Can Dogs Eat Tomatoes?

Dog examining the tomato on the floor

Can Dogs Eat Tomatoes? Yes, but With Some Important Cautions. Dogs can eat tomatoes, but it’s essential to understand the safety and limitations of feeding tomatoes to your dog.

Ripe tomatoes are generally safe, but parts of the plant can be toxic.

Understanding Tomatoes and Dogs

Tomatoes are part of the nightshade family, and while the ripe fruit is generally safe for dogs, the green parts of the plant contain a substance called solanine, which can be toxic to dogs in large quantities.

Here’s what you need to know about feeding tomatoes to your dog:

  • Ripe Tomatoes Are Safe: Only ripe, red tomatoes are safe for dogs. They contain antioxidants, vitamins C and K, potassium, and folate, which can be beneficial for your dog’s health.
  • Avoid Green Parts: The stems and leaves of the tomato plant, as well as unripe green tomatoes, contain solanine, a toxin that can cause gastrointestinal distress, lethargy, weakness, and confusion in dogs.

Benefits of Tomatoes for Dogs

When safely prepared and given in moderation, ripe tomatoes can offer health benefits for dogs:

  • Antioxidants: Tomatoes are rich in antioxidants, which help reduce the risk of chronic diseases by combatting free radicals.
  • Dietary Fiber: Helps in regulating your dog’s digestive system.
  • Low Calorie: Good for weight management as they are low in calories yet high in water and fiber.

How to Safely Include Tomatoes in Your Dog’s Diet

housewife cutting tomato on chopping board

Here are some tips for safely including tomatoes in your dog’s diet:

  • Choose Ripe Tomatoes: Ensure the tomatoes are fully ripe and red. Avoid any with green spots.
  • Remove Green Parts: Always remove the stem and leaves, and never allow your dog to chew on the plant.
  • Start Small: Introduce tomatoes slowly into your dog’s diet to monitor for any adverse reactions.
  • Wash Thoroughly: Wash tomatoes thoroughly to remove pesticides and chemicals.

Potential Risks of Tomatoes for Dogs

While ripe tomatoes are safe, there are risks associated with parts of the tomato plant:

  • Solanine Toxicity: Consuming green parts of the tomato plant can lead to solanine poisoning, characterized by gastrointestinal upset, lethargy, and weakness.
  • Allergic Reactions: Some dogs may be allergic to tomatoes. Symptoms of an allergy include hives, difficulty breathing, and swelling.

Can Dogs Go Vegan?

While dogs can eat certain fruits and vegetables like tomatoes, a vegan diet may not meet all nutritional requirements for dogs.

Dogs need a balanced diet that typically includes animal proteins.

Consult a veterinarian before considering a vegan diet for your dog, as it requires careful planning to ensure all nutritional needs are met.


Tomatoes can be a healthy treat for dogs if fed properly. Only ripe tomatoes should be given, and only in moderation.

Always remove any green parts to prevent the risk of solanine toxicity.

While tomatoes offer benefits like antioxidants and fiber, they should only be a small part of a dog’s diet, complemented by a balanced nutritional plan suitable for their health needs.