Can Dogs Eat Tomatoes?

Tomatoes are healthy for humans, but can dogs eat tomatoes? And if dogs can eat tomatoes, are there any do’s and don’ts that you should keep in mind?

A dog looking at a tomato plant. Photography © jbosley58 | iStock / Getty Images Plus.

As pup parents, there are certain edible no-no’s that are more commonly known than others. (For example, chocolate, grapes and xylitol.) But one semi-elusive food you might still wonder about is tomatoes. Tomatoes are healthy for humans, but can dogs eat tomatoes? Let’s find out.

Can dogs eat tomatoes?

A woman cooking with tomatoes while her dog looks on.
A woman cooking with tomatoes while her dog looks on. Photography © M_a_y_a | E+ / Getty Images.

According to Dr. Pete Lands, DVM, who runs and @petevet, tomatoes are safe for pups, as long as owners take a few precautions.

“There is nothing better than a fresh, juicy, red Jersey tomato,” Dr. Lands says. “Whether you purchase it in a grocery store or grow it in your backyard, these fruits are safe for dogs to eat as a snack.”

So, what are the points to remember when thinking, “Can dogs eat tomatoes?” Let’s examine a few here.

Can dogs eat tomatoes if they’re fresh?

Tomatoes are safe for dogs if they’re fresh but — as with feeding your dog any kind of human food ­­­— there are risks. First, Dr. Lands advises washing the tomato, or any fruit, before serving it to your dog.

“Before eating any fruit, I highly recommend washing it off with water and cutting it into bite-size pieces for your pup,” Dr. Lands says.

Can dogs eat tomatoes if there are any green parts on the tomato?

Tomatoes, which are considered part of the nightshade family of vegetables, contain two risky components: solanine and tomatine. Unfortunately, solanine and tomatine won’t be washed off after running the tomato under water, so there’s more information that you need to know when thinking, “Can dogs eat tomatoes?”

Solanine is found in the green part of the tomato plant — the stem and leaves primarily. In large amounts, solanine is detrimental to dogs. When feeding your dogs tomatoes, they should be ripe, served devoid of any green parts and chopped into chewable bites.

“The green portions of the plant contain tomatine and solanine, two toxins that can have serious effects on your dog,” Dr. Lands adds.

However, because solanine is located in the green parts of the tomato plant, feeding your dog a ripe, red tomato is fine. As long as doggo is eating ripe tomatoes as an occasional treat (not all the time), then ingesting tomatoes is perfectly safe for your pupper.

Can dogs eat tomatoes with stems or leaves?

As Dr. Lands mentions above, a very important thing to remember when thinking, “Can dogs eat tomatoes?” is that the stems and leaves of the tomato plant — any part of the tomato that is not ripe or is green, for that matter — cannot be fed to dogs. Why? The stem and leaves both contain tomatine and solanine, which are two components that are toxic to dogs. 

“Dogs cannot eat any part of the tomato plant that is green, including the stem, leaves and immature tomatoes,” Dr. Lands explains. “Tomatine is a glycoalkaloid that, if ingested, may lead to vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal discomfort. Solanine, the other toxic component of the tomato plant, may cause some serious side effects if ingested in very large quantities.”

What happens to dogs if they ingest a toxic part of tomatoes?

The next question after asking, “Can dogs eat tomatoes?” is — “What should you do if your dog does eat the toxic parts of tomatoes?” If your dog ingests the stem, leaves or a green tomato that is not yet ripe, the following symptoms may occur.

“Dogs may show signs of drowsiness, depression, confusion or weakness,” Dr. Lands explains. “They may also develop a slow heart rate or dilated pupils. If your dog ingested a tomato plant and is suffering from any of these symptoms, please call a veterinarian.”

 Can dogs eat tomatoes in sauces?

You may have noticed Fido’s head perking up a little extra on Pasta Sundays. If that’s the case, you might be wondering, “Can dogs eat tomatoes in the form of tomato sauce?”

“Dogs can eat tomatoes in sauce and can even have the sauce over a nice bowl of linguini,” Dr. Lands says. “With that being said, many of the ingredients in pasta sauce are toxic to dogs.”

So, what does that mean? Serving your pup a dog bowl of plain linguine, covered in mostly plain tomato sauce is fine and safe. However, dogs should not ingest any kind of seasonings, including onion or garlic.

While linguine with a bit of butter or seasoning-free tomato sauce is okay, any kind of red tomato sauce that is heavily seasoned is a risk to feed your dog.

Can dogs eat tomatoes with seasonings?

As mentioned above, feeding your dog sauce with any kind of seasoning is not a veterinarian-recommended idea. However, salt and pepper in low doses are acceptable.

“Avoid all onions and garlic, as these are toxins and potentially deadly if ingested in high amounts,” Dr. Lands explains. “Spices and seasonings such as salt and pepper are safe as long as you control the portion size.”

Some final thoughts on dogs and tomatoes:

In conclusion, the final answer to, “Can dogs eat tomatoes?” is that plain, ripe tomatoes are safe for your dog if prepared correctly without the leaves or stems. In the event that your dog ingests the green part of a tomato plant or you believe that your dog is exhibiting symptoms that indicate she has ingested a toxic amount of tomatoes, then contact your veterinarian immediately.

Thumbnail: Photography © M_a_y_a | E+ / Getty Images.

Read more about what dogs can and can’t eat on

11 thoughts on “Can Dogs Eat Tomatoes?”

  1. There are some interesting cut-off dates on this article but I don’t know if I see all of them middle to heart. There is some validity but I will take maintain opinion till I look into it further. Good article , thanks and we want more! Added to FeedBurner as properly

  2. Pingback: Darf mein Hund Tomate essen? Die interessante Antwort!

  3. Pingback: What Vegetables Can Dogs Eat? – Shopper's Lab

  4. Pingback: Can Dogs Eat Tomatoes? –

  5. What are your thoughts on commercially produced tomato juice? I offer this to dogs to eliminate tear staining. It works very well if given for a few weeks at a time (about 1tsp/1olbs BID). I have no idea if the companies making these juices are leaving a bit of stem on or including partially ripened tomatoes. Is Solanine/Tomatine toxic to the point where it causes permanent damage or would one expect that if the source was removed at onset of symptoms, that a dog would recover fully?

  6. We grow our own cherry tomatoes in the garden and the dogs help themselves to them when they are ripe. The plants are sprayed regularly with a bit of soapy water to keep the critters and bugs off, and then are watered well in the later afternoon. I have two Boerboels and they love these tomatoes. Is this ok for them to help themselves, they have never shown any strange symptoms or runt tummies form the soap spray.

  7. One doesn’t run something (fruits, veggies, or anything) “under the sink.” We run it under the water, which comes out of the faucet. If it was under the sink, it would be in the cabinet, below.

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