Can Dogs Eat Hotdogs? (6 Dangerous Side Effects)

A hot dog on a grill will get your dog jumping left and right while you flip and cook them on a relaxing day. Because what’s not to love about hot dogs packed in scrumptious hot dog buns?

Can dogs eat hotdogs? Short Answer NO! Hotdogs may contain certain ingredients that are not good for your dog! When BBQ season rolls around, there’s at least one weekend afternoon when you’re blissfully building the perfect hotdog.

When you feel a nudge at your knee, you know that it’s your dog coming around to beg for a nibble of your hotdog. But before you give in to temptation, ask yourself if the hotdog you’re getting ready to munch on is safe for your pup!

In this read you’ll find, are hot dogs safe for dogs? Can dogs eat hot dogs? So, before you go ahead on a munching spree with your pup! Give this article a thorough read!

Can Dogs Eat Hotdogs?

Can You Give Your Dog a Hotdog?

Hot dogs are fine for your dog to eat in moderation. Anything highly processed and made specifically for human consumption is never the healthiest thing for your dog, and hotdogs aren’t something you’d consider nutritionally sound.

It’s probably best for you to feed your dog (and yourself, really) hotdogs that are made with quality ingredients.

Cheap hotdogs are made with a variety of mystery meat and artificial flavorings. Processed hotdogs are delicious, but they’re packed with a ton of preservatives and ingredients that aren’t very good for your dog.

Sodium nitrate is a common preservative found in most hotdogs, and research has shown that it’s linked to cancer. Many hotdog companies use a variety of seasonings to flavor their food, like onion, garlic, and a lot of salt. Even if it’s just onion or garlic salt, it’s still toxic to dogs.

Can Dogs Eat Hotdogs? (6 Dangerous Side Effects)

Quality hotdogs are made with whole meats like pork, chicken, and turkey, all of which are fine for your dog.

Hotdogs purchased from your local butcher are much healthier for both you and your dog, and you can ask your butcher exactly what went into the meat.

Gourmet hotdogs fresh from the butcher are made with high-grade sausages, so make sure you ask about onions and garlic and how much salt is in the recipe.

As for the buns, the less bread you give your dog, the better. A few bites here and there are fine, but the processed carbs found in hot dog buns are full of sugar and can make sedentary or older dogs gain weight.

Note: If you choose to feed your dog a hotdog, it’s best to give them a plain hotdog, without the bun or condiments such as ketchup and mustard, as they add unnecessary additional calories.

Can Dogs Eat Hotdogs?

Before You Feed Your Dog Hotdogs

Well, the answer to this question is maybe. Technically speaking, your dog can eat hot dogs. They are perfectly fine for your dog in the sense that there are no toxic substances in the ingredients. However, that still does not make them entirely safe for your furry friend.

Besides potentially toxic ingredients, hotdogs are a choking hazard. You’ve seen how your dog scarfs down delicious treats, often skipping the chewing process and swallowing it whole.

The shape of hotdogs is perfect for lodging in their throat, so never give your dog a hotdog that isn’t cut up into small, manageable pieces.

Also Read: how to make your dog to throw up! Can be a life saver!

Hot dogs are also high in fat. If your dog is overweight, diabetic, or sedentary for any reason, you should offer them a healthier snack.

A few bites are fine, but a whole hot dog isn’t doing an overweight pup any favors.

Throwing away leftover hotdogs in an easily accessible trash can is a danger often overlooked by many owners.

The tasty smell will surely entice a nosey dog, and a binge on such a high-fat food can result in vomiting, diarrhea, or painful inflammation of the pancreas. Throw leftovers away where your dog can’t help himself.

When your dog joins you for your cookout, use discretion before you start sharing your food. Remember that your dog thrives on dog food and anything else should be given as a rare treat.

So can dogs actually eat HotDogs?

You might already know this, but considering how hot dogs are made, they are highly processed. They have a high concentration of fats and sodium. Consuming too much of sodium and fatty foods is life-threatening for your dog, and it will take a toll on your pet’s health. 

High amounts of fat and sodium can lead to digestive complications and may even cause pancreatitis in the long run. Apart from this, hot dogs are also high in calories. Letting your dog munch on too many hot dogs will lead to a calorie imbalance and will cause issues of its own.

Can Dogs Eat Hot Dogs?

For instance, an adult Chihuahua only requires around 220 – 250 calories a day. Now looking at the calorie count of hot dogs, a single hot dog contains about 100 – 150 calories.

So, just by consuming two full-sized hot dogs, an adult chihuahua will exceed its required daily calorie limit.

This is why the answer to the question “can dog eat hot dogs?” is maybe.

So, to sum up what we talked about above, yes, your dog can eat a cooked hot dog (plain, unflavored) but only as a rare treat and never as part of your dog’s primary meal plan. Hot dogs can be an excellent source of proteins for your furry friend when fed as an occasional treat.

However, if the serving size were to be increased, it would lead to a number of issues including digestive complications and obesity -no pet owner would want this.

Another factor you need to consider is that dogs can only eat hot dogs. Raw hot dogs are a big no go for your furry friend since raw hot dogs have a lot of bacteria. Consuming raw hot dogs will make your pet sick, so they should be avoided at all costs.

Can Puppies Eat Hot Dogs?

Technically speaking, yes puppies can eat hot dogs. However, since puppies have a rather delicate digestive system compared to larger dogs, they should not be fed hot dogs.

This is because puppies will suffer from a more severe digestive discomfort as compared to larger dogs when fed hot dogs due to the amount of fat and sodium content.

However, if you still insist on feeding your puppy hot dogs, you can offer him/her small pieces of a hot dog as a rare training treat.

Keep in mind puppies generally require fewer calories as compared to full-grown dogs. In addition, they also need protein-rich foods that help them grow and develop.

So, you should keep their diets balanced and offer treats like hot dogs in small amounts.

Is It Ok For Dogs To Eat Hot Dogs?

Can Dogs Eat Hotdogs? (6 Dangerous Side Effects)

Yes, as long as they do not lead to any food-specific allergy in your pet, you can feed hot dogs to your furry friend. If you’re wondering what type of hot dogs you can feed your dog, here is the answer to this:

Your dog can safely eat the following meat-based hot dogs:

  • Beef
  • Turkey
  • Chicken
  • Vegetarian hot dogs (cellulose-based or other vegetarian ingredients)

One thing that you need to remember is only to feed your dog cooked hot dogs. Never offer raw hot dogs to your pet, even in small amounts. This is because raw hot dogs are filled with harmful bacteria that can make your pet severely sick, so they should be avoided.

To further add, the fat content in hot dogs is also concerning. While the bacteria in raw hot dogs may pose a threat to your pet’s health, the same goes for the fat content in hot dogs.

So, although hot dogs may not be toxic to your pet, high-fat content assumed at once may lead to sudden stomach complications, causing diarrhea and vomiting.

Besides, when dogs are exposed to excessive fat in their diets, it can also increase the likelihood of your pet suffering from cardiovascular diseases and other diseases like pancreatitis.

Ideally, to avoid risking your pet’s health, vets recommend that your dog’s calorie intake from treats should not exceed 10% of your pet’s daily diet. 90% of your dog’s calorie intake should be from a balanced diet with plenty of vitamins and minerals.

Calorie count plays a critical role in your pet’s growth and development. Both underfeeding and overfeeding have their consequences. Generally, an adult dog, depending on its size, should consume 200 – 1300 calories per day.

Now taking into account the calories in a hot dog, it is around the 150 mark, just from a single hot dog. Applying the rule of 10% calorie intake from treats, your dog is only left with 20 – 130 calories a day (from treats). So, a single hot dog will be just about it for a day’s worth of treats for your dog.

Are Hot Dogs Toxic To Dogs?

Can Dogs Eat Hot dogs?

Simply put, no. Hot dogs are not toxic to dogs. However, hot dogs are highly processed, so it is wise to check the ingredients on the labeling of the hot dogs. For starters, you need to see which meat is being used in the hot dogs.

Ideally, vegetarian/plant-based hot dogs are considered the safest. The key factor here is the fat content in hot dogs. Vegetarian hot dogs have a rather low fat count so they will not affect your pet’s health significantly.

Keep in mind, when introducing your pet to hot dogs for the first time, ensure that your dog has no allergies or a sensitive digestive system. Moreover, it is highly unlikely that hot dogs will contain toxic ingredients, but there are some exceptions.

Certain hot dogs have onions and garlic used as part of the primary ingredients. Both of these ingredients are harmful to your furry friend and can lead to toxicity, whether you serve them in small or large quantities. So, onion and garlic-based hot dogs are a no-go!

Talking about the ingredients, there are other ingredients in hot dogs that are not toxic per se but harmful to your dog’s health. These include:

  • Sodium nitrate – It is directly linked with cancer and may increase the likelihood of certain cancers if consumed frequently
  • Monosodium glutamate (MSG)
  • Sugars
  • Artificial sweeteners
  • Harmful seasonings like onion and garlic powder

The most concerning ingredient in hot dogs is the salt content. According to research, a healthy dog that weighs 33 lbs. only requires 200 mg (milligrams) of sodium a day. Now looking at the nutrient profile of hot dogs, a single hot dog has over 500 mg of sodium.

Based on this, half of a hot dog will exceed the normal/required sodium limits in a 33 lb. dog’s body. The downside with sodium is that it can lead to a number of health complications of its own if fed in excess.

To begin with, excess sodium can cause dehydration and extreme thirst. Similarly, if sodium intake remains higher in the diet, it can lead to high blood pressure.

Yes, you read that correctly; dogs too, can suffer from high blood pressure which has an adverse effect on cardiovascular health.

Apart from these issues, another problem with hot dogs is the fact that they are a potential choking hazard. If you have noticed, dogs sometimes swallow things whole. If they tried to swallow a hot dog whole without chewing, your dog may end up choking on it.

So, you need to be careful when feeding your dog hot dogs. Ideally, you need to check the amount of sodium and avoid ingredients like garlic and onion. To be on the safer side, you can simply chop down a hot dog into smaller-sized pieces to avoid choking risks.

Can Hot Dogs Kill Dogs?

Yes and no. Hot dogs do not directly kill your dog or are toxic to your furry friend. However, as mentioned in the above section, certain risks involve feeding your pet hot dogs.

The most concerning issue with hot dogs is simply the amount of sodium they have. Too much sodium in your pet’s body can lead to salt poisoning, which can take your furry friend’s life if no medical action is taken.

Similarly, hot dogs pose a choking hazard to dogs since they have a tendency to consume things whole. In the case of choking, it may end up being potentially life-threatening for your dog.

However, since the answer to the question “can hot dogs kill dogs” is yes or no, these issues can be avoided by paying little attention to the serving sizes of hot dogs.

Other than that, there is nothing that can go wrong with feeding just a little hot dog to your adorable doggo.

Side Effect Of Hot Dogs

Side Effect Of Hot Dogs

Like any other food, hot dogs also have certain side effects and associated risks. Here is an insight into this:

May cause seizures

Hot dogs contain a flavor booster referred to as monosodium glutamate (MSG). It is known to cause seizures in dogs if fed in excess.

Increased risk of cancers

Hot dogs contain sodium nitrate along with other nitrates and nitrites. These are used as preservatives in hot dogs. Unfortunately, nitrates and nitrites are known to increase the risk of certain cancers in dogs.

Bloating And gas

Bloating and gas will occur if you feed hot dog buns to your dogs. They offer no nutritional value to your dog but lead to bloating and gas, which can be quite painful.

This may lead to weight gain

Hot dogs are rich in calories and fatty content. Considering the dietary requirements of dogs, only 10% is allocated towards treats. If you offer too many hot dogs to your dog too often, it will lead to a high-calorie intake which will ultimately cause weight gain.

Stomach upset

Hot dogs are significantly high in fats, containing up to 17 g of fats. This might not be much for us humans, but for dogs it is considered a high amount. High-fat foods like hot dogs can lead to stomach upset, causing diarrhea and vomiting.

Moreover, if the fat content is increased in your pet’s diet, it will also lead towards potentially life-threatening pancreatitis.

Liver complications

Hot dogs contain sugar and artificial sweeteners as part of the primary ingredients. The most commonly used sweetener is Xylitol. It can lead to hypoglycemia and increases the risks of liver failure.

However, you should note that these side effects will only occur if you feed too many hot dogs to your furry friend in a single serving. If you stick to feeding your dog hot dogs as a rare and occasional treat, you shouldn’t worry about any of these symptoms.

Can Dogs Eat Hot Dog Toppings?

A variety of toppings go with hot dogs to make them even more luscious and tasty. These include the all-time favorite ketchup, mustard, and onions. But can dogs eat these hot dog toppings? Well, yes and no. Here is a detailed insight into this.

Can Dogs Eat Ketchup?

Can Dogs Eat Hot Dog

Technically speaking, yes, dogs can eat ketchup. However, considering ketchup’s ingredients, it also contains harmful additives like sugar and artificial sweeteners.

Hot dogs themselves contain plenty of sugar and topping it off with the sugar content from ketchup will make it a problem for your pet’s body. It will lead to an increased risk of liver complications if frequently fed.

The only workaround is to look for ketchup that does not have added sugar or harmful artificial sweeteners to go with hot dogs. If you’re able to find ketchup like this, you can use it as a topping on your pet’s share of hot dogs.

Can Dogs Eat Mustard?

Can Dogs Eat Hot Dog

Simply put, no. Dogs cannot eat mustard. Serving mustard as a topping on hot dogs can take a toll on your pet’s health. This is because mustard seeds are highly toxic to dogs and potentially life-threatening. So, mustard is a huge no-go for your furry friend.

Can Dogs Eat Onions?

Can Dogs Eat Hot Dog

Onions are the typical seasoning that everyone loves when hot dogs are served with them. While your dog may be giving you the eye demanding his share of onions, you can simply not offer your dog onions.

Dogs cannot eat onions since they are toxic to them. Consuming onions in large amounts or frequently will make your doggo sick and cause certain health complications like anemia. So, it is best to avoid onions altogether.

What about the HotDog bun?

Can Dogs Eat Hot Dog

Yes, dogs can eat hot dog buns, but feeding them hot dog buns is not recommended. This is because buns are usually rich in sugar content along with highly processed carb content.

Although small amounts of hot dog buns will do no harm to your dog, but it is not wise to feed them the empty calories from hot dog buns. Moreover, in some dogs, hot dog buns may cause a certain allergic reaction if he/she is sensitive to grains.

If you notice any adverse reactions after your dog consumes hot dog buns, make sure to take your pet to the vet immediately.

Can Dogs Eat Hot Dog Weenies?

Can Dogs Eat Hot Dog

Yes, but only as an occasional and rare treat. Hot dog weenies are highly processed and contain excess sodium, sugar, fat content, and other harmful additives like MSG and artificial sweeteners.

Based on this, hot dog weenies are only meant to be served as a treat to avoid the harmful health complications your pet may suffer.

As mentioned earlier, a general rule of thumb with treats is to ensure that no more than 10% of your pet’s diet plan should comprise of treats. Exceeding this limit will not only lead to a calorie imbalance but will also lead to a general nutrient imbalance, which can affect your pet’s health.

How Much Hot Dog Can A Dog Eat?

When it comes to the serving size and frequency of hot dogs for your pet, it depends on the size and weight of your dog. According to APOP, a dog requires 200 – 1300 calories per day.

Now, according to basic math, allocating 10% of treats to the calorie intake results in only 20 – 130 calories a day depending on the size of the dog.

A single hot dog contains 150 calories, so if you have a large-sized dog, 1 hot dog will be more than enough for your furry friend. On the contrary, if you have a small-medium-sized dog, you can only feed half of a hot dog to your furry friend.

However, keep in mind that feeding hot dogs to your pet on any given day will most probably consume all of the calories allocated to treats per day. You should know that if you intend to feed other treats to your dog the same day as hot dogs, you will be making a mistake.

This is because it will lead to a nutrient and calorie imbalance and adversely affect your pet’s health.

Should You Use Hot Dogs As Training Treats?

Your dog will absolutely love eating hot dogs as a training treat due to their luscious flavor. In fact, it may seem like an excellent idea to feed hot dogs as a highly rewarding treat to your furry friend.

But you have to take into account the calorie requirement of your dog and ensure your dog is not consuming too many hot dogs thus exceeding the allocated limit of 20 – 130 calories from treats/day.

If you’re feeding hot dogs as training treats, you should chop down a hot dog into half, and only feed half of a hot dog further chopped down into smaller pieces as treats.

Can Dogs Eat All Types Of Hot Dogs?

Yes, your dog can eat all types of hot dogs, including beef, turkey, and chicken-based hot dogs. Apart from the meat-based hot dogs, your dog can also enjoy munching on veggie hot dogs that are made from cellulose or other vegetable-based ingredients.

When feeding hot dogs to your furry friend, make sure there are no food allergies. Similarly, you also need to cook hot dogs prior to feeding them to your dog. Raw hot dogs are filled with bacteria that will take a toll on your pet’s health, so they should be avoided at all costs.

Alternatives To Hotdogs: Can Dogs Eat Hotdogs?

Apart from hot dogs, there are other alternative treat options that people may consider. However, before you go ahead and offer your pet some, here is an insight into some of the treat options that people usually consider.

Can Dogs Eat Hot Chips?

Unfortunately, hot chips may seem like a tasty snack for your furry friend. But they are not suitable for dogs. Spicy foods can cause numerous health complications. These include:

  • Digestive problems
  • Stomach cramps
  • Diarrhea
  • Gas
  • Excessive thirst

In worst cases, spicy foods like hot chips may even lead to vomiting, which is physically draining for your poor pet.

Can Dogs Eat Hot Cheetos?

Technically, yes dogs can eat hot Cheetos. However, they are not recommended for your furry friend. The primary reason why they should be avoided is the high-fat content and certain ingredients like capsaicin (mentioned as natural flavors).

High-fat content in hot Cheetos and other snacks can lead to gastrointestinal complications, and vomiting, and may even cause diarrhea. In worst cases, too much fat content in your pet’s body can also lead to pancreatitis which can be potentially life-threatening.

The capsaicin in hot Cheetos is what gives the hot sensation. It can cause excessive thirst and throat burning, so it is best to avoid hot Cheetos altogether.

Can Dogs Eat Hot Peppers?

No, dogs cannot have hot peppers. It causes a general discomfort and burning sensation in your pet’s throat; no pet deserves this. Similar to most spicy foods, hot peppers to contain capsaicin which can be quite painful for your furry friend if ingested.

Can Dogs Have Hot Sauce?

Like hot peppers, hot sauce is a huge no-go for dogs. This is because ingesting even small amounts of the hot sauce can cause irritation in your pet’s body. Here are the parts that are affected after consuming hot sauce:

  • Mouth
  • Stomach
  • Esophagus
  • Intestines

Can Dogs Eat Raw Hot Dogs?

No, raw hot dogs contain harmful bacteria that can make your pet severely sick. The naked eye may not see these bacteria, but unfortunately, raw hot dogs are filled with them. So, you shouldn’t offer raw hot dogs to your pet.

Can Dogs Eat Uncooked Hot Dogs?

No, dogs cannot eat uncooked hot dogs. Cooking hot dogs is the only way to remove and kill the harmful bacteria that are lingering on raw hot dogs. So, it is not wise to feed your pet uncooked hot dogs as you will be risking your pet’s health.

Can Dogs Eat Hot Dog Sausages?

Although it is not a healthy option, dogs can eat hot dog sausages. Keep in mind, when feeding treats like hot dog sausages, you need to follow the rule of allocating no more than 10% of your pet’s diet to treats.

Can Dogs Eat Turkey Hot Dogs?

Yes, dogs can eat hot turkey dogs. However, since they are highly processed and contain excess amounts of salts and other harmful preservatives, you need to keep the serving sizes small. Or it will cause a stomach upset.

Can Dogs Eat Chicken Hot Dogs?

Yes, dogs can eat hot dogs made with chicken meat. They are perfectly fine for your dog but only if you serve them as raw occasional treats and never as part of your pet’s primary meals.

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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.

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