According to research, ‘approximately 120 million tortillas are consumed yearly in the United States, making these the second most popular baked product, after white bread.’
And according to another research, 57% of households in the US have dogs.
It is likely that the majority of these 57% feed their dogs with tortillas, considering it a healthy diet. However, while feeding dogs, an important fact is ignored that a dog’s digestive system is way more sensitive than that of humans.
Based on that, if humans can eat tortillas, can dogs eat tortillas?
Can Dogs Eat Tortillas?
No, dogs cannot eat tortillas.
Vets don’t recommend feeding dogs tortillas because made of corn, wheat, or mixed grains are loaded with carbs that can cause a number of health concerns in dogs.
Adding tortillas into the routine meals of your dog won’t be a healthy choice; though they are not poisonous or toxic, tortillas won’t meet the nutrient requirements of a dog which can make your dog weak.
Are Tortillas Unhealthy For Dogs?
Yes, tortillas are unhealthy for dogs. But what makes tortillas not-so-healthy for dogs? For that, we must look into the nutrient content of tortillas and find the difference.
Nutrients in Tortillas
Flour Tortillas vs. Corn Tortillas
In the market, mainly, there are two varieties of tortillas, flour, and corn. Here, we will compare the contents of 100g of corn and flour tortilla each to see can dogs eat tortillas?
|Total lipid (fat)||2.85||7.99||g|
|Fiber, total dietary||6.3||3.5||g|
|Sugars, total including NLEA||0.88||3.71||g|
Let’s start by discussing the macronutrients.
As per the table, the flour tortillas comprise a high ratio of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. Plus, it provides extra calories as compared to corn tortillas, which may lead you to think that flour tortillas have won the battle. But, looking closer, you will see that flour tortillas add about 5g more fat and carbs than corn, leading to obesity and cardiovascular issues in dogs.
Though grams of protein—a vital macronutrient for dog’s muscles and organs—are greater in flour tortillas, it’s just 3 grams more.
So, feeding your dog with food from a perspective that it’s giving your dog proteins and forgetting that it’s adding non-required fats and carbs is not a healthy decision. It’s the very first reason that answer to question ‘can dogs eat tortillas?’ is ‘No.’
Fibers are important because they help dogs manage a healthy weight, digest food quickly, control diabetes, prevent constipation, and so on. Per the research, a dog requires 2% and 4% fiber daily for proper gastrointestinal functioning.
A 100g of corn tortilla provides 2g more than flour tortillas, giving it an advantage over the latter.
For humans and for dogs, sugars are considered extremely unhealthy, being a causal factor of obesity, dental problems, diabetes, liver failure, and so on.
When it comes to sugar content, corn tortilla contains 0.88g, whereas flour tortilla contains 3.71g.
Needless to say, feeding your dog too much of the latter has serious repercussions.
Corn tortillas comprise a relatively more significant quantity of magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium—minerals required for optimized body functioning.
On the other hand, flour tortillas are rich in calcium, iron, and sodium. While calcium and iron are vital for skeletal growth and certain enzyme function, sodium is crucial for body development, but it’s required in small quantities. The 736mg of sodium in a flour tortilla, compared to the 45mg in corn tortilla, makes the former dangerous for the dogs, leading to depression, tremors, high temperatures, and seizures.
Dogs are sensitive to salt, and eating too much salt can give them sodium poisoning. So that’s another reason we will answer the question ‘can dog eat tortillas’ with a strict no.
This fact-based analysis shows that corn tortillas outrun flour tortillas; but, since they contain fats, sodium, and sugars, it cannot be concluded that they are good for dogs’ health.
How To Feed Tortillas to Your Dog?
Tortillas are popular in two forms, tortilla chips, and tacos. Though tortilla wraps can be eaten without guacamole or other stuffing, it is too dry and tasteless that might make your dog run away.
a. Can Dogs Eat Tortilla Wraps?
Yes, dogs can eat corn or flour tortilla wraps —in moderation. But, if there is anything wrapped within these wraps, you have to be careful about that. Tortilla wraps are stuffed with tasty dressings, fried meat, and salts, which increase the fat and sodium content of a dog’s food.
More importantly, flour tortilla wraps also contain gluten which makes it toxic for dogs with gluten or wheat allergies. Whereas, 100% corn tortillas are safe, even for those canines with celiac disease or gluten intolerance.
b. Can Dogs Eat Doritos?
No, dogs can’t eat Doritos. Though they are not poisonous but they are extremely toxic as they are laden with unhealthy oils that can make dogs sick.
Here we will again support our argument based on the nutritional values of the chips. 1 serving size pack of yummy tortilla Doritos contains 260 calories.
Additionally, there are artificial flavors, color enhancers, and preservatives that make Doritos not only toxic for dogs but also addictive. Therefore, when a dog munches on one pack, he’d ask for more. Moreover, some tortilla chips are seasoned with garlic and onion powder, which are reasonably toxic for dogs’ stomach.
In addition to this, the toxicity of Doritos increases significantly when they are paired with ketchups, mayo, guacamole, and other types of dips.
How Much Tortillas My Dog Can Eat?
Though tortillas are toxic for dogs if consumed in large amount, but they are not poisonous. The main reason is that tortillas are high energy food items and excessive calories can be dangerous for dogs. Tortillas are high in calories and loaded with salts and minerals that can increase a dog’s risk of developing health problems.
- For an energetic dog who has an active lifestyle and runs extra miles to stay in shape, moderate tortilla consumption might not affect his health.
- For a lazy dog having exercise needs of just 10 to 20 minutes, eating tortillas is hazardous.For dogs with a slow metabolic rate and sensitive stomach, i.e. most small- or medium-sized dogs, chowing down tortillas is altogether unhealthy, be it one or two wraps.
Age is another factor to be considered. The stomachs of senior dogs develop sensitivity to certain food allergies, making it hard for them to munch on high-calorie diets. Considering all these factors, can dogs eat tortillas? You know the answer.
Are Tortillas Bad For Dogs?
Yes, tortillas are bad for dogs. An overview of possible health concerns is provided before, here we will discuss them in detail.
A healthy large dog weighing around 20 to 25kgs requires 500 to 550 grams of food based on roughly 630 to 700 calories daily. In addition, vets recommend that “treats should make up no more than about 10% of your dog’s daily calories.”
So if a dog eats a Dortio pack, it gives him almost 260 calories. Keep in mind that it’s not his routine meal, it’s just a snack. On the other hand, though, simple tortilla wraps contain 230 to 330 calories in 56g. If you use them in meals, though they can make up for the calorie intake, they won’t be as healthy as a routine meal due to the excess amount of minerals and fats. Consequently, your dog will get obese.
Either made from corn or flour, tortillas available in the market contain Amylase and Xylanase enzymes used to enhance the textural shelf life of tortillas. An increased level of these enzymes and sugars can lead to infection in the pancreas or pancreatitis.
This disease stays for a long time and leads to pancreas destruction over time, which is why can dogs eat tortillas is answered with strict ‘No.’
We have already dwelt upon how much sugar is present in the tortillas, but we haven’t discussed in detail how sugar can be dangerous for dogs.
Though natural sugar is healthy for dogs, artificial sugar will badly impact dogs’ health, causing diabetes, which is a serious illness. Dogs can’t survive two to three years after contracting diabetes.
Excessive amounts of sugar can give dogs diabetes along with hyperactivity, followed by depression, agitation, and bloodshot eyes.
iv. Heart Diseases
Can dogs eat tortillas? No, because excessive calories and lipids, along with saturated and unsaturated fatty acids in tortillas add stress to heart valves, causing heart diseases, especially in senior dogs.
As tortillas are made up of refined grains, they are injurious for dog’s health. A study conducted by the Prospective Urban Rural Epidemiology (PURE) states that, “having more than seven servings of refined grains per day was associated with a 27 per cent greater risk for early death, 33 percent greater risk for heart disease and 47 per cent greater risk for stroke.”
v. Upset Stomach
Yeast included in the dough of tortillas can cause a dog’s stomach to bloat, further leading to stomach disorders, vomiting, and diarrhea.
And, if tortillas are grizzled with extra oils and flavored with cheese, onions, and garlic, the stomach upset can worsen, leading to permanent damages.
Though gluten present in flour is a major allergen for some dogs, some other allergens such as artificial preservatives or wheat grains can cause gastrointestinal upset, itchy skin, or ear infections.
vii. Dehydration (Salt Consumption)
Other than blood pressure issues, high sodium levels (hypernatremia) leads to dehydration because kidneys have to work hard to flush the extra salts out.
If your dog is consuming excessive salts, he might get prone to kidney failure.
With all these problems and harming ingredients, can dogs eat tortillas? ‘No’.
However, if there is a situation when you have to choose between white bread and tortillas, you can feed him with the latter, but in moderate amounts. Overall, we’d suggest you keep your dog on his dog food and healthy diet for his well-being.
Did this article help you? If so, you might like to know more about dogs eating human foods and whether it is suitable for their health or not. Head to our Dog Food section, where we have covered pretty much everything when it comes to dogs and human foods.