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Can Dogs Eat Tomatoes? Health & Nutrition Facts

Written by: Elizabeth Gray

Last Updated on April 23, 2024 by Dogster Team

basket of tomatoes

Can Dogs Eat Tomatoes? Health & Nutrition Facts


Dr. Ashley Darby Photo


Dr. Ashley Darby

BVSc (Veterinarian)

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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Whether eaten raw or cooked in a delicious sauce, tomatoes are a staple of many human diets. If you’re tempted to slip your dog a slice, you’ll first want to determine whether dogs can safely eat tomatoes. Ripe tomatoes are safe to feed your dog in moderation.

In this article, we’ll cover why dogs can eat ripe tomatoes and why you must be cautious with other parts of the plant. Plus, you’ll learn whether tomatoes provide health benefits to dogs and whether some common tomato-based foods are safe to feed your dog.

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Why Can Dogs Eat Tomatoes?

Tomatoes contain a component called tomatine, which is an alkaloid that, in high concentrations, can be toxic to dogs. However, tomatine is mainly found in the green parts of the plant, including unripe tomatoes. Ripe tomatoes contain very little, which is why they’re considered safe for dogs to eat.

A dog would have to eat a lot of ripe tomatoes to experience adverse effects from the tomatine. Because tomatoes (and other human foods) should only be offered as a treat, most dogs tolerate them well. Treats should comprise only about 10% of your dog’s daily calories.

labrador puppy eating from metal bowl
Image Credit: manushot, Shutterstock

Benefits/Dangers of Feeding Tomatoes to Dogs


Tomatoes and other safe fruits and vegetables make good snacks for dogs because they’re low in calories. In addition, tomatoes contain several beneficial nutrients, including potassium, antioxidants, and Vitamins A and C.

Dogs are considered omnivores, so they can successfully process and utilize the nutrients from plant-based foods, such as tomatoes.


As mentioned in the previous section, tomatine can be toxic to dogs in large enough amounts. Never feed your dog green tomatoes or allow them to chew on the stems or leaves of the plant. If you grow tomatoes in your yard or garden, ensure your dog can’t access them.

Signs of tomatine poisoning in dogs include:

  • GI upset
  • Ataxia or “drunk” walking
  • Weakness

Before feeding ripe tomatoes to your dog, remove any remaining stems and leaves. Contact your veterinarian if you suspect or confirm your dog has eaten parts of a tomato plant.

hand holding fresh tomato crops
Image Credit: Lewis Wilson, Unsplash

Can Dogs Eat Tomato-Based Foods Like Sauce or Soup?

Tomatoes are the star ingredient in several popular recipes, like pasta sauce, salsa, Pico de Gallo, and everyone’s favorite comfort soup. However, you should avoid sharing any of these foods with your dog. Tomatoes may be safe, but many other ingredients commonly found in the recipes are not.

Onions, garlic, and similar seasonings are toxic to dogs, due to sulfur compounds that cause anemia. Sauces and soups often contain a lot of sugar and some fat as well, which aren’t healthy for dogs, leading to weight gain over time. Even a one-off fatty meal has the potential to cause pancreatitis. Giving your dog slices of fresh tomatoes is much safer than meals or products made with tomatoes.

How to Feed Tomatoes to Your Dog

Ripe tomatoes can be fed raw, mixed with your dog’s food, or as a standalone treat. However, it’s vital to wash the fruit to remove pesticides and cut it into bite-sized chunks. You can base the amount of tomato you offer on the size of your dog.

Tiny dogs should be fed one or two chunks per day, but giant breeds may tolerate up to five or six chunks. As with any new food, start by offering your dog a small amount of tomato and monitor their reaction. Even safe foods can upset your dog’s stomach at first.

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The most important part of your dog’s daily diet should be a nutritionally balanced food formulated for canines. If they eat dog food every day, they should receive all the nutrition they need. Treats, including tomatoes, aren’t essential to your dog’s daily diet but can provide beneficial nutrients.

Plus, they can be useful as rewards for training. Before introducing tomatoes to your dog’s diet, consult your veterinarian. This precaution is especially crucial if your dog is on prescription food or managing a chronic health condition.

Featured Image Credit: Josephine Baran, Unsplash

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