Can Labradors Eat Tomatoes?

Tomatoes are one of the most popular vegetables in America. They’re delicious and nutritious, and many people enjoy eating them raw or cooked (tomato sauce, etc). Now the question is, can Labradors eat tomatoes? 

Well, here is your answer; Yes and No! 

Moderate consumption of ripe red tomatoes is safe for dogs. Nightshade plants such as tomatoes contain natural chemicals called solanine and tomatine, especially in the stems and leaves of the plant. If you feed your pet anything other than ripe tomatoes, both can be harmful in large quantities.

Are Tomatoes Poisonous for Dogs?

No, tomatoes are generally not poisonous for dogs. However, they can be toxic if eaten in large quantities. Leafy greens, fruit blossoms, and small green tomatoes have tomatine concentrations as high as 5% – Do not let your labrador have tomato plants. 

“Solanine is toxic and has fungicidal and pesticidal properties, and it is one of the plant’s natural defenses. It can occur naturally in any part of the plant, including the leaves, fruits, and tubers. Tomatine, which has fungicidal properties, is toxic and found in the stems and leaves of tomato plants. Some microbes produce an enzyme called tomatinase, which can degrade tomatine, rendering it ineffective as an antimicrobial.”

Source: https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/neuroscience/solanine

Can Dogs Eat Tomato Plants?

Dogs should not eat tomatoes plants. The concentration of solanine and tomatine is much higher in the actual plants than in a ripe tomato. So, if your labrador consumes more significant parts of a nightshade plant (tomato), including its leaves, vines, or roots, he will most likely get sick.

Avoid tomato plants as those have a much higher concentration of solanine and tomatine. Small, unripe tomatoes also have high enough levels of tomatine to be potentially dangerous to dogs. Large quantities could cause gastrointestinal irritation, ataxia, and weakness.

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What about ketchup, tomato sauce, and other tomato-based products?

Ketchup and other tomato-based are harmless to your Labrador. They do not contain solanine and tomatine in substantial concentrations. Of course, we do not want to give our furry friends too much sugar or fat, but tomatoes themselves have no adverse effects on their health.

So, yes, Labradors could safely consume ketchup or other tomato-based products (in moderation)! 

read.. are carrots good for labradors?

Can Dogs Be Allergic To Tomatoes?

some tomatoes

Yes, dogs can be allergic to tomatoes. The same as us humans can be allergic to certain foods. The same is true for our canine friends.

It’s important to know what foods cause allergies in your dog so you can avoid those ingredients. If you are unsure if your dog is allergic to some ingredient, don’t go all-in on a new diet for your pub.

read.. can Labradors eat Pineapple?

Start small and add new food into their diet gradually over time. This way, you can easily detect if your dog has a reaction to an ingredient and quickly identify which ingredients to avoid.

Signs of Tomato Poisoning in Dogs

The signs of tomato poisoning include vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, and seizures. If you suspect that your labrador has poisoned itself, you need to immediately take him to the vet.

How to Diagnose Tomato Poisoning in Dogs?

If you suspect your dog has poisoned itself, contact your vet immediately. Ingestion of stems, vines, and green fruit can cause gastrointestinal irritation, ataxia, and weakness. Contact your vet if you notice that your dog reacts to certain foods.

Treatment of Tomato Poisoning in Dogs

The veterinarian will decide on the proper treatment. In many cases, treatment is purely supportive. No extra medication is needed unless your dog develops severe symptoms. Make sure your labrador does not have further access to the plant, as solanine and tomatine are still present.

The best prevention is to keep your dog away from all parts of nightshade plants!

Recovery of Tomato Poisoning in Dogs

Good news, recovery in most cases won’t take long – only 1 to 2 days! But it depends on how much was consumed. Sometimes, even after being treated with antiemetics, some pets still vomit because of the severity of the problem.

The tomato plant is moderately toxic but has an excellent chance of recovering fully. Your dog will recover very well with supportive therapies such as fluids from some of the most common symptoms, such as gastrointestinal upset.

Do Tomatoes Have Health Benefits for Labradores?

Yes, tomatoes contain lycopene which has been proven to help prevent cancer (source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3850026/)

In addition, they also contain vitamin C, potassium, fiber, and folate. Ensure to feed only ripe tomatoes. Otherwise, the concentration of tomatine and solanine will be too high for your dog to handle.

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Are Tomatoes Good for Dogs Nutritionally?

Yes, they are! Tomatoes contain high levels of lycopene which helps protect against cancer. They also have vitamin C, potassium, folate, and fiber.

Here are the nutrients in a small (100-gram) raw tomato

  • Calories: 18
  • Water: 95%
  • Protein: 0.9 grams
  • Carbs: 3.9 grams
  • Sugar: 2.6 grams
  • Fiber: 1.2 grams
  • Fat: 0.2 grams

Source: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/foods/tomatoes/

How to Safely Share Tomatoes with your Dog?

To safely share tomatoes with your dog, first wash them thoroughly. Then cut off the stem and bottom part of each tomato. Make sure to only feed ripe tomatoes – do not feed green tomatoes or any part of the tomato plant. 

Summary

Labradors love to eat just about anything. They will happily chow down on fruits, vegetables, meats, fish, and eggs. They also enjoy eating nuts, seeds, and grains. However, be careful when you feed them tomatoes.

This is because unripe tomatoes and tomato plants contain toxins called “tomatine” and “solanine.” Those can cause stomach upset, nausea, and vomiting. This toxicity shouldn’t be fatal but could lead to temporary health problems such as gastrointestinal irritation, ataxia, and weakness.

If you let them only have ripe tomatoes, you should not encounter any problems whatsoever. In fact, tomatoes are perfect for dogs nutritionally, containing many nutrients such as lycopene, a powerful antioxidant that can help prevent cancer.