Dogs are family and you always want them to feel included – especially on Taco Tuesday or any night where you may be making Mexican food! Any devoted dog owner knows that treating your dog with yummy treats is part of being a good owner. But can dogs eat tortillas?
A coveted staple in pantries and Mexican food, tortillas are equally delicious and essential. If you find yourself wondering whether or not your dog can eat tortillas, here’s everything you need to know.
What Are Tortillas?
Tortillas can be simply defined as thin, circular, unleavened flatbread and are either made from wheat or corn. Tortillas are central to Mesoamerican cuisine and reside in most people’s pantries or fridges for at home burritos, wraps, or tacos. They are thin, delicious, and a staple in Mexican food.
Can Dogs Eat Tortillas?
Tortillas are perfectly safe for your dog in moderation. As long as your dog doesn’t have a grain or wheat sensitivity, they’re fine to eat! Tortillas can be high in calories (especially when made with white flour) and should be consumed in moderation. While they don’t provide a lot of nutritional value to your dog’s diet, they’re perfectly fine for your dog to consume as an occasional treat.
Tortillas don’t necessarily have the healthiest reputation but are actually packed with fiber and essential nutrients, especially corn tortillas. Corn tortillas are a better option for your dog as long as they don’t have a grain sensitivity, since they’re lower in carbs, fat, and calories than their flour counterparts. Tortillas are perfectly safe for your dog to consume in moderation. If your dog has a grain or wheat sensitivity, then opt for another treat instead.
Grain and Wheat Sensitivity in Dogs
According to the American Kennel Club, gain and wheat sensitivities manifest differently in dogs than other allergies or sensitivities. Grain-free diets are often promoted as beneficial for dogs, but why is that? It can all be traced back to the 2007 pet food contamination tragedy when grains imported from China were contaminated with industrial chemicals that caused extensive kidney damage. As a result, many dogs fell ill and passed away. While grains weren’t the problem, many passionate dog owners swore off grains altogether to try to avoid another fiasco.
Similar to the way some people develop Celiac’s disease (gluten sensitivity and intolerance), there are dogs who possess the same sort of reaction to wheat products specifically. In fact, most grains are fine and even beneficial for your dog to eat.
Dogs are omnivores. They require a balance of complex carbohydrates, quality protein, and healthy fats to maintain proper nutrition – much like us! Grains are essential in your dog’s diet, contrary to popular belief. That being said, tortillas are perfectly safe for your dog to eat in moderation. Opt for corn tortillas to avoid gluten or wheat sensitivity.
Signs of Gluten Intolerance in Dogs
According to Wag!, dogs can exhibit signs and symptoms of gluten intolerance. These include but are not limited to:
- Poor condition of skin or coat
- Ear infections
- Abnormally inflamed paw pads
- Obsessive licking or chewing of paw pads and skin or coat
How Common Are Gluten Allergies in Dogs?
Gluten allergies aren’t very common in dogs but they can happen, just like sensitivities to any food, ingredient, or chemical can happen. Gluten is most commonly found in grains like cereal, rye, barley, and buckwheat products. If you suspect your dog has a gluten allergy, remove the substance from their diet and take them to the vet. Your veterinarian will be able to diagnose any gluten sensitivity or allergy. Gluten is commonly found in a lot of popular dog foods and products.
While your dog needs to have complex carbohydrates in their diet, there are several gluten free dog foods on the market that yield beneficial results. Healthy grains include corn, oats, brown rice, and quinoa. When looking for dog food for your dog, prioritize healthy grains, quality meat, and healthy fats.
Can Dogs Have Tacos?
There’s no reason your dog can’t have specialized dog tacos! If you’re looking to feed your dog a fun and festive treat, dog tacos are wonderful!
When creating dog tacos, keep it simple. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Corn tortillas
- Unseasoned meat
- Cheese and/or sour cream
- Vegetables like lettuce or spinach
Avoid using salsa, hot sauce, or taco seasoning for your dog’s taco. Keep it simple and basic to avoid upsetting your dog’s stomach. Additionally, a lot of taco seasonings and sauces possess onion or garlic powders, which can be toxic to dogs. Dogs also can’t digest spicy food like we can which can cause diarrhea, nausea, or vomiting.
Avoid feeding your dog crunchy taco shells and use soft corn tortillas. Crunchy taco shells can poke or stab their gums. Dogs tend to inhale food – as we know all too well. Keep it soft and simple when treating your dog to a delicious treat.
Other Carbs That Are Safe For Your Dog
If your dog doesn’t have a gluten intolerance, they can enjoy the following carbs (alongside tortillas) in peace and with enjoyment:
- White rice
- Brown rice
- Sweet potato
- Regular potato
Carbohydrates play a functional and vital role in a dog’s diet. Much like carbs provide energy for humans, they provide energy for dogs as well! A dog’s body turns carbohydrates into sugars for energy. While a lot of people tout the power of grain free diets, they aren’t necessary for your dog and can actually cause long term damage. Your dog needs carbohydrates to function, whether they have gluten intolerance or not. Carbs provide dog kibble with structure, texture, and allow for easier dehydration of the kibble.
In summary – can dogs eat tortillas?
All things considered, tortillas are perfectly delicious and safe treats for your dogs to consume in moderation. Don’t be afraid to let them indulge in Taco Tuesday!