Can Dogs Eat Tomatoes?

Can Dogs Eat Tomatoes?

Tomatoes are a staple in human diets around the world, known for their versatility and health benefits. But when it comes to our canine companions, the question arises: Can dogs eat tomatoes? This blog post aims to provide a comprehensive guide to understanding how tomatoes affect a dog's health and ensure pet parents can find the information they need.

Overview of Tomatoes for Dogs

Tomatoes are part of the nightshade family, which is known for containing compounds that can be harmful in certain circumstances. However, when it comes to dogs, the ripe fruit of the tomato plant is generally considered safe in small quantities.

Is tomato good for dogs?

Tomatoes are rich in vitamins A, C, and K, as well as antioxidants such as lycopene, which can help reduce the risk of heart disease and promote strong bones. Given their high nutrient content, tomatoes can potentially be good for dogs, offering similar health benefits as they do for humans.

Can Dogs Eat Tomato ?

Yes, dogs can eat tomatoes, but there are some important caveats to consider:

  • Ripe vs. Unripe Tomatoes: Only ripe, red tomatoes should be given to dogs. Green, unripe tomatoes, as well as the leaves and stems of the tomato plant, contain solanine, a toxin that can cause gastrointestinal upset and nervous system problems in dogs.
  • Quantity Matters: Tomatoes should only be given in moderation. Excessive amounts can cause stomach upset in dogs due to their acidity.

Potential Risks of Tomatoes for Dogs

While the ripe fruit is generally safe, there are several risks associated with feeding tomatoes to dogs:

  • Tomatine Toxicity: Though significantly reduced in ripe tomatoes, tomatine can still pose risks if consumed in large quantities.
  • Acidic Nature: The acidic content of tomatoes can lead to stomach upset, especially in sensitive dogs.
  • Allergic Reactions: Some dogs may be allergic to tomatoes. Symptoms of an allergic reaction can include hives, difficulty breathing, and a swollen face.

Specific Considerations for Different Dog Breeds

Can Small Breeds Like the Shih Tzu Eat Tomatoes?

Yes, small breeds like the Shih Tzu can eat tomatoes, but due to their smaller size, the amount should be particularly limited to avoid any digestive issues.

Serving Tomatoes to Dogs: Best Practices

If you decide to feed your dog tomatoes, here are some guidelines to ensure safety:

  • Wash Thoroughly: Always wash tomatoes thoroughly to remove any pesticides or chemicals.
  • Start Small: Introduce tomatoes into your dog’s diet in small amounts and observe for any adverse reactions.
  • Avoid Seasonings: Serve tomatoes plain, without any added seasonings or sauces that could contain harmful ingredients.

Tomato Products and Dogs

When it comes to processed tomato products, such as sauces or soups, caution is advised. Many of these products contain additives like salt, sugar, onions, or garlic, which are not suitable for dogs. Always check the ingredients before offering any human food to your pets.

Can Puppies Eat Tomatoes?

Just like adult dogs, puppies can eat a small amount of ripe tomato devoid of the green parts. However, because puppies have more delicate digestive systems, it's even more important to introduce tomatoes slowly and in tiny amounts.

Can Other Pets Eat Tomatoes?

While this guide focuses on dogs, it's worth noting that tomatoes can be harmful to some other pets. For instance, cats are also sensitive to the solanine in green tomatoes, and the acidic nature of tomatoes can cause digestive issues.

FAQs on Dogs and Tomatoes

How Much Tomato Can I Feed My Dog?

As a general guideline, a slice or two of tomato is enough for a dog, depending on their size. Always start with a small piece to see how your dog's stomach handles it.

Are Tomato Seeds Harmful to Dogs?

Tomato seeds are not toxic to dogs, but they can be a choking hazard and offer no nutritional benefit. It's best to remove them before feeding tomatoes to your dog.

Can Dogs Have Tomato Juice?

It's advisable to avoid giving tomato juice to dogs, primarily because store-bought tomato juices may contain additives and high levels of sodium that are not suitable for canine consumption.


Tomatoes can be a healthy treat for dogs when fed properly and in moderation. They provide essential nutrients that can contribute to a healthy diet. However, it’s crucial to ensure that these fruits are ripe and free from green parts to avoid any health issues. As with any dietary change, consult your veterinarian before introducing tomatoes to your dog's diet. This way, you can ensure that tomatoes are a safe and enjoyable treat for your furry friend.