Can Dogs Eat Hot Dogs?

can dogs eat hot dogs

Everyone has been there when there barbequing, and they find their dog next to them. Waiting for something to be given to them or just accidentally dropped. What if you gave your dog a hot dog? Can dogs eat hot dogs? The answer is yes, although it is probably one of them human foods your dog should not eat.

Can Dogs Eat Hot Dogs?

Hot dogs are not toxic to your dog. Although it does not mean it is ok to give them hot dogs on a regular basis.

Hot dogs come with a lot of problems, one of the main problems is that they are massively processed. They are usually made with not just 1 type of meat but 3, pork, chicken, and beef, usually known as mystery meat. They are made from the trimmings of the meat, which is the leftover meat that was not wanted or needed.

can dogs eat hot dogs

Should Dogs Eat Hot dogs?

As mentioned above, your dog can eat hot dogs, but they should not because they are massively processed.

If you insist on feeding your dog hot dogs, then it must only be on a rare treat basis and in very small portions.

This goes for bigger dogs as well, cutting up your dog’s food helps them avoid choking. Which is a high possibility if your dog likes to inhale his food all at once. We say this because whole hot dogs could easily get stuck in a dog’s throat because of the size and shape of them.

When giving your dog any human food, the general rule of thumb is you should not be feeding your dog anything processed. This is because you truly do not know what is in processed food.

For example on a hot dog package, they could say “seasoned with herbs”, you do not know what them herbs are though. They could be something harmful to your dog, food packaging, and labels that are not designed for dogs.

You should also not feed your dog raw hot dogs, even though they do come pre-cooked it is still not the best idea. Cooking them will make sure your dog avoids any nasty bacterial infection that might come from the raw hot dogs.

Check out how hot dogs are made in a factory below; you might be surprised at how they are made. It is a very interesting video.

What Makes Hot Dogs Unhealthy for Dogs?

Processed food like hot dogs contain preservatives and additives, they are not healthy for your dog.  Not to forget that they will usually contain a large amount of sodium and with hot dogs. They have a massive amount of salt in them. Twice the daily amount your dog is meant to intake.


Salt is the number one problem when it comes to hot dogs. According to the NAS (National Academy of Sciences), a dog weighing around 33 pounds only needs 200mg of sodium in their daily diet. One hot dog will usually contain around 500mg of sodium in it. So by only giving your dog half of a hot dog, you are putting them massively over on their daily sodium intake.

What you need to understand is that dogs receive the correct amount of nutrition in their daily dog food, including sodium. Any human food given to your dog is a treat and only a treat, nothing else.

So by feeding your dog half a hot dog, they will have had over double their sodium intake.

If you feed your dog a hot dog on a regular basis you will be putting your dog at risk for sodium poisoning. This is very serious and can take your dog away from you. They can also start to have high blood pressure, just like with humans.

hot dogs

Processed Food and Preservatives

Hot dogs being a processed food makes them likely to become overweight. As they have a large number of calories and fat in them.

Let us not forget that your dog could have an allergic reaction to any of the unknown ingredients in the hot dog. The cheaper the hot dogs you buy, the unhealthier they will be. This is because they will have a wider range of artificial flavorings, preservatives, and additives in them, along with more ‘mystery meat’.

A wide range of hot dogs also contain a preservative that is connected to cancer, it is called Sodium nitrate. Along with Monosodium Glutamate which is used for flavor-enhancing, MSG is a controversial additive.

Toxic Products to Look Out For

As we have mentioned above, seasoning can be a problem with hot dogs. Some hot dogs have seasoning that is toxic to your dog, these are garlic, onion, and mustard. These are to be avoided at all costs.

Overweight or Diabetic

Please note that if your dog is overweight or diabetic you should not be giving your dog any hot dogs at all. You should be looking for healthier treats for your dog. Speaking to your veterinarian would be your best option, especially if they are diabetic.

Check out the below table from the USDA FoodData Central database, 530mg of salt in just 1 hot dog… That is such a high amount for such a little thing. You might think some of the stats below are not much. But you need to remember, dogs do not weigh anywhere near as much as us.

1 Hot dog – 45g

CaloriesProteinFatCarbohydratesSugarsSodiumFatty AcidsCholesterol

hot dogs

The Best Option for Hot Dogs?

As mentioned above, hot dogs are not toxic to dogs, they are just really unhealthy for them. If you wish to feed your dog any hot dogs as a treat, your best approach would be buying hot dogs that are created with whole meats like pork, turkey, or chicken.

You can actually buy hot dogs from your local butcher. Which will be a lot healthier for your dogs, as you will know what has been put in them.

By getting hot dogs from the butchers you are making sure they are fresh, with no preservatives or additives in them, which will be made from high range sausages. Please make sure you ask your butcher that they do not use garlic or onion and try to limit the amount of salt in them as much as possible.

There is really no best option for hots dogs. There are so many better options to give your dog. Please read the below from Katherine Ripley.

Because they contain so many added ingredients that are not healthy for dogs, hot dogs are not a good choice for your pooch. If you want to give your dog a treat at the barbecue, it’s best to give him some plain beef, pork, or chicken that has no salt or other seasoning on it. Just make sure to cut the meat up into bite-sized pieces.

Read the original article – American Kennel Club

Can Dogs Eat Hot Dog Buns?

When it comes to bread or buns, your best avoiding them. They are nothing to your dog, a few bites here and there in their life will not harm them. The carbs in bread, along with the sugar in them can easily make your dog overweight in the long run, especially if they are not too active.

You are best just offering them whatever the bun is holding, as long as it is safe for them to eat in the first place.

can dogs eat hot dogs

What If My Dog Snuck a Hot Dog?

If your dog has snuck a hot dog from your plate, then there should not be much to worry about. One hot dog should not cause your dog any trouble, as long as there was nothing toxic on it.

They may have a bit of a stomach upset, which may cause diarrhea, but they should be fine.

It should pass in a day, if they start throwing up and the diarrhea does not stop then you should contact your veterinarian straight away.

Please note hot dogs are high in salt, so they will need more water than usual. Especially if they have had diarrhea or been vomiting. If they do not drink any water, this can cause extreme dehydration.


Yes, dogs can eat hot dogs, they are not toxic. They are just not the healthiest thing for a dog to eat. There are zero health benefits for your dog eating a hot dog. It would be best just not to give your dog any hot dogs, so they do not get the taste for them.

They are just not healthy for your dog. There is so much more healthier treats for your dog to have instead, which they could enjoy more on a regular basis.

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