As humans, we like to indulge ourselves in junk food on some occasions, or in some cases, more often than not.
If you have a healthy and balanced diet, a few bags of chips or Doritos shouldn’t have much of an impact on your health. However, whenever you open a bag of one of these snacks, your dog will give you the look.
We all know what that is like, and sometimes you just cannot resist sharing your food with your canine bestie, right?
No one can blame you; we have all been there. The look in their eyes is one of the most adorable things and, at the same time, soul-crushing because it seems like they are starving.
But, as responsible dog owners, we have to keep track of what human food is good for dogs and what to avoid in a dog’s diet.
So, is it ok to include Doritos in dog food? Well, not exactly. If you’re thinking about adding this snack to your dog’s regular daily meal, we have to advise you against it. You will soon see why.
On the other hand, giving Doritos to your dog as a treat once in a while can be understood, given the power of their puppy eyes over our fragile discipline.
That being said, you should tread carefully when it comes to giving your dog Doritos, even in small amounts, as they can do more harm than good.
In this article, you will find everything you need to know about Doritos and dogs. How they get along, if there are any positives, and what the downsides of feeding your dog Doritos are.
The story behind Doritos
Doritos tortilla chips are one of America’s most adored junk foods produced by the renowned Dorito brand. They are crunchy and delicious, and every now and then, a new flavor comes out.
The first time this popular snack was launched was at a former restaurant in Disneyland called Casa de Fritos. The first recipe consisted of frying up discarded tortillas and selling them to their guests.
Funny enough, people liked the fried discarded tortillas, and Doritos soon became a hit. Executives from Frito-Lay jumped on the band-wagon, bought the recipe, and started mass producing them.
Fast forward to today, and we have all sorts of different flavors like Cool Ranch, Spicy Nacho, Poppin’ Jalapeno, Flamin’ Hot Nacho Cheese, White Cheddar, Salsa Verde, Blaze, and many more.
Why do dogs like them?
This is a rather simple and straightforward answer: because of the smell.
Dogs have a much stronger sense of smell than humans. This means that when we open a bag of Doritos and get hit by the smell, dogs get hit several times harder.
No matter what flavor of Doritos you open, dogs will beg for a piece because they have no idea what is harmful to them. It is up to us, as owners, to keep our pup alive and healthy above all.
Since Doritos are not a healthy choice even for humans, you can imagine what they can do to dogs if they consume them on a regular basis.
Let’s take a look at the ingredients found in Doritos to better understand what is going on.
1. Genetically modified corn
Genetically modified organisms are linked to inflammation issues, allergies, and digestive issues in people. This can also be said for dogs, so owners should avoid giving their pets any food containing GMOs.
2. Dyes and oils
If you’ve ever wondered how Doritos get that classic orange shade, we can confidently say that it isn’t from being dipped in carrot juice. In fact, there is nothing healthy about that color when it comes to snack foods.
A slew of hydrogenated oils and dyes are used to get that shade of orange, such as Yellow dye 5, Yellow dye 6, Red dye 40, and vegetable oil.
Vegetable oil, butter, grease, and other lower-grade oils should never be a part of your dog’s diet.
Photo from: @tia_lyra_noblebullys
Doritos can make your dog seriously thirsty or even dehydrated because they are packed with sodium.
Other serious health issues like heart disease and pancreatitis may arise from high amounts of salt. In some cases, it can even lead to death.
4. Processed corn
These snacks contain processed corn, which is unhealthy for canines. A dog’s digestive system struggles to process corn, and it should be kept away from dog food.
Fat can be detrimental to your dog’s health. Not only does it lead to weight gain and ultimately to obesity, but it has the potential to cause diabetes or heart diseases.
6. Garlic and onion powder
Some flavors of Doritos contain high amounts of onion and garlic powder. So instead of reading through the list of ingredients for every flavor, maybe it is best to skip these snacks altogether.
No matter if they are cooked, powdered, dehydrated, or raw, garlic and onions must be kept far away from dogs. Both of these can kill the dog’s red blood cells, which leads to anemia.
Doritos also contain high levels of lactose, which can upset your dog’s stomach, especially if it has issues with dairy products.
8. Artificial flavors
These snacks often contain artificial flavors and chemicals like xylitol, which are not healthy even for humans when consumed in large quantities. So, you can imagine how some of these flavors and chemicals can be toxic to your canine.
Although these nutritional facts are taken from a specific flavor of Doritos, they are not much different from the rest.
An ounce of Nacho Cheese flavored Doritos contains:
• 150 Calories
• 50 mg of potassium
• 40 mg of calcium
• 18 grams of carbohydrates
• 210 mg of sodium
• 1 gram of sugar
• 2 grams of protein
Even though potassium and calcium can be beneficial to a dog’s health, the levels of fat, salt, and empty calories outweigh them by far.
Here are some other human foods that can be hazardous to our canine besties:
Possible health problems
If you decide to feed your dog Doritos on a regular basis, you can expect several health issues like:
• Kidney failure
• Salt or sodium poisoning
Even though your pooch would have to eat Dorito chips every day over an extended period before any of these symptoms show up, we advise you not to test it.
If your dog is healthy and has a balanced diet, then one or two chips will not cause serious problems other than stomach upset, bouts of smelly gas, and diarrhea.
Also, dogs can cut their gums on the sharp edges of the chips, just like humans can.
Things to know about salt poisoning in dogs
Dogs cannot process salt in their bellies as efficiently as humans can. In turn, salt poisoning is the greatest toxicity risk you should be concerned about if your dog ever gets his head in an unattended bag of chips.
Several studies conducted by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) have shown that a 33-pound dog should not be allowed to consume more than 14 grams of fat and 200 mg of salt per day on average.
For a better understanding, 28 grams of Doritos (about 12 chips) contains 210 mg of sodium and 9 grams of fat per serving.
This means that the salt content in Doritos is way above the recommended daily intake levels and can put your dog at risk of salt poisoning.
Salt poisoning in dogs is a very serious thing that can lead to various health problems like abnormal fluid accumulation, possible kidney injury or failure, diabetes, or difficulty with urination. In some cases, it can even lead to death.
Some symptoms of salt poisoning that you should be aware of are the following:
These symptoms can manifest in a short time after consuming a large number of Dorito chips, especially varieties with garlic or onion flavoring.
If you notice any of these symptoms or any change in your dog’s behavior after feeding it Doritos, make sure to contact a vet as soon as possible.
If your dog doesn’t often find a bag of Doritos for himself, then the likelihood of any severe poisoning is slim.
In these cases, your dog is likely to have some digestive difficulties that will pass after some time. But, if your dog is allowed to enjoy Doritos frequently, you are putting your dog’s health at risk.
Are Doritos safe for dogs?
We’ve seen the ingredients and possible side effects dogs may suffer from eating Doritos. So, are they safe for dogs?
Well, it depends on many things. First, you have to realize that the amount of Doritos you feed your dog is a big factor when it comes to your dog’s health.
Dog’s shouldn’t be given a large amount of any Dorito flavor, especially those with onion or garlic powder.
Even if one or two chips cannot cause any serious damage to your dog’s health, you should keep a close eye on it for any symptoms of poisoning.
Another thing to note is that Doritos do not benefit a dog in any way. In fact, they can lead to numerous health issues, which we discussed above. So, why risk it?
There are plenty of healthy dog treats and other foods you can introduce to your dog’s life.
Are Dorito dips safe for dogs?
While Dorito chips aren’t toxic to dogs, humans love to eat them with different dips.
Let’s go over some of the favorite Dorito dips that humans enjoy but should be kept away from dogs.
Guacamole has avocadoes inside, and they are full of persin. Persin may cause vomiting and diarrhea in your doggie. This substance can even be fatal to dogs, so keep guacamole dip far away from them.
As we mentioned before, onions are really toxic to canines.
Even though it takes a large amount of onion to reach toxic levels, your dog doesn’t know that, and it might eat all of your onion dip before you realize it. This is another dip that shouldn’t be within your dog’s reach ever.
Nacho cheese dip
This dip also contains ingredients that are unhealthy for your pooch. Even though it might not say so on the jar, there are hidden ingredients and spices such as garlic puree, onion, and many more that are known to be toxic to dogs.
Some other dips that aren’t toxic for dogs but aren’t doing them any good either are hummus, salsa, and queso.
Queso dip is delicious to dogs, and they will devour every last drop given the chance, but it is full of unhealthy fat that can lead to problems we’ve listed above.
What about other chips? Are they safe for dogs?
If you are looking for a chip that you can safely share with your dog, unfortunately, you won’t find any.
Just like Doritos, other chips contain salt, fat and artificial ingredients that are all harmful even for humans, let alone our furry pets.
The general rule is that if a snack is unhealthy for humans, it should not be fed to dogs. This, however, doesn’t mean that all chips out there are deadly.
Many chips like potato chips, tortilla chips, and even Cheetos are all safe in small doses. Although they don’t bring anything good to your dog’s health, they won’t kill them either.
The number one concern with many of these options is the salt poisoning we discussed earlier. It is a serious problem for dogs, and it is recommended that you do not risk it.
We understand that it is next to impossible to deny our pup a special treat when they are such a good boy. This is why you should consider healthier snacks you can share with your dog.
If your pet loves sharing snacks with you, which is mostly the case, then you might want to keep a bag of dog treats around while you eat your delicious Doritos.
Dog snacks are made for dogs and offer products rich in vitamins and minerals. Your pooch will gain much more from eating dog treats than eating a few Doritos.
However, a treat should be just that – a treat. Do not substitute treats with dog food, and try not to give them too often. Treats should be given on special occasions, and your dog will interpret them as a reward and bonding time with you.
Dogs are pretty smart, but they can be fooled easily. Show them a Dorito in one hand and then trick them with a dog treat in the other. They might think that you are giving them the same food you’re eating and will give them a sense of pleasure and bonding.
Apart from snacks, some foods you can safely share with your pup are the following:
• Peanut butter
These are all super healthy alternatives to Doritos. They will help your doggies maintain a healthy weight and bring all sorts of nutrients to their diet.
Of course, you should check for possible allergies, as peanut butter can be a problem for some dogs.
Tips for owners of snack-loving dogs
Doritos and other chips are called junk food for a reason. They are unhealthy for humans, which means that they are even worse for your pets.
There are some things you should keep in mind if you cannot resist junk food:
• Keep your trash containers properly covered at all times. This will prevent dogs from eating harmful foods. In addition, dogs can easily suffocate on a bag of chips if their head gets stuck while trying to reach the crumbs. Keeping your trash containers covered will prevent that.
• Try to keep all snacks out of your dog’s reach.
• Salt is very problematic for dogs and can even be fatal. Think about this next time you want to share junk food with your pal.
• Try to break the habit of giving your dog food off the table. Many of the foods we eat are harmful to dogs, so try to develop a habit of feeding your dog only dog food.
• Avoid overfeeding your dog and help him maintain a healthy weight.
Looking back on what we learned
Doritos are a delicious and tasty treat for humans. We love all of the flavors they come in and eat them more than we probably should.
But, Doritos are quite unhealthy for us. They are considered junk food for a reason, and people who want to have a healthy diet should avoid them.
When it comes to the question, “can dogs eat Doritos?” the general recommendation is no. Doritos bring nothing healthy to the table when it comes to our furry friends.
In fact, they are pretty bad for dogs and can lead to serious medical conditions.
We all want what is best for our canine friends, so you have to ask yourself, is it worth the risk?
Do you really want to risk your pup’s well-being just so it can eat Doritos?
With so many healthy alternatives you can choose from, our advice is to steer away from giving your dog Doritos, so it can be with you for many more healthy years to come.