Can Dogs Eat Tomatoes?
Can dogs eat tomatoes safely? The short answer is: yes and no. Some parts of a tomato plant are completely safe for dogs to consume. Others, though, can be potentially harmful.
And in some cases, even your beloved pooch could be allergic to red tomatoes (hey, even humans get some sort of allergy from meat). The most common problem occurs when the tomato, which should be eaten on a daily basis, gets rinds on the outside before it has a chance to begin to ripen inside. Rinds contain a compound that our dogs seem to find highly irritating. It’s called histamine and it is created when the fruit is cut open and the latex or stem cell of the fruit gets splashed upon the tongue. This histamine complex can cause extreme irritation and inflammation if ingested.
Dogs can tolerate ripe or green tomatoes, but larger quantities of either can trigger bouts of vomiting, diarrhea, and severe dehydration in your pet. Large amounts of tomatoes, especially unripe tomatoes, can also cause a condition known as “scalded intestinal syndrome” which can result in death in dogs if not treated promptly. Fortunately, this condition is rarely fatal and it will pass just as quickly if treated properly. It can, however, cause a build-up of toxins within the body and can only be safely removed by large amounts of fresh water.
Green tomatoes are OK for your canine pal to enjoy once a week while ripe tomatoes can cause a case of canine diarrhea if taken orally (some breeds of dog are susceptible to the toxic effects of unripe tomatoes). Although canned green tomatoes are widely available, it is best to purchase the tomatoes at the peak of their ripeness to ensure your pet does not consume anything containing two of the most toxic chemicals found in commercial tomatoes – citric acid and oxalic acid. If you find that your canine friend has developed a tolerance to the taste of citrus fruits, try serving him a small can of tomato paste with a small amount of milk each day.
The safest and most effective way to make sure your pet does not ingest any potentially harmful chemical is to make sure they never eat tomatoes themselves. Since it is so easy to cook with tomato-based products, a dog’s dish can easily become contaminated by eating these products. This can result in vomiting, diarrhea, weakness, and even death. Instead, opt for a very mild and non-toxic canned food like chicken, tuna, or lamb. Look for a product that contains no chemical preservatives and contains only healthy, natural ingredients that are safe for canine consumption.
For maximum health benefits, and to minimize the potential for negative side effects, keep the following tips in mind when providing your canine friend with an organic tomato. One of the most important factors is ensuring the rind is entirely intact. It is often found in the middle of the ripening, and if it becomes dislodged, the toxins can easily seep into the flesh of the fruit. Next, ensure that the tomatoes are always cut and wrapped in a clean towel before giving them to your canine friend. Finally, remove the seeds from the red variety of tomatoes to ensure your pet does not consume a tomato with potentially dangerous toxins.