Takis are a popular snack for people who like all things spicy. Unfortunately, sharing these snacks with your dog can be a problem.
Dogs shouldn’t eat Takis, no matter the flavor. Though they’re just corn chips, the ingredients in the flavoring can be unhealthy, if not downright dangerous, for your dog.
What Are Takis?
Takis are a Mexican brand of rolled corn tortilla chips that come in numerous Mexican-inspired flavors, including chili lime, hot taco, spicy barbecue, hot chili pepper, habanero chili, chorizo, and spicy zucchini.
Most of these flavors have ingredients like garlic and onion, high fat, and spicy peppers. Though they’re delicious, even for people, Takis can cause gastritis and other stomach issues. They should only be consumed in moderation.
Are Takis Safe for Dogs?
No, Takis are not safe for dogs, no matter the flavor. While some may have more toxic ingredients than others, virtually every flavor variety has a slew of things that can make your dog sick.
Like other chips and processed snacks, Takis are packed with sodium. While sodium is essential for dogs as well as humans, too much can lead to salt toxicosis also known as hypernatremia 1. This is when there are abnormally high levels of sodium in the bloodstream, which draws water out of the cells to restore the electrolyte balance and can possibly harm the brain and nervous tissue.
Garlic and Onion
Garlic and onion are used in virtually all Takis recipes. Members of the allium family, which includes garlic and onions, are toxic for dogs 2. A naturally occurring compound in this family, called thiosulfate, sticks to the red blood cells in dogs. This can lead to oxidative damage to red blood cells and hemolytic anemia, which can be life-threatening.
Xylitol is a sugar substitute that’s used in many Takis recipes. Naturally occurring, xylitol has a similar sweetness to sucrose, with much lower calories and a lower impact on blood sugar levels, which makes it appealing for humans.
In dogs, however, xylitol can be deadly 3. Both humans and dogs regulate blood sugar by a release of insulin from the pancreas. Xylitol doesn’t stimulate this release in humans, but it does in dogs. When this happens, there’s a considerable drop in blood sugar—hypoglycemia—that can be fatal. Xylitol is also responsible for liver failure in high enough doses, though the reason isn’t well understood.
Takis contain high amounts of fat that make them taste delicious, but it’s not good for your dogs. Eating high-fat foods often will not only lead to obesity in your dog, but it may cause pancreatitis.
With this disease, the pancreas becomes inflamed and releases digestive enzymes that are not needed, which then attack the pancreas. It’s an extremely painful condition, and once it happens, it’s more likely to recur.
Aside from toxic ingredients, Takis have plenty of other ingredients that can cause upset stomach, diarrhea, and vomiting. Most of the recipes are spicy, which contributes to gas and diarrhea in dogs.
In addition, the hot, tingly feeling we get from eating spicy foods may be enjoyable to us, but dogs don’t understand why their mouth is burning. They may end up drinking excessive amounts of water to cool the feeling, though that’s not effective, and become distressed.
What Should I Do If My Dog Eats Takis?
For many dogs, the strong spicy smell of Takis is off-putting. But if your dog does sample some, it will likely be fine. A few corn chips is usually not enough to have a toxic result (though you still shouldn’t offer any!). If you’re concerned, watch for signs of illness like weakness, lethargy, excessive panting, tremors, diarrhea, vomiting, or pain, which require a vet visit.
If your dog eats a whole bag, however, it could be enough for toxicity in smaller breeds. Always err on the side of caution and contact your vet or an emergency clinic. With toxicity, rapid treatment is essential for a positive outcome.
Takis are a popular snack, but they’re not safe for your dog. Aside from toxic ingredients, Takis contain a lot of salt, high fat, and plenty of spicy ingredients that can harm your dog, so it’s best to keep these chips out of reach. If your dog samples some, watch for signs of illness and contact your vet.