Can Dogs Eat Funyuns?

Can Dogs Eat Funyuns
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While Funyuns may seem like a small fun snack to us, is it actually safe for our canine companions? Are you eating Funyuns chips right now and your dogs want some? Before you hand over a piece, you’ll want to read this first. Many human snacks contain spices and Funyuns is one of them so can dogs eat Funyuns? 

Can dogs eat Funyuns? No, dogs should not eat Funyuns because this fun snack is packed full of salt and fat and provides no nutritional benefit to dogs. The combination of extremely high salt levels and high fat content in Funyuns makes it an unhealthy treat for dogs. A few servings would quickly exceed your pup’s daily salt and fat intake. Keep Funyuns away from your furry friends. 

Can dogs have Funyuns?

Dogs should not have Funyuns. Although Funyuns may seem like a small, fun, crunchy, and delicious snack for us, it’s quite the opposite for our canine friends. To fully understand why dog owners should not feed their furry friends Funyuns, let’s take a closer look at what Funyuns are and what it is made of.

What are Funyuns?

If you’re wondering who makes Funyuns, it’s made by a company called Frito-Lay. According to Frito-Lay, Funyuns are a “deliciously different snack that’s fun to eat, with a crisp texture and zesty onion flavor.” 

Funyuns are made to look like crispy onion rings, both in shape and color, but it is actually a corn snack with onion flavoring. There are just two different flavors of Funyuns: the original and the Flamin’ Hot Flavored. 

What are Funyuns made of?

can dogs eat funyuns chips
Are Funyuns made of onions?

It may look like Funyuns is safe for dogs to eat, but it really isn’t. Let’s take a look at the ingredients in Funyuns to understand why it is not the best snack or treat for dogs. 

Funyuns Ingredients List

  • Enriched corn meal containing corn meal, ferrous sulfate, niacin, thiamin mononitrate, riboflavin, and folic acid. 
  • Vegetable oil which includes corn oil, and/or canola oil, and/or sunflower oil.
  • Salt.

There is also less than 2% of the following in Funyuns: 

  • Corn starch.
  • Sugar.
  • Corn flour.
  • Buttermilk
  • Maltodextrin (made from corn).
  • Onion powder.
  • Monosodium glutamate.
  • Hydrolyzed corn protein.
  • Dextrose.
  • Garlic powder.
  • Natural flavors.
  • Gum arabic.

Enriched corn meal is not safe for dogs with corn allergies

Enriched corn meal is one of the main ingredients in Funyuns. It is usually from a class of corn called dent corn. Many processed snacks like Funyuns will use dent corn because of its soft starch which is easy to mill. Dent corn also has a strong corn flavor, which makes it perfect for this snack. 

During the corn meal processing, many of the nutritious brans and germs are removed. To add the nutrition back to the corn meal, the following vitamins and minerals are usually added in which is why it is called “Enriched” corn meal. 

  • Ferrous sulfate (Iron).
  • Niacin (Vitamin B3).
  • Thiamin mononitrate (Vitamin B1).
  • Riboflavin (Vitamin B2).
  • Folic acid (folate or B9).

Handy Hint: If the word “enriched” is used before corn meal or wheat flour, then it usually means the nutritious parts were lost during either corn or flour processing. Enriched flour is usually used to make Crackers so are they safe for doggy consumption? Check out Can Dogs Eat Crackers? to find out!

If your canine family members are allergic to corn or are sensitive to corn products, please avoid feeding your pooch Funyuns. There are many corn products in this crispy onion-flavored snack such as the following: 

  • Corn starch.
  • Corn flour.
  • Maltodextrin (made from corn).
  • Hydrolyzed corn protein.

Keep your pups away from Funyuns if you know they are allergic to corn products. If you’re not sure, contact your vet to find out if your furry friends have corn allergies. As with any new food that you’re introducing to your pooch, serve in small amounts first and see how they react. If they react to the food, avoid giving them any more of it.

Some dogs may be allergic to the vegetable oils used in Funyuns

how to make funyuns at home for your dogs
Are Funyuns chips safe for dogs to eat?

The vegetable oils used in Funyuns are corn oil, canola oil, and sunflower oil. Of the three, only sunflower oil is the most healthy for dogs. Here’s why:

Sunflower oil provides our furry friends with both omega-3s and omega-6 fatty acids which help to keep their skin and coat both moisturized, clear, and shiny. Having a little bit of sunflower oil or a few drops also gives your canine pals a boost of energy and this vegetable oil helps support healthy hearts. 

Corn oil contains the right kind of fat for dogs. The polyunsaturated fat in corn oil helps to keep your furry friend’s coat and skin moisturized and full as well. Dog owners can add a teaspoon of corn oil to their pup’s food daily. If you have small dogs, you can add a tablespoon or less of corn oil to their food. 

However, some dogs have corn allergies. If your furry pals are allergic to corn, it’s best to avoid feeding your pooch Funyuns. The good news is that there are plenty of healthy oil sources for dogs if your K9 friends are allergic to corn oils. They are: 

  • Flaxseed oil is great for dogs with arthritis and has mobility issues. Flaxseed oil can help with kidney functions and blood pressure. If your pooch is allergic to fish oil, consider flaxseed oil as the next best alternative. Additionally, flaxseed oil is great for dogs with allergies and sneezes a lot. This oil can bring some allergy relief and reduce inflammation in dogs.   
  • Safflower oil provides your pooch with essential fatty acids like linoleic acid and helps keep your dog’s coat and skin healthy and shiny. However, it is high in calories so make sure to only give your pup a small amount. 
  • Fish oil contains omega-3 fatty acids which improve your dog’s skin and coat and maintain a healthy heart. Fish oil is one of the best and healthy oils for dogs. 
  • Coconut oil is great for dogs with digestion issues. In addition, coconut oil can improve our dog’s skin, especially if your pooch has dry, itchy, or flaky skin. Not only that this oil can provide your dog with a shiny coat. Vets recommend giving your pooch coconut oil because it can improve your furry friend’s cognitive function as well. 
  • Olive oil is also great for dogs because it can help keep your dog’s coat and skin healthy, shiny, and moisturized. Olive oil can help if your dogs have diabetes or have cardiovascular disease. Be sure to go with 100% pure olive oil. 

You may be interested in: Cheese balls also uses several types of vegetable oils. Check out Can Dogs Eat Cheese Balls? to find out which vegetable oils are used to make cheese balls.

Too much salt is harmful to dogs

There is 280mg of salt in just 1 serving size or 13 pieces of Funyuns! That is too much salt for our precious pooch. Keep in mind that a 33-pound dog should only consume 100mg or less of salt each day. 

If we’re not careful and we allow our furry family members to easily ingest 13 Funyun chips, they can be at risk of sodium poisoning and distress, which can be fatal. Signs and symptoms of salt poisoning include: 

  • Vomiting.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Extreme thirst leading to frequent urination.
  • Potential dehydration if there’s not enough water.  
  • Lethargy.
  • Walking drunk.
  • Loss of appetite. 
  • Abnormal fluid accumulation inside the dog’s body. 
  • Potential kidney failure. 
  • Muscle tremors.

If you know your pooch just consumed a serving size of Funyuns, make sure there’s plenty of fresh cool water for your pooch as you can expect him to be very thirsty. The water bowl should be easily accessible in order to keep him hydrated. 

The best next step is to call your dog’s vet and ask if you should bring your pooch in for a physical checkup or examination. If your pooch is severely dehydrated from salt poisoning, your vet will likely put him on IV fluids.

Find out: how much salt is in one piece of Reese’s Pieces from our article, Can Dogs Eat Reese’s Pieces?

Monosodium glutamate (MSG) is extremely toxic to dogs

Monosodium glutamate or MSG is a flavor enhancer and it can be found in this Funyuns snack. There have been several studies that show that monosodium glutamate can cause brain damage in dogs and it is toxic to organs like kidneys, thymus, brain, and liver of animals. 

If your pooch ate Funyuns and is having an upset stomach, you can give him 2 tablespoons of OTC peptobismol or 10mg of Pepcid. Either one of these can help calm his stomach. Additionally, giving him a little bit of Pedialyte can help keep your pooch stay hydrated. Try to feed your furry pup a bland diet so that the food stays down in the stomach such as rice and white chicken. 

Since every dog is different, each dog’s reaction to monosodium glutamate will also be different. Due to this, we highly recommend that you consult with your dog’s vet and ask for appropriate treatment if your pooch reacts to monosodium glutamate or doesn’t feel well after ingesting Funyuns. 

Sugar can cause canine obesity and other various health issues in dogs

While there is less than 1 gram of sugar in one serving size of Funyuns, it is still considered too much sugar for our canine friends. In fact, our furry friends do not need sugar in their diet at all.

Dogs usually get their sugar from carbohydrates in their regular dog food. When dogs digest too much sugar frequently, they are at risk of weight gain, diabetes, and dental issues like enamel loss or tooth decay. In severe cases, dogs can also be at risk of pancreatitis. 

Onion powder and Garlic powder are both toxic to dogs

Onion and garlic, whether they are fresh, raw, cooked, powdered, or fried are extremely dangerous to dogs. All parts of the onion and garlic plants are actually harmful to dogs. This includes processed powders that are used in Funyuns. 

There’s less than 2% of garlic and onion powder which means that one serving of Funyuns chips won’t likely harm your pooch. Although it would take a lot of Funyuns to cause onion or garlic poisoning in dogs, we still do not recommend feeding your pooch Funyuns. 

As previously mentioned, every dog is different so one dog may react harshly to the small amounts of garlic and onion powders in Funyuns while another dog may not. 

Since garlic and onion are both parts of the allium family, eating a moderate to large amount can cause onion and garlic toxicity in dogs as well as other severe medical problems. If you have dogs like Akita or Shibu Inu, be extra careful because they are extremely sensitive to onions and leeks. Even a small amount of either onion or leeks can be fatal to them. 

According to VCA Hospital, if your furry friends consume enough onions that are equal to just 0.5% of their body weight, it is enough to make them very sick. For instance, if you have a Chihuahua that weighs 10 pounds, ingesting just 0.05 amount of onion can get him sick. 

Since onion and garlic are part of the allium family, it means that they contain N-propyl disulfide, which is a toxic compound that can attack your dog’s red blood cells. As a result, your pooch does not have enough red blood cells to carry oxygen throughout the body and this would result in anemia, weakness, and lethargy in dogs.

Additionally, this toxic compound can enlarge the dog’s blood vessels and relax their heart muscles. This can make the circulation of blood very hard.  

Here are other symptoms of onion and garlic poisoning in dogs:

  • GI tract inflammation or gastroenteritis.
  • Feeling nauseous leading to vomiting. 
  • Diarrhea: loose or watery stool.
  • Excessive drooling. 
  • Feeling lethargic.  

If you suspect your furry friends have either onion or garlic poisoning, make sure to contact your vet immediately. Your precious pups are in need of serious and immediate medical attention. 

Luckily, a whole bag of Funyuns or 450 grams of Funyun chips would not exceed 9 grams of onion or garlic powder. This means if your dog is over 4.4 pounds, then a whole bag of Funyuns would not be harmful to dogs. However, if you have a Teacup Chihuahua that weighs under 4.4 pounds, he may be at risk of allium toxicity.

So, Can dogs eat Funyuns?

Absolutely, not. As responsible dog owners, we always want what is best for our precious pups and that includes making sure they eat what is healthy for them and stay away from human food that contains ingredients that are toxic to them. 

Our canine friends will eat anything you feed them so it’s best for dog owners to know when not to give in and feed our pooch Funyuns. As you can see, Funyuns are packed full of salt and fat and it will only take just half of one serving to exceed the daily salt intake amount. 

Excessive salt and fat consumption can be dangerous to our four-legged friends because this can negatively affect their health. So the next time you are tempted to hand over the Funyuns chips, think again!   

The information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material contained on this website are for informational purposes only. No material on this site is intended to be a substitute for professional veterinary advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your veterinarian or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding dietary needs.

FUNYUNS is a registered trademark of FRITO-LAY NORTH AMERICA, INC. Dogleashpro does not claim any ownership of the FUNYUNS name, logo, or any identifying mark in any way. This article is for educational purposes only.