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Are tomatoes bad for dogs?

Species: Dog
Breed: Bichon Frise Mix
Age: 1-2 years
I have a question about dogs and tomatoes.

I accidentally fed my dog a few(maybe like 3 or 4) cherry tomatoes. I then remembered tomatoes were bad for dogs and now I'm freaking out! Is my dog in danger? Can dogs eat tomatoes?


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Hi and thanks for an interesting question!

I have no problem with feeding tomatoes to your dog. Tomatoes are not bad for dogs.

Tomatoes contain a substance called alpha-tomatine. It is found throughout the plant, but is much more concentrated in the leaves and stem. In the fruit, the level of alpha-tomatine is present in small amounts in the green unripened tomato and in tiny amounts in a ripened red tomato.

Tomatine can be toxic to the heart. However, a dog would have to eat a massive amount of tomato before the heart was affected. Additionally, the tomatine is very poorly absorbed by the intestinal tract.

It is more of a concern when cows get into tomato patches and munch away at lots of tomato plant leaves.

Some dogs can have some mild stomach upset from eating tomatoes, but that's about it.

I don't know of a case that has ever been reported of a dog suffering toxic effects from eating tomatoes.

So, the answer to "are tomatoes bad for dogs" is no.

Dr. Marie.

---This question was asked in our Ask A Vet For Free section.---


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Disclaimer: Although Dr. Marie is a qualified veterinarian, the information found on this site is not meant to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. AskAVetQuestion.com and Dr. Marie do not accept any responsibility for any loss, damage, injury, death, or disease which may arise from reliance on information contained on this site. Do not use information found on this site for diagnosing or treating your pet. Anything you read here is for information only.

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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

Is an online vet visit just as good as a trip to your veterinarian? No! But, many times, asking an online veterinarian a question can help save you money. While Dr. Marie can't officially diagnose your pet or prescribe medications, she can often advise you on whether a vet visit is necessary. You can also ask Dr. Marie for a second opinion on your pet's condition.