Is Tomato Sauce Bad for Dogs?

Tomato sauce is perfect on pizza, pasta and breadsticks and is a popular pantry staple. But is it safe for your canine friend?

Like ketchup, tomato sauce isn’t toxic, but it can include ingredients that are not safe for dogs.

Garlic, onion, salt, pepper, oregano, basil, red pepper and sugar are often used to flavor marinara sauce, so it’s best to review each ingredient on the label.

Garlic and onion are the most alarming since they are toxic to dogs. Especially for small dogs or eaten in large doses.

Onions and garlic contain thiosulphate, which can destroy a dog’s red blood cells, leading to anemia or death.

If ingested, immediate symptoms might include vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain and weakness.

can dogs eat pizza with tomato sauce

Other symptoms can take a few days to show up, including lethargy, pale gums and weight loss.

If these appear, take your dog to see your veterinarian as soon as possible.

Sugar, salt and crushed red pepper are less concerning ingredients but aren’t the greatest.

Dogs are sensitive to sodium and too much can lead to sodium poisoning.

Related: Can Dogs Eat Hummus

Too much sugar isn’t good for anyone – two or four legs – and can lead to obesity and heart problems.

As with ketchup, it’s worse for dogs to have the artificial sweetener xylitol, which can be toxic. Even small amounts can be lethal.

The crushed red pepper is one to watch for because its spiciness can cause an upset stomach for your dog.

Toxicity levels are dependent on the size of your dog and the amount consumed.

Large dogs are not likely to develop any serious side effects from eating a little bit of tomato sauce. While smaller dogs – under 10 pounds – may become sick.

If your dog has consumed a large quantity for its size, it’s best to contact your veterinarian. They will inform you of symptoms to watch out for.

Are Tomatoes Bad for Dogs?

Red, ripe tomatoes are okay for your dog to consume in moderation.

Tomatoes contain lycopene, an antioxidant that works against cancer, oxidative stress and other diseases in humans and our four-legged friends.

Tomatoes also contain healthy doses of vitamins A, C, B6 and B3, potassium, manganese, fiber and phosphorus.

All of which aid in proper bone health for humans and dogs.

are tomatoes bad for dogs

But, do all these good things outweigh the bad?

There are things to take caution about with this delicious plant.

Tomatoes are members of the nightshade family (Solanaceae), along with tobacco, eggplant, potatoes and tomatillos.

These plants include several dangerous alkaloids.

Tomato plants contain a chemical called alpha-tomatine. This chemical is concentrated in the plant’s leaves, stems and vines.

The amount of tomatine in a tomato decreases as the fruit matures.

So, the riper and redder the tomato, the safer it is for your dog.

Veterinarians agree your dog needs to ingest large amounts of tomato plants (including the green portions) for the toxin to be a problem. But, it is best to refrain from offering it to your friend.

Even if your dog eats the ripe, red part, tomatoes can cause an upset stomach.

It’s best to keep your dog’s diet sensitivities in mind when thinking about letting them try a tomato.

Tomatoes are also known to cause inflammation in some humans and animals.

It is also recommended to avoid tomatoes if your dog has arthritis or another inflammatory condition.

Side Effects of a Dog Eating Tomatoes

If your dog manages to consume a large number of tomato plants, a quick call to your vet is always a good idea.

Even though it’s rare, tomatine toxication can be fatal.

Watch out for the following symptoms:

  • Drooling
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Decreased heart rate
  • Tremors and seizures
  • Loss of coordination/weakness
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Lethargy
  • Dilated pupils
  • Paralysis

While these symptoms are uncommon, we suggest keeping an eye on your dog and inform your vet of any out-of-the-ordinary activity.

Can Dogs Have Ketchup?

Ketchup is not harmful to dogs, but is not recommended. It provides no nutritional value, is processed food and full of ingredients like sugar and salt.

can dogs eat ketchup like this variety from heinz

Too much sugar for dogs can lead to the same health problems us humans have. Obesity, diabetes and heart issues, to name a few.

But that doesn’t mean the sugar-free varieties are safe! In fact, they can be worse for your dog.

Xylitol, a popular artificial sweetener, causes a major insulin release in dogs. This can cause low blood sugar, kidney damage, vomiting and/or weakness.

Some ketchup varieties include flavorings that are not good for your furry friend. Ingredients like onion powder, cinnamon, garlic and extra salt should be avoided.

Dogs have a low salt tolerance. Salt poisoning, hypernatremia, can cause permanent organ damage and even death.

Hypernatremia symptoms include loss of appetite, stumbling, diarrhea, vomiting, extreme thirst, excessive urination, swelling, kidney problems, seizures and low energy.

You might consider organic ketchup as a safer bet, but check the label for any harmful additives.

Ketchup packets from fast-food restaurants can pose a greater danger.

They contain even more chemical preservatives than the store-bought variety.

Dogs might eat the entire packet, plastic and all! Be sure to keep these out of your dog’s reach.

Although Ketchup isn’t as bad as your pup eating tomato plants straight from the garden, you might want to think twice about letting them loose with a bottle of Heinz.

Can Dogs Eat Tomato Soup?

There is nothing in tomato soup that is toxic for your dog.

While some varieties may include garlic and onions, the amount is not enough to cause much worry.

Some tomato soups may include cheese and/or cream.

The dairy itself isn’t harmful to dogs, but some dogs are lactose intolerant, which can cause an upset tummy.

Consider your pup’s size, how much soup they consumed, and any out-of-the-ordinary symptoms.

Contact your veterinarian if symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, reduced appetite and lethargy persist.

Take your dog to the vet if you notice more serious symptoms like sticky and pale gums, a fever, blood in the stool or vomit, and a swollen abdomen.

Wrapping it pUp…

labrador wondering if marinara sauce is ok for dogs

We love our dogs and want to give them everything their hearts desire.

But if your furry friend is begging to slurp up some pasta sauce, it’s best to think twice about letting them take part in that fun.

While small quantities here and there are not harmful, consuming too many tomatoes – and even worse the tomato plants – can cause more problems than it is worth!

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