Wondering if your dog can safely eat tortillas? The short answer is that a small amount probably won’t do any harm. Of course, it shouldn’t be a staple in the dog’s diet either.
Tortillas are made from flour and/or corn which is a hefty dose of carbohydrates for a dog. Too much of a good thing can lead to weight gain. Unfortunately, weight gain is associated with a variety of health problems in dogs including:
- heart disease,
- high blood pressure
Of course, there’s more than just tortillas to consider. It’s easy to slip your dog a few tortilla chips now and then, but how much is too much? Sometimes, it depends on the dog.
It seems that some dogs can eat just about anything without getting so much as an upset stomach . Other dogs, especially those with food allergies or gluten intolerance, can suffer serious gastrointestinal upset… or worse.
This post will give you everything you need to know about the potential health risks associated with feeding dogs processed snacks. Discover some of the common ingredients in tortillas and how they can affect your dog’s health.
How Bad Are Tortillas for Dogs?
The answer to this depends on the type of tortilla, how much is eaten and how often it’s eaten. As a dog parent, you want the best for your furry friend. Offering your dog a treat, especially something you’re eating, feels good. It’s a nice bonding experience.
Unfortunately, it’s a habit that comes with some controversy. For one thing, it sets the dog up to habitually beg for food while you’re eating. It’s not a great habit to get into and it comes with risk.
Tortillas are high in salt, high in calories, and have very little nutritional value. Homemade tortillas might be better because you control the ingredients. A piece of tortilla bread now and then is okay. The problem is when it becomes part of the dog’s regular diet.
The dogs most at risk of health problems are those with wheat allergies, gluten intolerance, heart problems, blood sugar issues and those with a sensitive digestive system.
Keep in mind that this is just a partial list of underlying conditions.
Dog Friendly Snack Options
If you want your dog to enjoy a snack without risky high-salt/high calorie options, consider having some of the following treats nearby:
What Ingredients Are in Tortillas?
Processed tortillas are more likely to have harmful ingredients for dogs. In small amounts, and on rare occasions, a small bite of tortilla is probably safe.
Main ingredients commonly found in tortillas include:
Although safe, corn flour has little nutritional value.
Wheat flour is found in many human foods. Crackers, bread, muffins, cake, etc., all have some kind of wheat flour in them.
You might think you’re only giving your dog a small amount of tortilla. However, if you (or others) are also feeding your dog other human foods, the impact can seriously hurt the dog’s health.
Consuming high quantities of wheat flour can contribute to weight gain. Wheat may aggravate dogs with a sensitive stomach . The gluten alone in this type of flour can cause allergic reactions. Symptoms of an allergic reaction to wheat flour include:
- Itchy Skin
- Ear Infections
- Gastrointestinal Upset
AMYLASES and XYLANASE
These ingredients are used in many commercial products to extend the shelf life. Dogs who are fed tortillas in large amounts could find themselves with a pancreas disorder.
This isn’t actually an ingredient. It is, however, a process that involves cooking corn in an alkaline solution of calcium hydroxide.
Sharing salty foods with your furry friend can result in a number of health problems. A dog’s body only needs a tiny amount of salt. The dog’s food contains all the salt he/she requires.
Can Puppies Safely Eat Tortillas?
Puppies have very sensitive tummies. It’s best not to feed puppies food that isn’t part of their regular healthy diet. Remember, tortillas lack nutrition and can contribute to obesity. Better options for puppies are treats made specifically for small dogs.
Should Dogs Eat Corn Tortilla Chips
Some people say that corn chips are a good choice for dogs. The reality is that no form of tortillas have enough nutrients to support the claim. Homemade tortillas may be a better choice.
Ultimately, you should follow your veterinarian’s advice regarding your dog’s food options.
Are Any Tortillas Safe for My Dog?
There are different types of tortillas, but unless they are homemade, you shouldn’t feed them to your dog in large amounts.
Some people believe corn tortillas are a healthier option than flour tortillas. The truth is that the minimal amount of corn baked into the tortilla only provides minimal nutrition. Whether they are regular tortillas, wheat tortillas, or tortillas made with corn, they all contain extra calories and salt.
Can My Dog Eat Soft Tacos?
Soft tacos fall under the same category as the tortillas mentioned above. Unless it’s homemade, you’re looking at a lot of extra calories and salt. In addition, dogs with any gluten sensitivity can find themselves quite ill.
Generally speaking, a small amount of soft taco might be okay. However, it’s important to remember that the added calories and salt bring minimal nutritional value.
9 Potential Health Risks of Feeding Tortillas to Dogs
If a small dog devours a package of tortillas, he/she is probably going to vomit it up. Unfortunately, there could be more serious consequences. Whether your dog is big or small, it’s important to keep these kinds of treat to a minimum.
Potential problems will depend on whether your dog has underlying health issues and the size of the dog. Potential health risks to consider include:
Dogs with wheat or gluten allergies are at a higher risk of suffering an allergic reaction. Signs of an allergic reaction include hives or swelling, excessive drool or salivation, runny eyes and nose, tremors, and itching.
Eating too many tortillas can lead to stomach issues that include loss of appetite, diarrhea, vomiting, and abdominal pain. Short-lived GI upset isn’t usually anything to worry about. However, continuous vomiting and diarrhea in puppies and adult dogs can lead to dehydration which is very serious.
Tortillas tend to have a high caloric intake. Feeding too much of this food to your dog can result in weight gain. While weight gain itself is not a disease, it can cause a variety of health conditions that include diabetes.
Unfortunately, the additives used in preparing tortillas (including fat, sugar, baking soda, garlic powder and onion) could be toxic for dogs. The type of reaction the dog has, if any, depends on the size of the dog and the amount eaten at one time.
Most dogs just don’t know when to stop. If they see (or smell!) an opportunity to eat, they usually go for it. Unfortunately, eating a lot of tortillas at once can cause anything from stomach upset to intestinal blockage.
If you’ve seen a dog scarf down his/her favorite treat, you may have noticed that sometimes they don’t even chew.
Imagine your dog swallowing a pile of tortillas all at once. Intestinal blockages can happen when a dog swallows something that is difficult to digest.
Certain food items can cause partial or complete bowel obstruction. The build-up of digested material in a dog’s body can lead to inflammation. Bacteria buildup can also occur within the intestines.
An intestinal blockage is painful and potentially deadly if not treated.
You may not even realize your dog has pancreatitis until something happens to aggravate the condition. Unfortunately, the signs of pancreatitis can be brought on by a sudden, high-fat meal. It can present as acute (sudden-onset) or can become a long-term, chronic condition.
Signs of pancreatitis include extreme fatigue, abdominal pain, vomiting, dehydration.
Some breeds are more susceptible to bloat than others. It happens when the stomach fills with gas and twists, cutting off the blood and oxygen supply to the stomach. Without immediate medical treatment, this condition can be fatal.
IMPORTANT READ: 5 Symptoms of Bloat in Dogs
Occasional, small amounts of tortillas will not cause your dog to go into kidney failure. Over time, however the excess salt in the dog’s diet can result in kidney problems.
Small dogs and puppies are at particular risk of choking. Even soft tortillas can get stuck in the throat and cut off breathing.
As a general rule, it’s best to avoid feeding your dog too many processed foods. They contain too much salt, added calories, artificial flavors, and potentially toxic ingredients.
Ultimately, the real risk of feeding your dog tortilla chips or other high-calorie foods is weight gain. Weight gain in dogs is associated with a variety of cardiovascular diseases, pancreatitis and diabetes.
I want to thank you for reading this post. I hope you were able to get some valuable insight from it. Please take a second to share and make sure to come back! There are plenty of informative posts on the way.