do foxes eat tamatoes

Do Foxes Eat Tomatoes? (Benefits & Risks in 2023)

Foxes are fascinating creatures known for their adaptability and diverse diet. As omnivores, they have a broad range of food preferences, from small mammals and birds to fruits and vegetables. One question that often arises is whether foxes eat tomatoes and whether tomatoes are good for them. In this article, we will explore the dietary habits of foxes, their relationship with tomatoes, and the potential benefits.

Foxes are known for their ability to adapt to various environments and food sources. They have a flexible diet that allows them to survive in a wide range of habitats, including forests, grasslands, and urban areas. Their opportunistic feeding behavior means they take advantage of whatever food is readily available.

Do Foxes Eat Tomatoes?

Yes, foxes can eat tomatoes, but only ripe tomatoes. Green tomatoes and the leaves, stems, and berries of the tomato plant contain toxins called glycoalkaloids, which can be harmful to foxes. Ripe tomatoes contain lower levels of glycoalkaloids, but it is still best to feed them in moderation.

Studies and observations suggest that foxes can indeed eat tomatoes. However, it’s important to note that tomatoes are not a staple food for them. Foxes are opportunistic feeders, and their dietary choices depend on the availability of food sources in their environment.

Foxes may come across tomatoes in areas where they are cultivated or in gardens. When ripe tomatoes are easily accessible, foxes might take the opportunity to sample them. This behavior is more commonly observed in urban or suburban areas where foxes have adapted to scavenging food from human settlements.

It’s worth mentioning that foxes are known to have a strong sense of smell, and the aroma of ripe tomatoes might attract their attention. However, their consumption of tomatoes is typically sporadic and does not make up a significant portion of their diet.

While foxes can eat tomatoes, it’s important to consider that tomatoes belong to the nightshade family (Solanaceae), which includes other plants like potatoes and peppers. Some plants in this family contain a compound called solanine, which can be toxic to certain animals, including foxes, if consumed in large quantities.

Fortunately, the levels of solanine in ripe tomatoes are generally low and are not typically harmful to foxes when consumed in moderation. However, unripe or green tomatoes may contain higher levels of solanine and should be avoided.

Are Tomatoes Good for Foxes?

Now that we know foxes can eat tomatoes, let’s explore whether tomatoes are actually beneficial for them. Tomatoes are known to be rich in certain nutrients and compounds that can have positive effects on health, both for humans and some animal species. However, it’s important to consider the specific nutritional needs of foxes before determining the extent of the benefits tomatoes may provide.

Nutritional Value

Tomatoes are a good source of vitamins A, C, and K, as well as potassium and antioxidants. These nutrients play important roles in overall health, immune function, and the prevention of oxidative stress. While foxes primarily obtain their essential nutrients from animal-based foods, the occasional consumption of plant matter, including tomatoes, can contribute to their overall nutrient intake.


Tomatoes have a high water content, which can help with hydration. In times of scarce water sources, the moisture content of tomatoes can be beneficial for foxes. However, it’s worth noting that foxes are generally well adapted to obtaining water from their prey, so tomatoes might not be a primary source of hydration for them.

Dietary Variety

Including a variety of foods in a diet is often considered beneficial for maintaining overall health. While tomatoes may not be a staple food for foxes, their occasional consumption adds dietary diversity. This can be especially advantageous in environments where prey availability fluctuates seasonally or due to other factors.

Potential Drawbacks

While ripe tomatoes are generally safe for foxes when consumed in moderation, there are some considerations. As mentioned earlier, unripe or green tomatoes contain higher levels of solanine, a compound that can be toxic in large quantities. Foxes should avoid consuming unripe tomatoes to prevent potential adverse effects.

Factors Influencing Foxes’ Tomato Consumption

While foxes have been observed eating tomatoes, their inclination to consume them can be influenced by various factors. Let’s explore some of these factors that may impact foxes’ tomato consumption:

Environmental Factors

The environment in which foxes inhabit can also influence their access to tomatoes. Foxes in urban or suburban areas may have more opportunities to encounter gardens or cultivated areas where tomatoes are grown. In contrast, foxes in natural habitats may have limited exposure to tomatoes unless they come across wild tomato plants.

Individual Preferences

Just like humans, individual foxes may have their own preferences when it comes to food. Some foxes may show more interest in tomatoes compared to others. This preference can be influenced by factors such as previous exposure to tomatoes, personal taste preferences, and individual dietary habits.

Seasonal Variations

The availability of tomatoes may vary throughout the year due to seasonal factors. In regions where tomatoes are grown during specific months, foxes may have a higher chance of encountering them during those periods. Seasonal fluctuations in tomato availability can influence the frequency and extent of foxes’ consumption.


Foxes are known for their adaptability in food choices, tomatoes are not a staple part of their diet. Foxes primarily rely on animal-based food sources, with limited consumption of plant matter. While foxes may occasionally encounter tomatoes, their natural instincts and taste preferences often prevent them from actively seeking out or consuming these fruits.


Can foxes eat other types of fruits besides tomatoes?

Yes, foxes have been observed eating various types of fruits, including berries and apples. However, their consumption of fruits is generally lower compared to their intake of animal-based food sources.

Are tomatoes toxic to foxes?

Tomatoes are not inherently toxic to foxes. However, the acidic nature and bitterness of tomatoes might discourage foxes from consuming them voluntarily.

Should I be concerned if a fox eats tomatoes from my garden?

The occasional consumption of tomatoes by a fox should not cause significant concern. However, if you wish to protect your garden from foxes, consider implementing appropriate deterrents or fencing.

Do foxes cause damage to tomato plants?

While foxes might explore gardens, they are not known to specifically target tomato plants for damage. Other garden pests, such as rabbits or deer, are more likely to cause harm to tomato plants.

How can I discourage foxes from my garden without harming them?

To deter foxes from your garden, you can try methods like installing fencing, using motion-activated sprinklers, or removing attractants such as pet food or garbage.

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