3 min read

Can Dogs Eat Tomatoes?


By Kevin Hughes

Published: 05/10/2024, edited: 05/11/2024

Reviewed by a licensed veterinary professional: Dr. Linda Simon, MVB MRCVS

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We eat them raw in salads, or as part of a sandwich filling, serve them grilled to make a delicious side dish, or use them as the base of a tasty pasta sauce or home-cooked stew. Tomatoes are a popular vegetable, and a versatile one, too. But, can dogs eat tomatoes? If you’re prepping a meal involving tomatoes, with your dog no doubt watching your every move in anticipation of being fed, is it okay to let them have some tomato to eat?

The answer is yes — dogs can eat tomatoes! But, it’s not so simple as feeding your dog tomato whenever you like, in whatever form you choose. As with so many human foods, there are rules you should follow, and precautions to be aware of — Wag! will explain more here.

Can dogs eat raw tomatoes?

It’s common for us to eat raw tomatoes, usually either sliced up in a salad or layered in a sandwich with ham or cheese. That might be a large beef tomato served in slices, or small cherry tomatoes that have been cut in half (or eaten whole). Tasty for people, but can dogs eat raw tomatoes?

Yes — dogs can eat raw tomatoes, though these have to be ripe. This is critically important — only feed your dog red, ripe tomatoes. Don’t ever give your pup a tomato that looks green or underripe, and definitely don’t let him or her anywhere near the leaf or stem of a tomato plant.

Why? Well, like potatoes — which is why you should never feed your dog raw potatoes — the tomato is a ‘nightshade’ vegetable, so it contains solanine and tomatine, which are toxins and are harmful to canines. You can read more about the risk of tomato poisoning here, and potato poisoning here.

Your dog would need to have eaten a lot of tomatoes to suffer with poisoning, but do be careful with the amount your pup consumes. Bear in mind the size of your dog — it’s obvious that large breeds can eat food of any sort, not just tomatoes, in bigger portions than a small breed.

Can dogs eat canned tomatoes?

No — dogs shouldn’t eat canned tomatoes. Tomatoes that come in cans or tins usually contain additional ingredients that can be harmful or toxic to your dog. Some canned tomatoes include garlic and/or onions — both of which are potentially poisonous to dogs if ingested. Other seasonings that might cause issues for your dog include too much salt or sugar, as well as many preservatives. You should always check the ingredients label of any food before considering feeding your dog.

Can dogs eat tomato sauce?

No – dogs can’t eat tomato sauce, either, for the same reason that canned tomatoes are out of bounds. Most tomato sauces also include garlic, onions, salt, sugar and preservatives, so whether it’s a ketchup-type sauce or a tomato-based pasta, please avoid giving any to your pup.

How much tomato can a dog eat?

Dogs should be getting all the nutrients they need from their regular food — read our guide to choosing the best food for your dog here — so your pup doesn’t require any additional food, really. So, as with most ‘human’ foods, give your dog tomato occasionally, as a treat or snack only. A small, ripe, tomato once or twice a week is probably enough — but bear in mind that your dog may not even like tomatoes!

Many dogs won’t like eating any fruit or vegetables at all, so don’t be surprised if yours turns his or her nose up when a tomato is presented to them.

Are tomatoes good for dogs?

While tomatoes aren’t an important part of a dog’s diet, as a vegetable, they do have certain benefits. Tomatoes are packed with multiple vitamins — including Vitamin A, Vitamin C and Vitamin Kantioxidants, potassium and fiber.

So, the odd slice of tomato now and again can help your dog’s digestive health, but be vigilant when feeding your pet any kind of food for the first time.

Observe your dog after feeding tomato, and look out for any adverse reaction, including vomiting or diarrhea. Remember, dogs typically have more sensitive stomachs than people, so be careful.

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© 2024 Wag Labs, Inc. All rights reserved.