Can Dogs Eat Tamales? Everything Explained Here!

Can Dogs Eat Tamales?
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Can dogs eat tamales? Since tamales are so widely enjoyed, many pet parents wonder if they should share the tasty treat with their canine companions. The simple answer is that it “DEPENDS ON” the ingredients and tamales. But what would happen if you did feed your pet tamales? Do they affect their health in any way? Continue reading this Canvas Personalized‘s blog to find out more about tamales, how they affect dogs, how nutritious they are, and whether it is safe for your dog to eat them.

What is Tamales?

What Is Tamales? Can Dogs Eat Tamales?
What is Tamales? Can dogs eat tamales? Source: Google.

The masa (corn flour) used to make tamales is a classic Mexican ingredient. Lard is added to the corn mixture and beaten until light and airy. Chicken, beef, steak, or pig marinated in salsa, cheese, poblano peppers, or pine nuts is put on a soft corn husk and then steamed. The husk and the masa shell are the only ingredients that are constant in tamales, which have a history dating back to the Mayan and Aztec cultures about 7000 B.C.

Which Benefits Come From Giving Your Dog Tamales?

Can Dogs Eat Tamales?
Can Dogs Eat Tamales? Source: Google.

Your dog’s health can benefit from the proteins, fiber, vitamins, and minerals found in tamales. Tamales, for instance, typically have beef, chicken, and pork. These are renowned for their high protein content. Proteins can build your dog’s bones if given in moderation.

Fibre and Protein

Chicken, beef, steak, pork, and other high-protein meats are common fillings for Tamales, so giving your dog one is a great way to offer him some of the daily protein he needs.

Source Of Fiber

One tamale may include as much as 6 grams of fiber; feeding them to your dog may help him digest his food better.

Extra Vitamins and Minerals

Calcium, iron, potassium, zinc, and vitamins A, B, and K are vitamins and minerals in plenty of tamales. They can do a lot to help your dog’s immune system, his growth and formation of healthy bones and teeth, and his speedy recovery from injuries.

When looking at the numbers, these nutrients have a good balance for dogs. There is a lot of protein and fat. Tamales may look harmless, but contain substances that could harm your pet.

Why Are Tamales Bad for Dogs?

Why Are Tamales Bad For Dogs? Can Dogs Eat Tamales?
Why Are Tamales Bad for Dogs? Can dogs eat tamales?

Tamales contain potentially toxic ingredients for dogs if you buy tamales in cans at the grocery store or a restaurant. The issue with tamales is that they can be made with anything from components that are good for dogs to poisonous ones. Traditional tamales, for instance, frequently have onions and garlic, which are toxic to dogs. Therefore, tamales can be bad for dogs. Tamales usually consist of the following ingredients:


Never feed your dog onions since they are highly harmful to canines. N-propyl disulfide, which is found in them, causes hemolysis in puppies. Onions harm dogs in any form (raw, cooked, or powdered).


Like onions, garlic can cause hemolytic anemia because it comes from the allium family. Even if the amount of garlic consumed is below the hazardous threshold, certain dogs (particularly Japanese breeds) will experience negative side effects. Dogs should never be fed the most common tamale components.

A Husk of Corn or Plantain

Dogs should never be fed the husks that tamales are served in. Dogs can choke on the thick husk, but ingesting it is even more dangerous.

Too Much Salt

Many recipes for masa dough include excessive amounts of salt. Dogs have a significantly lower salt tolerance than people, and ingesting excessive amounts of salt can result in salt poisoning, which can be fatal.

Unhealthy Spices

Bay leaf and paprika are common spices added to tamale mixes. These spices give dogs stomach aches, nausea, and diarrhea. Despite their popularity in tamales, spicy ingredients like hot peppers, hot pepper flakes, and powdered chilies should never be fed to dogs.

High Calories

No more than 10% of a dog’s daily calories should come from snacks. Let’s explore how several Tamale varieties compare, given that an adult 25-pound dog only needs 625 calories daily.

Type of TamaleCalories Percent of a 25-pound dog’s daily needs
Cheese Tamale27043%
Beef Tamale25040%
Pork Tamale25040%
Tamale in a Can23037%
Chicken Tamale25034%

As you can see, a 25-pound dog can get more calories than recommended when eating a tamale. This calorie amount is unhealthful because snacks shouldn’t make up a large portion of your dog’s diet.

Solid Fats

Masa used to make traditional tamales is often made with lard or other pig fats high in saturated fat. Your dog’s “bad” cholesterol level increases the risk of cardiovascular disease.

>> Read more: Can Dogs Eat Goat Cheese? Exploring The Benefits and Risks

If Your Dog Eats A Tamale By Mistake, What Should You Do?

Can Dogs Eat Tamales?
Can dogs eat Tamales?
  • The first step is to take stock of the situation by comparing the tamale’s sizes to your dog’s. It might not be an immediate issue if the tamale is small and your dog is big. However, there may be a greater risk of obstruction if the tamale is huge and your dog is small.
  • For the next few hours, keeping a close eye on your dog is important. Keep an eye out for any indications of discomfort, nausea, diarrhea, tiredness, or strange behaviors. Contact your veterinarian if any of these signs appear.

Signs To Watch For

Abnormal behavior or the appearance of pain, especially in the abdominal area, are two red flags you should not ignore. If they quit eating or drinking, that’s a problem, too. If your dog suddenly starts acting antsy and uncooperative, it may be a sign that something is wrong and they need to see a vet. Typically, they exhibit the following symptoms:

  • Slow and frail
  • Listlessness
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Faint Gums Give Way
  • Coordination decline

If you see any of these symptoms in your pet, you should immediately take them to the vet; doing so could save their life.

Read more:

How Can You Prepare Healthy Tamales For Your Dog?

Why Are Tamales Bad For Dogs? Can Dogs Eat Tamales?
Can dogs eat tamales?

If you’re worried about your dog’s health, you can easily create some at home. In this manner, check that the Mexican treat doesn’t include any potentially dangerous substances.

  • To begin, try vegetarian options instead of beef. Avoid eating meats that are high in saturated fat. Healthy substitutions include the addition of beans, turkey, or even veggies. Your dog will benefit from the fiber in beans and vegetables, which aids digestion. Spices and components like garlic, onion, and salsas should also be avoided. Also, watch out for the salt content.
  • Finally, don’t bother with the husk. The kernel is the most dangerous part for your dog. So, if you want to give your dog the good stuff, you should get rid of the husk first. The husk of tamales is a known cause of fatal choking in a matter of minutes.

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In conclusion, the answer to the question “Can dogs eat tamales?” is “Only tamales made with pure meat, without flavor, and served without cornhusk are suitable for dogs.” It’s better to give your dog only a tiny bit of it. Too much tamale eating can be hazardous to our pets. Your dog will be safer eating tamales that you took the time to make at home because you know exactly what ingredients were used.