Can Dogs Eat Tamales? Learn The 7 Ingredients

Tamales are pretty much synonymous with Christmas in the US. And while we love them, there is a growing movement of people who are skeptical about whether or not dogs are actually able to eat tamales.

This is a great question that I get asked every day. My answer is always the same. If it doesn’t fit in your dog’s mouth, then it’s not food. The same goes for a tamale. You’ll have to check with your local pet store for their tamale size (or, better yet, find out yourself).

When a tamale maker’s dog tries to steal a tamale off the line, how do you think the customer responds?

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What are Tamales?

To make Tamales, maize dough is combined with meat and baked inside a corn husk wrapper. They’re a staple in Mexican and Guatemalan kitchens since they’re a classic Latin American meal. From 5000 to 8000 B.C., the dish’s origins may be traced back to.

Tamale History

Tamales have a shady past. According to some historians, tamale-making may have begun in Central America as long back as 1600 BC, when Aztec traders introduced maize to what is now Guatemala.

What’s The Difference Between Taquitos And Tamales?

They’re usually served as an appetizer, and they’re generally deep-fried. Corn masa, a thicker tortilla than typical corn chips, or dough that is not wrapped around the filling, is commonly used to make these chips. Taco shells, on the other hand, are sandwiched between two layers of thick, taco-like dough before being deep-fried.

What Does Tamales Consist In It?

Most popular tamales are created with a batter of cornmeal and wrapped in the corn husk, and then steam-cooked.

The filling may be anything you want it to be! Pork, chicken, beef, and veggies including zucchini squash and onions are among the most popular fillings.

What Are The Tamales Good For?

Tummy-friendly food is tamale. You may serve it as a side to pork meals with rice and beans and veggies like zucchini squash or onions. It’s made of maize and other components.

It’s especially delicious when paired with a side of salsa! With some cilantro and onion on top, I prefer it.

Why Can Dogs Eat Tamales?

Those tamales look amazing, and your dog would enjoy a taste. Make sure the corn husks have been removed and that there are no seasonings or salsa in the food before feeding it to your dog.

Whether or if dogs can eat Tamales is an open question. It all comes down to context. If you’re concerned about your dog’s health after eating a Tamale, it’s a good idea to avoid hot peppers and other potentially dangerous components. Tamales are a Christmas tradition for many people, and many people like feeding their dogs some as part of that custom.

What are Tamales made of?

In Aztec and Mayan houses, masa and husk are the only two components that haven’t altered.

Masa is a corn-based dough. Pupusas, maize tortillas, and gorditas, to name a few, all include it in some form.

Modern tamales incorporate a variety of additional ingredients such as salsa, seasoned pork, cheese, and veggies, as well as chili powder.

Can Dogs Eat Tamales?

Maintaining the health of your dog is a significant responsibility. Your dog will not be harmed by eating tamales. Tamale safety is an open topic, though.

It’s not detrimental to give your dog a small Mexican snack from time to time. It’s a good idea to keep an eye out for items like salsa, seasonings, and most importantly, corn huff. Tamales include a lot of salt and spices, which might impede your dog’s digestion.

Consider the fact that your dog may not be pleased if you indulge him or her in a little extra pampering. Some tamale components may be dangerous to your dog, so let’s take a closer look.

What are Tamales wrapped in?

Tamales are wrapped in corn husks or banana leaves. Before eating, the wrapper is removed from the food.

What ingredients are in Tamales?

Tamales can be made with a wide range of different ingredients, depending on the tastes of the cook. Masa and the corn husk or banana leaf wrapping are two of the most prevalent ingredients in all recipes.

In addition to veggies, tamales are cooked with meat. The masa is enriched with the broth and fat of beef, hog, or chicken.

Other versions may change meat for cheese, beans, peppers, onions, and broth for veggie stock, among other substitutions. Adding chile paste and other spices is a common way to add flavor to this meal.

Is Tamale bad for dogs?

If you’d want to learn more about tamales’ ingredients, we’ve got you covered.

1. Cornhusk

Despite the fact that cornhusks are not harmful, they pose a choking hazard for little children. Suffocation and extreme pain might result if the husk gets caught in the dog’s throat. Adding cornhusks to your dog’s diet might potentially cause a blockage in his digestive system since they are indigestible.

The following are possible side effects from ingesting cornhusk:

  • Suffocation.
  • Choking.
  • Sore stomach.
  • Vomiting.
  • Constipation.
  • Internal bleeding.

2. Masa

Maize or corn dough is used to make masa. To eat on one’s own, dogs are permitted to do so. There are a number of hazardous substances in the masa used in Tamales such as lard and vegetable shortening. These components might cause gastrointestinal distress in your pet.

3. Meat

Because dogs are natural carnivores, the meat in Tamales is safe for them to eat.

Pork, which is high in saturated fats, is the least nutritious meat alternative. That being said, the flesh of the Tamale is the safest portion for your dog to consume.

4. Salsa and chili peppers

Spicy peppers and chilies in salsa may irritate your canine companions. Canine digestive systems are not designed to handle spices.

Consuming a large amount of spicy food might cause the following:

  • Diarrhea.
  • Vomiting.
  • Indigestion.
  • Gagging.

Toxic elements found in salsa include onions and garlic, which we’ll cover next.

5. Onion and garlic

Dogs are poisoned by both onion and garlic. A disorder known as Hemolytic Anemia can result from the use of these products, which include a chemical that tears down red blood cells in dogs.

Any sort of onion or garlic consumption may result in the following side effects:

  • Lethargy.
  • Weakness.
  • Anemia.
  • The end (in severe cases).

6. Salt

Due to the amount of salt used to flavor the meat and masa, tamales have a high sodium level. baking powder and chicken broth, both of which contain sodium, may also be used in some recipes.

The sodium level of the Tamales can be rather significant. Too much salt or sodium in a dog’s diet can cause the following symptoms:

  • Hypertension.
  • Dehydration.
  • Urinary insufficiency.
  • Acute Sodium Intoxication (SI).

7. Lard or vegetable shortening

For extra richness, several Tamale recipes ask for lard or shortening to be put into the masa. Tamale, on the other hand, is a really harmful food for our canine friends. Fat-rich meals can lead to obesity in dogs:

  • Obesity.
  • Diabetes.
  • Deficiency in cholesterol.
  • Pancreatitis.
  • Cardiac complications.

How the calories in Tamales can be bad for your dog

Depending on the type of meat and added ingredients, tamales can be somewhat calorie-dense. Know that tamales are a treat for your dog when you’re considering them as a meal option.

There should be no more than 10% of your dog’s daily calorie intake devoted to snacks. Let’s examine how the many Tamale varieties weigh up against the daily calorie needs of a 25-pound dog.

These mild Tamales are more than enough to meet the daily caloric needs of a 25-pound dog. This calorie intake is unhealthful for your dog, who shouldn’t be getting so many calories from snacks in his diet.

When shouldn’t you feed Tamale to your dog?

Adding spices and seasonings to Tamales is a common practice while making them for others. These substances may cause a dog’s stomach to be upset, and they may become ill as a result. As a result, you should never give your dog Tamales that are meant for human consumption.

Tamales wrapped in a corn husk should never be fed to dogs for any reason. If you feed your dog cornhusk, it may become caught in their throat or bowel, resulting in asphyxia and constipation for the dog.

Remove the husk from the tamales before feeding them to your dog to avoid inflicting unnecessary suffering.

Does Tamale provide any nutritional benefit for your dog?

Meat-filled tamales are high in protein and fiber. Vitamins A, B, and K abound in these foods, as do other minerals and phytonutrients as well.

Calcium, iron, potassium, and zinc round out the list of essential nutrients.

However, because tamales may be dangerous for dogs to eat, these nutrients should instead be found in canine-friendly cuisine.

Are Tamales Safe For Dogs To Eat?

Generally speaking, tamales are safe for dogs to eat since they are prepared with masa, a mixture of maize flour, water, and salt. The spices in the tamale mix may differ from area to region or family recipe. Chile peppers and onions might be toxic to dogs if consumed in big amounts in some recipes.

In order to provide Tamales to your dog as a treat or supper, be sure to remove the corn husk completely first. Even if they just shred part of the cornhusks, residents in Latin America say, dogs can tell the difference between what they can and can’t get their teeth into.

It’s a common belief in Latin America that dogs can discriminate between what they can and can’t consume by merely shredding some of the cornhusks and placing them on top.

A dog’s sense of smell is far more evolved than ours, and even if the cornhusks were shredded, they would still be able to taste them.

Double-check that any of the components in your tamales are safe for dogs before serving them to your pets. Dogs that consume huge quantities of tamales might be poisoned by the ingredients such as tomatoes, beans, and chiles.

The most essential thing is to persevere and never give up.

What if my dog accidentally eats a Tamale?

Unless your dog consumes the cornhusk with the Tamale, there isn’t much to worry about right away. When a Tamale husk is large and your dog is little, you may require veterinarian assistance to remove the obstruction.

Keep a watchful eye on your dog and call your vet promptly if he appears to be in distress. There is no need to be alarmed if your dog vomits and the husk comes out. Nonetheless, if your dog begins choking or gagging, they should be taken to the vet immediately.

Symptoms to watch for

A blockage in the intestines might occur if your dog consumes a huge cornhusk. Tamales, especially canned Tamales, can cause sodium poisoning if there is an excessive quantity of sodium in them.

Dogs may be poisoned by Tamales containing onion and garlic, as well.

A blockage can cause:

  • Vomiting.
  • Inability to eat.
  • Stomachache.
  • Restlessness.
  • Constipation.
  • Gagging.

Sodium poisoning symptoms include:

  • Urinary insufficiency.
  • Fever.
  • Muscle twitching.
  • Stool that is too wet to eat.
  • Weakness.
  • Convulsions.
  • Dizziness.

An onion or garlic poisoning symptom list includes the following:

  • There’s an issue with my airway.
  • Vomiting.
  • Weakness.
  • Consumption has decreased.
  • Diarrhea.

Treatments if your dog has Tamales poisoning

Immediately seek medical attention if your dog appears to be choking on a Tamale.

Hydrogen peroxide may be used by the veterinarian to induce vomiting. Additionally, Metamucil may be prescribed to assist the dog pass the husk more easily if it becomes stuck in the intestines. Surgery may be necessary in more serious situations.

If your dog eats a lot of Tamales, you should also be on the lookout for signs of onion or garlic poisoning. The degree of the issue will be revealed through a blood test.

Another human food that can become stuck in your dog’s throat is a Fortune cookie, so be careful if you offer them a large chunk of this. Before feeding it to your pets, try breaking it into tiny pieces.

Can dogs eat Tamale husk?

Tamale husk is not safe for dogs to consume. The husks of corn aren’t edible. Wrappers for Tamales are not edible. Even if your pets don’t know the difference, they may still eat up the cornhusks.

Ingesting a small amount of cornhusk will not hurt your dog.

Your dog’s digestive tract may become obstructed by this food, which is tough to digest. Smaller dog breeds have narrower intestines and throats, which increase the danger.

Can dogs eat the meat inside the Tamales?

The beef in the Tamales is safe for dogs to consume. For dogs, Tamales are safer if the meat isn’t seasoned with poisonous seasonings. In the event that you’ve prepared Tamales using only meat, they are safe for dogs to consume.

Because of this, dogs are not allowed to consume meat that has been seasoned with chiles, onion, or garlic.

Can dogs eat hot Tamales candy?

Hot Tamales candy is not for dogs. Sweet and spicy, Hot Tamales are a cinnamon-flavoured candy. Sugar and corn syrup are found in large concentrations in these products.

There are several health issues that might arise for our pets if they consume too much sugar. Many of these foods also contain artificial additives and coloring, which may not be palatable to your dog’s stomach.

Can Dogs Eat Tamales Wraps?

Meat and vegetable filling is then wrapped in a huge leaf of cornmeal dough and stuffed within the leaf. Because of the correct components in Tamales Wraps, dogs may enjoy them.

For the most part, the “Tamale Wrap” is a dough that is wrapped in a leaf and then stuffed with various contents.

Can dogs eat Tamales de Elote?

Tamales de elote can be eaten by dogs, but they must be prepared. If a dog’s digestive system can handle them, there should be no negative side effects.

Can Huskies eat tamales?

Yes, tamales can be eaten by huskies. If you do offer your dog the Tamale, make sure there is no spice or cheese on it, since this might trigger an upset stomach and put your dog at risk of choke. You should remove the corn husks from the food before feeding it to your dog.

Can terriers eat tamales?

Dogs can eat Tamales, yes. Yes, dogs can eat Tamales. In order to avoid causing your dog an upset stomach, you should not put any spice or cheese on the tamale. You should remove the corn husks from the food before feeding it to your dog.

Can maltese eat tamales?

Tamales may be enjoyed by Maltese as well. Yes, dogs can eat Tamales. Adding any flavor or cheese to the Tamale might induce an upset stomach and provide a choking threat to your Maltese, so you should avoid doing so. You should remove the corn husks from the food before feeding it to your dog.

Tamales are a favorite of Corgis as well. Tamale spice and cheese should not be fed to Corgis because they can choke on them and create tummy distress. Dogs are likewise unable to eat corn husks, so be careful to remove them.

Can dogs eat tamales with chili peppers?

Hot spices, such as chillies, should not be fed to dogs at all. Many of them might induce gas and bloating in certain people. For everyone’s sake, you’ll want to avoid giving your dog anything hot.

You should go for kibble, as it’s often developed for dogs and can aid with intestinal disorders.

Cans dogs eat tamales cut in half?

Because of concerns about choking dangers and your dog’s stomach contents mingling with food, most owners do not give their dog a Tamale that has been sliced in half. Carrots, apples, and bananas, among other fruits and vegetables, can be enjoyed by dogs.

Can dogs eat the inside of tamales?

What you put in your tamale has an impact on how it will turn out. Generally, if the meal consists solely of meat and vegetables, your dog will be able to safely ingest it. Make sure that the filling does not contain onion or garlic. Leeks and chives are also members of the allium family.

Dogs can become seriously ill if they ingest any of these plants. The red blood cells in your dog’s body can be destroyed by onions, resulting in anemia. A 45-pound dog can be poisoned by as little as one medium onion, and the danger increases with the weight of the dog.

It’s common for tamales to be generously seasoned because tamales are meant to be eaten by humans. Because salt is used as a taste enhancer, tamales have a high sodium level. In lower amounts, this is likely to only make your dog thirstier than he normally would be.

Sodium ion poisoning is a possible side effect in severe circumstances. The excessive salt levels in their blood will cause their bodies to expel water. Cells in the brain begin to die as a result of this. Dizziness and convulsions are among the symptoms. Dogs can die from this if it isn’t treated right away.

Spices, chile, and other seasonings can also be found in many tamales. For the most part, dogs should not be eating foods that are excessively spiced. They are especially vulnerable to the harmful effects of chili peppers.

You may feed your dog tamale fillings, which are usually heavy in protein, without fear of harming him. Vegetables in large quantities in the stuffing are likely to be high in fiber. Dogs benefit from a nutritious diet that includes this, which aids in digestion.

High calorie counts can be detrimental to their health

Despite the fact that most of the components are healthy for dogs to eat, this does not imply that they should be consumed. Lard has been added to the masa in most tamales to make it more flavorful. Pig fat has been reduced to this kind of fat. Other saturated fats, like as cheese, may also be included in the tamale’s filling.

If your dog is underweight or is a working dog, a high-fat diet may be beneficial, but in most circumstances, it is not essential. Too much fat in a dog’s diet can lead to obesity and other health issues including pancreatitis and heart disease.

There is no published data on the caloric needs of dogs. The amount of food your dog requires is unique to them and influenced by a wide range of factors. Aside from their age, gender, and whether or not they have been neutered, your dog’s weight and activity level are the most crucial factors. Many websites, like this one, allow you to estimate your dog’s daily calorie intake.

Generally speaking, doctors recommend consuming 25 calories per pound of body weight every day. Yorkshire terriers and labrador retrievers, three of the country’s most popular dog breeds. There is a table below with the average weight of each breed.

Breed: Labrador Retriever, weight range: 55-79 pounds

Weight range: 18 to 39 lbs.

The Yorkshire terrier weighs between 4 and 7 pounds.

We can estimate the calorie requirements of each breed based on the weights shown above. 1,375 to 1,975 calories a day is what a labrador retriever needs. Every day, you’ll need between 100 and 175 calories to maintain the health of your bulldog or Yorkie, depending on the breed. This demonstrates the wide range of dietary needs for each breed.

Between 200 and 280 calories may be found in an ordinary tamale. A huge breed dog’s high caloric need means that if you offered this to it, it would probably have minimal effect. A single tamale might easily exceed a tiny dog or cat’s daily calorie intake. Obesity and its related comorbidities might result from this over time.

Dogs are often fed a 90/10 ratio of nutritious food to treats. Tamales, as we have already shown, are not a nutritious dietary source. If you want to give your dog tamales, you need limit their daily calorie intake to 10%. Larger dogs like Labrador Retrievers would still surpass this 10% restriction if they ate a full tamale.

Can I Feed My Dog Tamales?

As a general rule, you can feed your dog tamales. Check with your veterinarian or pet nutritionist if you’re unsure if the dish is healthy for your pet! After all, you may not know what’s within that filling.

can dogs eat tamales

What are some dog-friendly and safe non-toxic Tamales alternatives?

In addition to the fiber, protein, and vitamins found in tamales, the following healthy snacks also provide a rich source of these nutrients:

Potassium, copper, fiber, and vitamins are all found in bananas. Dogs should only be fed them in moderation, as they contain a lot of sugar.

Apples are an excellent source of fiber and vitamins. Before feeding them to your dog, cut them into small pieces and remove the seeds.

Fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants are all found in pumpkin, making it an excellent food source. A healthy digestive system and immune system are essential for a dog’s well-being.

Carrots are an excellent source of fiber and a variety of nutrients, including vitamin A, C, and E. Make them more manageable to eat by chopping them up into little pieces.

Eggs are a great source of protein and other nutrients. To boost your dog’s protein intake, feed them raw, unseasoned eggs.

Chilli peppers, not peppers, are an anti-inflammatory and a good source of vitamins and minerals for canines. Ensure that the core is removed.

Tamales are a staple at my house when my guests visit for supper. With a lot of ingredients, they enjoy hot Tamales. We avoid feeding our dogs Tamales as a safety precaution since we want them to be as healthy as possible. Instead, here’s what we’ll hand over to them:

There are no corn, wheat, soy, or other animal byproducts in Nudges dog treats, which are created with genuine chicken that is obtained in the United States. No artificial flavors or preservatives are used in the preparation of this delectable grilled snack.

The freeze-dried dog treat is made in the United States and is made from 100% locally sourced ingredients.

Soft and chewy, this beef-flavored dog treat is a dog’s best friend. It’s delicious and moist, and your dog will be begging for more!

How do I make Tamales for my dog at home?

In certain cases, I strive to produce dog-friendly Tamales as we prepare them. After cooking, we remove the husk from the flesh and discard it. In order to save time and effort, we simply serve our tamales with precooked meat. In truth, our dogs are unable to detect the difference between the two.

How to Make Tamales Healthier for Your Dog?

Concerning and alarming health consequences have been linked to the consumption of tamales for dogs. However, even our four-legged pets need a reward now and then. So, is there a way to properly and healthfully give your dog this Mexican delicacy?

Is it possible to make tamales that are both nutritious and delicious? Yes, that’s correct. There are methods to create tamales that are safe for your dog to eat. If you want to accomplish this, we’ve got some ideas for you.

When Should You Avoid Feeding Tamale To Dog?

If your dog has an underlying medical condition that makes it difficult for them to digest fat, you should see your veterinarian before feeding them corn husk.

This meal should also be avoided by dogs that are easily agitated by novel foods, such as those who are temperamental. It’s advised to stop giving Tamales to your dog if they have a history of digestive issues and you observe changes in their feces after they consume it.

A dog’s prey drive may be more important to them than your own. You may want to consider not feeding your dog tamales if they’re going to eat it before you can get a hold of it.

When there is no cheese or anything hot in the tamales, dogs may normally eat them.

Does Tamale Have Health Or Nutrition Benefit To Your Dog?

No, tamales are not good for your dog’s health. It’s better for dogs to eat human food that’s safe and nutritious for people. However, dogs that aren’t used to eating corn husks or who have sensitive stomachs may get stomach trouble after eating it.

If a dog eats it, both beef and pork may be toxic.

However, if you make sure there is no cheese or other hot components in the recipe that may affect your pet’s stomach, tamales can be a wonderful treat.

My Dog Ate Tamale, What Should I Do?

Your veterinarian should be contacted immediately if your dog eats a Tamale. If Tamales don’t work well for your dogs, your pet may experience an upset stomach or maybe become ill.


It doesn’t matter if you’re celebrating a holiday, a family gathering, a special event, or anything in between, tamales are the perfect delicacy. Any Tamales are heavy in salt, lipids, calories, and may represent a choking threat to your dog, so be careful if you decide to share some with your pet. The only tamales that are safe for your dog to eat are those that you have prepared yourself since you have complete control over the contents.

Princy Hoang

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