We are reader supported, we earn a small commission when you buy something using our retail links.
Food & Diet

Can Dogs Eat Tomatoes? Experts Weigh In

At A Glance

Tomatoes, rich in nutrients, are generally safe for dogs to eat. But there are a few things to keep in mind before adding this fleshy fruit to your dog’s diet.

  • Opt for ripe tomatoes and exclude the stem and leaves, which are rich in tomatin. Ingesting excessive tomatine increases the risk of food poisoning for pups.
  • Processed forms of tomatoes, like sauces and sundried tomatoes, are okay. However, they shouldn’t contain ingredients like garlic, onion, and salt.

Last Updated on: July 7, 2023

Tomatoes are nightshades that belong to the Solanaceae plant family. Many of these plants are known for their culinary and medicinal value. But did you know tomatoes also contain toxic compounds like solanine and tomatine?

So, can dogs eat tomatoes?

According to Dr. Joanna Woodnutt, Veterinarian, “Tomatoes in moderation are not toxic for dogs.”

While the likelihood of dog poisoning from eating tomatoes is relatively slim, it is best to be safe. When feeding your furry friends, avoid unripe tomatoes. Also, it would be best if you removed the stalks, leaves, and seeds, as these contain higher levels of tomatine and make digestion tougher.

Pro tip: The more ripe and cooked the tomato, the less toxic the compound remains.

custom oil-painted dog portraits by Poshtraits

Health Benefits Of Tomatoes For Dogs

The vegetable, botanically a fruit staple in many savory dishes, offers many benefits to humans and dogs. Feeding your pet this sun-kissed fruit as a treat helps optimize its health in many ways.

Essential Nutrients

Can Dogs Eat Tomatoes - Essential Nutrients

Tomato is a nutrient-dense superfood that supports skin, coat, eye, heart, muscle, digestive, and immune health. It contains Vitamins A, C, and K and minerals like potassium, folate, and fiber.

Antioxidant Properties

Like other bright-colored fruits and vegetables, tomatoes contain lycopene and beta-carotene. These powerful antioxidants support healthy cells by fighting free radicals or unstable molecules that cause oxidative stress and cell damage.

Weight Management

Tomatoes are low in calories and may help reduce blood glucose. It is also high in fiber, which aids in achieving or maintaining an ideal weight in dogs.


These plump, juicy orbs have high water content, making them a refreshing dog treat, especially during hot and humid days. It helps avoid dehydration.

Although nourishing, tomatoes must make up a large portion of your dog’s diet; they can be occasional treats. Dogs need a wide range of nutrients to optimize their health, and the key to this is giving them balanced nutrition from various sources.

When Are Tomatoes Bad For Dogs?

Can Dogs Eat Tomatoes - When Are Tomatoes Bad For Dogs

Some dogs may also be allergic to tomatoes, so it’s crucial to introduce it to their diet in small portions first and gradually increase the portion if they show no allergic response. Giving too many tomatoes may also cause stomach upset in dogs.

Serving your dogs unwashed tomatoes may also subject them to pesticide exposure, leading to stomach problems, coughing, and wheezing or breathing issues.

Ingesting traces of pesticides may also cause skin irritation, hair loss, arrhythmia, organ damage, muscle weakness, drooling, and neurological problems like tremors, seizures, disorientation, and in severe cases, paralysis.

Frequent exposure to pesticides may damage health at a cellular level and increase cancer risk.

Tomatoes are bad for dogs when fed excessively and with stems and leaves. Also, unripe tomatoes increase the risk of toxicity.

What Is Tomatine Poisoning?

To be clear, ripe tomatoes barely have tomatine in them. According to Dr. Joanna Woodnutt, Veterinarian, “Tomatine is only toxic in very high concentrations, and ripe tomatoes contain hardly any of this compound.”

It would take a truckload of tomatoes to cause tomatine poisoning. But small puppies and aging dogs may not be tolerant even to small amounts.

Dog trainer Terry Dinerman shares, “Ripe tomatoes are perfectly safe, while green tomatoes, and the leaves, stems and stalks contain varying amounts of a toxin called “solanine” that when consumed in large amounts can cause severe gastrointestinal distress (e.g., vomiting, diarrhea), lethargy, weakness, and confusion.”

The green parts contain a 5% concentration of tomatine compounds. Ingesting these in large quantities may lead to tomatine poisoning. Some symptoms include gastrointestinal irritation, loss of appetite, lethargy, increased heart rate, and seizures.

How about the skin of a tomato? This is subjective.

Tomato skin is safe to consume, but dogs with sensitive stomachs or digestive issues may find it hard to digest. Just to be safe, you must remove the skin and seeds before serving the fleshy part.

What To Do If Your Dog Eats Unripe Tomatoes Or Tomato Plants?

Can Dogs Eat Tomatoes - What To Do If Your Dog Eats Unripe Tomatoes Or Tomato Plants

“My dog ate a slice of tomato with leaves! What to do?” If you ever find yourself in this situation, we’ve got you.

Suppose your dog happens to eat an unripe tomato or its harmful parts; you should check how much your dog has consumed. Secondly, observe for any symptoms of poisoning.

Consult a veterinarian, especially if your dog is small, weak, or old. Increase its water intake if it’s vomiting or having diarrhea to avoid dehydration. If treatment is necessary, follow the vet’s advice and bring your dog to the clinic.

To prevent this situation from repeating, fence off your nightshade garden so your dogs can’t have access to these potentially poisonous plants.

How Many Tomatoes Can I Give My Dog?

We recommend one or two small ripe tomatoes in a week as a safe and healthy treat. Observe your dog for any sign of allergic reaction closely.

How Can I Feed Tomatoes To My Dog?

Can Dogs Eat Tomatoes - How Can I Feed Tomatoes To My Dog

Tomatoes, if fed properly, can be one of the best treats you can add to your dog’s diet.

Here are the do’s and don’ts of feeding your furbaby this fleshy fruit:

  • Thoroughly wash the fruit under running water
  • Remove all the raw parts, leaves, stems, skin, and seeds
  • Slice it into small bite-size pieces
  • Gradually add it to your dog’s diet in small amounts
  • Look out for any sign of discomfort or allergy
  • Do not substitute tomatoes for a meal; they can only be used as a treat or topper
  • Avoid seasonings and herbs like salt, MSG, garlic, and onion
  • Feed in moderate portions

Can dogs eat tomatoes combined with proteins? Definitely!

Here’s a tomato recipe you can try as a homemade treat for your dog.

Baked Tomato and Liver Treats


  • 2 small ripe tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup boiled chicken liver
  • 1 large egg


  • Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Set aside bit-sized tomato pieces and minced boiled chicken liver.
  • In a bowl, combine the chicken liver and tomatoes.
  • Add an egg to the bowl and mix well.
  • Scoop spoonfuls of the mixture onto the baking sheet, spacing them out evenly.
  • Shape them into small, round treats.
  • Bake these treats for 20-25 minutes or until firm and lightly golden.
  • After the treats have cooled, transfer them to an airtight container. You may store them in the fridge for up to one week.

Tomato-rrific Treats

With all its pawsitive benefits and safety measures in mind, you can treat your doggo to an occasional tomato treat. Make sure to do it right so your dog can enjoy all the benefits without any risks.

These little garden gems can help make your dog’s diet extra flavorful, refreshing, nutritious, and colorful!

Frequently Asked Questions

Can Dogs Eat Tomatoes - Frequently Asked Questions

Can Dogs Eat Raw Tomatoes?

Yes, dogs can eat raw tomatoes as long as they are ripe and washed thoroughly. Ensure you remove any green parts, leaves, and stems before serving it to your dog.

Can Puppies Eat Tomatoes?

Yes, as long as the tomatoes are ripe and fed in very small quantities every once in a while. Excess amounts of any food can do more damage than good.

Can Dogs Eat Canned Tomatoes?

No, canned tomatoes usually contain seasonings and additives that may be toxic to dogs. Fresh ripe tomatoes are a better option.

In any case, it’s best to avoid feeding your dog any foods that contain preservatives.

Can Dogs Eat Cherry Tomatoes?

Yes. Ripe cherry tomatoes, like regular tomatoes, are safe for dogs as occasional treats.

Can Dogs Eat Tomato Soup?

It is safe for dogs if you make your soup with fresh, pureed tomatoes without any seasoning. However, if you add ingredients like garlic and onion, it’s best to avoid feeding them to your pet.

Can Dogs Eat Tomato Paste?

Yes, you may feed your dog unseasoned tomato paste in small quantities.


Food & Diet can dogs eat tomatoes

Previous Article

Can My Dog Eat Cinnamon?


Meet Paul, a devoted dog dad to the delightful French Bulldog, Cofi. With a flair for humor and a deep understanding of Frenchie quirks, Paul brings a lighthearted touch to his writings. His relatable stories and practical insights are a blend of laughter and valuable advice and resonate with fellow dog owners.

Through his words, Paul aims to celebrate the joys and challenges of being a dedicated pet parent, reminding you that life is simply better with a four-legged, snorting sidekick by your side.