Are Cherry Tomatoes Good For Dogs?

Do you grow cherry tomatoes in your garden or in your kitchen? If yes, then kudos to you, but if you are a dog parent, you should remember that in some cases, tomatoes, including cherry tomatoes, can be harmful and even toxic to pups.

If you are asking yourself, are cherry tomatoes good for dogs – the answer is yes and no.

To find out more, read our detailed article about the potential health benefits and risks of canines eating tomatoes.

We have included information about the nutritional value of tomatoes, as well as the symptoms of tomato poisoning in dogs. There are also some helpful tips for keeping your pet safe and the best ways to incorporate some cherry tomatoes into its diet.

Please, keep in mind that it is recommended that you speak with your veterinarian before adding any new human foods to your furbaby’s diet, cherry tomatoes included.

Are Tomatoes Safe For Dogs?

The warm summer is the favorite season for tomato lovers. But can you treat your furbaby to some cherry tomatoes as well? The answer to this question is – it depends.

A few red and fully ripe cherry tomatoes can be okay for dogs as an occasional snack or a topping for their regular dog food.

The problem is that, like eggplants, green potatoes, and others, tomatoes are members of the nightshade family, which is known to contain substances that can be toxic to canines.

In the tomatoes, the potentially poisonous ones are solanine and tomatine. Trace amounts are found predominantly in the tomato plants’ stems, leaves, and other green plants, and in unripe green tomatoes as well.

The solanine in the green parts of these plants acts as a defense mechanism against predators such as rabbits, deer, insects, fungus, and others.

If your furry friend ingests sufficient amounts of green tomatoes or their stems and other green parts, it can suffer from tomato poisoning.

While the likelihood of an average healthy dog eating so many green tomatoes and parts of the tomato vine to cause poisoning is highly unlikely, the risk of such toxicity is pretty significant in small-sized dogs or pups with medical issues.

The solanine can cause skin irritation and inflammation even when the sensitive dog comes into contact with the tomato plants.

This is why keeping your dog safe from any tomato plants in your garden or at home is recommended.

How About Treating My Dog With A Few Cherry Tomatoes?

Because cherry tomatoes are so miniature compared to regular ones, you may think they are safer for your dog. But the fact is that the size of the tomato doesn’t matter. What really matters is the number of tomatoes the dog eats, how ripe and red they are, and whether your pet has ingested some of the stems and leaves along with them.

If you have decided to give your four-legged friend some fully ripe and sweet cherry tomatoes, then speak to your vet first. Then start by introducing only very small quantities and watch your pet for any adverse symptoms.

Are Cherry Tomatoes Good For My Dog?

Tomatoes are non-toxic for canines when ripe and have their stems and other green parts removed.

In small amounts, they can be beneficial for the health and well-being of your four-legged companion because tomatoes are an excellent source of essential nutrients and fiber. Some of the nutrients in tomatoes include vitamins A, B6, C, and K, potassium, and fiber.

Fiber helps support the digestive system of pups. Vitamin B6, also known as folate, is essential for the growth and proper function of the tissue. There are antioxidants that help fight the free radicals and keep the dog healthy.

Keep in mind that if your pup is allergic to tomatoes, even a small amount can lead to severe allergic reactions and, in some cases, to death.

The Key Is Not In The Size But In The Color of The Tomatoes

As mentioned earlier, the toxin solanine is mostly contained in the green parts of the tomato plant. It is found in unripe tomatoes as well. But as the tomato ripens and becomes red, the quantity of solanine decreases.

In other words, the redder and riper the tomato – the better and safer it is for your dog.

As for the cherry tomato sorts, which are yellow or orange, the riper they are, the better. And the greener they are – the higher the risk of tomatine poisoning in canines.

What Are The Healthy Nutrients In Tomatoes?

Tomatoes contain a number of essential and other beneficial nutrients, including:

  • Soluble and insoluble fiber – supports the digestive system and maintains steady blood sugar levels in pups.
  • Lycopene – the red pigment in ripe tomatoes, has multiple benefits for the dog’s health, including reducing the risk of stroke or heart disease, supporting bone health, and preventing cancer.
  • Potassium – is a mineral that helps regulate the dog’s blood pressure and promotes muscle and nerve health.
  • Vitamin A – can help boost the health of the pup’s eyes.
  • Vitamin C – improves the functioning of the cardiovascular system, helps wound healing, and improves the skin’s health.
  • Beta-carotene – improves cognitive function and can help prevent metabolic syndrome in canines.
  • Folate (Vitamin B9) – helps healthy tissue growth and functioning.

What Are The Potential Risks Of Dogs Eating Tomatoes?

While a few ripe and red tomatoes can be an excellent healthy treat for some dogs, there are other cases in which the consumption of tomatoes can be harmful and even dangerous for them.

Please contact your vet immediately if you notice any adverse reactions after your pup has eaten some tomatoes.

Here are some of the biggest risks of canines ingesting tomatoes.

Tomato Allergy

Dogs that have a tomato allergy will begin displaying one or more of the following allergic reactions:

  • Facial swelling
  • Hives and itchiness
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • In extreme cases – difficulty breathing, anaphylaxis, and even death

If you are concerned about your furbaby having an allergic reaction, you should call your veterinarian or an emergency vet clinic as soon as possible!

GI Upsets

Tomatoes contain a lot of acids, which many dogs are sensitive to. Those pups may suffer from gastrointestinal problems such as vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, whining, or crying. Ask your vet for advice to alleviate such adverse symptoms.

Solanine Or Tomatine Tomato Poisoning

The signs of such poisoning in canines include:

  • Gastrointestinal problems such as vomiting or diarrhea, abdominal pain, or crying
  • Abdominal pain
  • A loss of appetite
  • A change in behavior
  • Excessive licking of the front legs or other items
  • Hypersalivation
  • Cardiac issues such as an irregular heartbeat or arrhythmia
  • Muscle weakness
  • A loss of coordination
  • Dilated pupils
  • Lethargy
  • Tremors or seizures

If you notice any worrying symptoms and changes in your pup’s usual behavior, you should contact your veterinarian for advice.

How Is Tomato Poisoning In Canines Treated?

Suppose you suspect your dog has eaten too many green tomatoes or tomato plants, or you notice worrying symptoms of potential poisoning. In that case, you should call your veterinarian or an Animal Poisons Hotline immediately.

Be ready to provide the professionals with information regarding the weight and age of your dog, the approximate quantity of tomatoes or plants ingested, and any underlying health problems your pet has.

The vet or toxicologist will provide professional advice on how to act.

In many cases, you will need to go to the veterinarian immediately.

The vet will perform a physical examination of your pup and probably run some blood work. An ECG to check its heart rate and function may also be performed.

Typically, the vet will induce vomiting and give the dog activated charcoal to remove or absorb the toxins faster. Your furbaby may require some IV support to prevent it from dehydration.

When treated in time, most dogs recover completely from tomato poisoning.

My Dog Ate Tomatoes – Now What?

If your dog ate a few ripe red tomatoes, it would likely be okay unless it is allergic.

If it has chewed up and ingested entire tomato plants or unripe tomatoes, then you should take it to a safe place and call the veterinarian.

You should monitor the dog closely for any symptoms of allergies or poisoning and inform your vet.

In some cases, the symptoms can appear hours after the incident, so watch your furbaby closely.

Call an emergency animal poison hotline or your vet without delay if you notice worrying symptoms.

Are Cherry Tomatoes Good For Dogs – Final Verdict

The answer to this question depends on the ripeness of the tomato, whether the dog has gobbled up the stems, leaves, and other parts of the plant, and your dog’s sensitivities, weight, and health.

Some dogs are allergic, and others are not. Small dog breeds may be at a greater risk of tomato poisoning than larger breeds. Senior or sick pups are also more likely to display adverse reactions after eating green tomatoes or plants too.

If you still have doubts about feeding your dog tomatoes, read on for the answers to some frequently asked questions.

What Is The Best Way To Feed Tomatoes To My Dog?

Dogs without an allergy can eat small amounts of cherry or other tomatoes if they are ripe and red. To add them to your pup’s diet, you should remove all green parts and wash them. You can serve them raw or cooked and even as an ingredient in some sauces that do not contain harmful spices and components such as garlic, onions, or others.

Introduce the tomatoes slowly and in small quantities, and watch your four-legged companion for any adverse reactions to them.

Are Organic Tomatoes Better For Dogs?

As with all other plant or animal-based products, organic tomatoes are the best option for your furbaby.

Organic tomatoes are grown under strict regulations, without synthetic chemical fertilizers, herbicides, insecticides, and pesticides.

Organic farmers also maintain sustainable farming methods and crop rotation.

When shopping for your dog and yourself, keep in mind that the non-organic tomatoes may have been treated with various chemicals, which can be harmful and downright dangerous.

Studies show that canines that spend more time on lawns treated with chemical herbicides and pesticides are more likely to develop cancer.

Some pups are susceptible to chemicals, and ingesting them can lead to mild and, in some cases, severe reactions and health problems.

So, if you can, always choose organic tomatoes for your pup. Even better – grow them yourself without using any potentially harmful chemicals for peace of mind.

How Many Cherry Tomatoes Can I Give To My Pup?

The answer depends on your dog’s age, size, health, and sensitivities.

Larger dogs can eat more ripe red tomatoes than small ones without the risk of harmful side effects.

Young puppies under one year should not be fed tomatoes because their systems are still developing, and they can be more sensitive to non-dog foods than adult dogs. If you suspect your puppy has eaten one or more tomatoes, you may want to call your veterinarian for advice because, with young pups, poisoning can go downhill quickly.

Naturally, if your dog has an allergy to tomatoes, you should keep it away from any tomatoes at all times and check the ingredients in the foods for any traces of tomatoes.

Smaller-sized dogs are at a greater risk of ingesting enough solanine or tomatine to suffer from tomato poisoning than larger ones. So adjust the quantities of tomato you give your furbaby according to its size.

When you give your pet some tomato for the first time, start with a very small bit, and watch it for any reactions to the new food.

If it is okay, you can gradually introduce more tomatoes to its food over time. Don’t forget to keep an eye on your pup as you increase the quantities because some dogs may feel perfect after eating several cherry tomatoes but then may become quite ill when the amounts increase.

Is Ketchup Or Tomato Sauce Okay For Dogs?

If you have made dog-friendly tomato sauce or ketchup at home or are sure it doesn’t contain potentially harmful or toxic ingredients, you can give your pet some.

Often, store-bought sauces and ketchup contain sugar, salt, and preservatives. They may also contain onions, garlic, onion or garlic powder, and other ingredients, which can be very poisonous to canines. Avoid giving your furry companion any tomato-based sauce or condiment if it contains the artificial sweetener Xylitol because it is also highly toxic for dogs.

Spicy ingredients such as chilies and red pepper can lead to an irritation of the lining of the intestines of the pup.

It is essential always to check the complete ingredient list of any food you are planning on giving to your dog. Look for any toxic ones and products to which your pet is allergic.

If your four-legged friend is not allergic and is healthy, it can benefit from eating some delicious ripe tomatoes and tomato-based sauces. Tomatoes contain essential nutrients, antioxidants, fiber, and other beneficial natural vitamins and minerals.

When choosing what type of tomatoes to give your furry friend, opt for organic ones if possible. The same goes when shopping for other products you use on your dogs, such as flea and tick treatments and shampoos.

You can grow cherry tomatoes at home to ensure that what you and your furbaby eat is completely natural and chemical-free.

Always consult your veterinarian before adding new foods to your pup’s diet or when using new dog products.

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