Tomatoes are a base ingredient in many households for several dishes like pasta sauce or a healthy salad.
Raw ripe tomatoes give salads a warming effect and it’s understandable if you wish your fur friend felt the same warmth.
If you’re keen, you must have noticed that most dog foods contain tomatoes, but can hounds eat them raw?
So, can dogs eat raw tomatoes?
Yes, raw tomatoes are rich in nutrients, minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants essential for your canines’ health.
Tomatoes contain solanine and tomatine concentrated in raw, unripe, and green foliage parts.
These toxins can cause tomatine poisoning.
If you want to incorporate raw tomatoes into your dog’s diet, pick quality varieties to reduce the risk of toxicity.
We have created this guide on dogs and raw tomatoes to answer those questions lingering in your head.
What are the nutritional benefits of raw tomatoes for dogs?
Whether ripe or unripe, Tomatoes have nutritional value beneficial to your dog if consumed in moderate quantities.
The amount of these nutrients in the tomato heavily depends on the quality of the fruit.
Such benefits include;
High in fiber
Tomatoes are fibrous, with soluble and insoluble fiber that aids digestion when consumed in safe amounts.
Fiber also reduces carcinogen exposure minimizing risks of colon cancer.
Similarly, sufficient amounts of fiber help relieve symptoms of diarrhea and constipation in dogs.
Tomatoes are low in calories, making them an ideal snack for your dog without risking weight gain and other chronic diseases associated with fatty foods.
The fiber in tomatoes creates a sense of fullness, making your canine friend feel full longer; thus, ingesting a few calories; helps in weight control.
Lycopene in ripe tomatoes promotes strong bone formation in young puppies and helps reduce the risk of heart disease.
Tomatoes also contain beta-carotene, which improves cognitive functioning.
The presence of vitamin A aids with vision while vitamin C promotes healthy and glowing skin for your canine friend.
Raw tomatoes contain minerals like potassium and folate that help regulate blood pressure and promote muscle health.
Are raw tomatoes bad for your dog? Health risks
Raw tomatoes are a nutrients powerhouse but also contain traces of toxins dangerous for canines’ in large amounts.
Some of the health dangers of raw tomatoes in dogs are;
Some dogs may develop allergic reactions when introduced to something new in their diet, like raw tomatoes.
Mild allergic reactions manifest as vomiting, bloating, excessive itching and paw licking, hot spots, and skin problems.
Some canines may experience extreme sensitivity to raw tomatoes and develop severe reactions after ingesting them, although it’s not common.
Watch for signs like hives, increased heart rate, difficulty breathing, and face and neck swellings.
Stop feeding raw tomatoes to your pet once you see these reactions.
Contact your vet immediately to avoid further complications.
Ripe or unripe, raw tomatoes contain traces of solanine and tomatine toxins.
Solanine is concentrated in unripe tomatoes and other parts of the green foliage.
Ingesting many raw unripe tomatoes leads to tomato poisoning, otherwise known as tomatine toxicity.
That said, dogs are unlikely to ingest an amount large enough to cause tomatine poisoning; most just suffer mild gastrointestinal issues.
However, for young pups, even a small amount could lead to poisoning due to their small size.
Symptoms of tomatine poisoning include;
- Gastrointestinal problems (vomiting, diarrhea)
- Low appetite
- Abnormal heart rate
- Tremors and incoordination
How to safely feed your dog raw tomatoes?
Remove all the green foliage parts of the tomatoes and clean them gently before feeding your dog.
Make bite-size cuts when adding tomatoes to their food—prevents choking for small breeds.
If you prefer tomatoes as a sauce, ensure it’s plain.
You can easily blend a few ripe, raw tomatoes at home and give your canine pal.
Make sure store-bought sauces are free from additives and spices.
Like most treats, dogs should consume tomatoes sparingly; otherwise, too much may cause gastrointestinal upset.
If you own a tomato garden, ensure it’s well fenced and inaccessible to your hound—dogs can eat almost anything accessible.
Can dogs eat tomato sauce and soup?
A plain tomato-only puree is safe for your dog to consume.
However, most commercial ketchup and sauces contain additives like chives, garlic, and onions, which are lethal to your dog’s health.
Although plain sauces are safe for dogs, most lack adequate nutritional value.
Carefully read the label for ingredients since most ketchup contains sugars harmful to dogs.
Some plain sauces contain artificial sweeteners like xylitol, a toxic element for canines even in small amounts.
Xylitol poisoning is fatal if not treated immediately.
Contact your vet if you notice signs like lethargy, excessive drooling, and seizures.
What should I do when my dog overeats raw tomatoes?
First, discover if it was ripe or unripe and the exact amount ingested.
Two to three raw ripe tomatoes will result in mild gastrointestinal issues that will subdue shortly; no need to panic.
Watch out for signs like drooling, low appetite, and behavioral change.
Monitor them closely, and contact your vet if the symptoms get worse.
On the flip side, if your dog ingests large amounts of unripe tomatoes or the leaves, there is a likelihood of developing tomatine poisoning.
It manifests as gastrointestinal upset, lethargy, and seizures; contact your vet immediately if you see these signs.
As a pet owner, you want the healthiest hound around, and raw tomatoes are an excellent addition to your dog’s raw diet.
Raw tomatoes increase their nutritional intake of minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants essential for proper functioning.
Unfortunately, the nutrient-dense profile is accompanied by some toxicity (tomatine poisoning) dangerous to canines.
Since you know the benefits and risks of raw tomatoes, feel free to share bites with your furry friend.