Due to their intense flavor, Takis can be some of the most addicting snacks worldwide. When cravings hit, many people often binge on these products in their free time with their dogs. And as usual, your canine companion will try to get their paws on whatever their owners are munching on because it’s their way of expressing love and fun.
But just like many things, prevention is better than cure when it comes to your dog’s health. Knowing the health implication of new food is a must before introducing it into your dog’s diet. Let’s talk about Takis and learn if spicy food is okay for your dog.
What Ingredients Are On Takis?
Takis is a popular Mexican snack made from rolled corn tortilla chips peppered with highly-processed flavoring powder. It is usually available in spicy flavors, including Fuego, Blue Heat, Bracel, Guacamole, and Crunchy Fajita.
Unfortunately, this product has a higher-than-average amount of onion powder, chili pepper, and vegetable oil (and other processed ingredients based on the flavor variant). Most of these ingredients are toxic to dogs, whether moderated or not.
What’s most worrying is the amount of sodium present in each packet of the Takis snack. Healthline reported that an ounce or 28g package of Takis Fuego could supply 16% of the daily value (DV) of sodium recommended for human consumption.
For comparison, FDA recommends less than 2,300mg of daily salt intake for average American adults, which equates to a teaspoon of table salt. Dogs weighing 33lbs (14kg) can only take 200mg without health repercussions.
A single pack of Takis Fuego can easily provide double the amount of recommended salt for small and medium dog breeds. Accidental consumption of a whole Takis packet would likely cause sodium poisoning for dogs, and that’s not even all the potential dangers.
Another thing to consider is the number of calories a bag of Takis has. Increased caloric intake can cause obesity in dogs, which can turn into a myriad of health problems. In the 1-ounce Takis packet, the caloric amount is 140.
According to Pet Obesity Prevention, dogs that are 10lbs or below should only have 200 to 275 calories and up to 1,350 calories for more than 90lbs. Remember that your dogs also receive calories and sodium from other daily food items.
Too Spicy? What Happens If My Dog Eats Takis?
Did you know that dogs don’t feel the intensity of spicy food as humans do? Our canine companions only have about 1,700 taste buds compared to the human’s 9,000.
This means that dogs cannot even taste the spiciness of pepper or other spicy food, only the heat that capsaicin provides. Dogs are more sensitive to capsaicin than humans. A mildly spicy pepper would be painful to your dog.
Besides unbearable pain, another reason why you should avoid feeding spicy food to your dog is due to their sensitive gastrointestinal tract. Spicy food will likely cause stomach upset when your dog consumes something with a heavy amount of capsaicin on it.
The symptoms are usually stomach pain, intense thirst, and vomiting (acidity). Spicy food can also cause disturbance to your pet’s bowel movements. Since dogs cannot taste spiciness, it is better to avoid feeding them overly-spicy food.
Is It Okay To Feed Takis To My Dog?
Absolutely not. As stated above, there are three reasons why you should not consider giving Takis to your dog. First is the substantial amount of sodium which can poison your dog if not moderated properly.
The second reason is the number of toxic materials such as onion powder which can cause anemia and other unwanted side effects. Take note that powdered options of garlic and onion are more lethal to dogs due to their very concentrated form.
Third, obesity is a real threat to all dogs, especially to breeds such as labs, golden retrievers, and beagles. Takis are high in calories and are not at all recommended for snacking. Here are the daily caloric needs for dogs based on weight.
- 10lbs: 200 – 275kcal
- 20lbs: 325 – 400kcal
- 50lbs: 700 – 900kcal
- 70lbs: 900 – 1050kcal
- 90lbs: 1,100 – 1,350kcal
And lastly, dogs shouldn’t eat spicy food with capsaicin because their digestive system is sensitive to it. Some dogs might like the experience of eating spicy food, but this would often lead to diarrhea, vomiting, and other stomach upsets.
The short answer is: don’t do it, folks. There are a lot of wonderful snacks that you can give to your furbabies that have nutritional value and no side effects. You might want to consider puppuccinos or turkey necks if you want to reward your fur baby.
By extension, this also applies to snacks such as Doritos, Trader Joe’s, Cheetos, and the likes. Homemade chips and other cookable junk food are also not a good option since these will still contain high sodium and carbs.
Is Takis Cancerous?
A widely-known rumor is that Takis can cause cancer, specifically stomach cancers and ulcers, due to the high amount of sodium and additives. This rumor might also be the reason why most fur parents usually ask if dogs can eat Takis.
According to Pediatrician Yvonne Suarez from an interview with USA Today, there are some cases wherein patients must be hospitalized because of high acidity levels after eating an incredible amount of those “flaming hot” snacks.
However, there is no relevant study that suggests that there is significant cancer or ulcer risk in moderate consumption of Takis snacks. They can only lead to stomach pains and gastritis for children and people with sensitive stomachs.
Cancerous or not, Takis is still not recommended to be given to dogs due to adverse effects. The symptoms and side effects would not be a fun thing to experience for you and your pups.