Tag: Dogs

Tomatoes~Poisonous to Dogs?

Are Tomatoes Poisonous for Dogs?

Those of us with furry, barking friends may wonder whether tomatoes are safe to share. There’s a lot of confusing information out there on the topic, so here’s what you should know about each part—the ripe fruit, stems and leaves, as well as the flowering plant.

Can My Dog Eat Tomatoes?

Dogs can absolutely have the tomato fruit. If you want to give a tomato to a dog, small amounts won’t hurt them a bit. Many dogs love them for the same reason people do; they’re tasty!

While they are nontoxic, don’t feed too much tomato to your dog because it can cause stomach upset. Tomatoes are notoriously acidic, which could definitely cause problems in a dog with a sensitive stomach.

Be sure you start with small amounts to see how your dog reacts, just like you would when introducing any new food.

Cooked Tomatoes and Tomato Pomace

Cooked tomatoes are safe for dogs, just like ripe ones, and tomato pomace is a common ingredient in many dog foods.

Tomato pomace is made from the ripe fruit and incorporates skin, pulp and seeds. It’s a frequent byproduct of human food production.

Why Do People Think Tomatoes Are Poisonous to Dogs?

The tomato is a member of the nightshade family of plants. Since some other members of this family are known to be very toxic, it raises doubt as to whether the more commonly consumed plants are truly healthy for dogs.

Toxic Tomatine in Tomato Plants

There is a potentially toxic substance found in tomatoes—called tomatine—that can be very harmful when consumed in large quantities.

However, ripe tomatoes contain such a small amount that, even if your furry friend consumes far more than you ever intended, it’s not really a concern as far as toxicity goes.

Unripe tomatoes contain slightly more tomatine, but the difference is probably not significant.

Tomatine is found in greatest concentration in the tomato plant itself—more so in the flowers and small stems, but also in the leaves and the stalk.

Even so, the flowers, stems and leaves don’t actually present much of a threat to dogs. The likelihood of a dog consuming enough of the plant to cause serious harm is very slim.

Mild gastrointestinal upset is the most likely outcome when dogs eat tomato greenery. Large, grazing animals are the main concern when it comes to toxicity from tomato plants due to the volume of plant material they consume.

That said, if you think that your dog has eaten a large amount of tomato plant, call your veterinarian for advice.

Do Tomatoes Have Health Benefits for Dogs?

Since we know tomatoes are not poisonous to dogs, it’s natural to wonder whether they offer any health benefits. Tomatoes can absolutely be good for dogs, which is why so many pet food manufacturers use them in their formulas.

Tomatoes have lots of soluble and insoluble fiber. The pomace form has more fiber than whole tomatoes since the liquid is removed from the pomace, leaving behind only the fibrous parts of the fruit.

Fiber helps to support healthy digestion and maintain your dog’s steady blood sugar levels.

Tomatoes also contain antioxidants and several important vitamins and minerals, like potassium, vitamin C and vitamin K. The amount of these nutrients in the tomato or tomato pomace will depend heavily on the quality of the fruit.

By: Jennifer Coates, DVM

Featured Image: iStock.com/jbosley58


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Pet Tip

Yogurt For A Dog With Diarrhea

Sometimes our little buddies will get some serious tummy problems, and it’s mostly due to the fact that they will put almost anything in their mouth. For those times when your dog has diarrhea, it is important to keep him hydrated and not to upset the stomach further, and yogurt will help soothe the inflammation and promote the growth of good bacteria.


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Not Family Friendly Dogs ~ DYK

Chihuahua

Chihuahuas are cute. Many people are quick to assume that, because of their small size, they are also the best breeds for children. In reality, they are one of the very strong-willed and stubborn dog breeds. They are quite hard to train especially if they sense weakness in the human leadership shown. They also have the tendency to become aggressive and jealous of young children—all because of their sense to display their dominance over the younger members of the pack. Apparently, they see your kids as members of the pack.

Alaskan Malamute

The Alaskan Malamute was bred to survive the harsh and isolated environment of the tundra; thus, they are hardwired against being around playful children. They are also notorious for being difficult to train especially if the owner shows signs of weakness. As very firm pack leaders, they require socialization not only from other dogs but also from humans. They are known to attack smaller animals including children. Aside from potentially harming children, they also shed a lot and this is not good especially if—even just one—a member of the family suffers from asthma.

Rottweiler

Rottweilers can grow very large. They were first bred for their strength as they are used to pull small carts and herd livestock. Rottweilers are very courageous and loyal; thus, they have a tendency to act violently around strangers. Their strong personality can be controlled with proper training and it is fairly important to show strong leadership all the while. This is the reason why Rottweilers are perfect as guard and police dogs. While strong, they do love to play around. So much so that they sometimes mistake play for something real thus they have a propensity to go on full attack mode.

Bullmastiff

Bullmastiffs can grow very large and they don’t seem to be aware of their size. This can cause a potential problem especially if you have small children because this dog can easily knock your child down when they start running. They are also more aggressive than other breeds of dogs but their aggression can be trained as long as you show strong leadership. However, you need to train them early because they are difficult to train later in life. They look up to their human as the leader of the pack, so you should avoid showing signs of weakness.

Saint Bernard

The Saint Bernard breed is quite infamous thanks to the movie Beethoven. These dogs are very adorable and can be trained, albeit harder due to their very playful nature. They can be trained to behave well around small children. While they look lovable, the main problem with these dogs is their enormous built and size. They have the tendency to unwillingly hurt small children by knocking them over. The thing is, the playful nature and the size of a Saint Bernard make them difficult dogs for families with very small kids.

Weimaraner

Originally a hunting dog, the Weimaraner is full of energy that they need to expind, daily. They love to run around thus they have a tendency to knock children over if they are in the way. They easily get bored and their hunting instincts make them excited when they are in the presence of small creatures, and that includes your kids. But aside from their easily excitable nature, the Weimaraner is also very needy in terms of physical activities and exercise. Their elevated energy, size, and physical needs can often lead to the dog unwillingly injuring young tots.

Australian Shepherd

An energetic and courageous dog breed, the Australian Shepherd was bred as disaster rescue dogs and watchdogs. This dog breed requires frequent physical activities as they are bursting with energy. They need to have their daily walks otherwise they develop behavioral problems. This daily need can be too onerous for families who have young children. Perhaps another reason why this dog breed is not family-friendly is that they are uneasy when meeting new people for the first time. Moreover, they often have the tendency to mistake children as part of their pack, thus they become aggressive towards children’s transgressions.

Siberian Husky

Siberian Huskies are a strong breed of dogs and they are popular for their inexhaustible energy. They were bred to pull sleds in the snow and their instincts tell them that they take no interest in protecting the family and guarding homes. They also require a lot of care and if you have to take care of both huskies and children, it will be too taxing for you as these huskies can compete with small children for attention. Although it has a strong personality, a Siberian Husky can be trained so that it becomes an extremely loving pet—IF you have the patience.

Affenpinscher

The Affenpinscher is a mischievous dog breed and they are known to monkey around. They are also inquisitive and stubborn by nature. They are amusing to watch and have around, but if you have small children in the house, then they can be a problem. How? Since they are small, children often think that they are toys, thus the tendency to mishandle them. Although the Affenpinscher can tolerate children’s rough playing, they sometimes defend themselves especially if they don’t feel comfortable. They can be trained. However, you need to show leadership as they can be disobedient the moment you show signs of weakness.

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Poisonous Plants

Autumn Crocus

There are two Crocus plants: one that blooms in the spring (Crocus species) and the other in the autumn Colchicum autumnale). The spring plants are more common and are part of the Iridaceae family. These ingestions can cause general gastrointestinal upset including vomiting and diarrhea. These should not be mistaken for Autumn Crocus, part of the Liliaceae family, which contain colchicine. The Autumn Crocus is highly toxic and can cause severe vomiting, gastrointestinal bleeding, liver and kidney damage, and respiratory failure. If you’re not sure what plant it is, bring your pet to their veterinarian immediately for care. Signs may be seen immediately but can be delayed for days.

Azalea

In the same family as rhododendrons, azaleas can have serious effects on pets. Eating even a few leaves can result in vomiting, diarrhea and excessive drooling; without immediate veterinary attention, the pet could fall into a coma and possibly die.

Cyclamen

The roots of this seasonal flowering plant are especially dangerous to pets. If ingested, cyclamen can cause severe vomiting and even death.

Kalanchoe

This popular flowering succulent plant can cause vomiting, diarrhea and heart arrhythmias if ingested by pets.

Lilies

There are dangerous and benign lilies out there, and it’s important to know the difference. Peace, Peruvian, and Calla lilies contain oxalate crystals that cause minor signs, such as tissue irritation to the mouth, tongue, pharynx, and esophagus – this results in minor drooling. The more dangerous, potentially fatal lilies are true lilies, and these include Tiger, Day, Asiatic, Easter and Japanese Show lilies – all of which are highly toxic to cats! Even small ingestions (such as 2-3 petals or leaves) can result in severe kidney failure. If your cat is seen consuming any part of a lily, bring your cat (and the plant) immediately to a veterinarian for medical care. The sooner you bring in your cat, the better and more efficiently we can treat the poisoning.

For more information on lilies, please visit our No Lilies for Kitties campaign.

Oleander

Oleander is an outdoor shrub, popular for its evergreen qualities and delicate flowers. However, the leaves and flowers are extremely toxic if ingested and can cause severe vomiting, slow the heart rate and possibly even cause death.

Dieffenbachia

Popular in many homes and offices, dieffenbachia can cause intense oral irritation, drooling, nausea, vomiting and difficulty swallowing if ingested.

Daffodils

These flowers contain lycorine, an alkaloid with strong emetic properties (something that triggers vomiting). Ingestion of the bulb, plant or flower can cause severe vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and even possible cardiac arrhythmias or respiratory depression. Crystals are found in the outer layer of the bulbs, similar to hyacinths, which cause severe tissue irritation and secondary drooling. Daffodil ingestions can result in more severe symptoms so if an exposure is witnessed or symptoms are seen, we recommend seeking veterinary care for further supportive care.

Lily of the Valley

The Convallaria majalis plant contains cardiac glycosides which will cause symptoms similar to digitalis (foxglove) ingestion. These symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, a drop in heart rate, severe cardiac arrhythmias, and possibly seizures. Pets with any known exposure to this plant should be examined and evaluated by a veterinarian and treated symptomatically.

Sago Palm

Very popular in warmer climates, this household and outdoor plant can be very harmful to pets. If ingested, the leaves and seeds can cause vomiting, bloody stools, damage to the stomach lining, severe liver failure and, in some cases, death.

Tulips and Hyacinths

Tulips contain allergenic lactones while hyacinths contain similar alkaloids. The toxic principle of these plants is very concentrated in the bulbs (versus the leaf or flower), so make sure your dog isn’t digging up the bulbs in the garden. When the plant parts or bulbs are chewed or ingested, it can result in tissue irritation to the mouth and esophagus. Typical signs include profuse drooling, vomiting, or even diarrhea, depending on the amount consumed. There’s no specific antidote, but with supportive care from the veterinarian, animals do quite well. With large ingestions of the bulb, more severe symptoms such as an increase in heart rate and changes in respiration can be seen, and should be treated by a veterinarian. These more severe signs are seen in cattle or our overzealous, chowhound Labradors.

This is only a partial list of poisonous plants.  For a more complete list of plants poisonous to cats and dogs, visit our Poison List.

If you suspect your pet has ingested any of these items or any other questionable substance, call Pet Poison Helpline at 855-764-7661 or your veterinarian for assistance. Accurate and timely identification of the suspected substance is very important. Having the container, package, or label in hand will save valuable time and may save the life of your pet.

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Poisonous Plants and Flowers

tomato plant
TOMATOES

TOMATOES

The leaves are toxic to cats and dogs so, if you grow them, or make sure that animals can’t get to them.

Potatoes

Woman and girl potato farming on remote island

Unripe, green or raw potatoes are dangerous to dogs, and the leaves are toxic too. Again, make sure your pets can’t get to them.

Autumn Crocus

Autumn Crocus

Not to be confused with the spring crocus (which can still cause vomiting and diarrhea), all parts of this plant are toxic. It can cause liver and kidney damage, seizures and death.

Lilies

lilly

Every part of a lily is toxic to cats (even one leaf or petal can make them very ill) and some kinds are poisonous to dogs as well. They are even toxic to horses.

Tulips

tulips flowers

They’re a member of the lily family, so it’s not surprising that they are also toxic to cats, dogs and horses. The toxins tulipalin A and tulipalin B are found within tulip bulbs, but if you think your pet has eaten any part of the plant, seek veterinary assistance immediately. 

Heavenly Bamboo

Heavenly Bamboo

Also known as sacred bamboo or the Nandina plant, this produces red berries that are very pretty, but dangerous. They contain cyanogenic glycosides, which release hydrogen cyanide when chewed.

Foxtails

Foxtails

Foxtails are spikelets that carry the seeds of the foxtail grass. They are barbed and meant to burrow into the ground to germinate – but this also means they could penetrate an animal’s body and damage internal organs. The ears are especially vulnerable.

It’s pretty much impossible to avoid this common weed, but you can check your pet’s body (especially entry points like the ears, mouth and eyes) after a walk, and uproot – not mow – any foxtails you see in the garden.

Sago Palm

Sago Palm

These ornamental houseplants are very poisonous to cats and dogs. The whole of the plant is dangerous, but the nuts are the worst. If you think your pet may have ingested some, take it to a vet immediately.

Castor Beans

Castor Beans


Ricin is a well-known poison, and it’s present in the bean of the castor oil plant – although all parts of the plant are toxic. Even tiny amounts can poison a cat or a dog and cause twitching, tremors, seizures, comas or death.-

Azaleas

Azaleas


A type of rhododendron, azaleas contain a poisonous substance called grayanotoxin, which can cause vomiting, diarrhoea, and even blindness and comas in cats and dogs.

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