Yes, ripe tomatoes are considered safe to eat as an occasional snack. However, unripe tomatoes and the plant itself are not safe to eat for dogs. So, the answer to this question is both a yes and a no for various reasons. The reasons behind each answer are accompanied by an explanation from veterinary doctors.
Can Dogs Eat Unripe Tomatoes?
No, they can’t. While many dogs might not like eating tomatoes because of the texture and taste, they can also be harmful to dogs. Here is the reason why tomatoes can be harmful to dogs: Tomatoes have Solanine.
Solanine is a harmful poison that is found in various plants like potatoes and tomatoes. Green tomatoes and the tomato plant have the highest amounts of Solanine. If dogs eat green tomatoes or the tomato plant, they may experience cardiac effects, loss of coordination, muscle weaknesses, seizures, and gastrointestinal upsets. If this has happened to your dog, contact a veterinarian as soon as possible.
Can Dogs Eat Ripe Tomatoes?
Yes, most veterinary doctors agree that dogs can eat tomatoes in low quantities. The vets support dogs ingesting tomatoes because of the following reasons:
1. Tomatoes have vitamin C
Dogs can eat ripe tomatoes from time to time because they contain vitamin C. Vitamin C is very important. After all, it has antioxidants that help dogs to remove harmful radicals in the body. Vitamin C also prevents aging, and that is why dogs can live for many years.
2. Tomatoes have fiber
Dogs need tomatoes because they contain fiber. Fiber is an essential element because it controls digestion. Dogs also need fiber to control blood sugar for it not to be too high or too low.
3. Tomatoes contain lycopene
Tomatoes contain important minerals like lycopene which helps reduce the risk of having heart problems. Lycopene is also known to maintain strong bones that help dogs walk and run almost all the time.
4. Tomatoes have Potassium
Potassium is an important element when it comes to dogs’ health. Tomatoes are known to have Potassium which strengthens dog muscles and also balances their blood sugar.
Signs and Symptoms of Tomato Poisoning in Dogs
1. Gastrointestinal upset
Gastrointestinal upset is mostly caused by food poisoning. Dogs experience this symptom when they take ripe tomatoes in large quantities, green tomatoes, and tomato plants. Dogs that have this problem vomit and diarrhea frequently and need veterinary attention within 24 hours.
Hypersalivation is a condition where salivary glands produce more saliva than usual. This can be experienced by dogs who have tomato poisoning. The dog owner should observe their dog after eating lots of tomatoes or tomato stems to see if the dog will drip a lot of salivae.
3. Muscle weakness
Dogs that have tomato poisoning will experience muscle weakness. The dog will be dull and not willing to walk or run. Muscle weakness will be evident and easily noticeable because when the dog stands up, it falls back. The dog should then be rushed to a veterinary doctor.
4. Abnormal heart rate
Tomato poisoning can mess with your dogs’ very dangerous heartbeat rate. When you notice that the dogs’ heartbeat is not normal, you are advised to rush them to the veterinary.
5. Loss of appetite and drowsiness
Dogs that experience tomato poisoning are drowsy and lose their appetite at once. Dogs eat most of the time. It will be easy for a dog owner to notice a decrease in appetite in their dog. If this is the case, the dog should be taken to the veterinarian for treatment.
After your dog has exhibited most of these symptoms, the veterinary doctor will assess and come up with a diagnosis. The vet might induce vomiting so that the dog will expel all the remaining tomatoes in his body. The condition is treatable, and the dog will be healthy again. Dog owners are advised not to grow tomatoes in their compound, and if they do, they have to check on their dogs not to eat the plants or any green tomatoes.