Tomatoes are an excellent addition to any meal. From sandwiches and pasta to soups and more, this vegetable is a staple in most kitchens.
Whether you grow fresh tomatoes from a garden in your backyard or find your tomatoes at your local farmer’s market, you may be wondering whether you can share this flavorful ingredient with your pup.
Can dogs eat tomatoes? The answer depends on what kind of tomatoes you’re considering. This guide takes a closer look at everything you need to know about giving your dog tomatoes as a snack. Read on to learn more.
In most cases, tomatoes are a safe snack for your furry BFF to enjoy in small quantities, as they contain many vitamins and nutrients that help support your dog’s health and wellness.
Below are some reasons why tomatoes make an excellent snack for your dog.
First, tomatoes are chock full of vitamins and minerals.
Vitamin C: One of the main health benefits of tomatoes is that they are a rich source of Vitamin C, which is essential for your dog’s immune system and overall health. This vitamin acts as an antioxidant, meaning it helps combat oxidative stress and free radicals, which are unstable molecules in the body that can cause harm
Vitamin A: Tomatoes are also a rich source of Vitamin A, which is essential for a healthy coat, healthy skin, and regular nerve and muscle function
Vitamin B6: Vitamin B6 supports amino acid metabolism, healthy homocysteine levels, glucose generation and red blood cell production, nervous system function, and hormone regulation
Vitamin K: Tomatoes are also rich in Vitamin K, which is vital for blood clotting
Key Minerals: Manganese, phosphorus, and potassium are also abundant in tomatoes. Manganese is essential for energy, metabolism, and maintaining bone and cartilage in joints. Potassium is an electrolyte that regulates the electrical charges allowing the heart, nerves, and muscles to function correctly.
Not only are tomatoes a low-calorie, fresh snack, but they are full of essential vitamins and minerals that can support a range of physical processes for your dog’s health.
Risks of Tomatoes for Dogs
While there are many benefits of giving your dog tomatoes, there are also a few risks to be aware of.
Along with potatoes, eggplant, bell peppers, and some spices, tomatoes are part of the nightshade family of vegetables. Nightshade vegetables are known for certain chemicals that can harm people and animals alike.
These chemicals are known as alkaloids. Alkaloids typically aren’t dangerous unless consumed in large quantities. Consumption of alkaloids can lead to swelling, sensitivity, and gastrointestinal discomfort.
So, why are tomatoes safe to eat? The primary source of potentially harmful chemicals in tomatoes is in the stem and leaves of the plant.
If you grow tomatoes in your garden, be careful that your dog does not get into your plants and eat the greenery. When preparing tomatoes, be sure to cut off all stems and leaves.
If your dog does consume the stems or leaves of the tomato plant or eats an unripe tomato, it’s essential to contact your vet right away.
Watch out for symptoms like:
- Stomach upset or gastrointestinal upset, such as vomiting or diarrhea
- Muscle weakness or fatigue
- Tremors or seizures
- Loss of coordination
- Abnormal heart rate
Early diagnosis and treatment are critical. Learning to recognize these signs is essential to keeping your pup safe!
How To Feed Your Dog Tomatoes
There are a few general guidelines to follow. First, be sure to avoid your tomato plants' green stems and leaves. Remove these before letting your dog consume this tasty treat.
It’s also important to stick to ripe tomatoes. Ripe tomatoes have lower amounts of chemicals than unripe tomatoes, which can help prevent discomfort and potential harm for your pup. Avoid green tomatoes, too.
Last, it’s critical to avoid adding seasoning to your prepared tomatoes when giving them to your pup. Be extra careful to avoid garlic, onions, chives, salt, and pepper as these can be toxic to dogs and may cause serious harm.
Below are a few ways to incorporate tomatoes into your dog’s food.
As a Raw Snack
Giving your dog ripe tomatoes as a snack is a great way to include this food in their diet. Slice some tomatoes and give them to your pup as a snack.
Simply be sure to follow the guidelines listed above and feed your dog tomatoes in moderation. Too much can throw off their nutrition and lead to an imbalance in their GI system, especially since tomatoes are an acidic food.
Tomatoes in Dog Food
There are many ways to give your dog tomatoes as a snack, from fresh tomatoes to preparing them in homemade dog food. However, there are also dog foods that include tomatoes as an ingredient.
Here at Sundays, we’re passionate about finding fresh, intentional ingredients to include in your pup’s food. These ingredients include a range of whole fruits and vegetables for healthy digestion, fiber, support for healthy bones, and nutrients for your dog.
Not only do we include all-natural tomatoes in our dog food, but we also include spinach, cherries, beets, cranberries, strawberries, broccoli, mushrooms, oranges, apples, carrots, blueberries, kelp, parsley, and more.
Feeding Your Dog the Best
Tomatoes can be a nutritious snack or addition to your dog’s daily meal plan. If you’re looking for ways to give your dog a well-rounded meal without having to worry about homemade preparation, take a look at our dog food plan.
Our experts do the hard work so you can spend more time focusing on quality time with your furry best friend. And, if you’re wondering which dog food vets recommend, check out this guide to the best dog foods for your furry friend.