You say “tomato” and I say, “can my dog eat that?”
Can my dog eat tomatoes?
Let’s take a look at one of the more heavily debated foods and understand why some say it is all right to feed them to your dogs, and others say, “no.”
The Health Benefits of Tomatoes
Tomatoes weren’t always celebrated for human consumption. In fact, approximately 200 years ago, tomatoes were thought to be poisonous to humans because they are considered nightshade vegetables – those that are members of the solanaceae family.
Today, many now consider these nutrition powerhouses to be more than just food; they are considered functional foods. Here are some of the key benefits of ripe red tomatoes:
High in vitamin C, fiber and potassium which support heart health!
Contain the antioxidants lycopene, lutein and beta carotene which support eye health and protect against other diseases!
They pack vitamin K, copper, potassium, manganese, vitamin B6, folate, niacin, vitamin E, phosphorus, zinc and iron – just to name a few!
Can Dogs Eat Tomatoes?
Although humans now consider tomatoes safe to put on their own plates, there is still great debate on whether or not tomatoes belong in the dog bowl.
The issue surrounds a substance called alpha-tomatine. It is found throughout the tomato plant, but is more concentrated in the green leaves, stem and unripened tomato fruit.
Alpha-tomatine is known to be toxic to the heart when consumed in very large quantities. For this reason, opponents of the tomato suggest avoiding feeding it to your dog. On the other hand, proponents say that as long as you feed only the ripened red fruit in moderation, there is little, if any risk to your dog. The most common problem dogs have when they eat tomatoes is mild stomach upset.
So the answer is, you need to decide if you are comfortable feeding tomatoes. Whether you are thinking about adding these to your home-cooked dog food or as a topping for commercial diets, check with your veterinarian or canine nutritionist first. It is always advised to seek their expertise before introducing any new foods to your dogs.
It’s Really Not That Uncommon
The debate may live on, but some commercial dog foods do in fact use tomato and/or tomato pomace (a byproduct from manufacturing tomatoes) in their formulas. The list includes, but is not limited to:
Wellness Complete Health Healthy Weight Deboned Chicken & Peas Recipe Dry Dog Food
Taste of the Wild Southwest Canyon Dry Dog Food
Solid Gold MMillennia Beef & Brown Rice Recipe with Peas Adult Dry Dog Food
Just Because They Can..
In some cases, even if a food is safe to eat, a dog can be allergic to it. If your dog is experiencing symptoms of an allergic reaction within 30 minutes after consuming a tomato, contact your vet immediately.
Disclaimer: We are not veterinarians, canine nutritionists nor have any formal training in the medical or nutrition field, including veterinary. The information presented on the Dragonfly Dog Bowl website and blog is for conversational purposes only. We do not diagnose or treat any conditions. None of the content should be interpreted as medical or nutritional advice. Always consult a veterinary professional regarding your dog’s specific needs and never feed any foods, supplements, or items discussed on this website or take any actions without first speaking to your veterinarian.