Can Dogs Eat Potato Chips?

It’s no secret that Americans love their chips (that’s crisps to you Brits). We eat them plain, covered in toppings, and in a growing range of flavors. We love chips so much so that the U.S. potato chip industry is now worth billions of dollars.

So with all this crispy goodness going around, it’s natural to wonder whether or not dogs can eat chips, too. After all, dogs accompany their humans on the road, at the office, and in restaurants and bars, which are havens for deep-fried potato consumption. When Fido’s looking at you with those puppy-dog eyes, is it okay to share?

Can Dogs Eat Potato Chips?

Photo: Flickr/ T. Carrigan
Photo: Flickr/ T. Carrigan

It’s complicated, but the short answer is no. Your dog can probably eat 1-2 chips without experiencing nasty side effects, but keep that water bowl handy, because chips’ high-sodium content will leave your pup desperate for a drink. Potato chips are packed with salt, fat, spices, flavoring, and other ingredients that are toxic for dogs. Many of these ingredients (particularly the salt) will wreak havoc on your pet’s delicate digestive system (read: discomfort and lots of flatulence) and can even cause serious health issues.

But there’s another lesser known (but equally dangerous) reason to be wary of feeding chips to your furry best friend. As heartbroken pet owners can attest, chip bags can become suffocation hazards when hungry dogs decide to sniff them too closely.

Can Dogs Eat Tortilla Chips?

Photo: Flickr/Jon Rawlinson

Pet owners might be tempted to skirt the no-potato-chip rule by letting dogs eat tortilla chips, which kind of makes sense because dogs can eat plain cooked corn in moderation. But tortilla chips (even the healthier baked options) still include dangerous levels of fat, salt, spices, and other overly processed ingredients. As with potato chips, feeding you dog a couple of unsalted tortilla chips is probably going to be okay, but anything more could cause your pet serious gastro-intestinal distress.

Can Dogs Eat Pita Chips?

Photo: Flickr/Mr TGT

In recent years, pita chips have emerged as a healthier alternative for humans looking to cut back on their fat and salt consumption. But this doesn’t mean dogs can eat pita chips, too, especially because pita chips are often flavored with garlic, salt, spices, and other toxic foods for dogs. Many dogs can eat pita chips without salt and flavorings in moderation, but pita chips aren’t really a healthy snack for dogs – especially if your pup struggles with obesity.

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Can Dogs Eat Banana Chips?

Photo: Flickr/Ramesh NG

In theory, dogs should be able to eat banana chips, because fresh bananas are packed with dog-friendly vitamins and fiber, making them a healthy dog-f But store-brand banana chips often negate the many benefits of this otherwise healthy fruit (which can help soothe your pet’s upset tummy) because banana chips are salt and running them through a deep frier. If you decide your dog can eat banana chips, make sure you’re giving your pet an all-natural option isn’t salty, fatty, or fried.

What Happens If Dogs Eat Chips?

Photo: Flickr/ Steven Depolo
Photo: Flickr/ Steven Depolo

Now we’ve established that dogs can’t eat chips, but this doesn’t mean your hungry pet won’t help himself to the Pringles when you’re not looking. Make sure to keep chips in a high cupboard or shelf out of your dog’s reach, and promptly dispose of empty chip bags in a secure trash can. Meanwhile, be mindful of these common signs that your dog has been eating chips on the sly. Call your vet or poison control immediately if your dog is exhibiting any of the following warning signs.

Signs Of Sodium Poisoning In Dogs

Photo: Flickr/Tony Alter

If you think it’s hard for humans to consume just one to two chips, dogs have even less willpower. But when dogs eat too many chips, they feel more than just guilt. Contact your vet or animal poison control immediately if your dog begins displaying the warning signs of salt toxicity. This is a serious condition can lead to comas, kidney issues, and death if left untreated.

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Lethargy
  • Decreased Appetite
  • Tremors
  • Decreased coordination
  • Excessive thirst or urination
  • Seizures
  • Conclusion

    Photo: The Animal Rescue Site

    The good news is that dogs don’t really crave potato chips the same way people do; that drool factor is equally applicable to all types of food. That means your pet will be equally delighted with dog-friendly kale chips, apples with peanut butter, or any of the delicious vet-approved treats from The Animal Rescue Site store! Meanwhile, there are plenty of human foods that are safe to share with your pet. Check out the following video for common foods dogs cannot eat, as well as their delicious, dog-friendly substitutions.

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