Can Dogs Eat That

Can Dogs Eat Tomatoes? Everything You Need to Know

tomatoes vegetables fresh tomatoes

If you’re a fan of the tangy, juicy goodness of tomatoes, you might be tempted to toss a few pieces to your eager pup. But wait! Before you let your dog indulge in this beloved fruit (yes, tomatoes are technically a fruit!), it’s crucial to understand the potential risks and benefits. 

The truth is, the answer to “Can dogs eat tomatoes?” is a bit more complex than a simple yes or no. In this ultimate guide, we’ll explore everything you need to know to safely share this tasty treat with your canine friend.

two tomatoes

So, let’s dive in.

When Are Tomatoes Safe for Dogs

The good news is that ripe red tomatoes are typically safe for dogs to eat in small amounts. The fleshy part of a fresh, ripe tomato is not toxic to dogs. So if your pup snags a small piece of tomato that fell on the floor while you were making a salad, there’s no need to panic.

In fact, tomatoes can even offer some health benefits for dogs. They are a good source of vitamins A and C, as well as fiber. 

The antioxidant lycopene, responsible for the red hue of tomatoes, may help support your dog’s immune system and protect against certain diseases.    

short coated white dog on green field

However, it’s important to only feed your dog ripe tomatoes. Green, unripe tomatoes carry solanine, a compound that could pose risks to dogs if consumed excessively. The same goes for tomato plants – the stems and leaves are concentrated in solanine and another toxic compound called tomatine.

So, while your pup may love to frolic in your veggie garden, it’s crucial to keep them away from your tomato plants. Make sure any tomatoes you give your dog are nice and red!

photo of person slicing tomatoes

How to Safely Feed Your Dog Tomatoes

If you want to give your dog a tomato treat, there are some guidelines to follow:


  1. Consult with your vet first to determine an appropriate serving size for your individual dog. Smaller dogs should get smaller pieces.
  2. Wash the tomato thoroughly. Choose organic if possible to minimize pesticide exposure.
  3. Remove the stem and leaves, as well as any green or unripe parts.
  4. Cut the tomato into small, dog-safe pieces to prevent choking, especially for small dogs.
  5. Start with a very small amount to see how your dog reacts before giving them more. A couple of small pieces or half a cherry tomato is plenty to start.
  6. Don’t add any salt, seasonings, onions, or garlic, which can upset your dog’s stomach.
  7. You can also cook the tomato (plain) and mash or puree it to mix into your dog’s food. Cooking actually makes the beneficial lycopene more digestible.
  8. Limit tomatoes to just one large or a couple of small pieces per week. They should be an occasional treat, not a daily staple.
close up of cut fresh tomatoes

What If My Dog Eats Tomato Plants or Unripe Tomatoes

If your sneaky pup gets into your tomato plants, they could be at risk for tomatine poisoning from the solanine and tomatine. Symptoms to watch for include:

  • Upset stomach
  • Drooling
  • Lethargy
  • Loss of coordination
  • Muscle weakness
  • Tremors or seizures
hands cutting tomato

Puppies, seniors, and very small dogs (under 15 lbs) are most at risk for poisoning. If you notice any of these symptoms, call your vet right away.

Some dogs may also have an allergic reaction to tomatoes with symptoms like itching, rashes, vomiting, or diarrhea. If you notice signs of allergy, stop feeding tomatoes and contact your vet if symptoms are severe.

golden retriever dog retriever

Other Fruits & Veggies Dogs Can Enjoy

Want to expand your pup’s palate beyond tomatoes? There are lots of other fruits and veggies that are safe and healthy for dogs, such as:

adult brown and white pembroke welsh corgi near the body of water

As with tomatoes, always clean the produce well, remove any seeds, stems, cores, or peels, and cut into dog-friendly pieces. It’s always advisable to introduce new foods slowly and in small amounts to prevent tummy troubles.


1. Are tomatoes safe for puppies to eat?

Puppies can safely eat ripe red tomatoes in moderation, just like adult dogs. However, tomatoes don’t provide significant nutritional benefits for puppies. If you want to give your puppy a tomato treat now and then, make sure it’s always a ripe red tomato. Never feed puppies green, unripe tomatoes or any tomato plant parts like stems or leaves, as they contain harmful toxins.

2. Can I give my dog tomato juice?

The answer is both yes and no. If the tomato juice is made from ripe, red tomatoes with no added salt, it’s generally safe to let your dog have a few licks. However, portion control is key – stick to just a small amount of juice as an occasional treat. Avoid giving your dog tomato juice cocktails or juice blends with other ingredients that may be unsafe for them.

hand pouring tomato juice glass cup

3. Is it okay for dogs to eat raw tomatoes?

Yes, dogs can eat raw tomatoes as long as they are ripe and red. 

But they should avoid consuming unripe, green tomatoes, as well as any parts of the tomato plant such as leaves and stems, whether raw or cooked. When feeding your dog raw tomato, always wash it well, remove the stem and any green parts, and cut it into small bite-sized pieces to prevent choking.

person cutting sliced tomatoes

4. What about cooked tomatoes – are those safe for dogs?

Plain-cooked tomatoes are safe to feed your dog, with some caveats. First, only use ripe, red tomatoes – no green tomatoes or tomato plant parts. Second, do not add any seasonings, salt, garlic, onionsor and other ingredients that are toxic to dogs. The cooked tomatoes should be completely plain. You can mix some mashed or pureed cooked tomatoes into your dog’s regular food as a treat.

5. Can I give my dog tomato sauce or soup?

It’s best to avoid giving your dog the most store-bought tomato sauces and soups. These products frequently contain added sugars, salt, seasonings, and other ingredients that are not good for dogs to consume, like onion or garlic. If you want to give your dog tomato sauce, your safest option is plain, homemade sauce using only ripe tomatoes with no spices, salt, oil, etc. added. Even then, just give a small amount.

warm tomato soup serve bowl

6. Is ketchup okay for dogs to have?

While a small dollop of ketchup likely won’t make your dog ill, it’s really best not to make a habit of feeding ketchup to your dog. Most commercial ketchup has added salt, sugar, vinegar, and seasonings like onion or garlic powder. These additives can be bad news for dogs, especially if ingested regularly or in large quantities. So, ketchup should not be a regular part of your dog’s diet. Also, watch out for ketchup packets – some dogs may try to swallow them whole, which can cause choking or intestinal blockage. If that happens, contact your vet right away.

Final Words

As a treat, ripe red tomatoes are a yummy snack, most dogs can enjoy safely in small quantities. Just be sure to prepare them properly by removing any green parts and cutting them into small pieces.

However, tomatoes shouldn’t be a major part of your dog’s diet. Stick to veterinarian-recommended dog food for balanced nutrition. And always keep your pup away from potentially dangerous tomato plants and unripe green tomatoes.

woman wearing gray jacket beside white puppy

With a little care and moderation, you and your dog can happily share this healthy garden goodie together! Just don’t be offended if your pup spits it out – not all dogs are fans of the unique tomato texture. More for you!


About Judith D. Swan

With a passion for pooch health and nutrition, I've dedicated myself to exploring every "Can dogs eat...?" scenario you can imagine. With a background in veterinary science and years of experience in the pet care industry, I bring a wealth of knowledge to the table. From the common to the curious, I've researched it all to ensure that your canine companion gets the best possible care. But hey, I'm not just about facts and figures. As a proud dog parent myself, I understand the bond between humans and their four-legged pals. That's why I'm committed to providing trustworthy, practical advice that keeps both tails wagging.