Can Dogs Eat Cherry Tomatoes? Find Out If It Is Safe For Them

Aashita Dhingra
Oct 20, 2023 By Aashita Dhingra
Originally Published on Nov 03, 2021
bernse mountain dog portrait in winter
Age: 3-18
Read time: 12.1 Min

Ripe cherry tomatoes or grape tomatoes are safe for dogs to consume in moderation.

Cherry tomatoes are said to be safe for a dog’s gut and body. The major difference between regular fresh tomatoes and cherry tomatoes is the size and taste.

Are you confused about whether cherry tomatoes are safe for your dog or not? The answer is yes! Cherry tomatoes are safe for your dog if given in moderation. Dogs eat cherry tomatoes and love them. Dogs can consume ripe cherry tomatoes as it is a safe option. However, many doctors do not advise adding cherry tomatoes to your dog’s diet on a regular basis as it can be harmful to it to have in larger quantities.

Cherry tomatoes have many health benefits if taken in the proper amount. Fresh tomatoes contain lycopene that reduces the risk of cancer and other heart diseases. Your dog can eat tomatoes in limited quantities. Dogs can also eat cherry tomatoes, you just have to be more careful. An appropriate amount of tomatoes can even enhance your dog’s health. Dogs can eat fresh red tomatoes with ease because they are soft enough to be chewed properly but make sure you cut them into smaller pieces to remove any chances of a choking hazard.

Dogs may also eat cooked tomatoes or tomato sauces but make sure they are without any additives or flavor enhancers that are toxic to dogs. Onion, garlic, salt, and pepper, should not be present in the cooked tomatoes or tomato sauce. Moreover, ensure that the quantity of cooked tomatoes or tomato sauces in the diet is properly monitored. When it comes to canned tomatoes, it is a strict no. Do not feed your dogs canned tomatoes as they are high in sodium leading to salt poisoning or extreme dehydration.

To know more about what your dog can or cannot eat, you may take a look at can dogs eat oatmeal and can dogs eat cake.

What is tomatine poisoning?

Cherry tomatoes belong to the nightshade family that is Solanaceae. This particular family of plants consists of many toxic plants. Almost every plant including the tomato plant has toxicity which can be harmful to dogs' health. These plants contain many alkaloids that can be dangerous for animals including dogs even when consumed in low doses.

This is the reason why it is not recommended for dogs to consume cherry tomatoes on a regular basis. If you want to feed your dog with tomatoes because of its health benefits, try to provide your dog with ripe red tomatoes which are finely chopped to avoid choking. If your dog has eaten a full tomato without chewing, it can also cause difficulty in breathing. Fresh ripe tomatoes will do wonders rather than underripe tomatoes while providing enough nutrients to your dog. When the tomato ripens, it facilitates healthy digestion within the gut and promotes healthy body balance. Dogs must eat only red ripe tomatoes every time you decide to feed them tomatoes but you need to keep a check over the amount which needs to be consumed.

Cherry tomatoes contain alkaloids like alpha tomatine and solanine which can harm the dog’s body very fast. Though, the ripe cherry tomatoes which are red in color do not have very high quantities of both the alkaloids and can be given to your dog in limited portions. Moderate quantities of cherry tomatoes are safe for dogs. Tomatine poisoning or tomato poisoning refers to the condition of the high amount of tomatine in the animal’s body. Due to the high consumption of cherry tomatoes, the amount of tomatine alkaloids ranges to the peak level affecting the organs of the dog’s body. This poisoning can be dangerous for your dog if left untreated. The common symptoms of tomatine poisoning in dogs include vomiting, diarrhea, nauseous, gastrointestinal tract problems affecting the gut, lower appetite, and can also cause cardiac effects and problems. However, dogs can eat cherry tomato which is smaller in size with much joy.

The symptoms of tomatine poisoning occur early and if you notice any of them in your dog for consecutive days, contact your vet immediately and take your dog for proper treatment. Untreated poisoning can also cause severe health issues for your dog. Tomatine poisoning or tomato poisoning can also cause the death of your pup but in rare cases. The reason for such severe effects is the absence of exact symptoms during the first stages.

Apart from the common symptoms, you can also check for the physical symptoms in your dog with time. As tomatine poisoning causes muscle loss, you will notice your dog’s activity falling day by day. If your dog is poisoned with tomatine alkaloid, it will gradually lose its speed and fast response to any situation. Look for seizures on its body and the coordination of your dog while doing daily life tasks. You will notice your dog will have less sense of coordination and stay confused with the usual things it used to do earlier.

Are tomatoes bad for dogs?

Consuming ripe cherry tomatoes or grape tomatoes in a limited quantity can cause no harm to your dog. But if the levels of solanine and tomatine increase inside your dog’s body, it can cause severe problems to your dog’s health. Some parts of the tomato plant have a high amount of alkaloids that can react with the dog’s body resulting in several problems and issues with its health. These green parts of the tomato plant have the highest amount of alkaloids in them. Feeding your dog a tomato promotes a healthy lifestyle by reducing heart diseases and cancer risks. Dogs eat tomatoes that are smaller in size because of the ease of swallowing them.

Some green parts of the tomato like the green leafy part of the cherry tomatoes are unripe. The unripe part of the plant contains large quantities of solanine. When your dog consumes green unripe parts of tomatoes in extreme quantities, the solanine alkaloid reacts with the dog’s body resulting in poisoning. This alkaloid poisoning can affect the gut and organs of your dog’s body. Even the foliage part of the tomato plants has a high amount of solanine. So, if your pup is eating a high amount of solanine, there will be no surprise if it suffers from solanine poisoning. Another reason for cherry tomatoes to be considered as bad or not good for dogs is their size.

Cherry tomatoes are smaller in size as compared to the regular ones. However, there is a chance that your dog might not chew the ripe tomatoes given to them and gulp the whole tomato at once. This act causes your dog to choke on the ripe tomato in the food pipe which can cause difficulty in breathing. Give your dog finely chopped ripe red cherry tomatoes to avoid this situation. Cherry tomatoes are safe for your dog if given in appropriate amounts. Keep your dog on a proper diet so it can stay happy and full of joy.

Dogs can suffer from really bad conditions if you do not take care of what your pup is eating for the whole day. These are some of the basic and most common reasons that are seen in many dogs. Not only in dogs, but many humans also suffer from such poisoning and end up lying in casualties. Many human foods also contain a high amount of tomatoes that cause tomatine poisoning. This reason would be enough to make you understand that high consumption of cherry tomatoes is bad for dogs. Giving your dog cherry tomatoes in an appropriate amount is recommended.

Pet dog

Treatment Of Tomatine Poisoning

Tomatine is an alkaloid that is toxic in nature. The toxic substance is present in green tomatoes, leaves, stems, and green parts of tomato plants. Tomatine causes severe effects on the gut of your dog. Not only dogs, but humans also suffer from tomatine poisoning. Tomatine poisoning occurs when there is very high consumption of tomatoes, especially unripe cherry tomatoes.

Ripe red tomatoes have a lower concentration of such toxic alkaloids, but unripe green tomatoes have high amounts of these toxic substances. Tomatine poisoning can be treated at home in earlier stages and also under the professional supervision of doctors. Dogs who eat ripe tomatoes are at a lower risk of getting affected by tomatine poisoning.

Tomatine poisoning is caused because of the high concentration of tomatine toxic alkaloid substances in the body. Cherry tomatoes belong to the nightshade family where most of the plants have toxic characteristics. Dogs might want to eat tomato sauce if they like the smell and taste of this condiment. Moreover, licking tomato sauce might excite some dogs who enjoy feeding on tomatoes. Dogs like to eat red tomatoes that are smaller in size because they are easier to eat but eating whole tomatoes might create choking issues, so it is advisable to chop them into finer pieces to remove the chances of any hazards from eating tomatoes.

If you witness any symptoms of tomatine poisoning in dogs, first try to find the cause of the ailment. Tomatine poisoning can occur from unripe tomatoes, green tomato leaves, and stems of the tomato plants. The poisoning can occur due to frequent tomatoes in the diet or the use of tomatoes in the food provided to the dog. The usage of tomatoes can thus be avoided to prevent poisoning. Finding the cause can help you to select the treatment procedure. If the problem of the poisoning is mild, it can be treated at home itself.

Try to figure out if your dog also has an allergic reaction when tomatine is consumed by them. If it has, remove cherry tomatoes from its diet completely. If a dog with allergic reactions continues to eat cherry tomatoes, it will end up having serious medication problems. Unripe cherry tomatoes are harder to get digested within the digestive system of a dog’s body.

If you are observing the irritation and uneasy behavior of your dog after eating cherry tomatoes, make the cherry tomatoes flush out from its body by using a normal vomit inducer. In this way, unripe green tomatoes can be taken out from its stomach. In some cases, if the vomit inducer does not help, try to feed natural acidic foods and fruits rich in vitamin C to your dog. Fruits like oranges and lemon have high amounts of vitamin C in them. The acidic food will release acid inside the dog’s stomach and the alkaline nature of the stomach will be balanced.

This act will help the level of tomatine in your dog’s body to become neutralized thus not affecting the body to severe issues. After trying to balance the tomatine content in the body, allow your dog to rest for some time. Resting will help your dog to reset its neutral body mechanism and regain its energy. Even after this much effort, if the symptoms of tomatine poisoning still occur, seek help from your dog’s doctor immediately. Constant symptoms can be a sign of severe complications which can be treated with proper medication and treatment under the vet’s guidance and check-ups.

Signs Of Tomatine Poisoning

Tomatine poisoning occurs due to unripe tomatoes which are green tomatoes and their green parts like leaves and stems. If you see any sign or symptom of tomatine poisoning in your dog’s body, you can look for some common symptoms associated with the poisoning occurring with the high consumption of tomatine alkaloids in the body. These signs and symptoms for tomatine poisoning include the following points:

Gastrointestinal tract issues - the GI tract or gastrointestinal tract is responsible for taking all the swallowed food to all the parts of the body to provide required nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. The high amount of tomatine alkaloid in the GI tract can cause the system to get upset which will affect its working efficacy. Unripe tomatoes are harder to digest in the digestive system and with an upset GI tract, it becomes highly difficult to absorb an adequate number of substances from the food and allow the waste food to be eliminated from the body.

Cardiac effects - the whole body can be affected. No doubt there are many health benefits of tomatoes. These health benefits of tomatoes allow the body of dogs to perform better. But the high number of alkaloids that are present in unripe tomatoes can cause the heart nerves to beat the heart in an uncontrollable way resulting in high blood pressure. The heartbeats become very fast and can also cause cardiac arrest in rare cases. It can also cause heart disease and stroke.

Loss of muscle - when the body stops getting the appropriate amount of nutrients, vitamins, and minerals, it will start shredding the muscles. As a result, dogs will lose their energy in high amounts. You will notice your dog has a lot of lethargy for the whole day. Unripe tomatoes cause more muscle loss than ripe red tomatoes due to the high amount of tomatine in them. As the muscles start to shred off gradually, it will also result in weakness in dogs. Weak muscles will prevent your dog from staying healthy and active.

Loss of appetite - as the previous food (tomatoes) was not digested in the body of the dog and the gastrointestinal tract is not working properly, dogs will lose their appetite to extreme levels. The amount of food your dog used to consume before will drop to very low levels because of the poisoning. This will also cause severe weakness in the body of dogs.

Allergic reactions - many dogs are allergic to tomatine and if your dog is allergic to the alkaloid present in cherry tomatoes, it will suffer from severe allergic reactions. These allergic reactions can also cause severe internal injuries to its organs.

Other side effects of dog eating tomatoes in large quantities include seizures, tremors, dilated pupils, muscle weakness, and lethargy for the entire day. A dog suffering from tomatine poisoning will also suffer from coordination problems. You will notice a loss of coordination to perform daily tasks. If you find any of these signs in your dog at any point in time, immediately contact your vet who can diagnose the cause of the symptoms and give your dog the right treatment accordingly.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for can dogs eat cherry tomatoes then why not take a look at can dogs eat okra, or Doberman facts.

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Written by Aashita Dhingra

Bachelors in Business Administration

Aashita Dhingra picture

Aashita DhingraBachelors in Business Administration

Based in Lucknow, India, Aashita is a skilled content creator with experience crafting study guides for high school-aged kids. Her education includes a degree in Business Administration from St. Mary's Convent Inter College, which she leverages to bring a unique perspective to her work. Aashita's passion for writing and education is evident in her ability to craft engaging content.

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