lettuce and cucumber, moderation is key.

The main problem, however, is tomato poisoning.

This can be a concern if your dog eats a large amount of green tomatoes or tomato plants. Luckily, your pup would really have to eat a large amount of green tomatoes, leaves, or stems for this to be an issue. But it is still possible.

Smaller dogs and puppies will be more likely to suffer from tomato poisoning if they eat a lot because of their size.

Signs of tomatine poisoning include:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Seizures
  • Weak muscles
  • Loss of coordination
  • Tremors
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhoea
  • Abdominal pain

If you think your dog has eaten a lot of under-ripe tomatoes or an entire tomato plant, get in contact with your vet. Tomato poisoning is usually nothing too serious and most dogs make full recoveries. They may, however, need medical treatment so always contact your vet.

golden retriever eating

How To Make Sure Your Dog Doesn’t Eat Too Many Tomatoes

If you’ve got a garden with lots of fruit and veg plants in it, it’s best to fence off the area so your doggo can’t get in. It’s not only tomato plants that can be an issue, other plants in the same family, such as blueberries, can also be bad for dogs to eat.

Likewise, don’t let your pup into your greenhouse or veg house. You don’t want them ruining your crop and it might be dangerous for them too!

If you’re growing tomatoes at home, try to keep them out of reach of your dog or in a room they don’t go in. This will help to prevent them from eating green tomatoes or the tomato plant.

Can Dogs Eat Cherry Tomatoes?

Yes. Dogs can eat ripe and juicy cherry tomatoes as part of a healthy and balanced diet. Just like regular tomatoes, dogs should not eat cherry tomato plants or green cherry tomatoes that haven’t fully ripened.

Can Dogs Eat Grape Tomatoes?

Grape tomatoes are similar to cherry tomatoes but they tend to have a slightly longer and oval shape. They’re just as sweet as cherry tomatoes and are actually my favorite!

And yes, dogs can eat grape tomatoes. Just as long as they’re fully ripe and they stay away from the plant.

cherry grape tomatoes

Can Dogs Eat Cooked Tomatoes?

Cooked tomatoes are a good way to bring some extra texture to your dog’s food – especially if they eat kibble. They’re safe, and as long as they’re plain (and homemade is best) they’re healthy too.

Just make sure you don’t add any potential toxins such as onions or garlic and don’t add anything that might be bad for your dogs like salt or sugar.

Can Dogs Eat Tomatoes Raw?

You’ve guessed it! As long as they are fully ripe, there’s no problem giving your pooch the odd bit of tomato. It can also make a refreshing snack on a hot day.

Can Dogs Eat Sundried Tomatoes?

Your dog can eat plain sundried tomatoes. But just make sure they really are plain. Lots of sundried tomatoes are flavored with onion, garlic, herbs, and spices which can be toxic to your pooch or give them an upset stomach. If you want to give your pooch safe herbs with their sundried tomatoes, try cilantro or basil.

They can also contain a lot of olive oil which adds calories to the snack and may also give your dog digestive problems.

If they are plain, try cutting up little amounts and adding them to your pup’s regular food. They may love the added flavor and texture.

Can Dogs Have Tomato Soup?

No, not really. The best bit about tomato soup is that it has seasoning, crusty bread croutons, and sometimes some cream swirled on top. All of these added extras are unhealthy for dogs.

If you wanted to blitz up some plain cooked tomatoes and call it tomato soup (or would that be juice?) then this could be a good thing to freeze for your dog on hot days.

Can Dogs Have Canned Tomatoes?

It’s pretty difficult to find canned tomatoes that don’t have any additives or preservatives. These are usually in the form of salt, chili, spices, and sugars. Don’t give your pup canned tomatoes that contain any potentially harmful additives. Stick to fresh!

Can Dogs Have Tomato Sauce?

Homemade pasta sauce? Or Ketchup? It doesn’t really matter as dogs should not eat tomato sauce. Tomato sauces (whether it’s the kind you put on a hot dog or on your favorite dish) contain lots of added ingredients that don’t make up a healthy part of your dog’s diet. These can include sugar, salt, spices, onion, garlic, and herbs.

If you want to give your dog softer tomatoes, try cooking them with no other ingredients and serving to them when cooled.

tomato sauce

Can Puppies Eat Tomatoes?

Yes, puppies can eat small amounts of ripe tomato. Just like older good boys, they should never have green or unripe tomatoes. They should also stay clear of tomato plants – even a small amount will affect them more.

How Many Tomatoes Can Dogs Eat?

How much of a healthy human snack dogs can eat really depends on their age, breed, size, and exercise needs. They should be getting the majority of their nutritional needs from good-quality canine food. Fresh dog food is a great way of getting more fruits and veggies into your dog’s diet (you can even see the chunks in the bowl).

It’s best to follow the 10% rule. 10% of your dog’s diet can be healthy human snacks and the rest should be dog food. So, how many tomatoes your dog can eat really depends on their overall calorie intake!

Introducing Tomatoes Into Your Dog’s Diet

Whenever you give your furry friend something new to eat, it’s best to start slow. Try giving your pup a little piece of tomato and then monitoring them for any signs of discomfort or allergies.

If they seem fine, next time you can add a little more.

Final Thoughts – Can Dogs Eat Tomatoes?

That’s a lot of information for you and your pup to take in. So, can dogs have tomatoes? The bottom line is that dogs can eat fully ripe tomatoes of any kind. But dogs should not eat young green tomatoes or be allowed to eat the tomato plant.

Both green tomatoes and the plant contain a chemical that can be toxic to dogs.

You should also be wary about feeding your pups tomato sauce, soups, or cooked tomatoes. These often contain lots of additives that can be toxic. If you want to cook tomatoes stick to plain!

For more ideas on healthy snacks to feed your pup (and things to avoid) check out the BarkingTalk Food Page.