It’s Taco Tuesday and you’ve just whipped up a glorious spread of the tastiest meat, veggies, and sauces you can stuff inside a tortilla wrap. Just as you are about to take a bite out of your perfectly rolled taco, your pet’s puppy dog eyes are looking expectantly at you.
Before you give in to your pup’s wishes, you figured maybe a small piece won’t hurt.. or can it? Can dogs eat tortillas? Find the answers in this article, wherein we discuss the possible effects of feeding tortillas to your dog.
Can Dogs Eat Tortilla Wraps?
Can Dogs Eat Corn Tortillas?
So can dogs eat tortilla wraps safely? The answer is, yes dogs can eat them. Plain tortilla wraps made with corn are not toxic or poisonous to dogs. These wraps made for soft tacos do not harm them unless they are allergic to corn. However, eating tortillas do not give any health benefits to dogs.
Can Dogs Eat Flour Tortillas?
Can dogs eat flour tortillas? Yes, dogs can eat flour tortillas. Just like corn tortillas, these tortillas are non-toxic to dogs. However, any dog with gluten intolerance should not be given flour tortillas.
Some commercially available corn tortillas are not made of pure corn or corn flour. If they are not labeled as gluten-free, check the ingredients as they may contain wheat flour as well.
Much like bread, tortillas do not have the nutrients that dogs need. They are more like fillers and can pretty much just provide carbs.
Can Dogs Eat Spinach Tortillas?
But what about spinach tortillas? Yes, they can. While it has more slightly vitamins and other nutrients compared to the flour tortilla or corn tortillas, spinach tortillas are still heavy on carbs and should not be given to dogs in large amounts.
Can Dogs Eat Multigrain Tortillas?
Yes, dogs can eat multigrain tortillas. They have a higher fiber content compared to flour tortillas. Multigrain tortillas have a slightly higher nutritional value as well. But because it does not have the protein content that dogs need, eating large portions regularly can contribute to weight gain.
Can Dogs Eat Tortilla Chips?
Yes, you can give your dog tortilla chips, but only if they are unseasoned. There are no tortilla chips good for dogs nutritionally, but plain ones are safe to eat in small amounts.
But can dogs eat flavored tortillas? No. Most tortilla chips or corn tortilla chips are seasoned with salt, spices, or artificial flavorings. It is these flavoring agents that can make tortillas bad for dogs.
Dogs should not be given salty, spicy, or seasoned foods as they can cause harm to different aspects of dogs’ health. Do not let your dogs eat Tostitos. Too much salt in their diet can also cause salt poisoning. If your dog eats a lot of flavored chips by accident, provide fresh water and call your vet for further instructions.
If the corn tortilla chips are homemade, baked tortillas, or fried tortillas without any salt and spices, then yes, they are safe for dogs. However, if your dog has a condition (e.g. pancreatitis) that requires her to be on a low-fat diet, fried foods of any kind should be avoided.
Can Dogs Eat Taco Shells?
So can dogs eat tortilla shells or taco shells? Yes, they are typically unseasoned just like plain tortilla wraps so dogs can safely eat plain taco shells.
Can Puppies Eat Tortillas?
We don’t recommend allowing them to eat more than a tiny piece once in a while. While tortillas are non-toxic, puppies are in their development stage and it is not ideal for them to consume highly processed foods of minimal nutritional value, such as processed tortillas.
Can Puppies Eat Tortilla Chips?
Puppies should not be given tortilla chips as these are commonly seasoned with salt, spices, and other seasonings that can be bad for dogs and especially toxic to puppies.
Can Dogs Eat Tortillas? What is in Tortillas?
Corn tortillas are traditionally made entirely with corn and are considered whole grain tortillas. Making corn tortillas involves a process called nixtamalization. This process includes soaking and cooking the corn in an alkaline solution of calcium hydroxide or limewater.
The corn kernels are stone-ground and turned into corn dough or masa. The dough is flattened into thin round discs and then baked to turn into tortillas.
Traditionally made corn tortilla is safe for dogs. Despite being a single-ingredient food, corn tortillas do not do much to benefit a dog’s health. That said, it is non-toxic and can be fed to dogs in small amounts as this carb-heavy food can contribute to weight gain if consumed in larger portions regularly.
Commercial brands of corn tortilla are usually made with processed corn flour or mixed with wheat flour. So if your dog has gluten or wheat allergies, check the ingredients before giving her a piece.
According to Healthline.com, traditional corn tortillas deliver smaller amounts of sodium, carbs, fat, and calories than flour tortillas.
Compared to corn tortillas, the flour tortilla is made from wheat flour have a softer, sturdier texture. Typically made with refined flour, flour tortillas contain lard or shortening, as well as baking soda to help develop the gluten.
There are also whole wheat or whole grain tortillas that offer more nutritional value than the refined flour tortilla. While it may present a healthier version of the flour tortilla to us humans, it still lacks the nutrients that can be considered nutritionally valuable to our furry friends.
Containing wheat also means containing gluten. While not many dogs have gluten intolerance, there are some dogs who have developed allergies to certain grains such as wheat.
Flour tortillas have a higher fat content than corn tortillas. They need lard or shortening to give flour tortillas their rich flavor and airy texture. Lard is rendered, clarified pork fat, while shortening can be made of either animal or vegetable fat. Either of these fat sources are the most commonly used fats in flour tortillas.
Deep fried tortillas have a high fat content because they are deep-fried in oil. Dogs who require a low-fat diet due to conditions like pancreatitis should never be given fried tortillas. Frying can make plain flour tortillas bad for these dogs. If your dog ate some deep fried tortillas and has pancreatitis, call your vet for further advice.
Preservatives, Acidity Regulators, Stabilizers, etc.
Commercially available tortillas are usually made with more additives to help maintain quality and make them shelf-stable. They contain preservatives, acidity regulators, stabilizers, salt, vegetable gum, raising agents, and many others.
These ingredients serve different purposes – from protecting the food from bacterial growth to achieving a certain texture and flavor.
Salt, Artificial Flavors, Colors, and Spices
While tortillas are not commonly made to have flavor variants aside from spinach and a few others, tortilla chips come in a wide variety of flavors and spice levels. Dogs should not eat heavily-seasoned corn, blue corn chips, or any type of chips as their bodies are not built to take in high amounts of sodium. These chips contain a lot of salt, artificial flavors, colors, MSG, and spices which can be bad for dogs.
Regularly feeding your dog salty foods like tortilla chips can cause health problems such as kidney, liver, and urinary tract issues. Letting dogs a large helping of salty food once in a while also raises the dog’s risk for such health problems.
Dogs can get salt poisoning from too much salt. According to Dr. Larry J. Thompson of the American Board of Veterinary Toxicology, sodium poisoning can result in vomiting within several hours of ingestion of excessive amounts of salt. The clinical signs can progress to weakness, diarrhea, muscle tremors, and seizures.
Dogs should not be given spicy tortilla chips as well. Hot and spicy foods made with spicy peppers are bad for dogs as they can cause damage to your dog’s digestive system. They can cause abdominal pain, gas, vomiting, and diarrhea to your dog.
Onion and Garlic Powder
Dogs should not be fed foods with onions and garlic, so the corn tortillas bad for dogs are those flavored with these. While some dog food products may contain a tiny amount of garlic that is safe for dogs, flavored tortilla chips are loaded with garlic and onion powder. Consuming food with a lot of onion or garlic whether in raw, cooked or powdered form could cause Heinz body formation, anemia, and poisoning in dogs.
How To Ensure Your Tortillas or Tortilla Chips are Gluten-free
If you have a dog that has a gluten intolerance, there are things you can do to ensure that the tortillas or tortilla chips you occasionally share with her are indeed free from gluten.
Check the ingredient list
Checking the ingredient list should be regularly practiced by dog owners of those with food intolerances and sensitivities. Scan the ingredient list and look for gluten and gluten-containing grains such as wheat, durum, barley, rye, spelt, farina, semolina, brewers yeast, and others.
Look for known gluten-free ingredients
Instead of getting flour or whole wheat tortillas or tortilla chips, pick ones that are made with 100% corn. You can also get tortilla chips made with other gluten-free ingredients such as rice, chickpea flour, quinoa, sweet potatoes, and others.
Wheat-free is not gluten-free
Some packs of tortillas may be labeled “wheat-free”. This does not automatically mean that it is gluten-free, as there are other grains that also contain gluten.
Can Dogs Eat Homemade Tortillas?
Yes, dogs can eat homemade tortillas that are plain and unseasoned. Making them at home allows you to make fresh tortillas and control what goes in them. If your dog has gluten allergies, you can make plain tortillas that are made purely of corn or with gluten-free flour.
You can also omit spices and other flavoring agents that can make tortilla chips bad for dogs.
Can My Dog Eat Uncooked Tortilla Dough?
No. Raw corn tortillas or any raw dough is bad for dogs, especially if you are making tortillas that contain yeast. Any type of dough that contains yeast can be extremely unhealthy and dangerous to dogs. The uncooked dough will expand inside a dog’s stomach and can cause severe bloating. Bloating puts pressure on the dog’s organs, making it difficult to breathe.
Another reason dogs should never be allowed to eat raw dough with yeast is that dogs’ stomachs have the ideal conditions for not just the dough to rise and expand, but for the yeast in the dough to ferment. The fermentation process produces alcohol and can cause alcohol toxicosis.
Keep in mind that even small amounts of alcohol can be very dangerous to dogs. Eating rotten fruits can be very dangerous to dogs for the same fermentation process produces alcohol and can cause alcohol poisoning.
If you suspect that your dog ate some raw dough, call the vet immediately.
Symptoms of Alcohol Poisoning in Dogs
According to the American Kennel Club (AKC), these are the alcohol toxicosis symptoms to look out for if you suspect that your dog may have stolen a bite of raw dough, rotten fruits, or anything with alcohol:
- Depressed central nervous system
- Unsteady, drunken gait
Healthier Dog Treat Alternatives to Tortillas and Chips
Even if dogs can eat tortillas, there are numerous options for your pup that are way healthier than munching on tortillas or tortilla chips. We made a list of healthy alternatives to highly-processed, carb-heavy human food like tortillas:
Crispy Dog Treats
If your dog eats crispy corn chips with gusto, you’ll be glad to know that you no longer need to give in to your dog’s begging. You can let your dog eat meaty treats that have been thinly sliced and dehydrated or air-dried to crispy perfection. They come in a wide variety of options. You can get pork, beef, or lamb liver. Chicken breast strips are one of the most popular variants.
Many of these crispy treats are single-ingredient or limited-ingredient, making them the ideal dog treats for sensitive pups.
If your dog enjoys munching on hard tortilla shells, then he or she will probably enjoy gobbling down doggy biscuits. There are endless options when it comes to dog biscuits. Get a pack of biscuits made of your pup’s favorite meat/ protein source.
Aside from the wide variety of flavors, you can get biscuits that are perfectly sized for your dog. You can buy biscuits made specifically for small, medium, and large breed dogs. They usually have a weight range to help guide you in selecting the right one for your pet.
If you have a sensitive dog with food intolerances, you can also get grain and gluten-free biscuits. Instead of wheat, they are typically made with other natural ingredients such as tapioca, chickpeas, peas, sweet potatoes, and others. These treats come in flavors from chicken to peanut butter to bacon.
Homemade Chips and Crisps
Give your dog a break from commercial dog food products and whip up some fresh, homemade treats just for her. They are easier to make than you think. Simply slice up some sweet potatoes, carrots, or apples thinly. If you are using apples, make sure the seeds are taken out.
Place the slices on a baking tray or cookie sheet lined with parchment or baking paper and blot any excess moisture with a paper towel. Drizzle some coconut oil, sunflower oil, or flaxseed oil and bake until crispy.
The appropriate oven temperature and cooking times will depend on the vegetable or fruit you will be using. For sweet potatoes, it may take between 20-25 minutes at 300 F. Apples may need a lower temp but longer cooking time.
The good news is, that there are numerous recipes that you can find online. You can also use recipes for chips or crisps that are made for humans. Simply omit all the seasonings like salt, pepper, or spices, and use an oil that is good for dogs, such as coconut oil, sunflower oil, or flaxseed oil.
Chews and Jerky Treats
Chews and jerky treats are beloved by many dogs. They have multiple overall health and mental health benefits for dogs. Chewing lessens boredom, stress, and anxiety. Regular chewing keeps jaws strong, helps clean their teeth, and can help soothe teething pains for young puppies.
Like biscuits and other types of dog treats, there is a wide variety of options for dog chews. One of the most popular types is animal ears. You can get pig, cow, lamb, rabbit, and even kangaroo ears. They can be purchased dehydrated or air-dried.
If your pup is on a low-fat diet, avoid giving her pig ears as they are very high in fat. Cow ears are much less greasy. Rabbit and kangaroo ears would be great low-fat options as well.
Aside from animal ears, you can get sweet potato, apple, or carrot chews from pet shops, or you can make them yourself. Make them using the same baking process mentioned above. All you have to do is cut the sweet potatoes into thick slices so that they get a chewier texture once cooked. You can even wrap sweet potato sticks in thinly sliced strips of chicken breast for a truly special treat.
Dog chews made of Himalayan yak chews have been growing in popularity. Made with yak milk and cow’s milk, these hard cheese chews are typically made to be lactose-free and grain-free. These chews are quite hard so they will keep your dogs preoccupied for quite some time.
Because of its hard texture, yak cheese chews are not recommended for puppies below 6 months. Dental treats, bones, and other hard chews should not be given to young puppies as their baby teeth can be easily damaged.