Few can resist the warm, inviting scent of tortillas—your canine included. But is it safe for dogs to eat tortillas?
The short answer is yes. There are no major health risks associated with dogs eating tortillas, in small amounts.
Therefore, if your dog is in good health, an occasional tortilla treat should not pose any issues. However, if your pup is predisposed to health problems such as a gluten allergy or stomach disorders, it would be prudent not to give them tortillas.
Even if your dog is completely healthy, it is important to know the pros and cons of giving tortillas to your pet.
In this article, we shall discuss everything you need to know about dogs and tortillas.
Why Do People Give Tortillas to Their Dogs?
It all comes down to begging. The inviting aroma of tortillas is sure to make your furry friend want to have a taste too. Unfortunately, most people are unable to live with the feeling of ignoring or denying their dog. At other times, they may even not be begging, but simply sitting there looking at you down your snack with their puppy eyes. Nonetheless, the result remains the same; you feel the overwhelming urge to give them a piece.
However, your pup likely has you fooled. They are not interested in your tortilla specifically, but in whatever food you are eating. After guilt-tripping you a few times, they know that you are more than likely going to share whatever it is you are eating with them. It may have nothing to do with the tortilla.
This is why dog owners are advised to maintain healthy boundaries with their dogs, as it will prevent the pups from developing bad habits such as begging.
Instead of giving them a tortilla, offer them a tasty but healthy snack. Doing so will allow you to avoid stressing about whether tortillas are bad for them or not.
The Main Issue with Giving Tortillas to Dogs
As mentioned, in small amounts, tortillas are non-toxic to most dogs. The issue, however, is that we typically eat tortillas as wraps with spreads and fillings.
The implication, therefore, is that when you choose to share your tortilla snack with the dog, you will inadvertently be sharing also the ingredients inside.
While some of those ingredients might be safe and even healthy for your animal, others can be harmful to their health. These include hot sauce, chilies, and cheese. Cheese, in particular, is extremely unhealthy for canines due to its high dairy and fat content, which can result in several gastrointestinal issues.
Therefore, before you consider giving a piece of your tortilla wrap to your furry friend, think about the ingredients inside. Those are what might cause problems to the pup, rather than the tortilla itself.
Do Tortillas Have Any Nutritional Value?
The truth is that even though tortillas contain a few grams of protein, fiber, as well as small amounts of minerals such as magnesium, calcium, and iron, those nutrients are in such low amounts that they are not worth the risk.
Potential Complications from Feeding Your Dog Tortillas
Dogs’ digestive systems are not well equipped to process wheat- or corn-based foods. Moreover, processed tortillas tend to have additives that can wreak havoc on your pup’s digestive system. Some of those complications might include:
1. Gastrointestinal Distress
Due to their inability to process corn or wheat-based foods, your doggo might display symptoms associated with gastrointestinal distress such as:
2. Allergic Reactions
There is a possibility that your dog’s system might flag off the tortilla as a foreign element, resulting in a host of responses by the immune system in a bid to eject the food from the body. That is what usually results in allergic reactions.
These allergies are especially severe if the pup is gluten intolerant.
3. Choking Risks
Our furry friends have a thing for gulping down their treats whole. This can be risky when it comes to foods such as tortillas. Some of the signs that your doggo is choking include dilated pupils and coughing.
4. Excess Calories
Whether wheat- or corn-based, tortillas are high in calories. This means that feeding these snacks to your pooch often predisposes them to conditions such as diabetes, obesity, and cardiovascular diseases.
As mentioned, most of the additives used in the preparation of processed tortillas are toxic to dogs. Some commonly used additives include sugar, salt, fat, onions, garlic, baking powder, etc.
When consumed in high amounts, salt can cause sodium ion poisoning, which is a canine condition that can be fatal. It is characterized by symptoms such as gastrointestinal distress, prolonged fatigue, and seizures.
Sugar is linked to problems such as obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, and periodontal diseases. Fat can cause weight-related issues. Spices such as garlic and onions are extremely toxic to canines.
What to do If Your Dog Eats Tortillas in Excess
If your dog starts experiencing distress after consuming tortillas, you should contact the vet immediately.
The most important thing to remember is that just because a food or snack is not considered toxic to dogs does not mean that you should include it in their diet, even as a treat.
Tortillas, while not toxic, are of no nutritional value to your pooch. What’s more, in certain amounts, they can cause health issues to some dogs.
Therefore, we would not recommend giving your favorite snack to your furry friend.
Featured image credit: rafasuarezfoto, Pixabay
- Why Do People Give Tortillas to Their Dogs?
- The Main Issue with Giving Tortillas to Dogs
- Do Tortillas Have Any Nutritional Value?
- Potential Complications from Feeding Your Dog Tortillas
- What to do If Your Dog Eats Tortillas in Excess