I’m sure you’ve seen at some point on Facebook or any other social media network various memes floating around the internet that pigs eat a lot of strange things. But does that include tomatoes? Well, as usual, this is a much more important question than one might expect.
Can pigs eat tomatoes? Yes, pigs can eat tomatoes, as long as they are fully ripened. Green tomatoes, stems, and leaves of tomato plants are toxic to pigs due to their solanine content and should be avoided. Pigs can safely eat both raw and cooked tomatoes.
Having a pig as a pet means that you will never have to worry about feeding them. They’re one of the least fussy eaters among all the pets and will gladly gobble down anything you serve them. However, just because they eat everything doesn’t mean everything is safe and healthy for them.
In this article, we will talk about whether or not your pets should be eating tomatoes, the effect of these veggies on their health, and more. Stay with us till the end.
- The nutritional value of Tomatoes
- Are Tomatoes healthy for Pigs?
- Are unripe Tomatoes harmful to Pigs?
- Raw or cooked Tomatoes: which ones are better for the Pigs?
- Is it okay to feed Cherry Tomatoes to Pigs?
- Can Potbelly Pigs eat tomatoes?
- What about tomato plants? Can Pigs eat them?
- Is it safe for Pigs to eat Tomato Sauce?
- Feeding Tomatoes to Pigs: things to remember
- Other garden vegetables that Pigs are fond of
- Conclusion: Can Pigs Eat Tomatoes?
The nutritional value of Tomatoes
If we are going to talk about the effect of tomatoes on your pet pig’s health in this article, we must have a basic idea of their nutritional composition. The table that we have curated below will help you with it. Take a look:
|Vitamin A||42 mcg|
|Vitamin B1 (Thiamin)||0.037 mg|
|Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)||0.019 mg|
|Vitamin B3 (Niacin)||0.594 mg|
|Vitamin B4 (Choline)||6.7 mg|
|Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid)||0.089 mg|
|Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)||0.08 mg|
|Vitamin B9 (Folate)||15 mcg|
|Vitamin C||13.7 mg|
|Vitamin E||0.54 mg|
|Potassium, K||237 mg|
|Phosphorus, P||24 mg|
|Magnesium, Mg||11 mg|
|Calcium, Ca||10 mg|
|Sodium, Na||5 mg|
|Iron, Fe||0.27 mg|
|Zinc, Zn||0.17 mg|
|Manganese, Mn||0.114 mg|
|Copper, Cu||0.059 mg|
Serving size: 100 grams
Are Tomatoes healthy for Pigs?
In the last section, we learned about the nutritional value of tomatoes. Now, we will discuss which of these nutrients can help your little pets:
- Tomatoes are a storehouse of antioxidants and contain many of them, including chlorogenic acid, naringenin, lycopene, and beta-carotene. These antioxidants combat the negative effects of oxidative stress in your pigs. Lycopene, in particular, is also responsible for promoting their healthy growth and improving their meat quality.
- Tomatoes are rich in Vitamin C., And while pigs can synthesize this vitamin independently and are not dependent on their diet for it, studies have shown that its consumption is healthy for their fertility.
- Potassium, which maintains both the water balance and the acid-base balance in the pig’s body, can also be found in tomatoes.
- Tomatoes are high-fiber vegetables that are known to impact the digestive health of your pets positively.
- Being rich in water, tomatoes are also good for their hydration, especially during the summers.
Are unripe Tomatoes harmful to Pigs?
While red, ripe tomatoes are both safe and healthy for your pets, what about the green, unripe ones? Can they eat the green tomatoes as well? Unfortunately, not. It is the presence of solanine in these tomatoes that makes them downright lethal to your pigs.
But what is solanine, and is how does it harm your pet’s health? Let’s find out:
The risk of Solanine Poisoning
Solanine is a powerful glycoalkaloid poison present in all the nightshade plants that prevent insects from eating their fruits. But in addition to being lethal to pests and insects, this poison is also harmful to larger animals like pigs.
Since solanine is only present in the green parts of the nightshade plants, eating red, fully-ripened tomatoes will not be a problem for your pets. However, if they consume tomatoes that are not completely ripened and are still green, they could suffer from Solanine Poisoning.
Some of the common symptoms of this disease are:
- Stomach cramps
- Burning sensation in the throat
- Joint pains
In severe cases of this poisoning, your pets might also display symptoms like fever, paralysis, jaundice, and hypothermia.
Raw or cooked Tomatoes: which ones are better for the Pigs?
As we have mentioned time and again, pigs are flexible eaters and can eat tomatoes both raw and cooked. While tomatoes are nutritious both when they’re raw and cooked, there is a significant difference in the nutritional value of the two.
Some of the vitamins found in these veggies are heat sensitive and can be lost or reduced in cooking them. Vitamin C is one such example; studies show that the Vitamin C content decreases by 10% after cooking it for merely 2 minutes.
Therefore, going with the raw ones is a good idea if you want to feed your pets tomatoes in their healthiest form.
Is it okay to feed Cherry Tomatoes to Pigs?
Believed to be the genetic admixture of the garden and wild-currant tomatoes, the cherry tomatoes are small tomatoes that are often oblong in shape.
The size of these tomatoes can range between a thumb-tip and a golf ball. While most of us are familiar only with red-colored cherry tomatoes, their green, yellow, and black-colored varieties exist.
From a nutritional standpoint, the value of these tomatoes is more or less the same as regular garden tomatoes. Thus, there is no reason these cannot be fed to your pet pigs. Although, because of their small size, your pets might need more of them to fulfill their hunger.
Can Potbelly Pigs eat tomatoes?
Named after their low-hanging belly, the Potbelly Pigs are an endangered breed of domestic pigs endemic to Vietnam.
Although these pigs have slower growth than the others, their meat has a unique flavor. This is why they are mostly reared for their meat.
As far as tomatoes are concerned, potbelly pigs can eat them just as safely as any other pig breed. Although tomatoes cannot help them with fat or protein, Vitamins A and C in these veggies can certainly strengthen their immune health.
Their high water content is also effective in keeping the pigs hydrated. Just remember to keep the greens of tomatoes and their plant away from them, and you’re good to go.
What about tomato plants? Can Pigs eat them?
Are you fond of vegetable gardening and happen to have a garden in your backyard? While it means you have access to fresh, home-grown vegetables, if there are nightshade plants in your garden, it could be a concern for your pigs.
As discussed above, the solanine present in these plants is toxic to pigs, like most other animals. And since every green part of a nightshade plant contains solanine, there is no way your pigs can eat them.
This is true not only for tomato plants but also for any other nightshade plant, like potatoes, eggplants, and so on.
Is it safe for Pigs to eat Tomato Sauce?
When it comes to feeding tomato sauce to pigs, the first question you should be asking yourself is: is the sauce you’re talking about store-bought, or do you make it by yourself?
If you want to offer homemade tomato sauce to your pet pigs, you can certainly do so without impacting their health. However, store-bought tomato sauce and ketchup should never be fed to the pigs or any other pets that you have.
These are processed foods manufactured solely for human consumption and contain chemical additives and preservatives that could be lethal to them.
Feeding Tomatoes to Pigs: things to remember
Are you ready to feed tomatoes to your pet pigs now? Here are a few more pointers that might come in handy:
- When selecting tomatoes for your pigs, always go with the ones that are the brightest in color. Also, check them thoroughly for any signs of spoilage.
- Wash all the tomatoes properly under running tap water, and dry them off with clean paper towels.
- If your pigs are young, cut the tomatoes in half so that they can chew them easily. Feeding them a whole tomato could pose a choking hazard.
- Whenever you’re feeding them tomatoes, make sure to mix them with one or two other vegetables. Tomatoes are highly acidic and, if fed in large quantities, could lead to urinary tract infections.
Other garden vegetables that Pigs are fond of
Tomatoes are not the only garden vegetables that are healthy for your pets and are loved by them. There are many other veggies that you can grow in your garden that you and your pets can enjoy.
Below are some of these vegetables that we would recommend you to feed them:
- Dark green lettuce
Conclusion: Can Pigs Eat Tomatoes?
Yes, pigs can eat tomatoes. Pigs are omnivores and will eat both plants and animals. However, certain parts of the tomato plant are toxic to pigs.
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