Can Dogs Eat Tortilla Chips? – Ultimate Guide to Dog Snacking

Many pet owners can not resist those soulful puppy eyes that beg for a taste of whatever you’re munching on. One common snack that often piques their curiosity is tortilla chips. But can dogs eat tortilla chips?

Dogs should avoid tortilla chips. High in salt and often seasoned, they can upset a dog’s stomach. Yet, they can be fine in small amounts if given properly. But you need to know how to feed these snacks to your dog.

What are tortilla chips and what are they made of?

They are made out of corn tortillas. Their essential ingredients include corn, cornmeal, and maize. A mixture is made and baked or fried, creating a tortilla. Then, the tortilla is cut into chip size and baked or fried to get a hard exterior. Spices and salt can be added to taste. Usually, chips that are fried will be greasier and fattier than the ones made by baking.

Can dogs safely consume them?

Tortilla chips are bad for dogs if given in high amounts. They usually don’t have any inherently poisonous ingredients that will intoxicate dogs. Dogs can eat cornstarch and other products made with plain corn. So one or two chips on rare occasions are unlikely to harm your dog.

That said, these snacks don’t bring any benefits for dogs. Besides their delicious taste, they can only pose a risk. Eaten in large amounts, they will cause certain problems.

What are the risks associated with feeding dogs tortilla snacks?

By eating a lot of these chips, because the dog’s stomach is not used to the food, it may experience digestive issues. But other problems may also be possible.

Weight gain

Dogs that regularly consume chips will start gaining weight due to the high caloric amount. This eventually leads to obesity in dogs, which in turn can lead to various health problems. “Obese dogs develop an increased risk for cancer, diabetes mellitus, heart disease, hypertension, osteoarthritis and faster degeneration of affected joints, urinary bladder stones, and anesthetic complications.”, says Dr. Malcolm Weir.

High salt amounts

Most chips have high amounts of sodium added to make it tastier. Excessive salt can cause dogs to become excessively thirsty, leading to frequent urination. It can also result in elevated heart rate, tremors, seizures, and, in severe cases, coma or death.

Vegetable oils

Dogs can eat corn chips that are baked rather than fried. By frying them in vegetable oils, the chips become greasy and contain a lot of fats. If ingested in very high amounts, dogs can develop a painful condition called pancreatitis. Regarding vegetable oils and dogs, Dr. Hillary Wolfe says that:

Vegetable oil also contains corn and soybean byproducts that can cause allergic reactions in your fur baby. Moreover, cooked vegetable oil produces acrolein, which is a toxic substance for dogs.

Intoxicating powders

Some people like adding garlic and onion powder to their chips to give them a nice taste. The problem here is that dogs can not digest these powders, and they pile up in their system. Thus, they can develop hemolytic anemia, which is a life-threatening condition in dogs.

What safe and nutritious snack alternatives can be recommended for dogs?

Knowing the effects of tortilla chips on dogs, you might consider choosing a healthier treat for your dog. It helps maintain a healthy weight, reduces the risk of health issues, and ensures your pet receives the right nutrients.

Carrot sticks are a great dog-friendly snack if you want to give your dog that fulfilling crunch. Besides raw, carrots can also be cooked and be a great addition to any meal. Apple slices are another fresh option that prove a crunchy and delicious experience. A lot of fruits and vegetables are healthy dog snacks and provide benefits. For example, pumpkin is great for dogs with diarrhea.

If you are adamant on giving snacks, plain unsalted popcorn can be a great homemade dog treat. Low-sodium chips for dogs can be an option because salt and dogs don’t get along. A teaspoon of crunchy peanut butter can be tasty and fulfilling for your dog as well.

What steps should be taken if a dog ingests these chips?

Now that you know what happens if a dog eats tortilla chips, you need to be ready and help your dog if it does. The first thing you do is to remove the chips away from your dog to prevent it from eating more. Then, try to find out how much it had to eat. One or two chips should be fine, but larger amounts can cause serious problems. You should give a bowl of water to the dog in case the chips are salted.

Monitor the dog’s behavior for any signs of discomfort or distress. If symptoms do occur, call your vet and tell that you dog ate a tortilla chip. Provide details about the type and quantity of chips ingested, your dog’s size, and any symptoms or changes in behavior. This information will help the vet make an accurate diagnosis. In some cases you will need to bring the dog to their office so they can treat it.

How to prevent your dog from eating tortilla snacks in the future?

If you want to prevent the complications that arrise when dogs eat chips, you need to commit to establishing food boundaries. Keep the bags of chips in high places and in enclosed areas your dog can not access.

When you are getting some chips for yourself, monitor your dog. Don’t leave an open bag lying around because the dog will curiously get some to eat. Also, if you decide to throw the chips in the trash, make sure its properly closed so the dog won’t eat the scraps.

In the end, you should train your dog properly and teach it the “drop it” command so you can prevent it from eating dangerous things. If your dog does not listen to you, you may need to ask help from a professional dog trainer.

Conclusion: Can dogs eat tortilla chips?

These chips are a delicious and crunchy snack that humans might like to share with their owners. While dogs can safely enjoy a small amount of chips as an occasional treat, it’s essential to be cautious due to the high salt content. 

Besides the high amounts of salt, these chips also contain a lot of fats that can irritate the dog’s stomach lining. The high calories also cause the dog to gain weight and become obese. Some chips also contain additional spices that can be toxic to dogs.

Because they can be problematic, you should consider substituting these snacks with something healthier. Consulting a vet when giving new food to your dog is essential.


Can dogs eat nacho chips with nacho cheese?

It is not recommended to eat nachos with the cheese. Usually, that is processed cheese filled with fats and salt that are very unhealthy for your dog. Some also include spices that are toxic to dogs.

What are the early signs of digestive issues in dogs?

The first things you can see is the dog drooling while smacking and licking its lips. Oftentimes the dog will start vomiting or experience bad diarrhea. Sometimes the dog may become lethargic or ask for lots of water.

Can dogs eat fritos?

No, you should not give fritos to your dog for similar reasons of why dogs can not eat tortilla chips. These manufactured snacks are filled with ingredients like sodium and spices that can cause serious problems to dogs.

Can the chips cause allergies in dogs?

Unfortunately, these chips contain a lot of ingredients that can be bad for dogs with allergies. Dogs can be allergic to wheat and corn and suffer gastrointestinal problems when ingesting them. Some seasonings can also be a cause of allergies.

Can dogs eat tostitos?

Tostitos are only a different brand of corn chips that are similar to other corn chips. They are also filled with spices and ingredients that can harm dogs. That is why dogs should not eat them.

More dog nutrition resources

Here are a few other resources talking about giving certain foods to dogs and the effect they have on their health.

You can find a lot more information on the types of food you can feed your dog on our site Dogisa!

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