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Growing Tomatoes: Can I Feed My Pets Tomatoes?

Ripe, juicy tomatoes are the perfect summertime treat for your family, but what about your furry family members? Are tomatoes safe for pets to eat, or should they be avoided. It turns out that the occasional ripe, red tomato is safe for pets, but the green parts of the plant are toxic and should be avoided. Let’s take a closer look at this important distinction.

Tomatoes are part of the nightshade (solanaceae) family. Plants within this family contain a substance known as solanine that is found in large quantities in the stem, leaves, flowers, and stalks of tomatoes and other related plants. Eating these green parts of the tomato plant can be harmful to dogs, cats, horses, and more.

The ripe tomato fruit, however, is considered safe and non-toxic for animals. It is still recommended that they are eaten in moderation because they can cause stomach upset if over-consumed. Many pet foods even include tomato pomace (skin, pulp, seeds, etc.) in their ingredients. Cooked tomatoes are also safe for pets to consume. So, if your pets like to eat your leftovers or a ripe tomato here or there, you can feel confident that they will not suffer any harm.

If a pet eats green tomato plants, they may suffer some symptoms, but the long-term prognosis is usually good because it is unlikely that a pet will eat enough to cause real harm. Symptoms of tomatine poisoning in pets may include:

  • Gastrointestinal pain
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Excessive salivation
  • Muscle weakness
  • Slow heart rate
  • Respiratory difficulty
  • Seizures
  • Loss of coordination
  • Cardiac Problems

Growing the Best Tomatoes

In conclusion, the occasional ripe tomato is safe for pets to eat, but the green parts of the plant, including unripe tomatoes should not be eaten. If you are concerned about your pets getting into your tomato plants, you can fence off the garden or just make sure you pay close attention when they are outdoors near the plants. So, feel free to enjoy your freshly grown tomatoes and visit for the best tomato fertilizer on the market. 


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