Can Dogs Eat Tamales? A Guide for Dog Owners



As a dog owner, you may have wondered if it’s safe to share your favorite foods with your furry friend. One such food that often comes to mind is tamales.

In this article, we will explore whether dogs can eat tamales and discuss the potential risks and benefits associated with feeding them to your canine companion.

Can Dogs Eat Tamales?

While tamales can be a delicious treat for humans, they are not recommended for dogs.

Tamales are typically made with ingredients that can be harmful to dogs, such as onions, garlic, and spices. These ingredients can cause digestive issues and even toxicity in dogs.

Onions and garlic, in particular, contain compounds that can damage a dog’s red blood cells, leading to a condition called hemolytic anemia.

Symptoms of onion or garlic toxicity in dogs may include weakness, pale gums, vomiting, diarrhea, and difficulty breathing. In severe cases, it can even be life-threatening.

Additionally, the spices used in tamales, such as chili powder, can irritate a dog’s digestive system and cause stomach upset.

Dogs have more sensitive stomachs compared to humans, and foods that are spicy or heavily seasoned can lead to gastrointestinal discomfort, including diarrhea and vomiting.

What Should I Feed My Dog Instead?

If you’re looking for safe and healthy alternatives to tamales, there are plenty of options that your dog will enjoy. Here are a few ideas:

  1. Lean meats: Cooked chicken, turkey, or lean beef without any seasoning can be a great source of protein for your dog.
  2. Fruits and vegetables: Many fruits and vegetables are safe for dogs and can provide essential vitamins and minerals. Some dog-friendly options include apples, carrots, and green beans.
  3. Plain rice or pasta: These plain carbohydrates can be a good addition to your dog’s diet, especially if they have an upset stomach.
  4. Commercial dog treats: There are numerous dog treats available in pet stores that are specifically formulated for dogs and are safe for consumption.

Remember to always introduce new foods gradually and in moderation to avoid any digestive upset.

If you have any concerns about your dog’s diet or specific dietary restrictions, it’s best to consult with your veterinarian.


In conclusion, tamales are not safe for dogs to eat due to the potential harmful ingredients they contain, such as onions, garlic, and spices.

Feeding tamales to your dog can lead to digestive issues, toxicity, and other health problems.

It’s important to prioritize your dog’s health and provide them with a balanced and appropriate diet that meets their nutritional needs.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can dogs eat tamale masa?

No, dogs should not eat tamale masa. The masa used in tamales typically contains ingredients like cornmeal, lard, and salt, which are not suitable for dogs.

These ingredients can cause digestive upset and may lead to obesity or other health issues if consumed regularly.

Are there any safe ingredients in tamales for dogs?

While the main ingredients in tamales are not safe for dogs, there are a few components that can be safe in moderation.

For example, plain corn without any seasoning or additives can be given to dogs as a small treat.

However, it’s important to ensure that the corn is cooked and not served on the cob, as the cob can pose a choking hazard.

Can dogs eat tamale husks?

No, dogs should not eat tamale husks. The husks are not digestible and can cause gastrointestinal blockages if ingested.

If your dog accidentally consumes tamale husks, monitor them closely for any signs of discomfort or distress.

If you notice any symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, or loss of appetite, contact your veterinarian immediately.

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