Why Can't Dogs Eat Tomatoes
Most dog owners have heard of the dreaded toxic foods for dogs, such as chocolate, onions and tomatoes. But do you know why these are so harmful? Dog's bodies work differently from ours and it is not surprising that there are a number of foods fit for human consumption that they cannot tolerate. To help you keep your pet safe and to understand why, in this OneHowTo article we explain why dogs can't eat tomatoes.
The best way to feed our dog is using a diet based on dry food. When choosing this, remember that it contains all the nutrients and proteins your dog needs to stay healthy and strong. It is also important to know how much to feed your dog.
Although dogs do not need our food products because their food covers all their nutritional needs, we can supplement this with small doses of certain foods. For an extra fibre, vitamins and minerals, we can occasionally give them fruit and vegetables in small quantities. Of course, just as there are foods that are allowed, there are also toxic ones which may cause serious consequences, like tomatoes.
So why can't dogs eat tomatoes? The plant that produces tomatoes is mainly composed of solanine, a highly poisonous alkaloid for both human and canine consumption, tomatina glycoalkaloid and glycoproteins are also very toxic. These are in the plant's leaves as well as in the green fruits. As they mature, the levels of these compounds decrease until they are minimal. Although for us a small percentage of solanine and tomatina is not toxic, it is for dogs, as they are much more sensitive and intolerant to digesting such compounds.
So if your dog ingests a very small amount of tomato you will probably barely notice any consequences. The problem is when it eats one or more whole tomatoes, this can damage both the digestive system, the nervous system and kidneys of the dog. When this occurs, the main symptoms of tomato poisoning in dogs are often vomiting or diarrhoea, tremors, convulsions, stomach pain, respiratory problems and, in some cases, they may get dilated and cardiac arrhythmias. Of course, the severity of symptoms is based on the quantity of tomatoes ingested.
In cases of serious poisonings, take your dog to the vet as soon as possible. If your dog eats the leaves of the tomato instead of the fruit, poisoning can be deadly because this is where the most toxic compounds for dogs are concentrated. So keep tomatoes away from your dog and don't feed them these, not even in small quantities as a treat, because although it may not trigger severe symptoms, it will produce a slight stomach upset.
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