Dogster is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

Can Dogs Eat Fritos? Vet-Reviewed Facts & FAQ

Written by: Nicole Cosgrove

Last Updated on April 9, 2024 by Dogster Team

Can Dogs Eat_fritos

Can Dogs Eat Fritos? Vet-Reviewed Facts & FAQ


Dr. Lauren Demos  Photo


Dr. Lauren Demos

DVM (Veterinarian)

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

Learn more »

Dogs aren’t well-known for their pickiness, and it’s up to owners to monitor the food they can access. Just as you wouldn’t eat a bowl of Purina, your pup shouldn’t be making a habit of feasting on the foods we eat, especially the unhealthy ones. Junk food is bad enough for people and unhealthy for our four-legged friends.

Fritos falls firmly in that unhealthy category. The fried corn chips are a high-calorie, low-nutrient detriment to your pet’s health that hopefully isn’t a part of their typical diet. But while you don’t want to feed Fritos to your dog regularly, you also don’t have to immediately worry if they get into an open bag on the counter.

If you’re concerned about whether Fritos are safe for your dog, we’ll discuss how they can affect your pet’s health and the signs of distress to monitor.

dogster paw divider

Can Dogs Eat Fritos?

A few plain Fritos are unlikely to cause severe health issues for your dog, especially if it’s a one-time occurrence. Dogs are generally tolerant of the essential ingredients in Fritos. In some cases, they may even be able to eat several servings without showing any ill effects.

However, tolerating a snack doesn’t mean that it’s healthy. While it may not hurt them immediately, you must keep your dog from developing a habit of eating Fritos. They’re heavily processed and fried corn snacks, which are stripped of nutritional value and loaded with calories. If the salt doesn’t bother your dog first, an overabundance of Fritos can lead to obesity and chronic health problems.

Crunchy Corn Chips Ready to Eat
Image By: Brent Hofacker, Shutterstock


The three listed ingredients on a Fritos bag are corn, corn oil, and salt. Despite the unhealthy product they make when combined, each component can be beneficial in a dog’s diet.

Corn is a popular filler in dog food, but when it’s unprocessed, it’s also a rich source of protein, carbs, fatty acids, and antioxidants. At the Fritos factory, it begins as cornmeal. Most of the health benefits disappear by the time it emerges as a corn chip, but the corn itself isn’t necessarily dangerous unless your dog has a rare corn allergy.

Corn Oil

Corn oil is a similar story. Dogs require a certain amount of fat in their diets for energy. But the amount in a single serving (32 chips) of Fritos is more than the average dog needs, especially from something as unhealthy as a bag of chips.

A serving of Fritos contains 10 grams of fat. According to the National Research Council, adult dogs weighing 33 pounds have a daily recommended fat intake of 14 grams, meaning one serving can put a small dog close to its limit without providing protein and other nutrients.1 And while corn oil does have beneficial supplies of vitamin E and linoleic acid, it’s a relatively low-quality fat source, and your dog will miss out on essential omega-3 fatty acids.


Like fat, salt is a vital component of a healthy dog diet that can quickly become detrimental when delivered through a bag of Fritos. Plain Fritos contain 170 mg of sodium per serving and 1.5 grams per 9.25-ounce bag. With the daily recommended amount being about 200 mg for a 33-pound dog, it’s easy for your pet to reach and exceed a healthy sodium level by eating corn chips.

Excessive salt can be hazardous to any dog, but those with health conditions may be more susceptible to adverse effects. Limiting sodium is especially crucial for dogs with kidney problems, poor metabolism, heart disease, and other concerning medical issues.

What Happens When Dogs Eat Too Much Fat?

It likely won’t cause long-term distress, but your dog may feel sick to its stomach from the fat content in Fritos. When they make a habit of it, eating Fritos and other junk food can have more severe, long-lasting effects on your dog’s health and standard of living.

Your dog may become overweight and suffer from high cholesterol when they frequently feast on corn chips and other junk food. Studies indicate that regularly eating atypical food like table scraps can increase the chances of pancreatitis in dogs. The painful inflammation, often the result of a high-fat diet, can cause a host of symptoms, including:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Fever
  • Vomiting
  • Dehydration
  • Depression and fatigue

Acute pancreatitis can occur from a single high-fat meal and may quickly lead to a potentially life-threatening situation. If your dog has a predisposition for pancreatitis due to a high-fat diet, pre-existing conditions, or previous surgeries, it’ll have an even lower tolerance for junk food. Watch for signs of distress after your dog eats Fritos. Seek immediate veterinary help if your dog vomits more than once or displays multiple signs of pancreatitis.

Black dog vomiting
Image By: Mumemories, Shutterstock

What Happens When Dogs Eat Too Much Salt?

Salt is an electrolyte and a critical part of your dog’s diet that aids homeostasis and facilitates muscle and nerve function. But although they need it to a certain degree, dogs have a lower tolerance for sodium than people, so their daily needs rarely align with the levels in human food.

Fast food, potato chips, corn chips, and other processed foods can overload a dog’s system with sodium. When dogs consume excessive amounts of salt, they may experience a range of dangerous symptoms, including:

  • Rapid dehydration
  • Elevated blood pressure
  • Salt toxicosis (hypernatremia)

Sodium ion poisoning, also called hypernatremia or salt poisoning, can be tremendously harmful to your dog. Signs of salt toxicity and dehydration include diarrhea, vomiting, excessive thirst, and seizures. Extreme cases can be fatal.

If your dog got into a bag of Fritos, provide plenty of fresh water to limit the effects of the extra sodium. Monitor for improvement, and contact your vet should your pet show ongoing signs of discomfort.

Are Fritos Chili Cheese Chips Safe for Dogs?

If plain Fritos corn chips are bad for dogs, you can bet any variations, including Chili Cheese Fritos and Honey BBQ Flavor Twists, won’t be any better. The first notable aspect of these offshoot flavors is the sodium levels. Flavor Twists have 200 mg of sodium per serving, and Chili Cheese Fritos contains 270 mg per serving. With sodium levels far higher than in original corn chips, these Fritos varieties can present a worse threat of salt toxicity.

Alongside the three foundational ingredients, these additional flavors include various spices and preservatives, which can further irritate your pet. They also contain MSG, a flavor enhancer that can be toxic to dogs. While these ingredients exist in minute amounts, a canine’s tolerance is much lower than a human’s. Ingesting a combination of harmful additives may cause your dog to have gastrointestinal issues and assorted physical ailments.

Sad Shih Tzu
Image By: Lindsay Helms, Shutterstock

Healthy Diet Tips for Dogs

Keeping your dog out of the Fritos is a fine start to improving their well-being, but it’s far from the last consideration when managing a healthy lifestyle. While you’re limiting their junk food intake, remember these helpful tips for improving your dog’s diet:

  • Read and research ingredients on dog food product labels
  • Avoid feeding your dog foods with lots of preservatives
  • Include fiber-rich organic whole foods such as fruits and vegetables
  • Provide foods full of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory ingredients
  • Use oils rich in omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids, such as fish oil, coconut oil, or flaxseed oil

Feeding your dog an age and activity-appropriate balance of nutrients, providing plenty of fresh water, and limiting treats are the best foundation for a long life. Ensure you accompany any diet with an exercise routine, and provide plenty of care and attention to maintain your dog’s mental, physical, and social health.

dogster face divider


Dogs have a knack for eating outside their proper diet, so the occasional foray into trash cans or table scraps isn’t always an emergency. But don’t make a habit of feeding your dog junk food like Fritos. Fritos aren’t a healthy substitute for dog food and can damage your pet’s immediate and long-term well-being when eaten in excess. Keep your dog safe from making a dangerous mistake, and follow these helpful tips to help your dog lead a healthier life.

See Also:

Get Dogster in your inbox!

Stay informed! Get tips and exclusive deals.
Dogster Editors Choice Badge
Shopping Cart


© Pangolia Pte. Ltd. All rights reserved.