Hepper is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

Can Dogs Eat Cherry Tomatoes? Vet-Reviewed Facts & Information

Nicole Cosgrove Profile Picture

By Nicole Cosgrove

Can Dogs Eat Cherry Tomatoes

Vet approved

Dr. Luqman Javed Photo

Reviewed & Fact-Checked By

Dr. Luqman Javed

DVM (Veterinarian)

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

Learn more »

You may have noticed that your dog likes to eat your food. But is it safe for them to eat cherry tomatoes?

The short answer is yes, ripe cherry tomatoes without the stem are safe for your dog. However, it would be best to feed them in moderation as an occasional treat.

Below, we cover everything you need to know about feeding cherry tomatoes to your dog. Read on to learn about the benefits as well as the dangers. We also tell you how to ensure your dog eats cherry tomatoes safely.

Divider 7Health Benefits of Cherry Tomatoes for Dogs

Cherry tomatoes contain essential nutrients that promote health in humans. But are they beneficial to dogs?

Yes. Cherry tomatoes contain many nutrients that can improve your pup’s health. Chief among these are carotenoids and fiber. Additionally, their high water content means they’re great at providing hydration for your pup.

Carotenoids

Cherry tomatoes have several carotenoids that can benefit your pup. Chief among these is beta-carotene, which dogs can convert to vitamin A. In addition, this carotenoid has been found to potentially offer immune system benefits to dogs, particularly younger dogs.1 

Fiber

Tomatoes are high in fiber. The fiber found in tomatoes is soluble. This type of fiber helps promote regular bowel movements by increasing intestinal water content. Fiber may help reduce the risk of some ailments in dogs. However, it’s important to keep in mind that too much of a good thing can have adverse effects on your pup, and fiber is no exception to this rule. Therefore, you shouldn’t go overboard with offering your dog tomatoes just to ensure they get additional fiber intake. 

Fresh plum tomatoes on white background with natural shadow
Image Credit: Bozena Fulawka, Shutterstock

Dangers of Feeding Your Dog Cherry Tomatoes

Tomatoes belong to the nightshade family of plants. Therefore, they contain solanine, which is toxic to dogs and other pets. Additionally, tomato plants have another harmful toxin called tomatine.

Ingesting large amounts of these toxins can cause tomatine poisoning in dogs. These compounds are mostly found on the stem and leaves of the tomato plant, and are much higher in unripe tomatoes. With proper precautions on your part, the chances of such poisoning are slim. For one, the toxins in ripe tomatoes are present in tiny amounts as the tomato ripens, both solanine and tomatine reduce drastically. Making sure your pet doesn’t eat the green stem or leaves of cherry tomatoes will further reduce this risk considerably.

Dogs that have ingested too much tomatine may develop certain signs. Do you suspect your pup has eaten too many cherry tomatoes or parts of the tomato plant?

Signs of Tomatine Toxicity
  • Hypersalivation
  • Loss of appetite
  • Severe gastrointestinal upset
  • Depression
  • Muscle weakness
  • Dilated pupils
  • Slow heart rate
  • Tremors
  • Abdominal pain
  • Seizures

Take your dog to your vet immediately if you notice the above signs. They will perform a thorough examination on your dog and ascertain the extent of the poisoning (if any) and administer appropriate treatments and at-home care instructions.

Cropped portrait of unrecognizable male veterinarian examining white Labrador dog at vet clinic
Image Credit: SeventyFour, Shutterstock

Although rare, just like us some dogs may have an allergic reaction to tomatoes. The signs of an allergic reaction may include hypersalivation, swelling of the mouth or face, coughing, wheezing, difficulty breathing, itchiness, and hives. For allergic dogs, these signs often present themselves shortly after they have consumed something they’re allergic to. Again, if you suspect an allergy, the best course of action is to have your dog immediately checked and treated by your vet especially if you ever suspect your pup isn’t breathing normally. If an allergy is confirmed by your vet, you would have to avoid giving them cherry tomatoes in the future. Rest assured that many other dog-safe foods offer similar health benefits.

In addition, whole cherry tomatoes may potentially be a choking hazard. This risk is greater for dogs that like to eat quickly, dogs that have difficulty chewing food, or small/toy breeds of dogs. It is therefore best to serve sliced cherry tomatoes.

Divider 1

How to Feed Your Dog Cherry Tomatoes Safely

How can your dog acquire the health benefits of cherry tomatoes without putting its life at risk? Here are several tips on how you can feed it cherry tomatoes safely.

Only Feed Your Dog Ripe Tomatoes

The toxins in cherry tomatoes are only present in the ripe fruit in tiny amounts but more concentrated in green fruits, the stems, leaves, vines, and blossoms. Feeding your dog ripe cherry tomatoes is relatively safe, as the concentration of these compounds drastically lowers as the fruit ripens. Avoid unripe tomatoes, or cherry tomato variants of a color that make determining ripeness tricky.

Cherry tomatoes
Image credit: Shutterstock

Remove Any Green Parts

Remove any stems and leaves from the cherry tomatoes.

Wash the Tomatoes Thoroughly

Rinse the cherry tomatoes with water before feeding them to your dog. That’s because they could still have residues of herbicides and pesticides that can harm your furry friend.

Woman shows how to wash a tomato under water in the kitchen with a black background
Image Credit: Andrei Aslanov, Shutterstock

Slice Them Into Small Pieces

Remove any unripe tomatoes from the group. Unripe tomatoes often have a different color when compared to a ripe tomato and are more firm to the touch. Slice the ripe cherry tomatoes into small pieces. Slicing the tomatoes minimizes the risk of them being a choking hazard, especially for small or toy breeds.

Cook Them Slightly (Optional)

Slightly cooking the tomatoes may make it easier for your dog to digest. Additionally, the slight cooking will increase the lycopene (another carotenoid found in tomatoes) content in the tomatoes, thus increasing the health benefits for your best friend.

Tomato
Image Credit By: CC0 Public Domain, pxhere

Offer as Small Treats

Although ripe cherry tomatoes are safe for your dog to eat, they are high in fiber, and consuming too much can cause stomach upsets. As such, it is advisable to feed cherry tomatoes to your dog in moderation. Offer them as treats in small amounts and not as food.

Serve With No Seasonings

Serve the cherry tomatoes fresh with no seasonings, not even salt. Any additional seasonings may potentially be harmful for your dog.

Avoid Foods Containing Cherry Tomatoes

You might be tempted to feed your pup foods containing tomatoes. These may include store-bought juices, soups, and sauces.

Be cautious with this strategy, though. Although tomatoes are not harmful, tomato-based food may contain other ingredients that may cause a stomach upset. Additionally, such foods may also potentially contain ingredients that are toxic for dogs.

Top view of cherry tomatoes in a wooden bowl isolated on white background
Image Credit: Sutthiphong Chandaeng, Shutterstock

Avoid Canned Cherry Tomatoes

Canned foods are high in preservatives to give them a longer shelf life. The preservatives in such foods may potentially cause health problems, depending on what they are and how much canned food your dog consumes. Therefore, it is best to refrain from offering your dog canned tomatoes. Your pup will be better off with fresh cherry tomatoes over canned tomatoes.

Consider Tomato Paste

Tomato paste can be a great alternative to fresh tomatoes at times. However, always check the label to ensure there are no additives like salt or sugar. Avoid flavored pastes such as sriracha and jalapeno or pastes with additives and/or artificial sweeteners, like xylitol. Like cherry tomatoes, tomato paste is also best served freshly prepared with just tomatoes.

divider 9How to Protect Your Dog From Tomatine Poisoning

It is easier to control how much cherry tomatoes your dog eats when you’re feeding them. But there’s no controlling how much your pup eats when you’re not looking. Therefore, keeping cherry tomatoes out of your dog’s reach is essential.

If you grow your own food, safety measures need to be in place that prevent your dog from accessing growing plants. Potted plants should be moved to a location your dog can’t access. An appropriate location also ensures that your dog won’t accidentally knock over your plants.

Gardens should be protected with fencing and training your dog to stay away from specific areas, or restricting their access to where your growing plants are.

Also, keep an eye on your dog if you have cherry tomatoes or tomato-based food around the house. Otherwise, your dog may help themselves when your attention is elsewhere.

Proper house training is a great tool in preventing such mishaps and can minimize the risk of an unfortunate event.

Woman training dog at the park
Image Credit: goodluz, Shutterstock

Foods Your Dog Should Never Eat

Cherry tomatoes might be safe. But not all human food is healthy for the dog. A curious dog may eat something they aren’t supposed to. Additionally, dogs are social eaters, and seeing a member of their “pack” (you!) eat might entice them to ask for a bite. For your dog’s safety, ensure the following foods are out of reach.

Foods to Never Give Your Dog

Divider 7Final Thoughts

So, can dogs eat cherry tomatoes? Ripe cherry tomatoes, served without the stem or leaves, are safe for dogs when given in moderation as an occasional treat.

Unripe tomatoes, leaves, stems, sterns, and vines contain toxin compounds in high concentrations that can harm your dog and should be avoided.

When growing your own plants, ensure you have proper measures in place that prevent your dog from accessing them. These include a combination of where you may place the plants, barriers such as fences, and proper house training and monitoring of your pup.


Featured Image Credit: JumpStory

Related Articles

Further Reading

Vet Articles

Latest Vet Answers

The latest veterinarians' answers to questions from our database

Shopping cart0
There are no products in the cart!