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Can Dogs Eat Corn Tortillas? Everything You Need to Know

Yes, dogs can eat corn tortillas in moderation occasionally. However, corn tortillas are neither toxic nor healthy. They are not recommended as a regular diet due to the poor nutritional profile.

What are Corn Tortillas? 

Corn Tortillas are made from whole grains consisting of high fiber and small quantities of sodium, calories, and carbohydrates. The most common corn tortilla types are white and yellow, but blue tortillas are also available. The types are classified based on the white, yellow, or blue corn kernels used to make corn tortillas. 

According to USDA, each 100g of corn tortilla contains,

Nutrient Analysis 
Energy 159 Kcal 
Protein 4.55 g 
Fat 2.27 g 
Carbohydrate 43.18 g 
Fiber 4.5 g 
Sugar 2.27 g 
Calcium 45 mg 
Iron 3.27 mg 
Sodium 136 mg 
Vitamin C 2.7 mg 
Vitamin A 227 IU 
Fatty Acids 1.14 g 

Corn Tortillas Vs. Flour Tortillas 

Corn Tortillas  Flour Tortillas 
Corn is the prime ingredient Wheat is the prime ingredient 
Used by Pre-Columbian civilizations such as the Aztecs Part of the diet of the Spaniards 
Popular in Mexico Popular in the US 
Usually yellow and smaller  Comparatively Whiter  
Simple cooking procedure The cooking procedure is a little complex 

Are Corn Tortillas Safe for Dogs? 

Yes, Corn Tortillas are safe for dogs without corn or grain allergies when consumed in moderation. Though corn tortillas are safe, they are not healthy for dogs. 

Why Are Corn Tortillas Good for Dogs? 

Raw or plain corn tortillas are good for dogs to eat in moderation. Corn tortillas are low in carbs, fat, and calories when compared to flour tortillas.  Corn tortillas provide small amounts of protein, fiber, iron, calcium, and magnesium. Homemade corn tortillas with less salt content can be suitable for dogs. Corn tortillas are healthier than flour tortillas. 

Why Are Corn Tortillas Bad for Dogs?

  • Corn tortillas containing onions, garlic, salt, sugar, baking powder, or preservatives are bad for dogs.
  • Corn tortillas are not suited for dogs with preexisting health conditions, including diabetes.
  • Deep-fried food is not good for dogs, so they should not eat fried corn tortillas.
  • Corn tortillas are processed food, so they contain preservatives, making them unhealthy for consumption.
  • If your dog is allergic or sensitive to grains, corn tortillas could trigger allergic reactions.
  • They do not have any beneficial nutrients.
  • Consuming large quantities of corn tortillas or consuming them often can be dangerous for dogs.
  • Excessive fat and calories can cause pancreatitis or obesity, which can further lead to heart diseases.

Ingredients in Corn Tortillas 

Corn Flour: The prime ingredient in corn tortillas is comparatively easy for dogs to digest as it is processed. It is safe for dogs, but it does not hold any health benefits. 

Wheat Flour: Wheat flour will not harm dogs if they are not allergic to wheat. At the same time, wheat flour has no nutrient value. Wheat flour, when consumed in large quantities, can lead to obesity and other digestive issues. 

Gluten: Wheat flour contains gluten which can trigger allergic reactions in some dogs. Gluten can cause itchiness, gastrointestinal upset, or ear infections. 

Corn Kernels: They provide various minerals and vitamins depending on the corn type. However, it can cause reactions if your dog is allergic to corn. 

Amylases and Xylanase: These are used to preserve corn tortillas and increase their shelf life. If the level of amylases increases in blood or urine, it can result in pancreas disorder and other health conditions. 

Nixtamalization: Nixtamalization is one of the cooking stages of corn tortillas. In this stage, the corn will be cooked in an alkaline solution of calcium hydroxide. 

Salt: Salt is also added to corn tortillas. A high amount of salt consumption can lead to dehydration and other serious health issues.  

How Much Corn Tortillas to Feed My Dog? 

A single corn tortilla can be given to dogs on occasions. However, avoid feeding corn tortillas to dogs regularly. Do not include corn tortillas to your dog’s diet plan. If you are giving corn tortillas as a treat, you can opt for homemade corn tortillas with low sodium content. Even if homemade corn tortillas are not healthy, they will not possess toxic components such as high salt, additives, and preservatives. 

What If My Dogs Ate Corn Tortillas? 

The reaction to Tortillas depends on how many tortillas your dog has eaten. If they consume in less quantity, dogs will be fine without any effects. If dogs eat more Tortillas due to gas accumulation, they might fart and poop often. The size of the dog also influences the side effects of eating corn tortillas. Large breeds of dogs can have larger quantities of corn tortillas, whereas small dogs may not tolerate that quantity.

Some of the side effects include,

  • Itching 
  • Hyperactivity
  • Lethargy 
  • Vomiting 
  • Loss of Appetite 
  • Stomach Upset 
  • Abdominal pain
  • Diarrhea 
  • Increase in sugar level 
  • Choking 
  • Intestinal blockage 
  • Dehydration
  • Excessive Thirst 
  • Behavioral Issues 
  • Death in severe cases

These reactions can also indicate gastrointestinal issues. If your dog has allergic reactions to grains or glutens, consumption of corn tortillas will trigger allergies. Some of the allergic symptoms that can be caused by eating corn tortillas are listed below:

  • Runny eyes & nose 
  • Increased heart rate 
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Swellings or Hives 
  • Excessive salivation 
  • Difficulty in breathing 
  • Seizure or Tremors 
  • Itching
  • Pacing 
  • Excessive urination 
  • Changes in bowel movement

Dogs have the risk of choking while eating corn tortillas. This could happen if your dog is eating quickly without properly chewing the food. The following are the signs that your dog is choking:

  • Dilated Pupils
  • Coughing 
  • Irritable behaviors 

Immediately contact a vet if your dog has any of the symptoms mentioned above after eating corn tortillas. 

Alternatives to Corn Tortillas 

Corn Tortillas have nothing to contribute to your dog’s health. Thus, there is no value in feeding them to your dog. Listed below are some of the alternatives to feed your dog instead of corn tortillas:

  • Artichokes 
  • Basil 
  • Cereal 
  • Cilantro
  • Crackers
  • Figs 
  • Grits 
  • Guava 
  • Papaya
  • Peppers 
  • Potatoes 
  • Turnips 
  • Quinoa 

Frequently Asked Question 

Are Corn Tortillas Safe for Puppies? 

No, corn tortillas are not safe for puppies. Puppies have more sensitive stomachs than adult dogs, so processed food like corn tortillas can upset their stomach. 

Can dogs eat Corn chips? 

No, you should not feed corn chips to your pet. Corn chips are toxic as they are fried and contain corn, salt, artificial flavor, and preservatives. 

Can Dogs Eat Flour Tortillas? 

Yes, dogs without wheat or gluten allergies can eat two or three flour tortillas occasionally. However, do not add it to your dog’s regular diet. 

Can Dogs Eat Tortilla Shells?  

Yes, dogs can eat tortilla shells in moderation. Ensure that the ingredients added inside the shells are safe for consumption. 

Can Dogs Eat Homemade Corn Tortillas? 

Yes, dogs can eat homemade tortillas. As homemade corn tortillas will not include any preservatives, high sodium content, or artificial flavors, they are good for dogs. 

Conclusion 

You can feed your corn tortillas to your dog in moderate quantities once in a while. Though eating a small amount won’t cause much danger, it is safe to avoid feeding them often. Corn tortillas do not have healthy nutrients, but they don’t possess toxic substances either. If your dog has gluten or grain allergies, corn tortillas can lead to dangerous health issues. In conclusion, eating one or two corn tortillas will not cause any damage, but it is recommended to avoid feeding them to dogs.

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