Can dogs eat tomato sauce?

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Can Dogs Eat Tomato Sauce

Dogs enjoy eating human food, perhaps a lot more than their owners. Responsible dog owners must ensure that the food they eat is healthy and not toxic.

Tomato sauce goes well with pasta, bread, and pizza and is common in most pantries. However, can dogs eat tomato sauce? 

While tomatoes are safe for dogs, it’s not recommended that you serve some tomato sauce to your pets. 

Tomato sauce is bad for dogs to consume. The major issues are that its ingredients are not healthy for dogs.

These ingredients include onion, garlic, pepper, salt, sugar, chives, basil, and red pepper. Plus, tomato sauce is overly acidic for dogs and could cause an upset stomach. It’s best to exclude tomato sauce from your dog’s diet.

Tomato Profile

Tomatoes are part of the family, Solanaceae, which contain powerful poisons. But the good news is that these poisons can only be found on certain parts of the plant.

Additionally, they are also only prevalent during a particular stage in the plant’s life. As for tomatoes, they have a-tomatine, which is only found in the leaves and unripe fruit of tomatoes. 

The green parts of the tomato, particularly the leaves and stems, also have another toxic compound called solanine. If consumed in high amounts, they can cause a negative reaction in your dog.

Tomatoes Sauce for Dogs

When your pet consumes the poisonous, green parts of the tomato plant, he could suffer from solanine poisoning. This may lead to heart problems, difficult breathing, and digestive problems. 

On the other hand, ripe red tomatoes are tasty treats/snacks for your dog. They only have a minor concentration of any toxins, and will not harm your dog.

Having said that, if you are going to let your dog eat red tomatoes, you should offer it in moderation.

How about Tomato Sauce? Is The Sauce Safe For Dogs?

No, dogs must not eat tomato sauce. Adding tomato sauce to the dog’s diet is not recommended. It is OK for dogs to have fresh and ripe tomatoes.

However, tomato sauce, spaghetti sauce, ketchup, and other sauces available in the market are a different matter. omato sauces are usually very concentrated, heavily processed, and may include too much salt and sugar.

Garlic and onions are also toxic to dogs; hence, they should be avoided.

Why Is Tomato Sauce Bad for Dogs?

Ingredients Added

As stated, tomato sauces aren’t certainly bad for dogs. Though they contain ingredients which make them bad for our pets. Tomato sauces, particularly premade ones, are full of other components in addition to tomatoes.

Garlic, onion, salt, sugar, basil, chives, and red peppers are added to spice up these sauces.

Garlic and Onion

The most dangerous ingredients in tomato sauce are garlic and onions. These ingredients contain a substance called thiosulphate, which dogs cannot metabolize well.

Thiosulfate triggers oxidative damage to red blood cells, leading to hemolytic anemia. In severe cases, it can even lewd to death. Symptoms of thiosulphate poisoning include:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Lethargic
  • Dark urine
  • Abdominal pain

Garlic and Onion used in tomato Sauce


Tomato sauce contains chives, a small perennial plant. They are a part of the Amaryllidaceae family (related to garlic and onions). As such, chives are toxic to dogs. They contain organosulfides, which are natural toxins that protect the plant from pests and insects.

Exposure to organosulfides may cause anemia, which could necessitate a blood transfusion for your dog.

Sugar, Salt and Pepper

Sugar, salt, and crushed red pepper are less threatening ingredients, though they aren’t recommended. 

Dogs are vulnerable to salt, and an excessive portion of it can cause sodium toxicity. This damages the dog’s kidney, and in the worst-case scenarios, causes tremor, convulsions, comas, and even death. 

Some tomato sauces have sugar, which in itself, is usually safe. However, pet parents must know that xylitol is a popular artificial sweetener that is highly toxic to dogs. Even tiny portions can be fatal. 

Consuming red chili peppers tends to induce digestive discomforts in your pets. Since the tomato sauce contains salt, sugar, chives, onion, and vegetables, this sauce is high in calories.

A high-calorie intake may lead to obesity, which may cause heart problems in dogs.


Some dogs will have allergic reactions to tomatoes. Even though this allergy is rare, it can be severe. Hence, it is necessary to monitor your dog for at least 30 minutes after he eats a tomato or dog food with tomato sauces.

And pay attention to the subsequent symptoms of tomato allergy in your dog.

  • Growling Stomach
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Gas
  • Chronic ear or paw infections
  • Itchy Skin
  • Skin Rashes
  • Nausea
  • Swollen face
  • Eye discharge and red eyes

What Happens if My Dog Accidentally Eats Tomato Sauce?

If your dog was to take a bite from your burger or pizza that has tomato sauce on it, they would only suffer from minor digestive pains.

But when your dog accidentally consumes a considerable portion of tomato sauce, be wary of some symptoms of anemia, such as:

  • Vomiting
  • Swelling of face or jaw
  • Lethargy
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Pale gums, eyes, or ears
  • Black stools
  • Elevated heart rate 

When you suspect your dog consumed a vast concentration of tomato sauce, call your vet right away. Especially if you notice the symptoms listed above.

In general, when you have a giant dog, he can have more tomatoes compared to a smaller one. Suppose you witness any gastrointestinal issues, you can give your dog a bland diet of white rice and cooked meat in the coming days as you wait for the symptoms to fade away.

Is The Sauce Safe For Dogs

When Can Dogs Have Tomato Sauce?

Do not let your dog consume tomato sauce, regardless of how much they stare. And look they will, especially when you’re enjoying some spaghetti or pizza or any food that has tomato sauce. 

The safest tomato sauce for dogs is homemade. This is because they do not have any hidden or harmful ingredients.

BUT do not offer too much; just because it’s OK doesn’t mean they can overindulge.

Final Thoughts.

While your dog can lick tomato sauces from time to time, it might be terrible when served in huge servings.

It is made of harmful ingredients that can hurt your pet’s immune system. In some cases, it cab even lead to severe conditions like sodium poisoning, allergy, anemia, and obesity.

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