Can German Shepherds Eat Tomatoes?

Whether you are preparing a meal, soup, salad, or sandwich, tomatoes will be one of your go-to ingredients as nothing compares to fresh tomatoes’ sweet and tart juiciness.

As you gobble down your tomato-infused meal, your German shepherd will be close by, yearning for a bite, and this makes you wonder if tomatoes are safe for dogs. 

So, can German shepherds eat tomatoes?


Tomatoes contain powerful antioxidants like lycopene, are low in calories, high in fiber, and rich in vitamin A and C, which will benefit your German shepherd.

Offer the tomatoes to your dog in moderation, and be on the lookout for any negative reaction.

This article has pulled together important information on the health benefits, risks, and helpful tips that will guide you as you introduce tomatoes to your German shepherd’s meals.  

German shepherds

Health benefits of tomatoes for German shepherds

Regular bowel movement

Tomatoes are high in fiber which maintains a regular bowel movement in German shepherds.

A regular bowel movement will aid the dog’s digestion and improve its gut health.

Good gut health in your German shepherd will control its appetite, improve its skin and coat health and lower its blood pressure.

Fiber also promotes a healthy intestinal pH which inhibits the growth of undesirable bacteria in your dog’s gut.

Ensure strong and healthy bones

Tomatoes contain lycopene, a powerful antioxidant that promotes strong and healthy bones in German shepherds.

Lycopene also helps in the skin and coat health, promotes eye health, reduces the risk of heart and stroke and may even aid in fighting cancer cells in your dog.

Reduce body inflammation

The vitamin C found in tomatoes will help reduce inflammation in your German shepherd’s body.

It also aids in the production of collagen in your dog’s body which ensures joint and bone health, improves energy levels, boosts immunity, helps in cognitive aging and reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Promotes nerve and heart health

Tomatoes are rich in potassium, an electrolyte that supports your German shepherd’s heart and nerve health.

It also promotes muscle health through the contraction and relaxation of muscles, affecting their strength and growth.

Potassium also promotes healthy blood pressure in German shepherds.

Blood sugar regulation

The high antioxidants in tomatoes will help regulate your German shepherd’s blood sugar and will be good if your dog is diabetic.

High antioxidant levels may also aid in preventing cancer.

Promotes good eyesight

The vitamin A found in tomatoes will promote good eyesight in your German shepherd.

It will also aid in the dog’s growth and development, boost its immune system, make its skin and fur healthy and ensure fast wound healing.

Aids in weight loss

Tomatoes are low in calories and will be a good addition to the diet if your overweight German shepherd is trying to shed the weight. 

Health concerns of serving tomatoes to your German shepherd


Tomatoes are full of citric and malic acid, making them highly acidic.

When your German shepherd consumes it, the acids flow up to the esophagus, causing heartburn which will be uncomfortable for your dog. 

Allergic reaction

Your German shepherd can have an allergic reaction to tomatoes, so it will be wise to watch him closely if you introduce it to his first diet.

Common symptoms of allergic reaction to food include swelling of body parts, vomiting, diarrhea, itching, fever and lethargy.

Intestinal problem

Your German shepherd can find the skin and seeds of tomatoes irritating, causing irritable bowel syndrome.

The syndrome will trigger bloating, diarrhea and constipation in your dog.

Can German Shepherds eat unripe tomatoes?


Green unripe tomatoes have a high concentration of tomatine, a substance that is toxic to dogs.

When your German shepherd consumes large quantities of unripe tomatoes, it will lead to tomatine poisoning.

Signs of tomatine poisoning include weakness, tremors, racing heartbeat, loss of coordination, drooling and lethargy. 

The flowers, stems and leaves of tomatoes also contain high amounts of tomatine, so it will be best to keep your German shepherd away from them if you own a tomato garden. 

Can German shepherds eat canned tomato sauces and soups?


Canned tomato sauces and soups contain artificial additives that will harm your German shepherd.

They also contain onion, garlic, salt and sugar, which will affect your dog’s health.

Onion and garlic are extremely toxic to German shepherds as they will attack the dogs’ blood cells, causing anemia, weakness and death in certain cases.

It is best to stick to homemade tomato sauces and soups for your German shepherd, as you can control everything the dog consumes.

Tips to consider when feeding your German shepherd tomatoes

If you own a tomato garden, keep it fenced to prevent your German shepherd from eating the stems, flowers and leaves, which will cause tomatine poisoning.

Choose red, ripe tomatoes to feed your German shepherd.

Remove any green part from the ripe tomato before feeding your dog.

If the tomatoes are green and unripe, store them away till they ripen before offering them to your dog. 

Feed your German shepherd plain tomatoes that don’t contain any salt or seasoning as it isn’t good for their health.

Wash the tomatoes thoroughly to eliminate the pesticide and bacteria on the skin before feeding your German shepherd.

Moderation is key. Don’t feed your German shepherd too many tomatoes at once.

Start by offering a slice or two while closely watching your dog’s reaction. You can use the tomatoes as an occasional treat.

If your German shepherd has preexisting stomach problems that tomatoes will aggravate, you should avoid adding them to the dog’s diet.

Contact your vet immediately if an allergic reaction occurs or if your German shepherd gets tomatine poisoning.

Can dogs eat ketchup?

No, dogs cannot eat ketchup as it contains artificial flavors and preservatives and has a high salt content and additives, which will be harmful to your dog. 

Can dogs drink tomato juice?

Yes, dogs can drink tomato juice as it is loaded with good nutrients that they need.

Ensure the tomatoes used are ripe, and no additives are used in the juice.

Let your dog drink small amounts of tomato juice.

To wrap up

It is safe to feed your German shepherd tomatoes but in moderation.

Your furry friend will benefit from all the nutritious goodness in the tomatoes.

Just watch out for any negative reactions and ensure your dog’s stomach agrees with the tomatoes.

If you needed a sign to spruce up your dog’s diet with tomatoes, this is it.

Megan Turner

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