Can Dogs Eat Hot Dogs? Are They Good or Bad?

can dogs eat hot dogs

The sound of a hot dog sizzling on the grill is irresistible to our furry friends and us. And that’s before we’ve even smelt it. So no wonder your pup begs you for a chunk of hot dog every time you put one on to cook. But should you give in to those puppy dog eyes? Can dogs eat hot dogs? Or are these favorite sausages bad for your pooch?

Let’s find out!

Can Dogs Eat Hot Dogs?

Generally speaking, hot dogs are not toxic to pups. However, they’re not considered part of a healthy and balanced diet. Usually, hot dogs contain a lot of fat, sugar, and salt which your dog doesn’t need. If they happen to get a bite of one, don’t panic. But don’t make it a common occurrence.

Are Hot dogs Safe for Dogs to Eat?

Most hot dogs are safe for dogs to eat as they’re usually made from beef, chicken, turkey, or pork. The problem is that they also have many other ingredients which, whilst not necessarily toxic to dogs, are certainly not healthy.

Make sure you check the ingredients in a hot dog carefully as some contain onions and garlic which are toxic to dogs.

Can Dogs Eat Raw Hot dogs?

You should not feed your pup raw hot dogs. Raw hotdogs often contain many different, processed meat sources which can be full of bacteria. These bacteria could cause mild or severe stomach upset including vomiting and diarrhea.

Make sure you always thoroughly cook a hot dog if you decide to give a bit to your pup. It should be cool before your pup eats it. The high-fat content in hot dogs means they heat up very quickly and could cause your dog to burn their mouth or stomach.

Can Hot Dogs Be Used As a Treat?

Part of being a good pup parent is rewarding good behavior and training your dog. But should you use hot dogs as a reward or as training treats? Ideally, no. Even a single hot dog has way too much salt and fat in it for your pup. Try to use other, healthier options such as shrimp, pineapple, or watermelon chunks.

Sometimes, hot dogs are the easiest thing to hide a pill inside. If you do choose to use a hot dog to do this, use the smallest chunk possible. A healthier alternative would be a bit of steamed chicken or something else that your pup really loves such as beef jerky (be careful with chicken bones though)!

can dogs have hot dogs

What Are The Risks of Feeding Your Dog Hot Dogs?

For most dogs, feeding them the odd chunk of hot dog won’t be a problem. Some, however, may get an upset stomach due to the high-fat and salt content, so always monitor your pooch.

Regularly giving your pooch hot dogs can cause many health problems for your furry friends. Obesity is one of the biggest problems caused by the fat in hot dogs (and it’s the same with feeding your pup french fries).

Overweight dogs can suffer from organ and joint problems. Likewise, if your pooch has liver or kidney problems, they should really be following a low-sodium diet. The high-salt content in hot dogs can cause crystals which can cause your dog to be in a lot of pain.

Choking is another potential hazard of your dog eating hot dogs. This is particularly the case when a large dog eats a hot dog as they may try to gulp it all down in one. Always make sure you cut up the sausage before feeding a little bit to your furry friend.

Can Puppies Eat Hot Dogs?

Again, hot dogs probably won’t be toxic to puppies but many hot dogs contain a lot of salt and fat which puppies don’t need. Puppies normally have a more sensitive stomach than older dogs, so even a little bit of hot dog could cause them to vomit or have diarrhea.

Try to use healthier options that won’t affect your dog’s stomach as much.

Should My Dog Eat A Particular Type of Hot Dog?

If you decide you do want to feed your pup a piece of hot dog (not a whole hot dog), look at the ingredients and try to find a brand that has less salt, fat, and sugar content. This is also the case if you want to give your dog regular sausage.

You could also try giving your pup something just as yummy but a little healthier such as grilled turkey or beef.

How Many Hot Dogs Can a Dog Eat?

Hot dogs should really be avoided where possible and replaced with healthier ‘human’ treats. You can check out the BarkingTalk food page for great advice on healthy treats for your dog and what they can and can’t eat.

Your pooch should get most of its nutrients and vitamins from well-balanced dog food. This should make up roughly 90% of their diet and the other 10% can be healthy snacks.

hot dog sausages

Are Hot Dogs Bad for Dogs?

Feeding your dog whole hot dogs regularly could have some negative effects on their health. Feeding them the odd piece of hot dog isn’t exactly ‘bad’ for your dog, but there are not a lot of nutritional benefits to them either.

If you want to add more veggies and other healthy foods to your pup’s diet, why not try a fresh dog food diet? Many brands work with board-certified nutritionists to perfectly formulate healthy and nutritious meals that accommodate food allergies and that are pre-portioned.

My Dog Ate a Hot Dog, What Should I Do?

If your dog has eaten an entire hot dog or just a bit, monitor them to see how they are doing. If it’s a one-off occurrence, it shouldn’t be too much of a problem. They may vomit or have diarrhea, so make sure they have plenty of liquids. If you’re worried, contact your vet for advice.

The main problem with dogs eating hot dogs is if they eat them regularly and a lot of them. It can lead to health issues that could be serious.

So, Can Dogs Eat Hot Dogs?

Technically speaking, dogs can eat hot dogs. They’re not toxic to our pups but they’re also not healthy. Feeding your dog the occasional bit of hot dog shouldn’t be a problem but it won’t be adding nutritional value to their diet.

If you do decide to give your pup hot dogs, make sure they’re plain and don’t contain any garlic or onions. You’d be better off feeding them a yummy bit of another meat such as lean chicken, or safe fruits or veggies instead.