The quick answer: Yes, dogs can eat a ripe tomato so long as the stem and leaves, which are toxic, are removed.
Benefits of tomatoes
Tomatoes are a low-calorie food that are high in fiber, folate, vitamin C and potassium. They contain lycopene, which is good for the heart, and beta-carotene, which is good for the eyes. But your dog doesn’t necessarily need to get these nutrients from a tomato; most pets fulfill their nutritional requirements through other foods like peas, carrots, sweet potatoes, and meat. Tomatoes are safe to feed in moderation but added fruits and veggies should only make up a small portion of your dog’s diet - no more than 10-20%.
Tomatoes are part of the nightshade family, which means the plants contain some components, like solanine, that are harmful to certain animals. Solanine is toxic to dogs in large quantities and is mostly concentrated in the green parts of a tomato plant, including the stem, leaves, and unripe tomatoes. This means that ripe, red tomatoes are safe to feed to dogs. Tomato poisoning is rare, but the common symptoms associated with it are:
Though it’s safe to feed your pup bites of washed, fresh, ripe tomatoes, other tomato products can be hazardous. Tomato soups, juices, and sauces typically contain added salt, sugar, artificial flavors, or other ingredients like garlic or onion which are toxic to dogs.
If you grow tomatoes in your garden, keep your pup (and your tomatoes) safe by fencing off the tomatoes or keeping close watch on your dog when he’s in the garden.
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