Dogs love cheese, and dogs love to eat whatever you’re currently scarfing down, so it makes sense that your pup would beg you for a Dorito or three. However, it’s worth asking yourself whether it’s safe to give your pup one of these chips or not.
As it turns out, the answer is that it’s fine to give your dog a few Doritos, but it’s really better if you don’t.
For a more in-depth answer, as well as insights into a few situations in which you shouldn’t share your Doritos, read on.
Are Doritos Safe for Dogs?
There are a variety of different Doritos flavors, so it’s hard to give a blanket answer that covers all of them. Some, like Cool Ranch Doritos, contain onion and garlic, which can be toxic to dogs in high enough doses.
There’s not enough of either in a single Dorito chip to cause concern, though, so unless your dog eats the whole bag, you should have nothing to worry about. If your dog snags a few chips, there’s no reason to panic or call your vet.
However, Doritos are full of things like salt and fat, which your dog doesn’t need. Don’t give your dog very many, or else their waistline will eventually reveal your poor decision-making skills.
Also, many dogs have difficulties processing corn. Even though it’s a common ingredient in dog food, it’s not often found in good dog foods, and you’re better off keeping your dog corn-free. You may also need to worry about the dairy inside if you have a lactose-intolerant pooch.
Last but not least, the bag is cause for concern as well. Dogs can suffocate if they get the bag stuck on their head, so you should keep the bag out of reach, even after it’s empty.
Other Concerns About Doritos
While Doritos aren’t toxic in and of themselves, they can often be paired with foods that are. You should be especially careful if you like to eat your chips with dip.
Guacamole can be deadly to dogs, as the avocadoes inside are full of something called persin. Persin can cause diarrhea, vomiting, and a host of other maladies for your dog, and it can even be fatal if consumed in high enough quantities.
Onion dip is also bad news, as onions are also toxic to canines. It takes a fair amount of onion to reach toxic levels, but if you make an especially delicious dip, your dog may be able to slurp up enough to get them in trouble.
There are other dips that aren’t toxic for pups but aren’t good for them either. Hummus is often made with spices that can irritate your dog’s stomach, and salsa is to be avoided for the same reason. Queso is something that dogs will definitely devour if given the chance, but it’s so full of fat that you should feed it sparingly.
The next time you host a Super Bowl party, you should guard your Doritos — but it may be a better idea to keep a closer eye on the dip.
Healthy Alternatives to Doritos
If your dog won’t stop begging, there are other things that you can give them that will satisfy their cravings without putting their health at risk.
The most obvious alternative is a dog treat. These are specifically designed for dogs, so there shouldn’t be any troublesome ingredients inside. All you have to worry about is the calorie content, which admittedly, is often high, so give those sparingly as well.
If you want to share human food with them, though, consider fresh fruit like apples or bananas (just avoid grapes and raisins). You could also give your dog broccoli or perhaps a bite of green beans or sweet potatoes.
You can also make your dog their own dip. Simply whip together yogurt, peanut butter, and whatever other ingredients your dog enjoys. You can put it all in a bowl and serve it to your dog while you enjoy your own dip — just keep the Doritos for yourself.
Are There Any Chips That Are Safe for Dogs?
If you’re looking for a snack for your pooch on the chip aisle, you can keep looking. There simply aren’t any good options for your pet to be found there.
That’s not to say that they’re all deadly, though. Many chips — like tortilla chips, potato chips, and even Cheetos — are safe in small doses. They’re not good for your dog, to be sure, but they won’t kill them.
The biggest concern with many of these options is the salt content. Salt poisoning is a potentially fatal condition that can cause vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, seizures, comas, and more. It takes 4 grams per kilogram to become toxic, though, so your pup would have to tear through quite a few Ruffles bags before it became a concern.
If you’re snacking on a dip, plain hummus with a bit of pita bread is the safest option for your dog. However, it’s still not good for your pup, so you’re better off giving them something more appropriate instead.
So, What’s the Verdict?
Doritos are safe insofar as they’re not likely to be toxic to your pup, but you still shouldn’t give them to your dog. They’re full of fat and salt, not to mention other potentially problematic ingredients like dairy, corn, and possibly onion and garlic.
If your dog has already chomped on a few chips, you shouldn’t panic too much. There’s no need to rush them to an emergency vet. However, you should keep the bag out of reach so they don’t make a habit out of it.