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Can Dogs Eat Tomatoes?

Updated: Sep 3, 2021

We love feeding our dogs tomatoes, but often people are shocked to see us include them on our dogs plates. So what's the truth? Are tomatoes toxic for dogs? Are tomatoes safe for dogs to eat?

Yes, they're safe!

So where did the rumours originate? Well, while

tomatoes are safe for dogs, it is only in

their ripe form without leaves/vines. Tomato leaves and green unripe tomatoes contain solanine, a glycoalkaloid also found in potatoes and other nightshades. Excessive consumption could cause symptoms of solanine poisoning such as;

  • Gastrointestinal Upset

  • Slow Heart Rate

  • Muscle Weakness

  • Tremors

  • Loss of Coordination

If you notice any signs of these, contact your vet immediately. But the key focus here is that unless your dog is consuming excessive amounts of unripe/green tomatoes and their vines, there is little to no risk. In fact, a 1983 report by Veterinary and Human Toxicology noted ingested solanine is notably less toxic than iv administered solanine due to the poor absorption and rapid excretion via the gastrointestinal tract.

So why do we feed tomatoes?

You'll probably have heard about the 'feed te rainbow' phenomenon when it comes to our own food, but do you know the reason behind it? By feeding a wider range of colours, we are more likely to be getting a variety of antoxidants, super molecules which help prevent diseases! Tomatoes in particular contain high amounts of Lycopene, an carotenoid antioxidant which has been found to reduce cancer risks(1) and slow

cancer cell growth.(2)

How often & when to feed?

We recommend adding fresh food to your dogs diet at least a couple of times a week, including a couple of plum or cherry tomatoes (or half a beef tomato) depending on the size of your dog would be a great addition from an enrichment perspective along with providing an awesome boost of Lycopene!

Tomatoes in Commercial Dog Food

Tomato Pomace is often used as a source of fibre in commercial dog food, and while it unfortunately won't have the same effects as feeding your dogs fresh tomatoes, it does give us a nice indicator that tomatoes must be safe for consumption. But what is Tomato Pomace? This particular ingredient is the surplus from human supplies which are then dried out and ground into a powder before being cooked with the rest of the dog food mix. By this point there is very little nutritional value if any remaining and any antioxidants have long since been lost. The ingredient is purely present to provide fibre to maintain the quality of your dogs stools.


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