Can I Give My Dog Tomatoes?
Tomatoes are one of nature’s most popular human foods. Naturally, dog owners wonder about the safety and health effects of occasionally feeding their canine companions a tomato or two. Actually, there is an aspect of this popular fruit which is considered poisonous.
Tomato plants are members of the deadly nightshade family and contain the toxin Solanine. The leaves, stems and vines all contain high levels of this toxin and are poisonous. The only part of the plant that is SAFE to eat is the ripe red tomato. Contrary to what movies like “Fried Green Tomatoes” might lead you to believe, green tomatoes, like the rest of the plant, contain high levels of Solanine, so they too are also toxic. As the tomato ripens, the level of Solanine in the tomato decreases to safe levels. (Cooking a green tomato will also destroy the toxin present.)
Clinical Signs of tomato plant toxicity can include hypersalivation, inappetence, severe gastrointestinal upset, diarrhea, drowsiness, CNS depression, confusion, behavioral change, weakness, dilated pupils, slow heart rate. If you suspect your dog has eaten parts of the tomato plant or green tomatoes, contact your veterinarian as soon as possible.
In conclusion, tomatoes are a nutritious and delicious fruit that can safely be fed to your canine family member(s). Just avoid any part of the plant that is green, including the green tomatoes and seek help if they do get into the green parts.