Q:

Can dogs eat tomatoes?

A:

Quick Answer

According to the Pet Poison Helpline, ripened tomatoes are generally safe for dogs to eat in small quantities. However, tomatoes that are still attached to the vine or not yet fully ripened, that are ingested in larger amounts can cause gastrointestinal distress and in some cases can be toxic. Signs of tomato poisoning in dogs include vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, ataxia, weakness and confusion.

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Full Answer

Part of the Nightshade, or Solanaceae, family, tomato plants contain tomatine and solanine, both of which can be unhealthy for dogs. Tomatine is found in the leafy greens of the tomato plant, as well as in the fruit blossoms and in small, green (unripened) tomatoes. As the tomato ripens, the amount of tomatine decreases. This is why the red, ripened tomato is considered non-toxic, whereas the stems, vines and green fruit can be harmful when ingested in large amounts. Solanine is also only found in the green parts of the tomato plant. However, as noted by the Pet Poison Helpline, most dogs don’t eat enough tomato plants to cause any health issues.

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