Do you enjoy eating Takis – the intensely flavorful and spicy corn chips? Are you wondering if you can share the tasty treat with your dog?
Takis has become an extremely popular snack brand around the world. The brand has retained its position as the top growing tortilla chip snack in the US alone.
The spicy snack is available in a range of different flavors. What is more? Takis are all set to enter other snack categories like potato chips, popcorn, nuts, and cheese snacks. As customers, you are going to be spoiled for choice.
But despite its popularity and addictive flavor, are Takis good for you? The short answer – Takis are high in calories, sodium, fat, and lack nutrients. If you want to enjoy them, moderation is necessary.
Can dogs eat Takis? – We say no. Let us understand why you should keep highly processed junk food away from your pet and instead treat them with healthy snack options.
- What are Takis?
- Can Dogs Eat Takis?
- Why are the Calories in Takis a Problem?
- What to Do If a Dog Eats Takis?
- What Healthy Snacks Can You Feed a Dog?
What are Takis?
Corn tortilla chips seasoned with flavorful spices are what Takis are. Apart from the heat, What makes it different from other chip brands is its unique rolled-up shape that almost looks like taquitos.
Fuego (hot chili pepper and lime) is the most loved flavor. You get the heat from the peppers and tanginess from the lime. Other popular flavors are:
- Nitro (habanero and lime)
- Crunchy Fajitas (spicy Tex-Mex)
- Wild (spicy buffalo ranch)
- Blue Heat (chili peppers and lime)
- Xplosion (chili and cheese)
The description of the flavors alone indicates why Takis is not a good snack for your pet. And if you cannot handle the heat, you should stay away from the snack as well.
What are Takis Made Of?
Let us look at the ingredient of the most popular Takis flavor.
Fuego Takis are made using: corn flour, vegetable oil, salt, sugar, citric acid, onion powder, maltodextrin, monosodium glutamate, yeast extract, sodium bicarbonate, red 40 lake, yellow 6 lake, TBHQ, and artificial flavors, among others.
Some of the top concerns from the ingredients list are that Takis contain:
- A high amount of sodium
- High level of saturated fat
- Top food additives
- Non-specific ingredient labeled as a flavor
If consumed in large quantities, Takis can turn your poop red or orange. In addition, blue heat Takis can turn your tongue blue. That is the amount of food dye in the snack.
Can Dogs Eat Takis?
After reading what Takis are made of, the answer to this question is simple – NO.
Dogs try to eat whatever they can get their paws on. For example, they chew on rocks when bored. But, that does not mean you grind up rock for their meal. The same goes for Takis. They might accidentally eat some, but you should not deliberately feed the snack to your pet.
Takis are not nutritionally rich snacks. If we consider a one-ounce packet of Fuego Takis, it contains:
- 140 calories
- 8 grams total fat
- 16 grams carbs
- 2 grams protein
- 390 mg sodium
- 4% calcium
- 2% iron
They do not contain vitamins or minerals. Also, the amount of calcium and iron is almost negligible. So from a snack perspective that will keep your dog full and provide them with nutrients, Takis do not measure up.
Takis indeed are flavorful; the chili pepper and lime combination pack the right amount of heat and sourness. But do not be mistaken; your pet will not have the same experience when eating Takis.
If you look into a dog’s mouth, you will notice small bumps called papillae. Each of these bumps contains a group of taste buds. These taste buds further contain 50 taste receptor cells. Now, humans have around 9000 taste buds. But, an average dog has around 1700 taste buds.
Dogs can still differentiate between salty, sweet, sour, or bitter flavors. However, their palette is not developed enough to appreciate spicy food as you do. So feeding Takis to your dog for its spicy flavor is a lost cause.
If your dog consumes too much Takis, it can adversely affect its health. So let us delve deeper into how your dog’s body reacts to different ingredients in the spicy snack.
What Happens When Dogs Eat Spicy Food?
Spicy foods can negatively affect your dog’s digestive health. It happens due to ingredients like chili peppers containing a substance called capsaicin. You feel the burning sensation in your mouth when eating spicy food because of the presence of capsaicin.
Your pet might experience extreme discomfort after eating chili-laden food. Symptoms like vomiting, bloating, stomach pain, gas, or diarrhea will be symptoms. Spicy food can also trigger issues like heartburn and constipation.
What Happens When Dogs Eat Onion?
Takis contain onion powder which is responsible for several health issues in dogs. Onion is one of the commonly reported causes of toxicity. Excessive consumption can result in a condition called hemolysis. It causes the red cells to break down. The cells are also cleared from circulation quicker than they can be produced.
Hemolysis further leads to anemia. Symptoms of anemia include:
- Red or brown urine
- Dark stools
- Rapid breathing
- Loss of appetite
Onions can be toxic regardless of their form – fresh, cooked, or powdered. Consuming small quantities over time can be harmful to your dog’s health. Severe cases of anemia can cause internal organ damage or even be fatal.
What Happens When Dogs Eat Too Much Salt?
Your dog needs salt to maintain normal body functions. They need salt for muscle function, nerve signal transmission, and fluid balance.
Dogs have evolved to eat meat, which contains salt. The amount of salt found in meat is enough to fulfill your dog’s requirements. Therefore, there is no need for additional salt.
You can add salt to their meals but check with the vet for the permissible limit. Takis are not a healthy snack option as only serving provides 390 mg of salt.
Too much salt can make your dog thirstier than usual. You might also see symptoms like high temperature, upset stomach, tremors, and seizures.
What Happens When Dogs Eat Processed Food?
Foods that include salt, sugar, fat, artificial colors and flavors, and preservatives to improve taste and shelf life are considered highly processed. If you see the Takis ingredient list above, you can easily figure out that they fall into the category of highly processed foods.
The pancreas produces enzymes and hormones, which help with digestion. Processed food is difficult for a dog to digest. It makes the pancreas do double the work to break down the food.
If you feed Takis to your dog regularly, it can cause the pancreas to enlarge over time. This means the organ will work more than usual, leading to degeneration.
Why are the Calories in Takis a Problem?
The number of calories a dog needs does not depend on weight alone. It would help to consider their metabolism, age, and activity level.
For the sake of understanding, let us consider an intact adult dog weighing 10 lbs. The dog will need around 390 calories to get enough energy and maintain its health. A one-ounce bag of Takis (28 grams) contains 140 calories. Therefore, a single snack will account for 35% of your dog’s calorie requirement.
Takis are not a substitute for a meal. They are calories that do not provide any nutrients to your dog. Treats should not be more than 10% of their daily diet. So, if your dog needs 390 calories/day, 39 calories are the limit for treats.
What to Do If a Dog Eats Takis?
If your dog accidentally eats 2 to 4 pieces of Takis, they should be fine overall. However, the spicy flavor can make them uncomfortable, and they might often reach for the water bowl. Keep checking on them to ensure they do not show any symptoms of digestive issues.
If your dog has shoved down a whole packet of Takis, please take it to the vet immediately. A big pack of Takis contains ten times the recommended serving portion for humans. If your dog eats that quantity of salt, spices, and onion powder, it can severely impact their health.
If you are bringing Takis home, make sure they are kept well out of the reach of your pets. For example, do not let your dog wander around the pantry. If not Takis, they will rip into other packets of human foods that are not good for them.
What Healthy Snacks Can You Feed a Dog?
Fresh fruits make for excellent dog treats. You can give them slices of apples, watermelons, bananas, or oranges. Remember to remove the seeds from the fruits. You can blend fruits together during the summer months and freeze the mixture using ice cubes. The snack can be both healthy and refreshing.
Vegetables like carrot, cucumber, peas, green beans, cooked sweet potato, broccoli, and squash also make for some healthy snack options.
Chicken, turkey, beef are meat options you can feed your dog. Make sure the meat is well-cooked and does not contain any bones. When feeding meat, stick to smaller portions.
Remember the 10% rule when giving any kind of special treat to your dog. Even fresh fruits can be high in sugar levels. Thus, portion sizes are important.
Takis are flavorful, packed with heat corn chips that people popularly enjoy. If you want to eat Takis, you can do so once in a while, sticking to recommended portions.
But can you share this snack with your furry friend? Can dogs eat Takis? No. It would be best to keep your pet as far as possible from Takis.
The chips are high in sodium and fat and essentially do not supply the body with any nutrients. They are also highly processed and contain artificial flavors and colors.
Regular consumption of the Takis can affect your dog’s health leading to issues like upset stomach, anemia, and organ degeneration. Consult your vet for healthier snack options.
Heather Abraham is an owner of two dogs, one cat, a leopard gecko, and a parrot (who her dad still cannot teach bad words to), and an avid blogger. From the time she was a young girl, she always felt a connection with pets. She brings her love of every type of pet to you, with information on animal nutrition, medication, toys, beds, and everything else in between. Along with newly-on-board veterinarian DVM editor Elena, she puts pups first while offering other various fun tidbits along the way.