Can Dogs Eat Tamale? 8 Facts You Will Surprise

Papaya and pineapple are two examples of human fruits that dogs can eat. On the other hand, some human foods contain substances that are harmful to dogs. The same caution should be exercised when eating tamales.

As there is no one correct answer because tamales can be made with so many different ingredients. Certain tamales may be harmful to dogs due to the presence of toxic ingredients, while others may be safe for canine consumption.

Knowing what goes into the tamales you plan on feeding your dog is essential.

What Are Tamales And How Are They Made?

Tamales are a popular dish in Mexico that are typically made with a corn dough and a filling. Masa, a type of corn dough, is spread on a corn husk that has been moistened, and then additional ingredients are added on top.

Meats like steak, ground beef, chicken, and pork, as well as other ingredients like cheese, salsa, and peppers, are frequently used as fillings for tamales.

After the fillings are added, the corn husk is folded and steamed. When done, the corn husk is discarded and the tamale’s contents are devoured.

Can Dogs Eat Tamales? - Healthy Homemade Dog Treats

Can Dogs Eat Tamale?

It’s okay to feed tamale to your dog. As such, there is no need to worry if you share a taste of this delicious Mexican treat with your dog.

However, the sodium, lard, salsa, and spices commonly found in corn masa recipes could potentially cause stomach upset and other health problems in your dog. If your dog is small, the corn husk used to wrap the Tamale could cause a choking hazard.

Benefits of Tamale For Dogs

If you’re a dog parent, you’re responsible for making sure your pup is healthy.

Because of this, it’s important to know how a new food, like Tamale for your dog, will affect his body and mind before you walk on him eating it.

How about Tamale, is it good for your dog? Well, to start, let’s talk about the positive effects that feeding your dog Tamale will have on his health:

Protein and Fiber

Since most Tamales are stuffed with high-protein meats (chicken, beef, steak, pork, etc.), feeding them to your dog is a great way to ensure he gets plenty of his daily protein requirement.

About 12 grams of protein can be found in a single tamale, making it an excellent choice for your dog because of its ability to facilitate the delivery of nutrients throughout his body and the repair of his cells.

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Tamales can help your dog’s digestion because they are high in fiber (one tamale may provide as much as 6 grams of fiber).

If you’re curious as to how fiber can help Fido digest his food, know that it adds bulk and water to Fido’s intestines, which can either slow down his digestive process or speed it up.

Extra Vitamins and Minerals

Vitamins and minerals found in tamales, such as calcium, iron, potassium, zinc, as well as vitamins A, B, and K, can do wonders for your dog’s health, from preventing illness to fostering healthy teeth and bones to hastening recovery from injuries.

Potential Health Concerns

It’s true that dogs can safely eat a small amount of tamale, but the rest of this tasty Mexican dish leaves a lot to be desired from a nutritional standpoint.


Given that salt is typically added to both the meat fillings and the masa when preparing tamales, it is safe to assume that they are prepared with a high sodium content.

However, excessive salt in a dog’s diet can lead to serious health problems, such as hypertension and heart disease.

Sodium poisoning can also occur when a dog consumes too much salt, and it is especially dangerous in cases where the dog does not have immediate access to clean water for rehydration.


If you want to feed your dog tamales, make sure they don’t contain any seasonings like onion, garlic, salsa, etc. Garlic, onions, and other spices commonly used in the kitchen may cause stomach upset in dogs.

Sulfoxides and disulfides found in spices can also damage your dog’s red blood cells, leading to anemia.

Saturated Fats

Lard, or rendered fats from pigs or other sources of saturated fat, is commonly used to prepare the masa used in traditional Tamales.

Some studies have shown that feeding your dog these fats can raise his “bad” cholesterol, put him at risk for cardiovascular disease, and cause inflammation.


The average tamale has about 285 calories. Nonetheless, most canines require only about 25-30 calories per pound to stay at a healthy weight. Your dog may be exposed to too many calories if you give him a regular supply of Tamales.

GMO-tainted Corn Dough

Tamales are typically made from corn dough, which can be unhealthy for dogs. Eighty-eight percent of corn in the United States and Mexico is genetically modified. Giving your dog tamales could be the same as feeding him genetically modified organisms.

Fear persists that GMO-tainted foods can cause a wide range of health issues in dogs, including poor blood glucose control, cancer, infertility, allergy, and neurodegenerative conditions; however, not all claims are backed up by science.

Choking Hazard from Ingesting Husk

Small amounts of husk can be safely consumed by dogs without causing any problems.

But if the dog ate too much, he might start feeling sick and throw up or have diarrhea. Even though corn husk is not technically toxic to dogs, a large piece swallowed could cause an obstruction.

If that’s the case, a dog’s stomach might have trouble processing it. The absence of an appetite, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea are all results of this.

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The good news is that in some cases, these signs and symptoms can disappear without intervention from a doctor. However, if the condition worsens, you should seek veterinary attention right away.

Can Dogs Eat Tamales? (Answered Here) -

Ingredients in Tamales That Can Be Harmful to Dogs

Some of the most common ingredients in tamales that can be harmful to your dog are listed below.


Dogs should avoid onions at all costs because they are extremely toxic to them. Never feed your dog any part of the onion plant, as it is highly poisonous to them. Canine anemia may result from a compound in this vegetable that destroys red blood cells.

Salt and Sodium

The danger of salt toxicity in dogs is real. The corn dough and the fillings in tamales might be too salty for some people.

If you’re using store-bought dough or masa, read the label to find out how much salt was used.

Even though homemade masa might have less salt, if you plan on giving your dog a tamale, you should still monitor the amount of salt you put in it or prepare a separate batch without salt.

cut open onions and a garlic clove

Garlic Powder

Unfortunately, many tamale recipes call for garlic powder, which is toxic to dogs.

It’s common practice to season the masa and the salsa with garlic powder. According to Wag Walking, Akitas and Shiba Inus, two popular Japanese dog breeds, are more likely to be allergic to garlic than other dogs.

Garlic powder, much like onion powder, is known to harm red blood cells and cause gastrointestinal distress in some people.

Onion powder

As with the plant itself, onion powder is often used in salsas but is toxic to canines. The American Kennel Club warns that onion and garlic powder are more toxic to dogs than the fresh vegetables themselves.

It’s also not a good idea to let your dog eat the husk from a banana or a ear of corn in case it chokes. Masa is commonly processed with unhealthful ingredients like trans fat and lard, making it unsuitable for inclusion in a healthy diet plan.

Avoid giving your dog any human food and exercise caution when giving them their regular dog food if they already have a systemic disease like diabetes.

Even though most tamale recipes include milder ingredients, the inclusion of spicy ingredients like peppers can still cause stomach distress.

What To Do If Your Dogs Eats a Tamale

You’ll need to act quickly if your dog accidentally eats a tamale.

Is it possible that the tamale contained ingredients that could make your dog sick? Can you tell me what goes into it? How much of that particular component did the tamale contain?

If your dog ever needs emergency medical care, knowing this will help you give the vet the right information.

Seek immediate veterinary attention if you suspect that your dog has consumed a tamale containing a poisonous ingredient. If your dog has ingested something toxic, getting them to a vet as soon as possible is crucial if you don’t want them to suffer serious injury or even die.

Your dog should be fine if the tamale does not have any poisonous components. If you’re worried, though, it’s important to know the signs something is wrong.

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Symptoms To Look For

A dog who has eaten tamales that contain poisonous ingredients may exhibit the following symptoms.

  • Weakness
  • Lethargy
  • Blood in the urine
  • Fainting
  • Gums with a pale hue
  • inability to eat
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • A decline in motor skills
  • Dehydration

In particular, if your dog exhibits these signs, it may have consumed toxic quantities of onion or garlic (or be suffering from salt toxicity).

Immediately seek veterinary attention if your dog exhibits any of the aforementioned symptoms after eating a tamale.

Making Tamales Healthier For Your Dog

Instead of buying commercial tamales, which are relatively unhealthy, you can make some for yourself and your four-legged friend to enjoy without exposing him to some of the risks mentioned above. If you and Fido are looking for a healthier alternative to traditional tamales, consider these suggestions.

  • Substitute white chicken, shrimp, turkey, beans, and vegetables for the red meat and pork in the fillings. Your dog will benefit from the additional fiber and nutrients in Tamales made with bean and vegetable fillings.
  • Substitute a moderate amount of soft, low-fat cheese for the lard or vegetable shortening typically used to make the corn dough. Before feeding your dog cheese, you should find out if it can digest lactose.
  • Do without seasonings and cut back on the salt.


Let’s dig into a few more of the most pressing concerns that dog owners have about their canine companions and tamales.

Can dogs eat corn husks?

No.  Never feed corn husks to your dog. The corn husks are a major choking hazard. Corn husks contain a substance that can clog your dog’s digestive tract, leading to serious health problems or even death.

Is it okay to feed them tamales from the can?

No. Canned tamales are not safe for dogs because of the high levels of sodium and the presence of onion and garlic powders, both of which are toxic to canines.

Pork Tamales Recipe

Can dogs have corn tamales?

Corn tamales are safe for dogs to eat provided they do not contain any ingredients that could be harmful to them. If you’re planning on feeding your dog some table scraps, remember that dogs shouldn’t have too much corn.

My dog ate a corn husk, what should I do?

Corn husks aren’t fatal to dogs, but they can make them sick to their stomach. It could potentially remain in the intestine and require surgery to remove. Get in touch with your vet for specific recommendations if your dog ingests a tamale husk.


Tamales are a warm, delicious, and versatile treat that are perfect for celebrations of all kinds, from holidays to family get-togethers to random Tuesdays.

They’re delicious for our canine companions, too, though you should exercise caution before feeding them to your dog because some varieties of tamales contain ingredients that are unhealthy for dogs, such as sodium, fats, calories, and even choking hazards.

Your dog can only safely eat tamales if you take the time to make them at home, where you have complete control over the ingredients.

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