Can dogs eat tomatoes safely? The short answer is a little less clear than you may have thought… yes, and no. Some parts of a tomato plant are completely safe for dogs to consume. Other parts, though, can be extremely toxic.
Can dogs tolerate tomatoes? The answer depends on a number of factors, the most important of which is the size and constitution of your dog. Large dogs can handle moderate amounts of tomato extract, but small dogs may become distressed by the effects of larger quantities. Also, if your dog has some kind of problem with its gastrointestinal tract – whether that’s diarrhea, vomiting, lethargy, or even constipation, the presence of tomatoes in your garden may aggravate that problem.
Are there other nutritional benefits to eating tomatoes? Yes, in fact there are. Tomatoes contain a surprising number of vitamins and minerals. They are particularly rich in vitamin C – more so than most fruits. This vitamin helps prevent bleeding and some forms of cancer, and boosts the immune system. However, given their high acidity and relatively low concentrations of other nutrients, tomatoes are best enjoyed raw.
Can dogs eat tomatoes containing lycopene? A small amount of lycopene is found in many canned tomatoes. While this chemical is generally recognized as beneficial to human health, the body does not use it to its fullest extent. So, while it may help prevent cancer and improve cardiovascular health, it is not particularly helpful to dogs. In fact, only a very small percent of the total amount of lycopene found in ripe tomatoes is consumed by pets. So, if you insist, try to find fresh ripe tomatoes.
Can dogs get any health benefits from the stems? One of the most common health benefits of ripe tomatoes is their anti-inflammatory properties. As we age, our bodies produce fewer naturally effective pain relievers, and this can manifest itself in a number of ways. One way is to reduce joint or arthritic pain. So, for optimal support of your pet’s joints, give him or her a slice of ripe tomato a day.
Are there other ingredients to look for in a dog food that treats for canine allergies? Yes, there are. You should look for dry ingredients – none of which should be edible, such as corn or wheat. If a dog is allergic to one or more ingredients, you will want to avoid feeding them any food with those ingredients.