Are you planning a tortilla party with your friends coming over? Well, isn’t that a treat for your senses? But, wait! Did you get something for your pooch? You surely cannot feed them tortillas, though. Your mind must be troubled with questions as to the safety-related to feeding tortillas to the dogs.
So, are tortillas healthy for your dog? Can you safely feed your dog’s tortilla without causing any health issues?
In this guide, we will check out the dos and don’ts of feeding tortillas to your dogs.
Decoding the safety of Tortilla for Dogs
There is no straight answer to whether tortillas are safe for dogs. While tortillas are generally considered a safe choice for dogs, going regular with this could lead to issues such as stomach sensitivity or maybe gluten allergy. It is best to avoid them if possible, especially if your dog has a particularly sensitive digestive tract.
Even completely healthy dogs must avoid chomping down on tortillas and go for healthier choices.
Are tortillas right for dogs?
As answered, tortillas are safe for dogs but not as healthy. Tortillas don’t have a lot of nutrition and might not be beneficial for your dog’s health. They surely won’t harm your dogs but won’t provide them any benefit. Tortillas in moderation fit in well for your pooch.
Let us take a look at whether you can feed your dogs corn tortillas or flour tortillas. In general, corn tortillas pack in fewer calories and sodium in them as compared to flour tortillas. Both flour and corn tortillas are equals in terms of fiber content along with protein, minerals, calcium, or magnesium.
Small chunks of these essential nutrients do not surpass or at the least balance the heavy amount of carbohydrates and calories found in tortillas.
Do tortillas cause allergies in dogs?
Now that we know about the basics of feeding tortillas to your dogs let us understand if it could lead to any disastrous consequences. Before you go and feed your dog heaps of tortillas, there are several things that you need to keep in mind.
The absence of nutrition needs to be considered before you portion out the tortilla for your dog. Similar to the way some humans react to gluten, even dogs could be allergic to the same or be intolerant. There have been reports of several dogs suffering from Celiac disease.
If your dog has been diagnosed with the same, it is better to avoid giving them any.
Tortilla Ingredients: Are They Toxic for your Dogs?
Let us take a quick look at the ingredients present in your generic tortilla piece. This will help us judge whether or not they are safe for your pooch.
Now, corn kernels do contain an optimum amount of vitamins & minerals (varies on the type of corn). Corn doesn’t have any harmful effect on your pooch, but some could be allergic to them. So, confirm the same before you bring in a corn kernel tortilla for your dog.
Just like corn kernels, cornflour tends to be completely safe for your pets. However, it won’t bring a lot of nutritional value to your dog. It is primarily useful in case you plan to create your own dog treats and plan to opt for a gluten-free variant.
Tortillas are started with the process termed nixtamalization. This involves cooking the corn using an alkali-based solution called limewater or calcium hydroxide. This solution is generally considered safe and food-grade quality. However, the industrial-grade variant of calcium hydroxide tends to be poisonous & might even result in major injury or even death.
Xylanases and Amylases:
This ingredient is generally used in wheat as well as corn tortillas and is known to extend the tortillas’ textured shelf life. Now, an abnormally high level of amylase present in your urine or blood can denote the presence of pancreatic disorder & similar medical conditions.
Dogs do not need extra salt as we do apart from the naturally occurring percentage present in their regular food. And, as you know, tortilla sure has a good amount of added salt. So, there sure is a caution that comes with feeding tortillas to your dog. Consistent consumption of salt could bring grave consequences for your dog. So, aim for a level that is healthy and safe. Best yet, completely avoid it.
Oxidoreductases, Transglutaminases, & Proteases:
These add-ons are used for the modification of the wheat tortilla dough’s rheological properties to make it more crunchy and palatable. However, these add-ons might not gel well with your pooch’s stomach health.
Preservatives, Colors, & Other Ingredients:
Things such as acidulants, preservatives, emulsifiers, or gums are generally used to help improve the tortillas’ shelf-life.
This is why it is recommended that you shouldn’t feed any fast food to your dog, such as tortillas. Food emulsifiers are an important part of your fast food. However, when tested on animals, it was seen that they tend to induce low-level inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract of the pooch. Not just that, it can also lead to higher appetite, apparent weight gain, high blood sugar level, & even insulin resistance.
Can my dog eat flour tortillas?
When talking about tortillas, they could either be created from wheat flour or cornflour. The flour tortilla comes from a powdered form of wheat. However, you need to keep in mind that wheat isn’t gluten-free. This means some dogs might be unable to digest it very well. In case your dog suffers from gluten sensitivity, it is better that you avoid feeding this particular variant of tortilla to them.
Can my dog eat corn tortilla?
If you are wondering whether corn tortillas are bad for your four-legged friend, we will answer it as well. Corn flour-based tortillas do not have any gluten content & are easier for your pooch to digest. However, even with its gluten-free content, it still isn’t recommended for your dog. Corn tortillas also come with added preservatives that help them last for long, and this can be very bad for your dog’s health.
Can I feed my dog homemade tortillas?
The only kind of tortillas your dog can eat safely but occasionally is the one you prepare at your home. This is where you get a chance to control the ingredients that go into the recipe. You can keep in mind what is considered harmful and harmless for your dog and prepare the piece accordingly.
Moreover, these homemade snacks won’t pack in any kind of chemical or preservatives that are generally added by the wholesale manufacturers to ensure extended shelf-life & other purposes.
If you do not feel like making something elaborate in the kitchen, you can replace the tortilla fillings with fresh mashed bananas and safe fruits for dogs, making it a nice and crispy fruity concoction. This will promote strong immunity and a healthy vision for the pooch.
Can my dog eat the tortilla chips?
If regular chips are not right for us, wouldn’t it be bad for the dogs as well? The story is the same with tortilla chips too. Tortilla chips come with a fat-loaded set of ingredients, including corn base, oils, salt, & flavored seasoning, depending on the flavor you opt for.
For example, common tortilla chip flavors that you can find in the market come with additional seasonings such as garlic or onion powder. This can be very toxic for your dogs. So, it is better to avoid feeding tortilla chips to your dog. If you ever happen to catch your dog biting on those chips, do not panic as they won’t be a deadly food for your pooch. However, when fed daily, in the long run, they can develop health complications.
Can I feed my dog tortilla wraps?
Now, depending on the ingredients present in the wrap, surely your dog can nibble one without having to worry about adverse consequences. Flour and corn tortilla is considered safe for the dogs when fed in controlled quantities.
The fillings in the wrap must be dog-friendly as well. This can include items such as cheddar cheese, cooked turkey, and everything else that is considered safe for pets. If yours is a store-bought tortilla wrap and you are unsure of the ingredients added to the same, make sure you avoid feeding them to your dog.
Always opt for homemade wraps where you have complete control over the ingredients that you put into the mix. The soft shells used for tortilla wraps are perfectly safe for your pooch when fed in a limited quantity.
Tortillas, when fed in moderation, are considered safe for your dogs depending on their health condition, age, and any underlying issues. If your dog is perfectly healthy, you can be worry-free that a bite or two occasionally won’t harm them. In case your dog suffers from gluten sensitivity or allergy, completely avoid feeding them tortillas, even if they are homemade. At the end of the day, your dog’s health cannot be compromised even if they make that cute, innocent puppy face asking you for some treats. As long as they are unhealthy, keep them away!
Dr. Aram Baker has been with Santa Clarita Animal Hospital since 1995 and his special interests include behaviour medicine and dermatology. He graduated from the Cleveland Humanities Magnet Program in Reseda, CA and attended California State University at Northridge where he received a Bachelor’s degree in biology. He went on to pursue his Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine at the University of California at Davis. He also spent time in the zoological medicine department at U.C. Davis during his Junior and Senior years. He is dedicated to caring for all pets big or small, young or old with compassion, patience, kindness, and love.