The answer to the question, can dog eat tomatoes, is a definite YES. There are several reasons why tomatoes are okay for dogs. And did you know that tomato is a fruit, not a vegetable?
While we use fruits as a side meal or dessert, tomatoes can be eaten as a main meal or part of it. As to whether a canine can eat tomatoes like their fur parents, the information is further down below.
Health Benefits of Tomatoes for Your Dogs
There is no question that tomatoes are good for dogs, and there are plenty of reasons why it is good for them. Here is a list of useful health benefits that your pet can get from tomatoes.
- Bolsters a dog’s bone tissue – Tomatoes have plenty of Calcium and Vitamin K that can enhance bone tissues and make it stronger. Both Calcium and Vitamin K are helpful for dogs that are getting old. Problems like arthritis affect older canines and nutrients in tomatoes can help ease those problems.
- Good eye visions for your pet – Good eyesight is necessary for a healthy dog, especially if your pet is very active during walks, playtime, or just running around. Vitamin A and beta-carotene are some nutrients responsible for improving and maintaining the sharpness of their vision. Additionally, Vitamin A fights night blindness, a condition that tends to affect outdoor dogs.
- Maintains the proper health of a canine’s heart – Nutrients like B Vitamins and Potassium prevent strokes, heart attack and other heart health-related illnesses from affecting your dog. These nutrients are present in tomatoes, so adding some of the fruit to your pet’s diet is a smart move. Some breeds tend to suffer more from heart diseases and adding tomatoes in their diet can help fight those diseases.
- Reduces the dog’s cholesterol levels – Vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea, seizures, itching and hair loss are some symptoms of high cholesterol level. What your pet eats is often the cause of their high cholesterol level. Adding some tomatoes in your dog’s food will help lower its cholesterol level.
- Fights cancer and degenerative diseases – Most dog breeds tend to suffer some forms of cancer and degenerative illness. Medicines and curative treatment can help, but adding tomatoes to your pet’s diet is preferable. Tomatoes have Lycopene that helps fight these diseases.
- Improves a canine’s colon health – A tomato’s dietary fiber can do wonders for your dog’s colon by fighting constipation, diarrhea and diabetes mellitus. Note that dietary fiber is not an essential nutrient and gives no energy to your pet. However, the fact that it helps in making a dog’s potty easier
- Prevents hypoglycemia – Glucose or blood sugar is the primary source of energy canines need for their daily activities as long as their blood sugar levels are at normal (not high or low) level. When the sugar level drops, then hypoglycemia rears its ugly head. Low energy levels in dogs will cause them to weaken, and it can reach to the point that they lose consciousness. Hypoglycemia can become a dangerous health condition that may threaten your pet’s life. Since tomatoes have sugar content, it will be enough to fight off hypoglycemia.
Are Tomatoes Good For Dogs?
If you read the list of health benefits a tomato can give to your pet, then you know already that the only answer is YES! Tomatoes are good for dogs, but like any other food that your pet eats, it can be harmful or even toxic. If you want to know why and exactly how tomatoes can be dangerous for your dog, then read the next topic below.
Solanine and Tomatine Toxicity: What To Lookout for When Your Pet had too Much Green Tomatoes?
Tomatoes are not harmful to your pet’s health, but in certain situations, they can be detrimental to their health.
Too much of anything like food, for example, is harmful to your pet. Thus, eating too many tomatoes is unhealthy for dogs. The tomato fruits are safe, but parts of the tomato plant can be dangerous when ingested.
The leaves and stem, along with green or unripe tomatoes, are toxic to your pet. Why are parts of the tomato plants and green ones dangerous? It is because raw tomato and the plant itself contain Solanine and Alpha-tomatine (or just tomatine), which can be harmful to your dog’s body.
Tomato plants are members of the nightshade family and plants in this grouping usually have toxic substances. However, these plants, including the tomato, are not harmful to humans (at least in small quantities), but it tends to affect dogs more strongly.
The good news is that ingesting solanine and tomatine won’t harm your pet immediately. However, if you overfeed your dog with green tomatoes, then the two substances will have negatively affected the canine’s body. Therefore, applying moderation when it comes to serving your dog tomatoes is necessary.
Unripe and green tomatoes contain large amounts contain solanine and tomatine, thus avoid giving then to your pets. Still, if you are careful, you need not worry about serving up a member of the nightshade family plants.
However, despite your precautions, your pet may have accidentally ingested some of those substances, or you managed to do it accidentally.
When that situation happens, your dog will feel the effects of the solanine and tomatine toxicity. Thankfully there visible symptoms and here is a list of the clinical signs of poisoning to give you the heads up:
- Stomach pains
- Dysphagia or difficulty in swallowing
- Gastrointestinal upset or GI
- Loss of coordination
- Cardiac effects (may vary, but the dog’s heart is always affected)
- Muscle weakness
- Body tremors
- Dry mouth
- Dilated pupils
- Difficulty in breathing
If your pet shows these signs, you need to stop giving it tomatoes for a while and see if things will improve eventually. But my best advice would be to go to a veterinarian for consultation and treatment. Better to be safe than sorry when it comes to tomatine and solanine poisoning.
How Many Tomatoes Can Dogs Have in a Day?
Although tomatoes are good for canines, it should not form part of their daily meals. It is not a good idea to serve them tomatoes every day. Likewise, there are undesirable effects on their health if not moderated.
From the previous topic above, you can clearly read the effects of tomatoes in excessive amounts.
The best thing to do is to serve tomatoes every other day or an irregular basis. You can serve other healthy foods in between these periods. Alternatively, you can serve the fruits as treats or in little bits with your pet’s main meals. Just bear in mind that moderation is a must when it comes to serving tomatoes to your dog.
Can Puppies Eat Tomatoes Safely?
Adult dogs eat tomatoes, so that means that puppies can also eat them without any problems. Since the various health benefits affect adult dogs, then the same thing can be said for puppies.
First, make sure that the puppy’s weaning period is finished and that it is now able to eat solid foods. Then feed your puppy little bits of tomatoes mixed with the regular meal.
A puppy at first will not like tomatoes, but feeding it slowly with the fruit will make the pup like the taste of tomato. This is the best time to make your puppy get used to not tomatoes, but other healthy foods as well.
Just to remember to apply the same principle when feeding a puppy. Overfeeding or constant serving of tomatoes will have the same adverse effects on the pup. In fact, these effects may even be worse since the puppy’s body is vulnerable to them.
You may also need to measure your pup’s food intake since puppies have small stomachs. Indigestion is a significant possibility if you stuff your pup with too much that its stomach can’t handle much less digest.
However, if you manage to moderate the feeding of your pet, then the tomatoes will apply the same positive benefits to it.
Tomato Peel: A Chomp for Your Champs
Yes, dogs can eat tomato peel or skin since it contains many beneficial nutrients. The tomato peel is the fruit’s skin or outer layer. We humans sometimes remove the skin for various reasons, but throwing it away is wasteful. Instead, we should give it to our pets.
Tomato peels contain a significant amount of Lycopene, which important factor in combating cancer cells.
Some dog owners tend to think that skin is the same as the tomato’s stem, vines, and leaves. The latter parts of the tomato are dangerous due to their tomatine and solanine content. The skin of the tomato, however, has no such harmful substance.
Grape Tomatoes: Can Dogs Eat Them Too?
There are many varieties of tomato that we humans cultivate for our use, and the Grape tomato is one of these varieties. Other kinds of tomato plants include plum tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, Campari tomatoes and beefsteak tomatoes.
As for the question of whether a dog can eat a grape tomato, the answer would be yes, however, there are some things you need to know about the fruit. The fruit is sweet to the taste due to its high sugar content, and it can be bad for a canine. High blood sugar levels usually result in diabetes, and it affects humans along with dogs.
A moderate or small serving of grape tomato is not harmful, but too much of it and it’s no longer healthy.
If you intend to give your pet grape tomatoes, do not forget to serve them in reasonable amounts and give them occasionally instead of daily.
The grape tomato is believed to come from Southeast Asia. This fruit looks similar to the plum tomato, but its sweet taste and small size are similar to cherry tomatoes.
You can find the fruit in the worldwide market, and it is a popular commodity. There are at least two varieties of the grape tomato: the Santa F1, which is supposed to breed right up to six generations or more and the Rosalita, which is widely available for planting in home gardens.
So can dogs eat tomatoes? Yes, that is true, and it should be evident that tomatoes have their upsides and downsides. On the one hand, the tomato in moderate amounts can be a portion of healthy food that maintains the well-being of the dog and prevents most illnesses from affecting it.
On the other hand, irresponsible feeding and serving too many tomatoes can lead to unnecessary sicknesses. Overall, the tomato is an excellent choice of healthy foods for your dog. You love your pet, and it deserves the best.