Can My Puppy Eat Tomatoes?

As a pet parent, you’ll have to make many decisions regarding your new puppy. One of the biggest is what to feed them, which can be challenging given there are so many choices.

With spring in the air and summer not far off, many puppy parents are getting their home gardens going. While having a garden doesn’t necessarily affect your puppy, the food you grow in your garden can.

For example, if you grow carrots, you can give them to your pup as a snack once they’re old enough and their teeth are strong enough. Although not ready till late in the season, pumpkin is also a great snack that puppies and dogs love.

I have a home garden, and as I was working on getting it ready the other day, I was reminded of a question that I get asked every year at this time; can my puppy eat tomatoes?

The answer is that you can give red, ripe tomatoes to your puppy in moderation. They must be ripe, though, and not green. The reason is that green tomatoes (and tomato leaves and stems) contain a natural chemical called solanine that’s toxic for dogs and puppies.

The chance that a puppy or dog would eat enough green tomatoes, stems, and leaves to become sick is very low. That being said, a very small puppy who accidentally eats too much could get seriously sick. (Not likely, but not impossible.)

Now that you know that your puppy can eat red, ripe tomatoes, I’m sure you have other questions about eating this healthy, popular nightshade. How many tomatoes can a puppy eat, for example, and can an 8-week-old puppy eat tomatoes? 

For the answers to those questions, read on. I’ve got them and several more below, great information for anyone who’s just become a new pet parent.

Are Tomatoes Poisonous for Dogs?

Red, ripe tomatoes have such a tiny amount of solanine that it’s not worth worrying about. They would need to eat a huge number of them to get genuinely sick.

If your dog or puppy were to eat many green tomatoes simultaneously, they could be poisonous. As I mentioned earlier, green tomatoes have a toxic substance called solanine that’s harmful to dogs. So do tomato plants, including the stems, leaves, and flowers.

However, it would be highly unusual for a puppy or dog to eat these parts of the tomato plant, let alone eat enough to cause any harm. (They taste truly horrible and are unpalatable.)

How Many Tomatoes Can a Puppy Eat?

If your puppy likes eating red, ripe tomatoes, you can certainly give them a wedge or two once in a while. I would suggest using the 90/10 rule, which states that 90% of your puppy’s food should come from their regular, daily kibble while the remaining 10% come from snacks and treats, including tomatoes.

For a small puppy, or even a large puppy, one or two tomato wedges a couple of times a week would not cause them any harm whatsoever in most situations.

Will One Tomato Hurt my Dog?

Eating an entire tomato, in most situations, won’t be harmful to a puppy of any size. The caveat is that the tomato would need to be red and ripe, not green. 

Green tomatoes could give your puppy an upset stomach. They would, however, have to eat much more than one green tomato to suffer any negative health consequences.

Can 8 Week Old Puppies Eat Tomatoes?

Veterinarians see no problem with giving an 8-week-old puppy a wedge or two of red, ripe tomato once in a while. Remember to follow the 90/10 rule and give them a small amount of tomato only occasionally.

An easy method to give your puppy tomatoes would be to give them a small tomato once or twice a week (if they like them, of course). Make sure that it’s completely red and ripe and that, if it’s small and round (like a cherry tomato), you cut it into smaller chunks so that it doesn’t pose a choking hazard.

Can Tomatoes give Dogs Diarrhea?

Yes, tomatoes can give dogs and puppies diarrhea, but they would have to be unripe green tomatoes. Also, they would have to eat a huge amount of green tomatoes to have any real gastrointestinal distress.

Depending on your puppy, if they were to eat many ripe, red tomatoes, it’s possible they could also have diarrhea, but not likely. Again, they would have to eat a huge number of them for any negative health consequences. 

Can Dogs Eat Cooked Tomatoes?

Yes, dogs and puppies can eat cooked tomatoes just as easily and safely as they can eat red, ripe, and raw tomatoes. However, you should not give cooked tomatoes to your puppy if they’ve been cooked with onions, garlic, and several other spices.

The reason is that onions, garlic, and several other types of spices are toxic for dogs and puppies, especially in high amounts. 

So, for example, giving your puppy your Italian grandmother’s pasta sauce, which is typically loaded with garlic and onions, is not recommended.  Also, most store-bought tomato sauces have the same toxic ingredients and high amounts of sugar and salt, which are unhealthy for your puppy.

Is it OK for Dogs to eat Cherry Tomatoes?

Red, ripe cherry tomatoes are no different from any other tomato and healthy to give to your puppy in moderation. The one caveat is that, because they’re small and round, if your puppy tried to swallow a cherry tomato whole, it could pose a choking risk.

For that reason, if you give your puppy cherry tomatoes, make sure that you cut them into smaller pieces that are easier to swallow and won’t get stuck in their throat.  

What are the Symptoms of Solanine Poisoning in Dogs?

If your puppy or dog were to eat many green tomatoes or tomato plants, it’s possible they could suffer from solanine poisoning. (The chance they would eat them is incredibly small, also.)

First off, green tomatoes are not palatable to dogs and puppies, so even if they had access, it’s unlikely they would try to eat them. You can say the same thing for a tomato plant, which tastes so disgusting that it would be highly unusual for a dog or puppy to eat any of it.

That being said, if your puppy or dog somehow ate enough to get solanine poisoning, they would present with the following symptoms:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Walking as if they’re drunk due to dizziness
  • Dilated pupils
  • Convulsions, tremors, and seizures
  • Agitation
  • Vomiting and diarrhea
  • Swelling around their face
  • Lethargy (lack of energy)
  • Foaming at the mouth or drooling excessively

There are other signs of solanine poisoning, but they’re hard to detect if you aren’t a veterinarian. They include:

  • Kidney failure
  • Heart problems, including cardiac dysrhythmia 
  • An abnormal body temperature

Final Thoughts 

Yes, your puppy can eat tomatoes as long as they are red and ripe. They can also eat cooked tomatoes as long as you don’t cook them with any ingredients toxic to dogs and puppies, including garlic, onion, and several others.

It’s best to follow the 90/10 rule and only give your puppy enough tomatoes to make up 10% of their daily nutrition. The other 90% should be their regular dog food or kibble.

Did you enjoy today’s blog about whether your puppy can eat tomatoes? I certainly hope you did and that all of your questions have been answered. 

Please see my other blogs if you have more or would like to learn more about being a pet parent. I’ve written about a wide variety of subjects related to how to raise a puppy, feed them, train them, and more. If this is your first time owning a puppy, it’s useful information that will help you and your puppy to have a long, happy, healthy relationship.