Are tomatoes poisonous to dogs?


TomatoesTomatoes are barely poisonous and are generally pretty safe to feed dogs. Most dogs don’t ingest enough tomato plants to cause a problem. Tomato plants are in the Nightshade family and contain tomatine. Tomatine is found in concentrations of up to 5% in the leafy greens, the fruit blossoms, and in small green tomatoes; this concentration rapidly decreases as the tomato ripens. When stems, vines and green fruit are ingested, clinical signs can include gastrointestinal irritation, ataxia, and weakness. Treatment is purely supportive with an overall good prognosis.

Published on September 23, 2011
Categorized under: Pet Safety Tips

56 Responses to “Are tomatoes poisonous to dogs?”

  1. Dward says:

    My dog loves cherry tomatoes is this bad for her?

  2. miles says:

    i got a taco pizza with tomateos on it, i dont like tomateos so i gave one to my dog and he loved them and then he ate all of it on the 2 pieces, they are small, but he probablly ate 10 of them, can this hurt him in anyway?

  3. Phillip says:

    My dog a pitbull ate a pink brandywine, very ripe and loved it. Its not the first time he had ate a tomatoe straight out of my garden. Just wondering if I should discourage this type of behavior, if it brings him happiness and hopefully nutrition?

    • J.Lee says:

      In general, tomatoes are safe – it’s the green leaves we’re more worried about, and it’s typically in large, chronic ingestions!

  4. Petra says:

    Yesterday we had to take our 17 months old galgo español pup to the vet because he had been on and off sick, diarrhea, vomiting, had lost 5 pounds and had not been his lively self.
    While we couldn’t think of anything that he had gotten into while we talked to the vet, we realized on the way home that he had been playing and eating the cherry tomatoes that had fallen of the plant.
    More than once I had to throw out half chewed up green, unripe tomatoes.

    • Petra says:

      Several months later now and I have to add, our boy had clearly getting into the green, unripe cherry tomatoes and clearly had been eating them for weeks.
      After taking out the plants, he felt better right away.
      Unfortunately, there is permanent damage, he now has Inflammatory Bowel Disease.
      So it is not just large animals that will get in trouble.
      Our galgo is a young sighthound without any fat on his body. This makes that he reacts to all kinds of things more direct than many other breeds that have a bit more body fat by nature.

  5. Jennifer says:

    My italian greyhound loves!!! tomatoes. it is the leaves and branches that are bad for them! The red, ripe tomatoes should not be a problem , best if they are ripe.

  6. Chris says:

    My Alaskan Husky pulled a green tomato off my plant and ate the whole thing, I ve seen her pull them off before but never eat the whole thing just smash it, she has been very hungry after recovery from a tumor surgery, is this green tomato toxic?

  7. Gigi says:

    My dog picks the tomatoes off the plant and eats them. I have some sitting on the window sill and one fell and he took it to save for later. I don’t let him eat the whole thing, but he does get a few bites before I even notice what’s happening.

  8. kim says:

    I feed my chihuahuas chicken which cover with tomato sauce just to feed them with their antibiotics. Its just a small pieces. Is the chicken cover with tomato sauce be harmful to them?

    • J.Lee says:

      Tomatoes – in the green, unripe form – are typically what’s poisonous. However, this is more of a “large animal” thing – in other words, cows grazing on them in large amounts.

  9. cherry says:

    my dog ginger love spaghetti, with tomato sauce and tomato paste.. earlier today i am eating it.. then she wants it.. i loved here so much so i shared my spaghetti with her.. she enjoeyd it..and ate it all… is it harmful to her???

    • Shae says:

      Pure tomato sauce should be okay for your dog, however if it contains garlic or onion it is toxic to dogs.

  10. Michele says:

    I took our 15 yr old Shit Zu, Daisy to the Vets today as we suspected she had had a siezure. After blood tests and full check up the Vet asked if she had anything toxic which may have been in the yard. We then realised she had been eating our cherry tomatoes GREEN never thinking anything of it. Daisy was suffering from diarrhea, weakness, poor
    co ordination,loss of balance. The Vet then went and confirmed the effects from eating the upripe tomatoes.It was a better outcome than we were expecting but very surprising. Daisy is back to her normal happy self but requires monitoring for further possible siezures.Plants will be moved out of Daisy’s reach.

  11. Brenda Tucker says:

    I make my oun wet dog food
    Cooked beef
    Cooked chicken breast
    Cooked oatmeal
    Cup of cooked rice
    Lg can if drained sweet potatoes
    Drained can of green beans
    Can of diced carrotss
    Can of drained peas
    Cup of pumpkin
    Is anything here unhealthy for my pups?

    • Hi Brenda,
      While none of the ingredients are toxic, the meal is not nutritionally balanced and needs the appropriate calcium and phosphorus ratio. We’d recommend contacting a vet nutritionalist to identify what dog vitamins and minerals to supplement with the meal.
      Hope that helps!
      Pet Poison Helpline

    • john says:

      watch for salt in canned food when feeding it to dogs

  12. natasha says:

    My beagle Harvey loves tomatoes. He will sit and beg if I’m eating salad, so I always give him a few bits of tomato. He also loves banana, apple, broccoli, carrots, sweet melon and avocado proper little omnivore :-) he has been known to eat foliage off all my plants outside as I grow things in pots and even steals the occasional mouthful of compost!!! Sometimes I wonder if he was a goat in a past life!

    • neha says:

      i have heard that avacados are poisonous and can even be fatal to dogs
      please refer to this website

      The fruit, pit and plant are all toxic. The toxic ingredient in avocado is called persin. They can cause difficulty breathing and fluid accumulation in the chest, abdomen and heart, vomiting, diarrhea, death, inflammation of mammary glands, cardiac failure, respiratory distress, generalized congestion, abdominal enlargement.”

      • J.Lee says:

        This is why you should only trust the experts in the field. The toxin in persin, but it’s NOT toxic to dogs – only birds and ruminants (sheep, goats, cows, etc.). Please make sure you’re using reputable websites based on the topic!

        • Joan says:

          Regardless of what J.Lee says… and regardless of what the actual toxin is called… avocados are, indeed, toxic to dogs. Please reference this list by the American Veterinary Medical Association. That should be credible enough to meet J.Lee’s requirements: Don’t feed your dogs avocado. And, as J.Lee suggests, do not rely on unreliable sources, like J.Lee.

          • There is a lot of confusion on this topic. We’ll try to clear the air a bit. Poisoning by both Hass and Fuerte avocados has been well documented in many species including birds, rabbits, and goats. However, veterinary toxicologists do not yet know if avocado is truly “toxic” to dogs. To date, there has only been one suspected case involving dogs that lived on a ranch in Nairobi, Kenya with access to avocado trees (and fallen fruit). Approximately one year after living on the ranch, two dogs became very ill and one died. The second was treated at the University Veterinary Teaching Hospital for congestive heart failure (a sign of avocado poisoning in some other species). The dog owners told the veterinarians that the dogs had a “fondness” for avocado and may have been consuming fallen fruit for many months. Therefore, the veterinarians who treated these dogs opted to publish this case in order to inform other vets that chronic consumption of avocado may be problematic for dogs; however, they clearly stated that it was only “possible” that the dogs developed illness from avocado, not that it was definitive poisoning. There are many other reasons dogs may develop heart failure. So, given this reported case, we cannot yet clearly say whether or not avocados are “toxic” to dogs. If anything, they may be harmful if ingested over a long period of time.

            Despite the fact that we don’t truly know if avocados are “toxic” to dogs, there are other good reasons not to feed this food to dogs. First, if swallowed, the large pit may cause a bowel obstruction and require surgical removal. Not good. Second, the high fat content may cause pancreatitis in dogs. Also not good. However, significant harm is not expected in most healthy dogs who simply get a quick nibble of the fruit or peel.

  13. mike says:

    My late pug Buddy (RIP!)loved the tommy toe tomatoes!!! I would feed them to him every couple of days when we went outside during the summer. When I asked him if he wanted a tomato, you could almost see his expression light up as if to say “Yes, I love those little red things!!” I now have a Shih Tzu and plan on introducing him to the joys of those small delights!!

  14. sheetal says:

    i have a golden retriever he is 1 years can i give him i tomato everyday

  15. Miranda mccall says:

    I gave my rat terrier a slice of a large tomato and he is shaking is it because of the tomato or something else (he’s never shook before )

  16. Emily smith says:

    I gave my dachshund a couple of prices of sliced tomato and wasn’t sure if it was poisonous. I just know the green leaves are. Is it ok to give him more of them in the future?

  17. Diane says:

    My dog raids the garden for tomatoes. I had to build a fence to keep him out. I still feed him the occasional cherry tomatoe and he loves them. No ill effects. He’s large (75+ lbs) and they’re ripe tomatoes. I’d never heard this before.

  18. Jack Johnson says:

    My English Springer Spanial loved green tomatoes and picked every one he could get from two tomato plants as they become available. He didn’t eat the leaves, but pulled them all off the plant after getting angry there were no more tomatoes. This was two years ago. He suffered no ill effects that I ever noticed. He’s gone now, but was 14 when this beautiful and wonderful dog left this world.

  19. Mira says:

    My dog ate a couple of ripe red tomatoes and they were pretty big and i do not know if she ate any of the leaves im so worried. Help!

  20. Karen says:

    We are babysitting a French bulldog and he ate some green tomatoes. Will this hurt him. Not sure how many he ate.

  21. […] in it to dogs because tomatoes can be poisonous for dogs and lead to hemolytic anemia. However, Pet Poison Helpline explains that tomatoes actually aren’t that dangerous for dogs to eat. They add that while […]

  22. Jeanne says:

    My 18 pound pug loves tomatoes. I grow a cherry tomato plant just for her every summer, every morning she will go outside and pick 1 (always just one) and eat it. She waits until they’re ripe. I expect that some dogs, like some people, are sensitive to tomatoes or various other things. (She also will snag an onion if I drop one while chopping, never had any ill effects from that either). Relax people!

  23. kelly says:

    my beagle just ate over 8 oz of salsa
    any suggestions????

    • Pam says:

      Our Cockapoo has loved getting bits of ripe tomatoes as a treat all her life and she will steal them whole off the vine if she gets a chance. She’s been very healthy and is turning 16 in a few weeks. They obviously have not a problem for her!

  24. Elena says:

    Our golden loves tomatoes only from the garden but not that from grosery.

  25. jill says:

    I think my beagle has been getting into the tomato plants…not sure. She has been looking sick for the last 2 diarrhea or vomit though. She is still eating. Brought her into the vet yesterday her vitals are okay. They couldn’t figure out what was wrong said probably just a tummy ache. If it was because of the tomatoes will she be okay as long as I monitor her to make sure she stops eating them?

  26. Steve says:

    DOGS LOVE TOMATOES!! THEY ARE AMAZING FOR DOGS. I just had to put that in all caps.. if tomatoes were toxic to dogs they would all be dead. Every dog I have ever owned loves tomatoes. Green tomatoes, leaves, etc are poisonous to every mammal including humans. A plump red ripe tomato is amazing for the health of your dog. My picky Pomeranians absolutely love tomatoes. I have to but tomatoes and put pieces in every meal just to get them to eat. Tomatoes will do nothing but boost the health of your dog. I just dont want people worrying. Could you imagine one day without tomatoes? Just something to think about.

  27. Beammy and Daddy says:

    Ran out of dog food last night and gave my Westie milk and also tomatoes after and then gave my ridgeback milk and 2 raw eggs, is that bad for them?

  28. Mark says:

    My dog os a boston terror in our back yard we have cherri tomatoes. He keeps eating them is it bad???

    • No, cherry tomatoes are not typically bad for dogs. In fact, they can make great low calorie treats! In moderation, it’s fine to allow your dog to eat these from the garden. If he eats large amounts, you may see a little tummy upset.

  29. Moose says:

    One of our farm dogs is a little piggy when it comes to food. She eats her dog food and forages in the pasture and garden for livestock feed, horse poop, cat poop, rabbit poop, red tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, carrots and pumpkin blossoms. If the Fall she digs through the compost for rotting vegetables. But her favorite is if we burn the yard in the Fall, and there are any “roasted” vegetable bits left over. She comes in the house in the winter with a smile on her soot covered face!

  30. Mabel says:

    Our shih poo loves to eat cucumber.I washed and gave her the whole size of it three times a week. She stopped eating if she’s tired and full.Is it bad for her health? How about cheese?

  31. Katie says:

    My dog loooovess tomatoes. Duh, don’t eat the leaves and stems! That is not the part the dogs like! I always knew they were healthy for him if they were ripe. He likes anything with tomatoes it is so cute. I wish they had some tomato products for dogs out there because he loves tomato soup, puree, paste and sauce on his food.

  32. Tom says:

    My Dog is obsessed with tomatoes. He gets a couple cherry tomatoes every day. He has never been so healthy and happy. These tomatoes are great for training and boosting his health. Great article!

  33. Kristine says:

    How much of a tomato plant would a 40 pound dog need to ingest before having serious symptoms?

  34. I’m always leary of feeding my dog certain fruits and veggies. I usually stick to raw carrots. Thanks for the information!

  35. It is November. I was just outside with my Brittany and noticed he was chewing a piece of a tomato plant stem from the long-dead garden. He didn’t seem to be ingesting it, but I still made him drop it stat! Are the dead, dried out stalks and stems of tomato plants as toxic as when they were alive?

  36. monica hardy says:

    My 8 month old puppy started eating the tomatos in the garden along with the stalks and leaves when she was approximately 5 months old. I had no idea that green tomatoes were toxic. She started showing signs of what we thought were seizures (uncoordinated, wobbling, shakey head, confusion, vomiting,and uncontrollable urination as she would lay down and pee all over). My mother was watching her behavior one day and noticed her in the garden. She researched tomatoes on the internet and she ripped out all the plants. My heart is breaking for our precious puppy, she is so upset and at this moment is recovering from the side effects. She whines and tries her best to walk but wobbles and then collapses. This morning she had 2 bowel movements and there was blood in it. There were globs of bloody mucus on the floor. I wish I was wealthy so I could have all tests run and treatment. I pray and wish our precious Nani to recover 100%.

  37. Lexa says:

    My Peke has been eating tomatoes for about 8 years now & she LOVES them and hasn’t had any adverse symptoms or problems. I dice ripe tomatoes very small for her and include it with her regular dry dog food to help her against constipation. She also eats cucumbers, broccoli (cooked), apples, LOOOOOVES oranges & mandarins and not a big fan of bananas…ever. If I don’t give her some kind of veggies/fruit with her food she tends to be constipated and I don’t want her developing hemorrhoids from trying so hard. Other than these things she does not eat people food. This year she turns 10 and several people have told me that they thought she was younger because of her energy levels and coat. I would like to think that she looks ‘good’ cuz she’s happy :)

  38. Lauren says:

    my dog is a mini or toy poodle and he got his lil paws on a plate of tomato sauce for pasta, wil he be okay?

  39. Hannah says:

    Iv got baby plum tomatoes was wounderibh big ok to give to my husky mix German shepherd he got sensitive stomach so cnt giv him treats normally but just thought tomatoes are ok I know chicken is but don’t have any x

Leave a Reply