Can Dogs Eat Hot Dogs? Are Hot Dogs Safe for your Canine?

The answer to whether or not canines can eat hot dogs is yes and no. 

This is because while hot dogs are packed full of protein which would generally be fine and, in fact, suitable for your canine, hot dogs also contain a range of substances that are dangerous for pups to consume.

A Jack Russell Terrier with a hot dog on fork
A hungry Jack Russell who likes hot dogs

There might be different sorts of protein that are better for your pet to eat.

While hot dogs aren’t particularly poisonous to canines, they are high in fat, sodium, preservatives, and other chemicals and can harm your dog, mainly if consumed in large amounts.

A couple of nibbles of hot dog once in a while should be fine for your pet.

Keep reading to find out more about feeding your pup hot dogs and the particular dangers of adding this treat to your pet’s diet.

Why are Hotdogs Bad for Dogs?

A Dachshund with a hot dog pillow
An adorable sausage dog with a hot dog pillow – Image source

Hot dogs should not become a main part of your dog’s diet because they carry health risks.

Along with being a choking hazard, they could lead to unnecessary weight gain, several diseases, and even sodium ion poisoning.

1. Choking hazard

Some individuals give their canines whole hotdogs to eat, which is extremely risky. These hotdogs can make your canine gag or, worse, cause him to choke. 

2. Weight gain

Hot dogs are high in fats and if they are eaten in large amounts, they can cause your dog to become overweight.

This could even lead to obesity and a range of more severe health concerns such as pancreatitis and joint problems

3. Difficulty with digestion

Hot dogs are filled with who knows what. These mystery ingredients and the preservatives and chemicals that make hot dogs make them difficult to digest.

This could result in gastrointestinal distress or constipation, weakness, lethargy, and abdominal pain. 

4. Poisoning

Hot dogs contain a lot of sodium, and too much salt in your dog’s diet could lead to sodium ion poisoning.

In addition, hot dogs sometimes contain garlic, onions, and artificial sweeteners like Xylitol in their recipes, and all of these ingredients are toxic to pets.

What’s in Hot Dogs that are Harmful to Dogs?

"Salt" written in salt on table

If you’re considering adding hot dogs to your pet’s diet, you have to be aware that hot dogs contain some substances that could be dangerous for your pet to consume.

1. Sodium nitrate

Hot dogs contain nitrates and nitrites due to the preservatives used to make them. These nitrates are loaded with sodium which is unhealthy for your dogs.

2. Monosodium Glutamate (MSG)

Monosodium Glutamate, or MSG, is a substance included in many snacks to make you want to consume more and more.

This chemical has also unfortunately been linked to cancer, so you’ll want to avoid including it in your dog’s diet.

3. Sugars or Artificial Sweeteners

Hot dogs can also include added sugar, which can be dangerous for dogs, specifically diabetic dogs.

Some hot dogs have artificial sweeteners, such as Xylitol, in their recipes, which is highly toxic to your pet. 

4. Seasonings (Garlic and Onion Powder)

Hot dogs also contain additional seasonings like garlic and onion powder. Onions and garlic and scallions, chives, and leeks contain chemicals known as thiosulfates.

These are toxic chemicals to dogs and should be avoided at all costs.

5. Salt

Hot dogs have an extremely high salt content. Salt can be poisonous to canines and can prompt vomiting, loose bowels, lethargy, excessive thirst, and bloat.

In more severe cases, an excess of salt can cause kidney failure and seizures.

Which Types of Hot Dog and Foods Made from It Can’t Dogs Eat?

Still unsure about feeding your canine hot dogs? Let’s look at the different types of hot dogs and why each one is dangerous for your dog.

Three grilled hot dogs
Grilled hot dogs

1. Raw Hot Dogs

While hot dogs don’t necessarily need to be cooked for human consumption, it’s advisable.

Raw hot dogs can contain certain bacteria such as salmonella, parasites, and worms that can be dangerous for your dog to consume.

2. Cooked Hot Dogs

If you want to feed hot dogs to your pet, thin, small slices of cooked hot dogs are preferable.

Your dog is more likely to gobble up a whole hot dog because of the delicious smell and taste, and doing so could cause choking or a blockage.

As hot dogs are a heavily processed form of protein, they’re still not suitable for canine consumption.

Is There Any Way You Can Feed Fido Some Hot Dogs and Reduce the Health Risks?

If you want to give your dog some hot dogs, you should instead try making some organic sausages for your dog at home

That way, you will know precisely what spices, seasoning, and fats went into your dog’s meal.

If you must buy store-bought sausages for your pet, opt instead for lean, healthy, identifiable proteins like chicken and turkey.

Can Dogs Eat Hot Dogs with Certain Amounts?

While, of course, it’s possible to feed your dog hotdogs, it isn’t recommended due to the reasons listed above.

Picky pups may benefit from delicious hot dogs added to their meal, but there are better proteins you could use to entice your dogs to eat, such as duck or venison

A Jack Russell Terrier with hot dogs
A hungry Jack Russell ready to snack on hot dogs

How many hot dogs can a dog eat?

If you decide to give your pet a bite of your hot dog, be sure to exercise restraint and adhere to the 10% guideline.

This implies that any treats, such as hot dogs, should record for a modest amount of your pet’s daily calories.

The specific number of hot dogs you can offer your canine depends on your pet’s size, energy level, and general body condition.

How many hot dogs large dog breeds can eat?

As discussed, no canine should be given hot dogs to eat, no matter their size.

Massive dogs like Great Danes or German Shepherds have an increased chance of choking on hotdogs as they are the right size to get stuck in their throat.

How many hot dogs small dog breeds can eat?

Smaller canines should also not be fed hot dogs, primarily due to the high fat and salt content, significantly affecting little dogs.

A few small breeds, like Schnauzers, are inclined toward contracting pancreatitis, and a lot of fat in their diet can lead them to develop this disease.

What Happens If Your Dog Eats Too Many Hot Dogs?

A sick dog lying down
A sick dog

If your dog consumes too many fatty foods, like hot dogs, he will likely be prone to gaining excess weight.

Canine obesity contributes to a wide range of serious health problems such as heart disease, pancreatitis, liver problems, and immune system complications.

Eating too many hotdogs in one sitting could also cause diarrhea, vomiting, or gastrointestinal upset to your pet.

Your dog could also develop a toxic reaction after eating too many hotdogs in rare instances. 

How to treat hotdog poisoning in dogs?

If your dog eats some raw hotdogs by accident, you can follow these steps.

  1. Try not to panic: Pets can pick up on your anxiety and may similarly demonstrate stress, assuming you start to panic.
  2. Contact your veterinarian: You should contact your veterinarian right away if you think your dog has eaten raw hot dogs. Depending on the number of hot dogs your canine consumed, they may immediately suggest a visit.
  3. Keep any proof: Your vet will require information concerning the number of hot dogs your canine ate and what kind of sausages they were. You can show your vet any proof assuming there is any left.
  4. Take the guidance of your vet: Don’t endeavor to treat your canine at home. Note any direction your vet gives you, as they are best placed to care for your pet.

How do I prevent my dog from eating hot dogs?

Regardless of acknowledging that you shouldn’t feed your dog hot dogs, our pets, in some cases, get hold of food they shouldn’t eat.

Store any hot dogs in a spot far away from your pet to ensure that he can’t get to it, like the fridge.

Furthermore, ensure that all of your children, family members, and staff at your home know not to feed hot dogs to your pet.

Are There Any Health Benefits of Hot Dogs?

A Corgi being fed by its owner with a hot dog sandwich
A Corgi eating a hot dog sandwich

Despite the downsides of hot dogs for canines, there are some benefits to feeding your dog this meat.

As mentioned, if your dog is picky about what he eats, adding some delicious hot dogs to his meals can help him wolf down his dinner, as most pets love the taste.

Hot dogs also contain protein that your dog needs to support strong muscles. 

All that said, there are better tasty sources of protein that you could offer picky eaters to help them eat better.

What Other Dangerous Sausages Should You Avoid Feeding Your Dog?

As you have read, it’s not recommended to give hot dogs to your dog as a treat.

As we all want to do what’s best for our furry family members, you should also stay away from feeding your dog these sausages. 

Four pieces of raw chicken legs
Raw chicken legs
  • Raw chicken sausages can also cause salmonella poisoning. Some chicken sausages also contain ground-up chicken bones, and if there are any sharp pieces, they could pierce the esophagus or cause damage to the lungs and heart. 
  • Salami contains 26g of fat in every 100 grams. Salami also includes a whopping 1,740 mg of sodium per 100 grams. Too much sodium in your dog’s diet will make him sick and could give him sodium ion poisoning.
  • Cured turkey sausages, which are also too salty for dogs. Lean turkey is a much better source of protein for your dog.

What are Safe Alternatives to Hot Dogs for Dogs?

An Appenzeller Sennenhund mix dog with boiled eggs
Charly, a Appenzeller Sennenhund mix, loves boiled eggs – Image source

Instead of feeding your dog hot dogs, other foods you can consider will make a tasty treat for your pet. 

  • Chicken is a lean, affordable protein source that is the fundamental ingredient in numerous dog foods. 
  • Peanut Butter is a delicious treat stacked with healthy fats, protein, vitamin B, vitamin E, and niacin. A dog toy stuffed with peanut butter can also keep your pet busy for a long time.
  • Turkey is a tasty novel protein source regularly remembered for dogs with allergies. It’s an excellent source of protein, riboflavin, and phosphorus.
  • Duck is another more uncommon protein source given periodically to canines with sensitivities. Duck is loaded with iron and is a delicious alternative protein for pets.
  • Eggs, which are high in protein, fatty acids, and essential vitamins, such as Vitamin A, B2, and B12, contribute to your dog’s healthy skin and coat.

What’s the Verdict? Can Dogs Eat Hot Dogs?

As you have seen, your canine can eat hot dogs, but he really shouldn’t.

Due to their high fat and salt content, this treat can lead to your dog developing several diseases, such as obesity or pancreatitis.

Also, hot dogs pose a serious choking risk to dogs, the preservatives found in them can cause a reaction, and if served raw, there is also a risk of salmonella poisoning.

Have you ever fed your pet hot dogs? We’d very much want to hear about your shaggy relative and your experiences providing your pup hot dogs in the comments beneath.

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