When it comes to food, Spaniels can eat many fruits, given that the amount is appropriate and offered after prior vet consultation. The same goes for tomatoes. And so, if you have been thinking of introducing this yummy edible to your pup then you have arrived at the right place.
Ripe tomatoes are usually the best choice for Spaniels as they have a balanced acid and sugar content. So, unlike raw tomatoes, ripe ones will neither leave a tart flavor afterwards nor risk exposing the pup to acidity or gastric issues. That being said, they are also a great source of fiber, antioxidants, Vitamin C, K, and many more micro-nutrients.
To understand it better, here’s a breakdown of what you can expect and the things you will need to be wary about.
Are tomatoes safe for Spaniels?
Packed with the benefits of a myriad of micronutrients, tomatoes are indeed safe for canine consumption. This sweet-sour fruit when offered regularly has been found to support the overall health of these furry little angels by introducing all essential vitamins and minerals that may be missing out.
For instance, high in antioxidants and lycopene, a monitored consumption of ripe tomatoes and related products reduces the risk of heart diseases by a whopping 15-20 percent. Apart from that the soluble and insoluble dietary fibers add bulk to their stool while maintaining a uniform smoothness. This can come handy if your Spaniel tends to get constipated very often. Tomatoes are also rich in beta-carotene, Vitamin A, and C that work together to keep your pooch’s coat looking shiny, soft and healthy.
However, the catch with this seemingly divine fruit is when it’s unripened. A raw tomato, including its green parts (such as stems and vines) consist of a toxin called solanine. This toxin if ingested causes severe gastrointestinal upset in canines and although small quantities may not cause much damage, it could still risk their safety.
Are there any side effects to offering tomatoes to Spaniels?
Offering a ripe tomato is usually safe for most Spaniels. But issues may arise if they are allergic to any of its contents or have a sensitive stomach. Similarly another factor that often leads to health consequences is when they are overfed. In such cases, the side effects may include:
- Gastrointestinal upset
- Stomach bloating
- Nausea and lethargy
- Paced heart rate
- Painful regurgitation or contraction of stomach muscles
- Severe stomach aches, and more
If your dog exhibits any of these above-mentioned signs, then getting immediate vet help is necessary. Without this the pup will only writhe more in pain that no loving pawrent wants to ever witness in their life.
What is Tomatine Poisoning?
‘Tomatine poisoning’ is a term generally used to denote any poisoning occurring due to the toxins present in tomatoes. Similar to solanine, a few other toxins may be present in the fruit, based upon their maturity, type, and other environmental factors. So, if administered without proper dosage, the rise in toxin levels gives rise to a number of health conditions and thus the name.
Based upon the amount ingested, tomatine poisoning can be pretty lethal. While the consequences may be a little subtle for larger breeds, smaller ones like the Spaniels, are often exposed to the adverse effects in a much harsher way.
- Loss of appetite
- Sudden drop in proper muscle coordination
- Muscle weakness
- Increased salivation or drooling
- Dilated pupils
- Bad phases of seizures and body tremors
- Cardiac arrest
- Seizures, etc
Can Tomatine Poisoning Lead to Death in Spaniels?
As discussed previously, tomatine poisoning can bear great discomfort and pain to the canine, but rarely they are fatal. From the emergence of the first toxicity symptoms, if professional care is administered at the right time, the Spaniel can bounce back to its previous health in a matter of a few days only.
When taken to a qualified and experienced vet, the specialist will perform a full body examination. This may include blood tests, urine sampling and ECG. All of these diagnostic measures are done to track the damage done by the toxins within the canine’s body and thereby take necessary steps.
Afterwards, depending upon the situation, the doctor may induce regurgitation by introducing fluids directly into the canine’s stomach. This process is usually done whilst the Spaniel is under the influence of local anesthesia to prevent further agony to the dogs and also to minimize injury.
How can I safely share Tomatoes with Dogs?
For this you will have to follow these steps:
Get Professional Consultation
It is common knowledge that prior to making any diet changes, pet parents should always consult with a veterinarian or a qualified canine nutrition specialist. Without this, there is no way of finding if your pooch is allergic to the new diet or how much quantity is a perfect fit.
So, if you are looking for a healthy way to introduce tomatoes to your Spaniel, never miss out this basic step.
Start with minimal amounts
No matter if it is a small Cocker Spaniel or its relatively larger sibling, the Clumber Spaniel, always ensure slow and gradual initiation of the diet change. Even though tomatoes have a load of benefits for your canine, you don’t want them to suffer from acidity with all that sourness.
Typically based upon their weight, age and health factors, the amount should be administered. However on an average, adding 1/8th fraction of the tomato puree or powder initially is a better choice. Once the pooch falls into a rhythm without exhibiting any side effects, you can then gradually increase the dosage.
Exclude all green parts
In case you are making your own tomato puree, always remember to exclude all green parts from the concoction. This includes the stem, leaves and any remnants of unripened parts on the fruit. Such parts are filled with a lot of toxins and even though they may not affect the pooch in small quantities, why risk your pup’s health over something that can be avoided.
Choose the right form of tomato
In this process choosing the right form of tomato is also highly crucial. Company manufactured tomato based powders usually have a concentrated tomato base while puree is mixed with other beneficial elements to ease digestion.
Thus, if you are investing in concentrated tomato powder, a small pinch daily can fulfill the Spaniel’s nutritional requirements. But, if you are going for the puree version, then ensuring extra care with the dosage is a must. Similarly, if you are making your own DIY tomato powder or puree, the final dosage will again differ.
Always heed to the right amount and frequency of feeding
Finally, to make this new diet a success, heeding to the prescribed amount of feeding and frequency is equally important. Going overboard will only risk the canine’s digestive system and therefore isn’t a wise choice. The dog may also exhibit allergic reactions to the feed which can swiftly go wayward.
Can I feed Tomato based products to my Spaniel?
Never and I repeat NEVER offer tomato-based products, such as tomato ketchup, sauce, chutney to your beloved furry partner. These feeds arrive heavily processed and are coupled with high amounts of unsaturated fatty acids that risk onset of canine obesity.
Additionally, they also have high content of sugar, salt and other spices that are outright toxic for canine consumption. If ignored, this can lead to severe gastrointestinal irritation, stomach bloating, ulcers, hard stool with blood clots, and much more severe health conditions.
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