Can Dogs Eat McDonald’s? (Is McDonald’s Food Toxic For Dogs?)

May we admit it or not, McDonald’s is one of our greatest guilty pleasures.

Even though it is common knowledge that it is not the most preferable and healthiest food out there, its popularity remains unshakeable, with millions of people around the globe giving their tastebuds the pleasure they deserve.

It is not only delicious and quick but also a light on the pocket, making it the perfect comfort food. A trip to McDonald’s is common among friends and families, but is it okay for your dog?

Can Dogs Eat McDonald’s?

Dog owners wish to share everything delicious that they eat with their dogs, and it is only likely that they would want to share a McDonald’s meal with them as well.

However, a common controversy surrounds this endeavor: Can Dogs Eat McDonald’s? The answer to this query is not quite simple.

Yes, dogs can eat McDonald’s infrequently, but that is not without its restrictions. Fast food is not healthy for a dog, just as it is not for humans, but a small portion of a hamburger, half a McNugget, or a few fries will not kill your pooch.

However, McDonald’s fast food does contain a few ingredients that are highly toxic for dogs and should be avoided at all costs, such as onions, salt, and certain sauces.

It is critical to be aware of these ingredients so that you can watch out for them and keep your dog healthy and safe.

In a nutshell, you can treat your dog to McDonald’s not as a first but as a last resort, and ensure that you take out certain ingredients before your pooch digs into it.

This article delves into “Can dogs eat McDonald’s?” and aims to address all the essential queries around this common question.

If you are anxious about your dog’s health but wish to treat it with a few delicacies from McDonald’s, keep reading to find out what you can and cannot do.

Let’s get started!

Can I Give McDonald’s To My Dog? What Happens If I Do?

Since we have already established that you can give your dog McDonald’s food, the question of what happens when you do so boils down to exactly which item you allowed your dog from the menu.

If the item you choose possesses excessive amounts of salt, batters, dressings, and sauces, you likely made the wrong choice.

Although dogs can eat McDonald’s, that does not give you the liberty of choosing this food as the right fit for your dog.

Almost all the fast food from McDonald’s is all taste and no nutrition, and thus giving it to your dog does not make too much sense.

It cannot be, in any way, used as a substitute for a proper nutritious meal and is most likely to bring out disastrous repercussions if your dog eats it frequently or in large amounts.

Not only does the seemingly enticing McDonald’s menu lack drastically in dog-tailored and dog-necessary nutrients, but it also comprises high quantities of artificial preservatives, carbohydrates, fat, seasonings, sugar, salt, and several other condiments. 

These components do not allow your pet to grow naturally, develop into a healthier and stronger version of itself, and live a fulfilling and healthy life free of diseases.

McDonald’s is especially harmful if your dog suffers from diabetes or cardiovascular complications, as the food items offered by this famous fast-food chain are all rich in sugar contents, salt, oil, and calorie count. You can look into the calorie count of the particular item you wish to give your puppy.

In addition, dogs with lactose intolerance should not be given milkshakes or vanilla ice cream under any circumstances, no matter how much they whine or beg for them. It is okay to let your dog suffer momentarily rather than plunging them into a fatal condition.

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Is McDonald’s Food Toxic For Dogs?

Most of the items on the McDonald’s menu list are not exactly toxic for dogs but are not healthy or recommended for intake either.

Ingesting them in small amounts would not necessarily kill your dogs but may lead to several short-term complications.

If eaten in large amounts, these potentially toxic ingredients can also cause long-term complications for your dog, proving tiresome and uncomfortable for both your dog and its caregiver.

It is typical for most dog owners to consider a hamburger the healthiest option on the McDonald’s menu, primarily because it possesses fewer calories and is made of a variety of ingredients.

However, choosing to give a hamburger to your dog is an arduous task as it involves putting a considerable amount of thought into which ingredients you should give to your dog and which you should take out.

Let us look at a few things that you should absolutely avoid giving to your dog for the sake of its health:


Pickles are made in high concentrations of salt and thus possess quite large amounts of sodium. Therefore, it is not at all recommended for dogs to eat.


Buns are a kind of bread but contain a large number of empty calories without any nutritional supplements, which is undesirable for dogs (and humans!).

Burger Patty

Burger patties are the least problematic ingredient, but since they possess considerable quantities of oil and grease, they do not make a healthy meal for dogs and should be avoided.


Onions are potentially toxic for dogs and are unequivocally the most hazardous topping you can let your dog eat. They are, thus, a big no for your dog’s diet.


Although tomatoes are not necessarily harmful to dogs in their ripe form, the issues arise in the manufacturing of ketchup.

Most kinds of ketchup are not made with 100% tomatoes and contain harmful levels of preservatives, salt, and artificial flavors, which can be toxic for dogs.


Mustard is a delicious condiment for humans but not so much for dogs, primarily because its large amounts can lead to gastrointestinal complications and intestinal tract inflammation.

Fried Foods

A large majority of the menu items in McDonald’s are fried foods, which makes them two times more harmful for dogs.

French Fries

It is a common understanding that since French fries are made up of potatoes, and potatoes are usually considered safe for dogs, they should be okay as a meal for dogs.

That is untrue, as French fries are fried in oil, and this process overrules a big chunk of the health benefits that potatoes may have.


McFlurry is too delicious to deprive your dog of it, but you need to do so, especially if your dog is lactose intolerant! McFlurries that contain chocolate, or traces of chocolate, should be avoided at all costs as well, as chocolate is highly toxic for dogs.

Are There Any Health Benefits Of McDonald’s For Dogs?

If you wish to calculate the health benefits of a particular food item for your dog, a general rule of thumb is to calculate its benefits for yourself first. If that food item is unhealthy for you, it is likely for it to be unhealthy for your dog as well.

Since McDonald’s is highly unhealthy for humans, they do not possess health benefits for dogs as well. There is only one McDonald’s menu item that is beneficial for dogs: apple slices.

Apple slices are not only healthy but are also a beneficial source of Vitamin C and antioxidants. However, ensure that you do not substitute apple slices with the McDonald’s apple pie, as it contains a considerable amount of sugar.

Do I Risk My Dog’s Healthy By Giving It McDonald’s?

Giving your dog McDonald’s is likely to have several detrimental effects as it contains unhealthy preservatives, high sugar content, sauces, and artificial flavors.

These ingredients can bring out short-term and long-term health risks, such as diarrhea, food poisoning, obesity, cardiovascular complications, obesity, and hypertension. 

Is It Advisable To Give McDonald’s Food To My Dog?

According to veterinary experts, dogs should only be given 25 calories for each pound of weight they own. In addition, they should only be allowed treats as a 10% portion of their total calorie intake, which is the 90:10 rule.

The rule can help you decipher whether it is advisable to give your dog food from McDonald’s. Let us take the example of two popular dog breeds as a prototype to help you determine the calorie limits you should demarcate for your dog.

An average French bulldog weighs about 25 pounds, and thus if you have such a pet, you should not let your dog eat more than 625 calories on a daily basis.

An average Labrador weighs about 70 pounds, bringing its calorie count to about 1,750.

Which McDonald’s Foods Can A Dog Or Cannot Eat?

McDonald’s burgers are somewhat okay for a dog to eat, ensuring that you remove the bun, sauce, and onion part. The rest of its menu comprises fatty, sugary, and fried foods, which are best not to give your dog.

Can I Give My Dog a McDonald’s Burger?

McDonald’s burgers are generally okay for a dog to eat, as long as you separate the meaty part. However, the nutritional component of this patty is minimal, primarily because it is processed meat made up of peppers, salt, and oil.

The other ingredients present in a McDonald’s burger are problematic for dogs: pickles, sauces, onions, and processed cheese. Although you can take these ingredients out of the burger before giving it to your dog, it is crucial to remember that some of their traces may remain.

Although such traces are not toxic or poisonous for dogs, they can trigger allergies and gastrointestinal complications. If ingested even in traces, onions are highly toxic for dogs and are likely to cause digestive complications.

Therefore, if you are absolutely adamant about giving your dog a McDonald’s burger as a treat, make sure that you remove all the harmful ingredients and allow your dog to eat just the patty.

Taking a McDonald’s burger in terms of calories, you should not put an entire burger in front of your dog to lick and eat.

A McDonald’s Big Mac comprises 563 calories, which is a substantial amount checking off about 90% of a French Bulldog’s daily calorie intake and about 32% of a Labrador’s.

On the other hand, a McDonald’s cheeseburger contains about 303 calories. It thus amounts to 48% of the total calorie intake of a French Bulldog if eaten in its entirety and almost 17% of a Labrador’s intake.

McDonald’s Hamburger contains 250 calories, and eating it whole provides 40% of a French Bulldog’s daily calorie intake and about 14% of a Labrador’s intake.

Can I Give McDonald’s Fries To My Dog?

One of two McDonald’s French fries does not hold the potential to prove toxic to your dog. Made of potatoes, French fries do not pose a health concern in small amounts but can be very high in fats and carbohydrates.

They may also possess a large amount of salt, so it is advisable to steer clear of them as a potential snack for your dog. Since McDonald’s cooks their fries in large quantities of oil, this factor adds to their undesirability as a portion of potential food for dogs.

They are likely to contain a bulk of saturated and trans fats, which you should not be exposing your dog to.

Fats ingested in large amounts can also cause gastrointestinal complications in dogs, and a long-term frequent intake can cause serious health concerns, such as diabetes, pancreatitis, and obesity.

Looking at the calorie count, a large serving of McDonald’s fries contains about 498 calories, while the medium serving contains approximately 378 calories.

A large helping of McDonald’s French fries would thus amount to about 80% of a French Bulldog’s daily calorie intake and almost 28% of a Labrador’s intake.

On the other hand, a medium helping of these French fries makes up to about 60% of a French Bulldog’s daily calorie count and almost 22% of a Labrador’s everyday intake.

Can I Give My Dog McDonald’s Chicken Nuggets?

Although the chicken nuggets from McDonald’s comprise a chicken filling, they do not possess considerable nutritional value, just like a McDonald’s burger patty.

Most dog owners believe McDonald’s chicken nuggets are okay to give your dog because of their chicken filling, and if you think so too, it is about time you think about their cooking process.

These nuggets are coated in a breadcrumb coating and deep-fried in oil that is not healthy for your pet at all.

Can Dogs Eat McDonald's? (Is McDonald’s Food Toxic For Dogs?)

Therefore, they are not dog-friendly food for your pet, as they may cause several cardiovascular disorders such as clogged arteries, increased blood pressure, and other digestive complications.

If you still intend to give your dog a taste of McDonald’s nuggets, it is advisable to take off the batter and coating entirely so that the chicken filling is all that is left.

Looking towards the calorie count, six pieces of McDonald’s Nuggets contain about 287 calories, which makes up almost 46% of the total calorie intake of a French Bulldog and almost 16% of that of a Labrador.

Can I Give My Dog A McDonald’s McFlurry?

McDonald’s offers a wide range of yummy ice creams, but none of them are suitable for your dog. Restricting our focus to McFlurry, even the standard plain McFlurry without any toppings and sauces is not ideal for your dog.

Although your dog will readily gobble down any ice cream you give them, you need to allow them just a click or two.

That is because ice cream comprises a large amount of milk and sugar, which is a highly unsuitable ingredient choice for both lactose intolerant and tolerant dogs.

This dairy product can also lead to gas, stomach upsets, and diarrhea in dogs. Even though it is not recommended, you can allow just a sliver of your McFlurry to your dog, provided it is free of all sauces and toppings.

This is highly crucial because some McFlurries contain chocolate or traces of chocolate, which can be highly toxic for dogs.

A plain McDonald’s McFlurry contains about 223 calories and thus makes up about 36% of a French Bulldog’s total calorie intake and about 13% of a Labrador.

Can I Give My Dog A McDonald’s McChicken?

Although we are commonly made to believe that the McChicken sandwich is a 100% natural chicken breast, it is not a suitable meal choice for your dog.

It is imperative that you do not let this distracting 100% real chicken description coax you into giving your dog a McChicken, especially without removing the sauces and the bun.

However, simply removing the sesame seed bun from the sandwich does not make it okay for your dog to eat, as the patty still contains the batter coating.

If you wish to give your dog a McChicken nevertheless, it is advisable to remove the bun, sauces, and coating batter completely.

This sandwich contains about 357 calories, and eating an entire McChicken makes up about 57% of a French Bulldog’s daily calorie intake.

Can I Give My Dog A McDonald’s Fillet-o-Fish?

Fish is a healthy part of a dog’s diet, but McDonald’s Fillet-o-Fish is not. That is primarily because it is deep-fried after getting coated into a batter full of salt, oil, and seasoning, making it an unhealthy meal for your dog.

Like the McChicken sandwich and McNuggets, you can take off the coating if you absolutely wish to give your dog a taste of this fish.

McDonald’s Fillet-o-Fish contains almost 379 calories, making about 61% of a French Bulldog’s total calorie intake and about 22% of a Labrador’s intake.

Is McDonald’s Food Easy To Digest For Dogs?

McDonald’s fast food is usually not easy for dogs to digest and is not a healthy meal option as well.

Some items may contain onions and ketchup, which are highly toxic for dogs, even in small amounts. Other dairy items from the dessert menu can also cause several digestive complications, such as an upset stomach and inflamed digestive tract.

Which Dogs Can Eat McDonald’s Food?

McDonald’s fast food is not advisable for any kind of dog, as it is not healthy. However, you can give your dog bite-sized portions of these savory items every once in a while, ensuring that it does not turn into a habit.

The amount of McDonald’s food you should give your dog depends primarily on its size. Big dogs, which are around 50 lb, can ingest higher quantities of fast food when compared to smaller dogs.

If you are a small dog owner, it is advisable to break down the McDonald’s item you wish to give your pet into small pieces, even if it is a simple chicken nugget.

Is It Bad If My Dog Overeats McDonald’s Food?

Overeating McDonald’s food can inevitably causes several health-related complications for your dog, such as gastrointestinal complications, upset stomach, vomiting, diarrhea in the short term, and obesity, diabetes, and pancreatitis in the long run.

Therefore, it is vital that you give your dog a taste of particular McDonald’s food items infrequently and ensure your dog does not develop a taste for them.

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What Do I Do If My Dog Ingests Large Amounts Of McDonald’s Food?

If your dog ingests large amounts of food items from McDonald’s, it has likely eaten possibly toxic ingredients that can harm it.

It is advisable to contact a trusty veterinarian immediately or dial your after-hours emergency vet hospital up if it’s late into the night.

Getting professional medical help is essential, even if your dog seems alright. It can also help provide your pooch with immediate relief and treatment.

Wrapping Up – Can Dogs Eat McDonald’s?

The question “Can dogs eat McDonald’s?” is a widely prevalent one in today’s world dominated by fast food.

It is wise to tilt towards extreme caution when giving your dog food items from McDonald’s. Even if you are cautious, it is not advisable to choose McDonald’s as a food source for your dog.

You should only resort to it when there is no other option in sight.It is also wise to look into the ingredient list and calorie count of a particular item before choosing it for your dog, as health comes before taste!

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Jackob Evans

Hi, I’m Jacob. I’ve been a professional blogger for over six years, and in that time, I’ve written countless blogs that have helped millions of people worldwide. A DVM by profession, I have treated and cured thousands of dogs, if not millions.