Can Dogs Eat Tortillas?

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Technically, yes, dogs can safely eat tortillas, but there is no nutritional value or benefit to giving your dog tortillas.

Additionally, tortillas are full of unnecessary carbs and calories, so they could cause weight issues if fed in excess.

Can Dogs Eat Corn Tortillas?

Yes, dogs who do not suffer from corn allergies can eat corn tortillas, there is nothing toxic about them.

Corn tortillas are a slightly better choice for your dog than flour tortillas since they usually contain less[1]:

  • Calories
  • Carbs
  • Fat
  • Sodium

In fact, flour tortillas have 15% more sodium than corn tortillas.

Plus, corn tortillas have more fiber than flour, yet still not enough to make them a good choice for your dog.

But even though corn tortillas are healthier than their flour counterpart, it doesn’t make them the best treat for your pup.

What’s in a Corn Tortilla?

Most corn tortillas are made up of:

  • Corn Masa Flour
  • Water
  • Cellulose Gum – Thickening agent which is common in foods and medications
  • Propionic Acid – Preservative
  • Benzoic Acid – Preservative
  • Phosphoric Acid – Preservative
  • Guar Gum – Thickening and binding agent
  • Amylase – A type of enzyme that helps the transformation process of starches to sugar

Though none of the above ingredients pose any threat to your dog’s health, most of the ingredients carry no benefit to your dog’s health either.

Are Corn Tortillas Good for Dogs?

Corn tortillas are neither good nor bad for your dog.

Since they carry no nutritional value, corn tortillas are just fillers and serve no purpose when fed to your pup.

Can dogs eat tortillas corn flour nutrition sodium grains gluten allergies

Can Dogs Eat Flour Tortillas?

Yes.

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Like corn tortillas, flour tortillas are non-toxic, but also have no benefit either.

Flour tortillas may taste yummy to your dog, but there is no reason your dog needs to eat them.

Waffles also contain flour. Can dogs eat waffles?

What’s in a Flour Tortilla?

Most flour tortillas are made up of:

  • Enriched Bleached Flour (Flour, Niacin, Reduced Iron, Thiamine Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Folic Acid)
  • Water
  • Vegetable Shortening (Interesterified And Hydrogenated Soybean Oils)
  • Salt
  • Sugar
  • Baking Soda
  • Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate – Common additive in processed foods
  • Distilled Monoglycerides – Commonly used in baking for improving product quality, crumb softening, extends shelf life, fat reduction[2]
  • Enzymes – Biological molecules that help chemical reactions[3]
  • Fumaric Acid – Additive for flavor
  • Calcium Propionate – Preservative commonly used in bread
  • Sorbic Acid – Preservative

Are Flour Tortillas Good for Dogs?

As you can tell from the ingredients listed in the above section, there is nothing of nutritional benefit in flour tortillas.

They lack any significant amount of healthy vitamins and minerals.

Can dogs eat tortilla chips nachos Mexican food safely
If you want to feed your dog nachos then go easy on the cheese!

What About Tortilla Chips?

Tortilla chips will not kill your dog; there is nothing poisonous about them.

However, they are worse than both corn and flour tortillas. Not only do they lack any health benefits, but they are also deep-fried and often high in sodium.

Plus, some tortilla chips have added seasonings such as garlic and onion, which are definitely not a good choice for dogs.

So though non-toxic, tortilla chips can add to other health issues such as obesity.

Possible Dangers of Tortillas

Though tortillas are technically not dangerous for your dog, there are a few negative effects of feeding your dog tortillas or tortilla chips, including:

Obesity

Because tortillas are higher and carbs, they can cause your dog to gain weight quickly.

And obesity is the cause of several health risks such as cancer, diabetes, and increased joint pain.

High Sodium Content

Though some sodium is required in a healthy dog’s diet, higher levels of sodium in your dog’s food may cause further complications if they suffer from liver, kidney, or heart disease

Allergies and Food Sensitivities

Dogs who suffer from food allergies and sensitivities should avoid foods containing gluten and grains.

Digestive Issues

Since grains are more difficult for dogs to process than humans, dogs who suffer from digestive issues should avoid tortillas

What to Do if Your Dog Eats a Tortilla

One tortilla or one chip isn’t going to kill or harm your dog.

Even if they have an allergy, food sensitivity, or digestive issues, your pup may experience some discomfort in the form of GI upset or itchiness, but that would be all.

However, if your dog eats a bag of tortillas or a bag of chips, you will want to contact your vet.

Dogs who consume excessive amounts of food may experience considerable discomfort, but more serious issues could arise as well.

Overeating can also be extremely dangerous since it can cause bloat[4], a condition in which a dog’s stomach twists.

Unfortunately, if a dog isn’t brought in for medical help immediately, bloat is often fatal.

Problems feeding dogs tortillas begging counter surfing bad behaviours
“Whatcha got there? Is it for me?”

Why You Shouldn’t Feed Tortillas to your Dog

Feeding foods such as tortillas and tortilla chips can have more significant issues than the food itself.

Feeding human food to your dog can cause behavioral problems such as:

  • Begging
  • Counter Surfing

Begging is a bad behavior many of us have allowed and often encouraged.

However, many of us also become irritated when our dog begs from friends and family who are visiting. Your dog doesn’t know that begging is something that should only be done when company isn’t over.

Do your best to set your dog up for success and don’t feed them from your plate.

After dogs learn that mom and dad keep the salty, crunchy snack known as tortilla chips on the counter, they may be inclined to check things out for themselves.

Once a dog realizes and benefits from counter surfing, i.e., getting a yummy snack, they are more motivated to keep up the bad behavior.

Though tortillas cannot be blamed solely for these behaviors, feeding human food can create little monsters out of our furry angels.

Conclusion

In addition to lacking any nutritional value, tortillas can be difficult for some dogs to digest due to their high grain content.

And if your dog has food sensitivities or allergies, they are likely allergic to grains and gluten, making tortillas definitely off-limits.

I am always surprised at how much time dog parents, myself included, spend on finding the right healthy dog food, yet turn around and offer a processed snack like tortillas to our dogs.

If we looked at a bag of dog treats and saw the ingredient list for tortillas or tortilla chips, we would never buy them. (I am not judging. I too have been guilty of sharing a snack or two with my pups.)

Also, there are so many healthier treat options for your dog, such as most vegetables and some fruits like:

  • Green beans
  • Carrots
  • Cucumbers
  • Zucchini – One of Calvin’s favorite treats
  • Apples
  • Berries

Resources

  1. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/corn-vs-flour-tortilla#4
  2. https://www.dupontnutritionandbiosciences.com/products/dimodan.html
  3. https://www.livescience.com/45145-how-do-enzymes-work.html
  4. https://www.greenbrier-emergency.com/bloat-torsion-dogs/

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