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Can Dogs Eat Hot Dogs? Are Hot Dogs Bad For Dogs?

Can Dogs Eat Hot Dogs? Are Hot Dogs Bad For Dogs?

It’s Sunday afternoon and you took your dog for a walk in the park. You decide to stop by a hot dog stand and as you look down, you see your pup giving you “the look” and start to wonder-can dogs eat hot dogs?

Hot dogs are a delicious snack made from cooked sausages served in bread buns and with dressings like ketchup and mustard.

Today, owners feed their pets almost anything without being aware of the consequences. Stay with us and find out whether or not it is safe to share a hot dog with your pup.

Can Dogs Eat Hot Dogs?

Just as a hot dog is not one of the best meal choices for humans, it is not recommended for your dog either. Dogs are not allowed to eat hot dogs. The main reason is that this snack contains an excessive amount of salt and preservatives which can be dangerous for anyone.

Your dog is your most loyal companion. He trusts you so it is only fair that you pay attention to what your pup is eating. A hot dog is not necessarily a deadly meal – however, this doesn’t mean that it should become a part of your pet’s diet. 

Since this type of fast food is high in sodium and other additives, your dog can very easily develop certain allergies or intolerance towards this product. An excessive intake of hot dogs may cause your dog to develop troubling symptoms like shaking or temperature. If this is the case, throw away the hot dog and seek veterinary care. 

My Dog Ate A Hot Dog – What Now?

Today, dogs resemble their owners so much that they sometimes share the same meal. It is not uncommon that your pet is served leftovers of what you are currently eating. There have been cases where dogs ate meals from french fries to nectarines. While some foods go well with dogs, others have detrimental health consequences. 

One example of this is feeding your pup a fresh hot dog right off the stand. Hot dogs are not proper pet food and your dog should not take part in this meal with you.

If your dog happens to get his paws on one hot dog, there is not much to worry about. One portion of this fast food product is not a red flag and it’s unlikely that your dog will have any health problems.

On the other hand, if your dog happens to indulge in several hot dogs, this could be considered a major warning sign. If this happens, put away the hot dog and offer your pet plenty of water. After they are hydrated, be sure to check them from time to time and be wary of the following symptoms: drooling, vomiting, or pacing.

If you happen to notice any of these symptoms, it is time for a trip to the vet. Note that this should be taken care of as soon as possible.

The Down Side Of Hot Dogs

Hot dog is an extremely unhealthy and poor choice of nutrition for your dog. This is the type of fast food that has more disadvantages than advantages. Feeding your pup a hot dog is dangerous because of its meat ingredients, shape, and additives.

The downside of hot dogs is that they are packed with all kinds of processed ingredients which are bad for dogs in large quantities. Some of the main ingredients of hot dogs are porkchicken, beef, or even turkey. This meat can be toxic for dogs because of the amount of salt it contains. 

Italian sausages are one of the most dangerous choices because their spicy taste causes dog diarrhea. Hot dogs are high in fat and if your dog happens to have some kind of medical condition which prevents him from eating properly, this snack should be avoided by all means.

There is also the shape of a hot dog which is likely to cause your dog to choke. This shape is hard to chew on if not cut into smaller pieces and your dog might have a hard time swallowing and digesting it. Younger pups have difficulty with this because their teeth aren’t fully developed yet and they are not used to chewing a big piece of food like this. 

Another problem is that owners often give hot dogs to their pups without removing bread buns or seasoning. Dogs mustn’t consume bread buns or garnishes like garlic or onions. Bread is full of sugar and fat and this develops obesity in dogs. Feeding your dog garlic or ketchup is a definite no because this will gravely upset their stomach and induce vomiting. 

Dh Can Dogs Eat Hot Dogs

Hot Dog 101

Like many inventions throughout history, there is always more than one version of how something came to be and the appearance of the hot dog is a great example. 

According to one side of the story, the popular sausage is known as “dachshund” which translates into “little dog” which appeared first in Germany in Frankfurt in the 1800s. Another story praises the New York sausage seller Polo Grounds as its founder in 1901. Even though the sides never settled for one version, this doesn’t diminish the influence and tradition this product has maintained over the centuries. 

Today, a hot dog is one of the most consumed fast foods and it has a worldwide market. This popular snack can be found in almost any fast food restaurant across the globe. Although everyone must have tried this snack at least once, its components remain unknown to the consumer. What are we really eating?

Dr. Yancey writes that hot dogs are made from different types of meat and salt which gives them a sticky texture. There are also nitrites that give the hot dog its pinky color and specific flavor. This particular ingredient protects the hot dog from bacteria that cause food poisoning. Apart from these major components. all sorts of additives are added to contribute to this tasty snack.

NHDSC provides us with some of the most common ingredients contained in a hot dog:

  • Sodium ascorbate – also known as vitamin C
  • Yeast extract – a flavor enhancer
  • Lactate – salt from organic acids
  • Modified food starch – used as a thickener
  • Salt – protects from bacteria
  • Smoke flavoring – a condensed form of smoke
  • Spices – plant-derived spices
  • Sugar and corns syrup – sweetener
  • Celery powder – dried, ground concentrate
  • Garlic puree – pureed cloves of garlic

A hot dog is made by mixing all these ingredients with salt and adding water. Ice is sometimes added because the mixture can get extremely hot. When this is done, this mixture is put through special machines which suck the extra air out of the mixture and give it a proper shape.

The following video shows how one hot dog is made:

Worst And Best Hot Dog Brands

Since the production of hot dogs has expanded significantly over time, it is possible to rank the brands that make hot dogs from best to worst. The Washington Post has tried 15 popular hot dog brands and ranked them from best to worst.

  1. Costco’s Kirkland Beef Hot Dogs – “solid salt and garlic balance”
  2. Nathan’s Angus Beef Frank – “uniform with a nice sweat going”
  3. Oscar Mayer Classic Beef Uncured Franks – “a top hot dog”
  4. Trader Joe’s Uncured Beef Hot Dogs – “sweet and a little tangy”
  5. Wellshire Sugar-Free All-Natural Uncured Beef Franks – “peppery and sweet”
  6. Whole Foods 365 Uncured Beef Hot Dogs – “a good blend of salty and sweet”
  7. Open Nature Uncured Beef Franks – “too oily”
  8. Safety Signature Select Beef Franks – “the proportion feels off”
  9. Ball Park Beef Hot Dogs – “nothing spectacular”
  10. Hebrew National Beef Franks – “a dull brown”
  11. Dietz & Watson Deli Beef Franks – “a letdown”
  12. Roseda Farm Beef Franks – “blandish”
  13. Applegate’s The Great Organic Uncured Beef Hot Dog – “meat & feet”
  14. Hatfield Beef Franks – “sickly pale”
  15. Niman Ranch Uncured Beef Franks – “acidic”


So far, we have dealt with some important information regarding hot dogs and using this snack to feed your pup.

Generally, hot dogs are not the healthiest choice for anyone. Your dog won’t be in much trouble after one hot dog but if he continues to indulge in this extremely unhealthy meal, you might have a problem with your pet. 

If your dog has eaten a large number of hot dogs, it is necessary that you look for red flags such as vomiting, drooling, or pacing. If you come across any of these symptoms, a visit to the vet is a must.

Hot dogs are detrimental to your dog’s health because of their processed ingredients, shape, and other additives. 

The history of the hot dog is divided but this doesn’t minimize or affect its role in the fast-food industry. It is still one of the most common choices in any BBQ shop across the globe with numerous brands.

Learn More: What Can Dogs Eat? A Comprehensive List Of Dog-safe Foods