Can Dogs Eat Tomato Sauce?


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Although tomato sauce on its own is perfectly safe for dogs, certain ingredients that may be included can be mildly toxic to your furry friend. 

The rest of this article will explain why you should be careful when feeding your dog tomato sauce and what you should watch out for.

Can Dogs Eat Tomato Sauce?

Although dogs can eat most tomatoes, many tomato sauces include certain ingredients that are not safe for dogs to consume. On top of that, there are also potential dangers lurking in unripe tomatoes and tomato plants.

Another issue dogs may have with tomatoes is that they are high in acid, which can cause acid reflux and gastrointestinal issues.

Your dog should not need to go to the vet if they consume any spaghetti sauce, but you should stay informed on the dangers of certain ingredients tomato sauce contains.

Can Dogs Eat Tomatoes?

Tomatoes, a member of the nightshade family, is a plant that can contain several dangerous alkaloids and nutritious vegetables in the same plant. For example, Solaine, the poison in many nightshade family members, has a variant known as tomatine, which can be found in tomatoes.

These can be found in unripe tomatoes and the plant’s flowers, leaves, and stems.


This chemical is usually concentrated in a tomato plant’s leaves, vines, and stems, and will the amount in the tomato decreases as the plant develops.

This means that the riper the tomato, the less toxic it will be for your dog.

Most vets will agree that many dogs need to ingest a very large number of tomato plants in order for the chemical to become a problem for them, though it is best to avoid.

But tomatine can be harmful to dogs and humans, so it is best to stay away from unripe tomatoes and green portions of tomatoes.

These facts are essential to know so that dog owners take steps to ensure that their pup isn’t eating whole tomatoes if they grow them in their garden! Green tomatoes will fall, and dogs have been known to eat anything they can.

Ripe tomatoes, however, don’t have enough of this poison to hurt your dog and is actually full of so many excellent nutrients. This is because, over time, the amount of tomatine will decrease as the fruit matures.


The green parts of the tomato plant also contain solanine, which in large quantities can be toxic. According to the ASPCA, dogs who have too much of this poison will show signs of hypersalivation, slower heart rate, digestive system upset, lethargy, and dilated pupils.

Health Benefits of Tomatoes

Among the incredible health benefits tomatoes offer are vitamin A, C, V6, and B3, potassium, manganese, phosphorus, and fiber. They also contain other great vitamins and nutrients that are amazing for your dog. All of these are wonderful for the bone health of your pet.

On top of that, tomatoes are a great low-calorie snack.

Lycopene, an antioxidant that has been known to work against cancer, is also in tomatoes. This antioxidant also works against oxidative stress and other diseases and is a wonderful addition to your pet’s diet.

Despite this, if your dog is being fed a complete diet with their regular dog food, they should not need the added benefits of tomatoes.

Is Tomato Sauce Toxic To Dogs?

Tomato sauce, usually served as pasta sauce, comes from a jar and includes many different ingredients, such as garlic, salt, sugar, and onion. Although some of these aren’t the worst for your dog, such as sugar, many can be very harmful and lead to an upset stomach.

While sugar in large quantities can lead to obesity over larger periods of time, and too much salt can cause salt poisoning, onions and garlic are the ingredients that you should be most careful of.

Unfortunately, these two ingredients will be found in most premade tomatoes sauces and can be toxic to dogs in almost any quantity.

How are Onions and Garlic toxic?

These two seasonings will attack your dog’s red blood cells, which over time can lead to anemia, poor health, weakness, and sometimes even death. Although small quantities of these ingredients are unlikely to hurt your dog, you should stay away from them whenever possible.

What are the Symptoms of Onion or Garlic Toxicity?

According to the VCA Hospitals, if your dog eats too much onion or garlic, they will display symptoms of toxicity that include foul breath, drooling, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea., and weakness.

If any of these symptoms are seen, you should call your vet right away so that they can treat the toxicity as soon as they possibly can. If the toxic has already been inside of your dog, they may need to administer medication and IV fluids.

If the dog’s anemia has gotten very bad, they may have to do a blood transfusion.

Pet owners who find that their dog has consumed a large amount of these ingredients must call the pet poison helpline at 800-213-6680.

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Tomato Sauce Ingredients

Though fresh tomatoes are okay for your dog to eat, tomato sauces usually contain oregano, basil, salt, garlic, onion, pepper, red pepper, and sugar.

Since some of those ingredients contain thiosulphate, known for being able to destroy the red blood cells of your dog if ingested, pasta sauces should be avoided when possible.

Can Dogs Eat Other Tomato Products?

Many other tomato products out there have some of the same issues that tomato sauce has. Let’s take a look at them.

Can Dogs Eat Tomato Soup?

Tomato soup can be completely fine for your dog to eat as long as the ingredients are clean and do not include anything that is toxic to your dogs, such as garlic, salt, and onions.

As discussed previously, these ingredients are toxic and can cause so many health problems for your dog, including kidney problems and, in extreme cases, death.

Some soups will include dairy, like cheese or cream, which is not great for dogs, especially since many dogs can be lactose intolerant. If they do eat this, they may just get an upset stomach, but it likely will not hurt them.

Your dog can likely eat a small amount of any soup without having issues, but if it is loaded up with seasonings, it isn’t suitable for dogs in large doses, and you should be careful about the amount your dog eats.

You should always contact your vet if you see any severe symptoms like fever, sticky, pale gums, bloody stool, or vomiting.

Can Dogs Eat Ketchup?

Most dogs will eat just about anything they can get their mouths on, which is why many end up asking themselves if dogs can eat random things like ketchup.

Your dog should not eat ketchup. Although ketchup in its simplest form is not harmful to dogs, in addition to all the seasonings previously mentioned that this product also contains, many kinds of ketchup also have the artificial sweetener xylitol, which can cause hypoglycemia, liver failure, seizures, or even death in extreme cases.


This artificial sweetener is popular and used in so many products that contain sugar. But, unfortunately, it can cause kidney damage, vomiting, weakness, and low blood sugar for your dog.


Many popular kinds of ketchup contain seasonings. Although sometimes they are listed on the label, they may be labeled simply as ‘seasonings.’ When looking for ketchup that dogs can eat, it’s essential to check the ingredients.

Should Dogs Eat This?

For your dog’s health and safety, it is essential that they do not eat this. Some kinds of ketchup also contain a lot of salt. Dogs do not have a large tolerance to salt and can get salt poisoning or hypernatremia, which can cause organ damage or death in extreme cases.

Does the Size of your Dog

The size of your dog does matter when it comes to the toxicity of these ingredients.

Large Dogs

Large dogs are less likely to develop serious health issues when eating tomato sauce.

Despite this, those ingredients are still harmful to dogs, and you should not allow your dog to eat them if possible, no matter what.

Small Dogs

Small dogs who weigh less than ten pounds may become sick if eating any of the toxic ingredients in tomato sauces.

Final Thoughts-Can Dogs Eat Tomato Sauce?

Let’s be honest. Dogs really will eat anything they can get their mouth on. In real life, we can’t police every single thing they go after. However, we can try to make it so that our dogs are comfortable and not overindulge in really bad foods.

Although dog food has all the nutrients that dogs need in their daily diets, giving your dog ripe tomatoes is not harmful and will not hurt them. Just make sure that they are red tomatoes and not the green, unripe versions.

Dogs eat spaghetti sauce if it is given to them, or they get ahold of it. As long as they are not given a large bowl of spaghetti sauce, dogs should not have an adverse reaction to it. However, its ingredients make tomato sauce bad for dogs, so they should not be allowed to eat large amounts of the popular spaghetti sauce.

The poison that makes tomatoes bad for dogs is not an issue in tomato sauce, but you should make sure that the sauce does not have any toxic ingredients.

We all love our dogs and want to give them anything they want, but allowing them to eat some foods off of our plates just is not worth it in the end. In reality, it is best to make sure that their diets are the best they can be, with no risk to their health, so that they can live a long, happy, and healthy life and stay with us for as long as possible.

When feeding your dog pasta sauce, it really depends on how comfortable you feel with giving it to them and the ingredients. While it is likely that a little bit of pasta sauce, even with seasonings, will not hurt your dog, there is a possibility, especially if your dog is under ten pounds, that it could hurt them.

Sometimes it truly is worth just being careful and saying no to your dog if they want something!

That being said, our dogs will always eat things that they shouldn’t, so just make sure that you are aware of the ingredients in your sauce and watch for any symptoms!