Can Dogs Eat Tomatoes?

Many people wonder, can dogs eat tomatoes? The short answer is “it depends”. Yes, and no. Some parts of a tomato plant are completely safe for canines to eat; other parts, however, can even be downright toxic.

Green tomatoes contain a compound called lycopene, which is the chemical that gives tomatoes their red color. Because lycopene is a chemical, the levels of it in the tomato can vary greatly depending on what kind of tomato is being used. For example, if it’s ripe, the concentration will be much higher than if it’s cold. It’s the same story with other ingredients – if it’s canned, the ingredients may be much less potent than if it was fresh. And even the brand name of your favorite canned tomato treat can affect the concentration of your dog’s ingredients.

Because the concentration of canines’ ingredients varies so much, not all canines can eat tomatoes with ease. There are certain canines that simply do not like the rough, stringy texture and the unstable stems of immature green tomatoes. Even though they look and taste like regular tomatoes, they should not be eaten raw because their tough fibers can injure your dog’s digestive tract.

Can dogs eat tomatoes with stems still attached? You’d be surprised. Even though this is common practice when growing and harvesting young plants, older or mature plants are generally not allowed to be unripe. In fact, the only time this is acceptable is when the plant is in its fruit or seed stage – and then only after the umbilical cord has been cut. At that point, the stem will be fully enclosed within the fruit or seed. If it were allowed to ripen fully, the tough, stringy fibers of the stem can seriously harm your pet’s digestive system.

Can dogs eat cooked tomatoes? The answer depends on the source. Although some studies have found that some foods may cause diarrhea in canines that are allergic to the chemical compounds found in red tomatoes, a number of other studies have shown that cooking tomatoes contain significantly less lycopene than raw or ripe tomatoes. In addition, many scientists agree that a canine’s natural toothpaste contains significant amounts of lycopene and can therefore be safely given to your canine friend.

It is important to note that most veterinarians and breeders agree that cooked tomato is a safe occasional treat that is not harmful to canines. They would never advise anyone to give their pet cooked tomatoes as a regular part of their dog’s regular diet. So the next time you’re wondering can dogs eat tomatoes, keep these facts in mind.

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