Fresh tomatoes

Can Parrots Eat Tomatoes?

Fruits are generally considered to be healthy and nutritious for parrots. But one that has a tangy flavor and is commonly used in cooking, isn’t really your typical fruit. 

Tomatoes are one of the more versatile foods out there and are widely used in all sorts of everyday dishes. Not only do they enhance flavors, but they also sprinkle some good nutrients as well.

However, they do have a reputation for being a little too acidic and causing stomach problems. This raises the question, can parrots eat tomatoes?  

While tomatoes are not toxic to parrots, their acidic nature may not be well-tolerated by them. The high acid levels can irritate a parrot’s stomach which causes inflammation and abdominal discomfort. Furthermore, the high acidity of tomatoes can also potentially lead to the development of ulcers in parrots.

Are Tomatoes Safe For Parrots? 

Tomatoes normally have a pH level that is well below neutral, making them a cause of digestive discomfort in parrots. So if you ask whether they are safe for parrots to consume really depends on the amount and the type of tomato. 

Some tomatoes are more acidic than others. Generally, the ripe ones that are considered fit for our consumption, will not create much trouble for your parrots in small amounts. However, if a parrot eats too much, It can create some troublesome gastrointestinal issues.      

Why Are Tomatoes Bad For Parrots? 

Tomatoes are bad for parrots mainly due to their low pH levels. The highly acidic composition of tomatoes can put undue stress on a parrot’s digestive system and cause abdominal distress. It can further lead to more serious issues like inflammation of the digestive tract and even ulcers.  

Moreover, tomatoes belong to the nightshade family of plants, which contains a compound called tomatine. It is a toxin that is considered to be harmful to many animals. While tomatine is generally considered to have low toxicity in birds, it is something to be aware of. 

Green Vs Ripe Tomatoes

Not all tomatoes are equal in terms of their acidity. The stage of ripeness can significantly affect their acid levels. Generally, green or unripe tomatoes tend to be more acidic compared to fully ripe ones. What this also means is that green tomatoes are considerably more unsafe for parrots to consume. You should never let your parrot eat green tomatoes as even a small bite could create severe stomach problems.  

Moreover, tomatoes that are not fully ripe, may still have some green in certain parts (unriped portions). These green parts can be higher in acidity and can be more dangerous for parrots to consume. So, even if you choose to offer your parrot a little piece, make sure to cut the green portions and only give them the ripes ones.  

Green and ripe tomatoes

What Happens If My Parrot Eats Tomatoes?

Tomatoes are generally harmless in small quantities. So if your parrot took a small bite of a tomato, it is nothing to worry about. However, if a parrot consumes a little more than a bite of tomato, it can run into several digestive problems. 

Stomach Upset

Firstly, the parrot may experience gastrointestinal discomfort due to inflammation. This happens because the natural acids, such as citric and malic acids irritate the sensitive lining of a parrot’s stomach. 


The high acidity of tomatoes can further cause irritation in the digestive tract, leading to symptoms such as diarrhea, vomiting, or regurgitation. If a parrot has a sensitive stomach or a pre-existing gastrointestinal condition, the consumption of tomatoes may exacerbate these issues.


Tomatoes can potentially contribute to inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract. Prolonged exposure through high amounts of consumption can increase acidity levels inside and lead to the development of gastric ulcers in parrots. Ulcers can cause bowel discomfort, loss of appetite, and negatively affect their overall well-being.

What Type Of Tomatoes Can Parrots Eat? 

Although most types of tomatoes are not suitable for your parrot’s sensitive tummies, that does not mean they cannot have them at all. 

There are numerous varieties of tomatoes that grow on land. From small red rubies like the grape or cherry tomato to tangy and sour such as the sun sugar white cherry. But when it comes to the safest type, conventional tomatoes are best suited, especially those that are fully ripped. 

However, you shouldn’t offer them raw to your parrot. Since their intense flavor is the main culprit, we need to neutralize them if we choose to give them to our parrots. There are two ways you can safely reduce acid in tomatoes:


Deseeding tomatoes is a helpful practice that reduces the acidity of the fruit. Tomato seeds contain natural acids, and removing them can significantly decrease the acid levels. By simply scooping them out, we can create a fruit that is much milder and easier on the tummy. 


Letting them simmer for a while is another great way to kill off the extra acids. When tomatoes are cooked the heat causes chemical changes in the fruit and the breakdown of acids which are responsible for the low pH of raw tomatoes. However, don’t let them cook for too long. It can actually increase the acid content. 

tomato ketchup

Can Parrots Eat Tomato Seeds?

No, parrots cannot eat tomato seeds. A good part of the acid content in tomatoes comes from the seeds. It is often recommended to remove the seeds of tomatoes before giving them to parrots to minimize the acidic effects.  

Can Parrots Eat Cherry Tomatoes?

The most significant and apparent difference between cherry tomatoes and regular tomatoes is size. Cherry tomatoes are basically a smaller version of the same fruit. So, the answer remains the same, parrots can eat cherry tomatoes in small amounts with the seeds removed but don’t offer them too often.   

Can Parrots Eat Sun-Dried Tomatoes? 

Parrots should not eat sun-dried tomatoes. These are typically more concentrated in acidic flavor and have a higher sugar content as well. They are not a healthy snack for parrots and should not be offered to them. 

Can Parrots Eat Tomato Ketchup?

It is generally not recommended to feed ketchup to parrots. It is not just because of tomatoes. Ketchup often contains ingredients like salt, sugar, and other additives that are not suitable for birds. High amounts of sodium in ketchup can disrupt the electrolyte balance in parrots if consumed in excess.  

Can Parrots Eat Salsa?

It is recommended to avoid giving salsa to parrots as it is not a safe food for them. Besides having a high concentration of tomatoes salsa also contains harmful ingredients like onions, garlic, salt, and spices. These ingredients can be bad for parrots and can create many digestive problems. Onions and garlic, in particular, contain compounds that can be toxic to parrots and potentially lead to serious health issues. 


Tomatoes may be a healthy food for us, but it is not appropriate to feed your parrots. And since these fruits are a large part of our culinary culture, we need to be careful of the human foods we share with our birds. Tomatoes can be the base for many recipes. Whether it is the ketchup we eat on a regular or when we bake a pizza at home, tomatoes are a staple.  

Although it may not have any negative effects on parrots in small quantities, it is best to avoid it as much as possible. You do not want tomatoes slipping into your parrot’s diet in any way considering the potential impact it can have on them.     

Dorson Joseph
Dorson Joseph

I'm Dorson, a bird enthusiast who's had a lifelong fascination for the avian world. I am a parent to my beloved Senegal parrot and budgie, which has deepened my love for avian creatures and taught me a lot over the years. I co-run a bird store and care center with my friends, where we work with experienced professionals to care for our flock. Now, I find great joy in sharing my knowledge with others, hoping to assist fellow bird keepers and enthusiasts in understanding birds and helping them live happy lives.

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