Can Horses Eat Tomatoes? A Complete Guide for Horse Owners

No, horses should not eat tomatoes. Tomatoes contain substances like solanine and tomatine, which are toxic to horses. Consuming them can lead to digestive issues and other health problems

Got tomatoes growing in your garden and wondering if they’d make a tasty treat for your horse? Hold your horses—this isn’t as straightforward as it seems.

Are tomatoes safe or a risky bet? Get ready to discover the surprising answers, backed by vets and horse owners alike! Read on to make sure you’re feeding your horse the right treats.

What Are The Risks of Feeding Tomatoes to Horses?

Thinking of feeding tomatoes to your horse? Stop right there. It’s crucial to know that tomatoes pose serious risks to horses. Let’s dive into the details.

Solanine and Tomatine Toxins

Tomatoes contain solanine and tomatine. These toxins can cause severe health problems in horses. Symptoms may include digestive upset, trembling, and even respiratory distress.

Symptoms of Tomato Poisoning

Be alert for signs like drooling, weakness, or colic. Severe cases may involve difficulty breathing and irregular heartbeat. Prompt veterinary attention is essential.

The Solanaceae Family

Tomatoes belong to the Solanaceae plant family. This family includes other toxic plants like deadly nightshade. Even small amounts of these plants can be dangerous.

Acute and Chronic Effects

Short-term exposure may cause immediate illness. Long-term exposure to these toxins can lead to chronic health issues like kidney or liver damage.

No Safe Parts

All parts of the tomato plant are toxic to horses. This includes the leaves, stem, and the fruit itself. Keep tomato plants far away from horse pastures.

Tomatoes are a no-go when it comes to horse feeding. The risks far outweigh any perceived benefits, from immediate toxicity symptoms to long-term health issues. Stick to safer, horse-approved treats instead.

What Veterinarians & Horse Owners Say?

Are you curious about what experts think of feeding tomatoes to horses? Both veterinarians and horse owners say it’s a hard no. Let’s get into the facts and the research behind their advice.

Veterinarians Warn Against It

Veterinarians are unanimous: tomatoes are not safe for horses. Toxins like solanine can cause harm. Studies show that solanine affects the nervous system and can lead to digestive issues.

Field Experiences from Horse Owners

Experienced horse owners agree. Online forums and social media groups are filled with stories of emergency vet visits due to accidental tomato consumption.

Case Studies

Real-life cases exist where horses have suffered from eating tomatoes. Journal articles often document these incidents, noting symptoms that required immediate medical attention.

“Natural” Doesn’t Mean Safe

Veterinarians and horse owners alike stress that natural foods are not always safe. Tomatoes, despite being organic and wholesome for humans, are harmful to horses, as confirmed by research.

Precautions to Take

Both groups recommend strong fencing to keep horses away from dangerous plants. Some veterinarians even offer guides on horse-safe planting to prevent accidental exposure.

When it comes to tomatoes, the consensus is to keep them away from horses. Backed by scientific research and first-hand experiences, the experts offer a united stance on this issue. Trust their advice to ensure your horse stays healthy.


What are the symptoms if a horse eats tomatoes?

Symptoms may include drooling, weakness, digestive upset, trembling, and in severe cases, respiratory issues and irregular heartbeat.

Can horses eat tomato plants?

No, all parts of the tomato plant, including leaves and stems, are toxic to horses.

Do horses like tomatoes?

Some horses might enjoy tomatoes, while others may avoid them. Individual preferences vary. It’s always important to introduce any new food slowly.

Can horses eat tomato seeds?

While tomato seeds aren’t toxic to horses, it’s best practice to remove them. Whole tomatoes can pose a choking risk, so always serve in manageable pieces.

Are cherry tomatoes also harmful?

Yes, cherry tomatoes contain the same toxins as regular tomatoes and should be avoided.


Tomatoes are a definite no-go for horses. Both the fruit and the plant contain toxins like solanine that can be harmful. The consensus among veterinarians and experienced horse owners is clear: avoid feeding tomatoes to horses. 

Instead, opt for safe and nutritious alternatives like apples and carrots to keep your horse healthy.

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