Picture this, you find your dog destroying some unripe green tomatoes, and they enjoy the bites.
When you’re about to toss it into the bin, you start wondering if you could put them to better use and whether dogs can eat unripe tomatoes or not?
It’s normal for dogs to eat everything accessible, but that doesn’t mean they should.
Can dogs eat unripe tomatoes?
Yes, but in small amounts.
Tomatoes are a healthy snack with good sources of vitamin A and vitamin C, but they also contain solanine and tomatine, which can cause poisoning in dogs.
Although unripe tomatoes are nontoxic to dogs in moderation, they’re not highly recommended.
Avoid the green parts due to the high potency of toxins.
Are you wondering if dogs can eat unripe tomatoes?
Let’s explore the risk to your dog when you feed it an unripe tomato.
Are unripe tomatoes good for dogs? Health benefits
Tomatoes ripe and unripe have nutritional value beneficial to your dog if consumed in moderate quantities.
High in fiber
Tomatoes are fibrous, and fiber 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.
Tomatoes also contain minerals like potassium and folate that help regulate blood pressure and promote muscle health.
Are unripe tomatoes bad for dogs? Tomato poisoning
Whether ripe or unripe, tomatoes contain traces of toxins (solanine and tomatine). Ingesting large quantities leads to tomato toxicity, otherwise known as tomatine poisoning.
Solanine is concentrated in unripe tomatoes and other parts of the green foliage.
It mainly causes stomach irritation resulting in gastrointestinal upset.
That said, dogs are unlikely to ingest an amount large enough to cause tomatine poisoning.
However, for young pups, even a small amount could lead to poisoning due to their small size.
What are the symptoms of tomatine poisoning?
The severity of the symptoms depends on the number of unripe tomatoes ingested, dog size, and preexisting medical conditions.
- Poor appetite
- Gastrointestinal upset (vomiting, diarrhea)
- Muscle weakness
- Behavioral change
How to safely feed dogs unripe tomatoes
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 dog—dogs can eat anything accessible.
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.
If you prefer feeding tomatoes as a sauce, ensure it’s plain.
You can easily blend a few at home and give your canine pal.
Make sure store-bought sauces for your dog are free from additives.
Otherwise, it can be a health hazard when they ingest unsafe ingredients.
What should I do when my dog overindulges in tomatoes?
First, discover if it was ripe or unripe and the exact amount ingested.
Two to three 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.
Can dogs safely eat tomato sauce?
A tomato-only puree is safe for your dog to consume.
However, most commercial ketchup and sauces contain additives like chives, garlic, and onions, which can harm 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 are loaded with artificial sweeteners like xylitol which is a lethal component to dogs even when ingested in small amounts.
Xylitol poisoning is fatal if not treated immediately.
Contact your vet if you notice signs like lethargy, excessive drooling, and seizures.
Can dogs eat raw unripe tomatoes?
Yes, dogs can consume raw, ripe, or unripe tomatoes but not in abundance and with caution.
Raw tomatoes from the garden could be dangerous if not cleaned since it harbors pesticides used during planting.
If cleaned, the raw tomato itself is safe for dogs.
Be cautious as stems and leaves of tomatoes contain solanine that can lead to tomato toxicity which is a health hazard for dogs.
Only feed your dog clean raw tomatoes in small quantities.
Can dogs be allergic to unripe tomatoes?
Dogs, just like humans, may develop allergic reactions when introduced to new foods.
If your dog eats unripe tomatoes and is allergic, it could manifest symptoms like vomiting, excess itching, diarrhea, and eye buggers.
Generally, dogs allergic to unripe tomatoes will suffer from gastrointestinal issues like gassiness, abdominal pains, and bloating.
Or skin-related problems such as hot spots, rashes, and excess skin itching.
If you notice the reactions, stop feeding tomatoes.
You furry pal can enjoy an unripe tomato in moderation—don’t be confused by its low-calorie and rich nutrients.
Serve them fresh, clean, and unsalted.
Always consider your dogs’ health before adding new food to their diet; your vet will help you make the right decisions.
Now that you have the details on safely feeding your dog unripe tomatoes, have fun sharing this nutritious veggie with your furry friend.