Can Dogs Eat Tortillas? Are They Good or Bad For Dogs? (Flour vs Corn vs Chips)

can dogs eat tortillas

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Can dogs eat tortillas made from corn or flour? What about tortilla chips and other tortilla-derived foods?

Dogs can consume a single tortilla without causing harm. However, it is not recommended due to the high carbohydrate content of flour and corn, which offers no nutritional benefits. Overconsumption of tortillas can lead to rapid weight gain in dogs. It is important to read the label carefully, as some ingredients in tortillas could potentially be deadly to dogs.

Although occasionally feeding your dog one or two tortillas poses no threat, you should avoid giving your dog processed tortillas made from corn, flour, or in the form of a chip. Processed foods are not recommended for our furry friends. We also uncovered during our research that some tortillas might carry toxic ingredients for dogs. Here is everything you need to know about tortillas and dogs, including ingredient safety, nutrition, health risks, and everything in between. Let’s dive right in!

Are Tortillas Good For Your Dog’s Health?

Tortillas are traditionally made from corn or flour, but can dogs eat them without experiencing health issues? Tortillas can make your dog overweight fast. Flour tortillas pack more fat because they’re usually made with lard or shortening.

According to the American Institute for Cancer Research, a 12-inch flour tortilla can contain nearly 300 calories, which is three times more calories than one slice of bread and more carbohydrates than three slices of bread.[1]

Corn tortillas are considered whole grains and generally lower in carbs, calories, and fat than flour tortillas. However, corn kernels may pose a threat to smaller dogs who can choke on the grains, so be sure to keep an eye on them if they eat them.

More importantly, dogs don’t process grains the same way we do. Some pups may present allergic reactions or cereal sensitivities. Tortillas lack nutrition and are best avoided.

Tortilla Ingredients: Toxic to Dogs?

Can dogs safely enjoy tortillas? For starters, tortillas can be either processed tortillas or homemade tortillas.

Let’s learn about the most common ingredients found in processed tortillas and why they may be dangerous to your pup.

  • Corn kernels. There are six types of corn kernels. While they are a good source of carbohydrates and provide some vitamins and minerals, corn kernels are not a complete source of nutrition for dogs. You should also confirm that your dog is not allergic to corn before feeding him a corn tortilla.
  • Corn flour. Corn flour is safe in your dog’s meals but does not add much nutritional value to your dog’s diet. It is great for making your own treats as it is gluten-free. Dogs can eat cornflour, and it’s safe as long as they are not allergic or intolerant to corn. Because it is finely ground, it is also far more digestible than whole corn kernels.
  • Nixtamalization. Tortillas begin with a process called nixtamalization.[2] It involves cooking corn in an alkaline solution of calcium hydroxide, or limewater. Food-grade calcium hydroxide is generally safe. However, industrial-grade calcium hydroxide is poisoning and can result in severe injury or death.[3]
  • Amylases and xylanases. Frequently used in both corn and wheat tortillas to extend textural shelf life. An abnormal amylase level in the blood or urine may mean a pancreas disorder or other medical condition.
  • Transglutaminases, oxidoreductases, and proteases. It is used to modify the rheological properties of wheat flour tortilla doughs.
  • Salt. Feeding your dog salty foods like tortilla chips is not a good idea. High salt consumption in dogs can cause dehydration and more serious conditions if they consistently overeat it. You should aim for a healthy salt level in your dog’s food.
  • Other ingredients. Preservatives, acidulants, emulsifiers, and gums, are used to improve the shelf-life of table tortillas.[4]

We recommend avoiding feeding processed tortillas to dogs. Some preservatives may be fine for humans, but they can harm your dog.

For instance, food emulsifiers are essential for producing many processed foods. A study that released tested emulsifier health effects on lab mice found that they acquired low-level gastrointestinal inflammation, more appetite, and gained weight. Mice also had higher blood sugar levels and resistance to insulin.[5]

Now that you know what goes into making processed tortillas, ensure you are cautious when your dog is around store-bought tortillas.

Can Dogs Eat Tortillas?

So, can dogs have tortillas? Are tortillas good for dogs?

Corn tortillas are better for dogs than flour, but that doesn’t mean either is suitable for dogs. Feeding tortillas to your dog in moderation is unlikely to harm him. Although tortillas are not dangerous or highly unhealthy for dogs, they do not contribute to a healthy and balanced dog diet. Tortillas offer minimal nutritional value for your pup, so why compromise his health?

Tortillas contain four potential toxic ingredients: emulsifiers, nixtamalization (cooked corn in calcium hydroxide), amylases, and xylanase (we explained each above).

For these reasons, feeding Fido tortillas is not worth risking his health. Feeding the wrong food can also cause allergic reactions in dogs. Before feeding your dog any food, we highly recommend doing an at-home dog food allergy test to avoid feeding him foods that could cause allergies or other problems.

Can Dogs Eat Flour Tortillas?

A flour tortilla is usually made from finely ground wheat flour. Wheat is not gluten-free. As mentioned above, dogs don’t digest grain as well as we can. If your dog has a sensitive stomach or is allergic to gluten, you should avoid feeding him this tortilla.

Can Dogs Eat Corn Tortillas?

Are corn tortillas bad for dogs? Corn-based tortillas are gluten-free and easier to digest. However, it’s still not recommended. Corn tortillas contain added preservatives, like flour tortillas, that are unhealthy for dogs.  

Processed corn and flour tortillas can cause harm if consumed in excess. Either kind could potentially carry those toxic ingredients mentioned above, which can harm dogs.

Can Dogs Eat Homemade Tortillas?

The only tortillas dogs can occasionally eat homemade because you can control all the ingredients in the recipe. Plus, they don’t contain the preservatives and chemicals added by manufacturers for longer shelf life and other purposes.

Sharing one isn’t terrible; make sure it is homemade and all the ingredients are safe for dogs.

If you don’t feel like cooking, we recommend keeping your dog satisfied with an organic, no wheat, corn, or soy dog treat like this one from Riley’s. Unlike tortillas, this treat promotes a healthy vision and a strong immune system and is 100% human-grade.

Can Dogs Eat Tortilla Chips?

If chips are bad for us, can dogs have tortilla chips? Are tortilla chips bad for dogs?

Tortilla chips are usually made from a corn base, fried (fat and oils), loaded with salt, and then flavored with different seasonings depending on what flavor you buy. For instance, common chip flavors are onion, garlic, bacon, and barbeque, among others. On top of that, corn or flour can cause allergies in dogs, and their high carb content makes them unsuitable for dogs. The answer to “can dogs have tortilla chips” is a big “NO.” 

What happens if a dog eats tortilla chips? If your dog eats a tortilla chip accidentally, a small amount shouldn’t hurt them. Anything in exceeds should not be allowed.

Can Dogs Eat Corn Chips?

Corn kernels are the main ingredient in both corn chips and tortilla chips. However, the corn in tortilla chips undergoes nixtamalization, making them milder in taste and smell and more flexible in texture. Additionally, tortilla chips tend to be larger, thinner, and lower in fat and salt content compared to corn chips. We do not advise feeding corn chips to dogs.

Health Risks of Feeding Tortillas to Dogs

Tortillas may cause the following problems if eaten in excess

  • Obesity
  • Diabetes
  • Heart disease 
  • Upset stomach
  • Vomiting and diarrhea
  • Allergies
  • Unwanted eating habit
  • Dehydration (salt consumption)
  • Digestive problems

Tortilla-based food should be given to dogs daily or regularly. Once in a blue moon may be okay.

Are Tortillas Bad For Dogs?

Processed products like tortillas contain many preservatives, toxic ingredients, and artificial ingredients that may harm your dog. Most tortilla chips are loaded with salt, which is unsuitable for dogs. Flour tortillas and corn tortillas are unhealthy for dogs if eaten in excess. Tortillas are also high in calories, with few additional nutrients that can increase a dog’s risk of developing health problems.

Tortillas & Dogs Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some common questions dog parents ask about dogs eating tortillas.

Can Dogs Have Tortillas? — Conclusion

The bottom line is that you should give your canine food that is beneficial.

Flour or corn-based food could disturb your dog’s digestive system. If your dog loves corn or wheat flour-based foods, there are several better options than tortillas, especially if they are made with corn or wheat flour.

You should never regularly give your dogs flour tortilla chips or corn tortillas. Usually, I eat a few tortillas, and it worries me that my dog may inadvertently eat a whole bag of flour. It is much safer to give him a tasty treat made for dogs.

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Canine Bible uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.

[1] American Institute For Cancer Research, [2] ScienceDirect [3] Healthline, [4] Encyclopedia of Food Sciences and Nutrition, [5] Nature

Editorial Team at Canine Bible | + posts

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