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Can dogs eat tomatoes

Updated on May 1, 2012

We do so love our dogs. These furry friends are always a joy to have around. However, there are instances when you would like to leave the dog in an animal shelter. Dogs can be a pest. Imagine if the pet has decided to help you with your gardening chores by digging the bed of your prized petunias. The dog may also decide to help you harvest vegetables but instead of putting the veggies in the basket, the dog would fill its stomach with the freshly harvested crop. Vegetables are generally good for dogs but some can have toxic effects. Can dogs eat tomatoes?

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Dogs and vegetables

Dogs are really perplexing animals as some would exhibit many undog-like behaviors. By the way dogs eat grass and graze on the vegetable patch you would think that the pet is a downsized cow. Dogs love to chew on fresh vegetables. There is actually no harm in this habit as veggies are rich sources of vitamins and minerals. However, dog owners have to make sure that the vegetable has no toxic effect on the dog.

Tomato toxicity in dogs

Generally, dogs love tomatoes. Dogs love eating this crunchy and juicy fruit. Tomato belongs to the nightshade family and as such it also has the atropine and tropane alkaloids that can have toxic effects if ingested by dogs. These compounds are found in the leaves and in the stems of the tomato plant. Tomatine, the solinum alkaloid is a toxin that is found in green tomatoes and on the vines of the plant. A small amount of this toxic substance is found in the ripened tomatoes. A dog would have to eat heaps of ripe tomatoes before the toxic effects of the alpha tomatine can affect the dog. This would mean that the dog can reap the healthful benefits of this fruit as long as ripened ones are consumed.

Signs of tomato toxicity

Dogs that have ingested the vines, the leaves and the green fruit of tomatoes would suffer from the toxic effect of tomatine. Excessive salivation will be noticed. The dog will vomit and have diarrhea. In some dogs, eating green tomatoes would result to constipation. The dog’s intestinal tract poorly absorbs tomatine thus the dog would suffer from abdominal pains. Gastrointestinal ulcers and severe bleeding can also occur in dogs that have ingested large amounts leaves, vines and unripe fruits of tomatoes. The toxic substance present in this fruit affects the central nervous system thus the dog would have tremors and uncoordinated movements. Seizures and breathing difficulties are manifestations of severe toxicity.


Tomatoes are good sources of vitamins and minerals. The health benefits that humans can gain from tomatoes will be gained by the dog as well. However, dog owners have to make sure that the pet is only allowed to eat ripened tomato fruit.

Howard the Bernese Mountain dog tomato thief


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    • urmilashukla23 profile image

      Urmila 6 years ago from Rancho Cucamonga,CA, USA

      Great hub! Voted up!