If you own a puppy, you’ll understand how hard it is to have meals with them in the room. Most dogs are curious and want to eat whatever is on your plate. This can result in dogs eating even the things that aren’t healthy for them. Other than what’s on your plate, you should also be careful about what they’re eating in the garden. Tomato plants, for one, aren’t good for them. Not just tomatoes, but many other plants from the Solanaceae or nightshade family, including potatoes, eggplant, and chilies, are also poisonous to dogs and other pets. Make sure you keep an eye on them when they’re in the garden.
So why are tomato plants toxic to dogs? What are the consequences if a dog ingests a part of the plant, and what can you do to protect your pets? Continue reading, and you’ll find out everything.
Why Are Tomato Plants Toxic To Dogs?
Plants from the nightshade family, including tomato plants, contain a compound called solanine. Solanine is a product of the plant’s natural defense mechanism and is present in the highest levels in green parts of the plants, including stems, leaves, and unripe green fruit.
If a large amount of solanine is ingested by cats, dogs, horses, or other pets, it can result in toxicity. So if your dog ingests any green parts of the tomato plant, there is a possibility of adverse symptoms. It’s best not to waste any time and consult a vet immediately.
Can Dogs Eat Tomatoes?
The concentration of the toxic compound, solanine, responsible for tomato poisoning in dogs, dramatically decreases in ripe tomatoes. The concentration of this compound is so low in ripe tomatoes that it is unlikely to cause any health problems in dogs.
Fresh and cooked ripe tomatoes, including tomato sauces, are all OK for your dog as long as you offer it in moderation. Since fully ripe tomatoes are non-toxic, you can offer them every once in a while to your puppy as an occasional snack. However, don’t let them feed unsupervised in the garden since tomato plants aren’t safe.
Symptoms of Tomato Poisoning In Dogs
So how do you know if your dog has ingested parts of the tomato plants? Other than the manhandled stems and bitten leaves, are there any symptoms of tomato poisoning in dogs? If your dog experiences lethargy, extensive drooling, vomiting, colic, problem breathing, diarrhea, or constipation, it may have had a dangerously high dosage of tomato plants. In worst cases of tomato poisoning, dilated pupils, paralysis, cardiac effects, seizures, tremors, coma, and even death are possible.
What To Do If You Suspect A Dog Of Tomato Poisoning?
In most cases, tomato poisoning is not fatal. But it’s best not to let your dog suffer and contact the vet immediately. After a proper diagnosis, the veterinarian will work out what’s really causing the trouble. A blood test will further clarify if the internal organs are functioning correctly. A urinalysis may also be performed if the vet suspects kidney damage. If the dog is experiencing cardiac symptoms, an ECG might be performed to ensure if the heart is working fine.
Diarrhea and vomiting are good in most cases since they naturally flush out the toxin from your pet’s system. The vet may even induce vomiting to help drain out the poison faster. Activated charcoal is also often used to bind any remaining poison in the digestive tract before the body has a chance to absorb it. The dog will be kept in the clinic so the vet can monitor its vitals until it returns to its healthy self again.
Is Recovery Possible?
It’s natural to be worried about your pet. It’s not easy to see them suffer and wait for them to get better again. However, in mild cases of tomato poisoning, recovery isn’t very difficult.
When taken to the vet in time, where your dog can get the help it needs, chances of recovery from tomato poisoning are very good. Once the toxin is out of its body, the dog will return to its normal, healthy self without any long-term side effects.
How To Prevent Tomato Poisoning
Instead of going through all the trouble of watching your dog suffer, taking it to the vet, and waiting for recovery, the best option is to avoid any inconvenience in the first place. If you’re growing tomatoes or any other plants from the nightshade family, put fencing around it, making sure the crop isn’t accessible by your pets from any side. Alternatively, you can grow tomatoes in pots and keep them on elevated structures where the dog can’t reach the plant.
If you offer ripe tomatoes to the dog, make sure all the green parts are completely removed before the dog eats it. Even when feeding ripe tomatoes, only offer in moderation because an excess can be unhealthy even if it’s not toxic. Make sure you watch your pet’s appetite and see that they eat such ingredients in moderation to make the most out of their nutritious meals.
So you know that tomato plants aren’t good for dogs because of the toxic compounds they contain. Supervise your dog when they’re in the garden and make sure they don’t snack on anything that’s not healthy for them. Ripe tomatoes, on the other hand, can be a nutritious and delicious snack when offered in moderation just like they are for us. Go ahead and offer them a slice from your pizza – chances are they’ll love it!