The danger of eating tomatoes for dogs is that tomatoes and tomato plants contain high amounts of a chemical called tomatine. In other words, since it is not necessary to allow dogs to eat tomatoes, and some parts of the plant can be dangerous to dogs, it is best not to give tomatoes at all. Unripe tomatoes or eating whole tomatoes can be dangerous for your dog, so it's important to keep an eye on your dog when he eats new types of foods. While beautiful, red, fully ripe tomatoes are generally safe for dogs, some parts of the plant can be toxic to dogs.
In general, plain, ripe tomatoes with no stems or leaves are safe for dogs, but you should always check with your veterinarian before giving your dog human food. Ripe red tomatoes can be great food for humans if you take proper precautions when feeding this fruit. One or two large or smaller ripe red tomatoes as a weekly treat will give your dog all the nutrients found in tomatoes without exposing your dog to potential tomato problems.
If your dog really loves tomatoes, there is nothing wrong with giving him some tomatoes from time to time. Serve your dog fresh tomatoes without additives such as salt, as these can be harmful to dogs. A few foods containing tomatoes probably won't do much harm, but it doesn't make sense to put your dog's health at risk.
If you're serving your dog tomato-based foods, such as gravy or soup, check the ingredients for anything that could harm your dog. Many tomato sauces contain onions and garlic, which are especially toxic to dogs. Most red sauces (including tomato soup) contain many other ingredients that are bad news for your dog, such as high doses of onions, green onions, and garlic. Never give your dog ready-made tomato sauces or even canned tomatoes made with onions or garlic, as they can be toxic and upset the stomach.
- One or two large and small ripe red tomatoes can be fed to your dog each week, but you should start with fewer tomatoes to see if your dog has an adverse reaction. While there is no hard and fast rule about how many ripe red tomatoes a dog should eat, a good rule of thumb is to feed a smaller dog less.
- After removing the skin from ripe red tomatoes, your dog can usually eat tomatoes in moderation. If your veterinarian says your dog can eat tomatoes, be sure to choose ripe red tomatoes and remove leaves, vines, and stems. From time to time, you can give your dog clean, ripe, boiled red tomatoes as a treat.
You can feed your dog any fresh red tomatoes, as long as they are ripe, you should avoid feeding the green parts of the tomatoes. If you're giving your dog a small piece of tomato, it's usually recommended that it be a ripe, healthy tomato rather than a young green one. Raw tomatoes are generally safe on their own, but other parts of tomatoes, such as stems, leaves, and even very young tomatoes, can contain solanine, which can be a problem for dogs.
Because the stems and leaves (green parts) and green fruits of tomatoes are most abundant in a substance called solanine before they ripen, gardeners should be careful to keep their dogs away from tomato plants. As the tomatoes themselves ripen, solanine concentrations drop rapidly, meaning your dog can safely eat ripe tomatoes, but should stay away from green tomatoes. Tomato plants (stems, roots, and leaves) contain more tomatoes than fruit, so if your dog eats one of your plants, it has a much greater risk of being poisoned.
Dogs should not eat tomato leaves or stems, nor should they eat unripe green tomatoes. Grape tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, beef cherry tomatoes and other breeds are safe for dogs as long as the grape tomatoes are red and ripe and the green parts (stems and leaves) are removed. Clean and well-cared for ripe tomatoes are generally safe to feed to dogs if eaten in moderation. Experts say that if ketchup is made from fully ripe fruit, known as red tomatoes, it should be safe for dogs to eat in moderation.
However, it's best to avoid pre-packaged, packaged, or canned ketchup, as they tend to contain ingredients that aren't usually suitable for dogs, such as sodium (salt), sugar, corn syrup, cornstarch, and preservatives.
You can lightly sauté the tomato on the stovetop in a pot, which will make the tomato more palatable for dogs. Rinse the tomato well, especially if it's not organic, as non-organic foods are sprayed with pesticides and herbicides that can make your dog sick. Make sure you also know the source of the tomatoes to avoid pesticides and herbicides that can make your dog sick. Share ripe tomatoes with your dog in moderation as a fun snack, or even make them into a homemade treat for your furry friend.