Can Dogs Eat Tortilla Chips? Are Tortilla Chips Safe for Dogs?

Dogs, people, and food are the trinity of this relationship and domestication. Whether we invited canines to our homes with scraps or they scavenged first, the result was the same. Dogs and humans are best buds. We share our foodstuffs, which has been the glue in our relationship. It doesn’t matter if it’s chunks of meat or a bag of doggie treats.

The short answer to whether your dog can eat tortilla chips safely is probably no.

Snacks seem to strike a deeper bond that feels more intimate. Think about when you’re munching on chips: watching the football game or binging out on your favorite series. It’s me-time with your BFF. Tortilla chips may seem innocuous. However, it’s not that cut and dried, especially when you throw flavored products into the mix.

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Choking Hazard

We have to address the obvious point first since it’s one that trumps everything and is probably the first hurdle to the safety of feeding your pup chips. Whether it’s a cat or dog, pet owners probably have all made the same observation. They scarf down their food as soon as you put the bowl down on the floor. That’s evolutionary hardwiring at work.

Competition is fierce in the wild, no matter if you’re on the top or bottom of the food chain. Your dog’s canine ancestors learned to eat quickly before another animal could take it away from him. It was all about survival. You’ve probably have noticed the same behavior when you give him treats. Now, imagine what happens when you offer him some chips—the same thing.

Only this time, it’s something that could hurt your pooch. If you feed him kibble, he’s eating something smaller and without the rough edges. It is a concern you should keep in mind.

brown spanish dog opening her big mouth
Image Credit: Lucia Romero, Shutterstock

Tortilla Ingredients

Plain Jane tortilla chips contain few ingredients.

According to the Tostitos website, the recipe has:
  • Corn
  • Vegetable oil
  • Salt

That may seem like no big deal, but there are some red flags. First, there’s the question of corn. It is one of several known food allergens. The same applies to wheat if you opt for flour-based tortilla chips. The chances are that if your pet has an allergy, you’re well aware of the fact and give him a food that doesn’t aggravate the condition.

The other concern is sodium. A 1-ounce serving contains 120 mg. While dogs need this mineral in their diet, this amount pushes the limit of the recommended 200 mg daily intake. There’s also the worry that both pets and their owners share, obesity because you can’t have just one chip. The daily caloric intake for a 20-pound dog is up to 400 calories, depending on his health and activity level.

That same 1-ounce serving contains 140 calories or about 30% of your pet’s recommended intake. To make matters worse, chips offer little if any nutritional value other than small amounts of protein and fiber. So, as you can see, there’s not much of a case to justify giving your pup tortilla chips. However, let’s delve a little deeper to point out some other issues.

tortilla chips
Image Credit: Michael Moriarty, Pixabay

Flavored Chips

We looked at the ingredient list of other flavored Doritos chips. Every one contained either garlic or onion powder, both of which are toxic to dogs and cats. Lactose was another common additive. Unfortunately, it also carries the risk of GI distress. That takes all of them off the list of safe foods.

We also considered some popular accompaniments to tortilla chips only to find the same issues. Of course, salsa typically contains onions. Avocado in guacamole can cause similar problems.

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Conclusion

As much as you’d like to share your snack with your pup, tortilla chips are not a smart choice for a myriad of reasons. Unfortunately, some can cause health issues and may even be toxic for your dog. When it comes to treats, stick with the commercial ones, and forgo the processed foods. Just make sure to keep the yummies to no more than 10% of his daily caloric intake.