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

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?

Although occasionally feeding your dog one or two tortillas poses no treat, you should avoid giving your dog a processed snack made from corn or flour. Processed foods are not recommended for our furry friends. We also uncovered during our research that some tortillas may 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 any health issues?

Tortillas can make your dog overweight fast. Flour tortillas tend to 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.

Corn tortillas are considered a whole grain and generally lower in carbs, calories, and fat than flour tortillas. However, corn kernels may pose a treat for 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 pooch.

Corn kernels: While they may contain a good amount of several vitamins and minerals, depending on the type of corn, you should confirm that your dog is not allergic to corn before feeding him a corn tortilla.

Corn flour: Cornflour is also completely safe in your pet’s meals, though, again, it does not add much nutritional value to your dog’s diet. It is particularly useful if you like to make your own treats and it’s gluten-free.

Nixtamalization: Tortillas begin with a process called nixtamalization. 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.

Amylases and xylanases: Frequently used in both corn and wheat tortillas to extend textural shelf life. An abnormal level of amylase in the blood or urine may mean a pancreas disorder or other medical condition.

Transglutaminases, oxidoreductases, and proteases: Used to modify the rheological properties of wheat flour tortilla doughs.

Salt: It’s not a good idea to share salty foods like tortilla chips with your dog. High salt consumption in dogs can cause dehydration, and more serious conditions if they consistently eat too much. You should aim for a healthy level of salt in your dog’s food.

Other ingredients: Preservatives, acidulants, emulsifiers, and gums, are used to improve the shelf-life of table tortillas.

We recommend avoiding processed foods for dogs. Some preservatives may be fine for humans, but they can be really harmful to your dog.

For instance, food emulsifiers are essential for the production of many processed foods. But, a study released tested emulsifier health effects on lab mice and found that they acquired low-level gastrointestinal inflammation, more appetite, and gained weight. In addition, they had higher blood sugar levels and resistance to insulin.

Now that you know what goes into making processed tortillas make sure 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 definitely better for dogs than flour tortillas, but that doesn’t mean either of them is good for dogs.

Feeding tortillas to your dog in moderation is unlikely to harm him. Although tortillas are not dangerous or extremely 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.

Plus, there are four potential toxic ingredients in tortillas: emulsifiers, nixtamalization (cooked corn in calcium hydroxide), amylases, and xylanase (we explained each above).

For these reasons, it’s not worth risking his health by feeding Fido tortillas.

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 type of 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. Similar to flour tortillas, corn tortillas tend to contain added preservatives that are unhealthy for dogs.  

NOTE: Processed corn and flour tortillas can cause harm if consumed in excess. Either kind could potentially carry those toxic ingredients mentioned above, which can cause more damage than normal.

Can Dogs Eat Homemade Tortillas?

The only tortillas dogs could occasionally eat the ones you make at home because you get to 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 just make sure is homemade at least 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 it’s 100% human-grade.

Can Dogs Eat Tortilla Chips?

If chips are bad for us, 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, barbeque, among others. On top of that, corn or flour can cause allergies in dogs, and their high carb content only makes them not suitable for dogs. The answer to “can dogs eat tortilla chips” is a big “NO.” However, if your dog eats a tortilla chip by accident, a small amount shouldn’t hurt them.  

Health Risks

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 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 be harmful to your dog.  Most tortilla chips are loaded with salt, which is not good for dogs. In fact, flour tortillas and corn tortillas are unhealthy for dogs if eaten in excess. Tortillas are also high in calories, with very few additional nutrients that can increase a dog’s risk of developing health problems.

Frequently Asked Questions

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

Can puppies eat tortillas?

Not really. We wouldn’t advice feeding tortillas to puppies. They are at a growing stage of development and don’t need to consume food that may contribute to future health problems.

Can dogs eat wraps?

Only if you are sure that the foods inside the wrap are safe for dogs to eat and the tortilla wrap is homemade, then it may be safe for your pup to eat a small quantity. Don’t give them store-bought wraps, as they may contain unsafe ingredients for dogs. You need to cook a dog-friendly wrap. 

Can dogs eat taco shells?

A taco shells is similar to a tortilla chip in how they are made. A small quantities may not hurt your dog, but you should be extra cautious if of the food that’s inside the taco shell. Tacos usually contain spices and condiments not suitable for dogs.

Can huskies eat tortillas?

Just like any dog, we don’t advice feeding tortillas on a regular basis to any dog breed including huskies. There are certain ingredients in tortillas that are not safe for dogs specially if eaten in high quantities.

Should You Let Your Dog Eat Tortillas?

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 eat a whole bag of flour tortillas inadvertently. It is much safer to give him a tasty treat made for dogs.

Sources & References: [1] ScienceDirect, [2] American Institute For Cancer Research, [3] Health Line, [4] Encyclopedia of Food Sciences and Nutrition, [5] Nature

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