Well, the answer to this question is both yes and no. As there are many complexities associated with the tomato as a portion of food for the dog, being careful is a must for the dog owners. Generally, tomatoes are not harmful to humans, but many dog owners are always querying about the inclusion of the tomato in the dog’s diet.
How can tomatoes be dangerous for the dog?
Tomatoes are composed of many elements. But there is one substance or a component in it that is known as Solanine. Solanine is highly dangerous for dogs. We have rarely heard of Solanine’s adverse reaction in humans specifically. But this compound indeed is found harmful, particularly for dogs.
What is Solanine?
Solanine is a toxin present in vegetables like eggplant, potato, and tomato. These are the plants that are from the Genus Solanum. The Solanine is mostly present in the leaves, stem, and tubers, along with the vegetable itself.
Reactions from solanine poisoning can be observed first in the gastrointestinal functions, and it also causes neurological disorders. Its intake may lead to cardiac disease, headache, dizziness, nausea, itching, eczema, joint pain, etc. The more severe symptoms may lead to the death of the dog. According to research, a dose of two to five mg/ per kg of body weight may lead to the end.
Solanine in Tomatoes:
The Californian Poison Control Systems has reported that the tomatoes contain Solanine. But there is another department Mendel Friedman of the United States has opposed this claim. Harold McGee, a food science writer, stated a scarce chance of toxicity in animals and humans as far as its presence in the tomatoes is concerned.
One thing that is quite interesting in this reference is that those tomatoes that ripen have a low quantity of Solanine in them, then those that are not fully ripening. So, the tomatoes that are fully mature and are without the stem and the leaves attached to them are safe for the dogs in this sense.
Tomatine Poisoning agent in the Tomatoes:
Tomatine is a white crystalline solid. Tomatine is also known as Lycopersicon. It is a chemical compound known as Glycoalkaloid. Glycoalkaloid is seen in the tomatoes’ stems and the leaves.
Adverse Reactions of the Solanine:
Solanine may affect the dog’s health in the following ways;
- Gastrointestinal upset
- Cardiac effects
- Loss of coordination
- Muscle weakness
How are tomatoes suitable for the Dogs?
As we all know that tomatoes are healthy, especially in breakfast, so that it is equally healthy for the animals, including the dogs. Following are the properties of the tomatoes that is why they are so beneficial.
- The tomatoes contain carotenoids, namely alpha and beta carotene, lycopene, and lutein. These are the beneficial antioxidants that help to enhance immunity and the ability to combat the diseases.
- One of the antioxidants, “Lycopene,” is available in a generous amount in the tomatoes; that is why tomatoes are a rich source of this antioxidant.
- Tomatoes have been proved to have the ability to reduce the risk of prostate cancer.
- Besides that, tomatoes have also been useful in reducing the risk of pancreatic cancer. Research on tomatoes has shown that the antioxidant “lycopene” is proved to decrease pancreatic cancer to up to 31 percent.
- Tomatoes are rich in Vitamin A, vitamin E, and vitamin C.
- A cup of tomato juice is found to have 534 milligrams of Potassium in it. So, for this, we can say that tomato is a rich source of Potassium.
- According to Ohio University research, the combination of tomatoes and healthy fats increases carotenoid absorption in the body.
- Mediterranean diet has been proved as the healthiest diet in the world. It is a food norm of the ancient people, to which the inhibitors of this land have followed for centuries. Tomato is one of the critical ingredients of the Mediterranean dishes. Research on those who have followed the Mediterranean diet has shown low heart disease and a lower risk of cancer.
How are Tomatoes Bad for the Dogs?
The culprit is Solanine. Those who have dogs in their houses and at the same time they also have a tomato plant in their kitchen garden could face trouble at the time when their dog eats the unripe tomato or the tomato plant like its leaves and stems etc., as they are rich in this toxin substance. So, it is better to avoid keeping both at the same place. Even if you serve them with food containing the tomato puree or the tomato sauces, they could also be dangerous equally as they could also lead to adverse reactions.
Causes of Tomato Poisoning in Dogs?
The agent solanine, when eaten by a dog, causes poisoning in them. It irritates the stomach and the dog’s intestinal lining that results in a gastrointestinal upset in them.
Diagnosis of the Tomato Poisoning in the Dogs:
A diagnosis of the dog in the clinic becomes essential when you find some difference in his activity. The veterinarian doctor will examine whether the dog is drooling more than usual or not. Diarrhea or some vomit signs will also make this clear to the doctor to find about what the dog has eaten. Some of the tests for finding the internal bacterial growth will be necessary to clear any doubts in this regard.
A complete CBC to check the blood count will also be required or packed cell volume will also be useful to find the hydration level in the dog. The urinalysis test will also be helpful to examine the kidney’s function further.
Besides, if the dog shows any abnormality of the heart function, it will become necessary for the doctor to go for the ECG.
Treatment of Tomato Poisoning in the Dogs:
It is required to start the fluid therapy of the dog, which involves the electrolytes. This is helpful to stop dehydration in the dog. And will help to flush out the toxin substance from the body.
The pet’s doctor will try to put the dog on the monitoring equipment immediately to bring back his heart rate to normal.
It is a process that involves pumping the stomach. It will be useful to use when the dog does not vomit. The doctor, in this process, will place a tube through the food path into the stomach.
In the cases where the doctor finds the dog in a severe condition and unease in breathing, he will try to create an emergency airway for this case to prevent asphyxiation.
How to give Tomatoes to the Dogs?
It is normal to give the dogs the food items that you have on your dining table. But be aware of the tomatoes. You must check that;
- These should fully ripen, red-colored, and without any part of the stem or the leaf.
- You should also avoid giving tomatoes to them along with the salt as it is not healthy for them
- You need to check the ready to eat tomato purees or sauces before serving them to your dog. Read what kind of ingredients and cautions are given on the can. It will be useful to make these sauces on your own in the home. It is recommended not to provide them with especially the pasta sauce as it is full of other harmful ingredients for your dog.
- As far as the tomato ketchup is concerned, some brands contain the agent “Xylitol” in them. It is a substitute agent for sugar. Xylitol is extremely harmful to dogs. If they take it mistakenly, they must be treated soon, as it absorbs in the blood rapidly and results in the pet’s instant death.
- You should be aware of the source of the product. Like from where have these tomatoes come? Knowing this will help you a lot to keep your dog healthy. As in many cases, there are many pesticides and chemicals found on the tomatoes’ skin.
So, in conclusion, we have established that tomatoes are an okay thing to give your dog, but one thing which we say in all our articles is that moderation and clean feeding be practiced. There can be a lot of things that can harm your dog if you do not feed it the diet it needs and replace its diet with some alternate diet.
These are a few of the frequently asked questions regarding this topic.
Can tomatoes hurt my dog?
Tomatoes can certainly be fatal for your dog. The tomatoes contain an alkaloid called tomatine that can cause harm to your dog. But the good news is that this substance gets metabolized as the tomato gets ripened. So, if your dog has tomatoes that are fully ripening, then do not worry. Let them enjoy this nutritious vegetable.
Can my dog have cooked tomatoes?
The same is the case with the cooked tomatoes. If they ripen ones, then they are right. Avoid cooking the unripe and then giving these to the dog.