All pet parents know that not all safe "people" food is safe for dogs, and keeping track of what is safe for your dog or not can be difficult, especially since most dogs will eat pretty much anything that is given to them. The most well-known foods that are toxic to dogs are chocolate, grapes, and raisins, but what about other foods like tomatoes?
Tomatoes are low in calories and are packed with fiber and many beneficial nutrients such as Vitamins A and C, Folate, Potassium, Chromium, Beta-carotene, and Lycopene. Tomatoes can make for an excellent treat to supplement your dog's diet, whether you cut them up into cubes or puree them. Just make sure not to give them any tomato-based food items such as tomato juice, sauces or soups meant for humans because they can contain spices or other foods, like onions and garlic, that are harmful to dogs.
Tomatoes, like most foods, are safe for dogs to eat in moderation as a treat as long as they are ripe. Ripened tomatoes are considered non-toxic; however, you should not feed your pet unripe tomatoes, as they contain harmful toxins that can poison your dog. All tomatoes contain two substances called tomatine and solanine, which are toxic to dogs in large quantities. The riper the tomato the fewer concentrations of tomatine and solanine are found in it, which is why it's best to avoid giving your dog young tomatoes.
If you have tomatoes in your garden, make sure to keep your dog away from them. The stem and leaves of a tomato plant are also toxic to dogs because both tomatine and solanine can also be found there as well.
Because we aren't perfect and accidents happen, below are a few symptoms you should look out for if you think your dog has ingested unripe tomatoes or the stems and leaves of tomatoes:
Tomatine poisoning is rare in dogs, but if you notice any of these symptoms call your veterinarian right away.