Let us know if dogs can eat tomatoes, so let’s start. If you can’t get enough tomatoes in your life, you’re not alone. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, Americans individually consume more than 22 pounds of tomatoes each year and, yes, the majority of it is in ketchup and tomato sauce. One less shocking fact: Where there’s food, there’s your dog, and you may be wondering if you can share the delicacy with your four-legged friend.
Experts agree that while your dog can enjoy tomatoes every now and then, you might want to keep him out of your garden, and here’s why.
Dangers of Tomatoes for Your Dog
Tomatoes are part of the nightshade family of vegetables. These plants, including pepper , eggplant, and potato, contain potentially toxic ingredients but still tolerate the edible parts. This means that while tomato fruits have many health benefits for your dog and can only be given to someone as an occasional treat, the rest of the plant can be toxic.
Tomatoes are toxins found in tomato plants and are related to solanine, a toxic substance found in other nightshades. When consumed in large quantities, it can be toxic to our beloved pets. The good news: Tomatine is concentrated in the green parts of the plant, especially the flowers and short stems. The small amount of tomato present in ripe tomatoes is considered safe for dogs. Green tomatoes have more tomatoes, but the difference may not be significant.
Pet owners should keep in mind that the flowers, leaves and stems of the tomato plant contain potentially dangerous amounts of tomatoes for dogs. However, dogs are unlikely to eat enough of the plant to cause problems. Large grazing animals such as cattle are at highest risk for tomato plant poisoning. With this said, it still makes sense to keep an eye on your dog whenever he has access to your garden.
Effects of Tomato Consumption on Dogs
The most common symptom of tomato poisoning is gastrointestinal distress, such as diarrhea or vomiting , but if dogs eat large amounts of the tomato plant they may also exhibit symptoms such as depression, muscle weakness, hypersalivation, dilated pupils, or abnormal heart rate – and you will need immediate treatment from your pet’s veterinarian.
Just like in humans, tomatoes can also aggravate certain gastrointestinal issues, such as acid reflux, so it is always a good idea to consult with your veterinarian before offering tomatoes to your dog. Tomatoes also occur as a common allergy in humans, and while it is rare, your dog may have a similar reaction.
Understand the Most Common Dog Allergies to Your Itchy Pup
What about ketchup, tomato sauce and other tomato based products?
If your dog loves to spoon on fresh tomatoes, keep in mind that he may also show interest in that pizza slice or spaghetti you’re eating. Tomato sauce, ketchup, soup, or juice are not particularly healthy for dogs due to added salt and sugar, as well as artificial flavorings or other chemicals that may be included. Small amounts of tomato-based products, like sauces, will not harm your dog, however.
Benefits of Feeding Your Dog Tomatoes
When offered to your pet in small amounts, tomatoes offer some health benefits. Tomatoes are loaded with nutrients, including the carotenoids lycopene and beta-carotene, which are powerful antioxidants that can help prevent cellular damage. The low-calorie fruit is also high in fiber, which aids digestion, and tomatoes are rich in vitamins A and C to help boost your pet’s vision and promote healthy skin.
How to Serve Tomatoes to Your Dog
When offering your canine tomatoes, you want to look for ripe, ripe, red tomatoes (cherry tomatoes and other varieties are fine too) that have all stems, leaves and vines completely removed. While many people like their tomatoes salty, these types of additives can be harmful to your dog, with small pieces of a plain, well-washed tomato is always the safest way to serve it to your pet.
Start by offering just a bite or two and see how your dog reacts. If he enjoys tomatoes and doesn’t mind any adverse effects, feel free to continue offering smaller amounts as a treat.
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