By Andrew Fischer
Can Labradors eat tomatoes?
The short answer to this question would be “Yes”, Labradors and other dogs can eat tomatoes, but there are some things you should know before giving tomatoes to your dog.
Some parts of tomatoes are toxic to dogs in high amounts. So although poisoning is quite rare, it can nevertheless happen. Especially dangerous are unripened tomatoes and tomato leaves and stems.
What type of tomatoes are poisonous to dogs?
Especially unripened green tomatoes are quite dangerous.
These green parts of tomatoes contain a toxin called solanine, which usually causes problems when consumed in larger quantities.
There is another potentially toxic substance in tomatoes called tomatine. However, red ripe tomatoes contain such a small amount that it’s not a concern for dogs.
If you have a garden with some unripened tomatoes, make sure to keep your Labrador away from it.
Products that contain tomatoes, like tomato sauces or juices are also not suitable for dogs, since they contain large quantities of salt, artificial flavourings and other chemicals that may be harmful to your dog. It’s best to avoid offering your pup these kinds of products.
What type of tomatoes are safe fod dogs to eat?
Plain, red and ripe tomatoes that are free of all green parts (stems, leaves and other parts) are safe for dogs. Cooked tomatoes are also quite safe for dogs.
Tomatoes should be served fresh without a salt and other additives. Be sure to start with small amounts to see how your dog reacts. If he doesn’t develop any digestive problems you can slowly increase the amount.
Make sure to check the source of the tomatoes so you can avoid pesticides that could be harmful to your dog.
Avoid feeding too much tomato to your Labrador because it can easily cause stomach upset. Tomatoes are quite acidic, which often causes problems in pups with a sensitive digestive tract.
Why are tomatoes good for Labs?
Tomatoes contain lot of valuable nutrients that are definitely needed by your dog.
They are high in fibre. Especially the tomato pomace form has more fibre than whole tomatoes since. Tomato pomace is a great source of dietary fibre, as well as B and A vitamins and Lycopene.
Tomatoes contain lycopene. This carotenoid is one of the most powerful antioxidants and may help your dog reduce the risk of heart disease. Tomatoes also contain high amounts of vitamin A and vitamin C and beta-carotene, which improves dogs’ cognition.
Tomatoes are also rich in minerals such as potassium, which optimises your dog’s blood pressure and cardiovascular health in general.
Most common signs of tomato poisoning in dogs
The most common signs include vomiting, diarrhea, confusion and abnormal heart rate.
Mild gastrointestinal upset is quite common outcome when dogs eat tomato greenery.
If you see some of these signs of tomato poisoning in your dog, contact your veterinarian.
There is also a chance your dog is allergic to tomatoes. Symptoms of an allergic reaction include sneezing, swelling, coughing, hives etc. If you observe these symptoms, contact your vet.