Can Dogs Eat Hot Dogs?

Can Dogs Eat Hot Dogs

Dogs should not eat hot dogs. While they are not toxic to dogs, the average hot dog contains excessive amounts of salt, fat, and other additives detrimental to your dog’s health. Issues such as obesity, dehydration, and pancreatitis are all possible outcomes of the regular consumption of hot dogs. Additionally, they are a choking hazard if your dog attempts to eat a whole hot dog.

However, veterinarians say dogs can eat hot dogs as occasional treats as long as hot dogs are not a part of your dog’s daily diet. Hot dogs are popular treats for dog training, and it turns out hot dogs are safe in moderation, but not healthy. 

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Can Dogs Eat Raw Hot Dogs?

You should never feed your pup raw hot dogs, even if he’s on a raw meat diet. Hot dogs typically contain multiple processed meat sources and have high bacteria levels. Uncooked hot dogs could upset your dog’s stomach or cause a more severe illness. 

If you’re going to treat your dog, ensure you cook the hot dog thoroughly and allow it to cool before offering it to your furry friend. Because of their high-fat content, hot dogs get very hot when cooked. Although most dogs would happily steal a snack directly from the grill, it can cause burns to the mouth or stomach.

Can Dogs Eat Cooked, Roasted, or Steamed Hot Dogs?

Yes, cooked hot dogs are safer for dogs than feeding them raw hot dogs. The method you use to cook the hot dogs is your choice. However, the outcome will be different. Boiling hot dogs in a pot of water removes most of the flavor and leaves them tasteless. Steaming has a similar effect while roasting hot dogs in the oven leaves them tasty. Slice the hot dogs into medallions and roast them on a wire rack in a roasting tray. The oil and fat will drip into the tray, leaving you with tasty, fat-free treats for your furry friend. The fat content can vary from one type of hot dog to the next.

Different Meat Types in Hot Dogs

Regardless of the type of meat, there is one thing you need to remember – better meat makes better hot dogs. When buying hot dogs, check the labels and nutrition information. It’s also wise to know where and how the animals were raised to ensure the quality of the meat. The most popular types of meat in hot dogs are listed below.

  • Beef Hot Dogs

    • Traditional hot dogs are made with beef. Although many manufacturers advertise their hot dogs as “All beef with no additives and fillers,” they are always packed with spices and salt and often contain artificial flavors. The most favored beef hot dogs are Franks, always strongly seasoned, and Kosher, typically loaded with garlic and onion. Both could harm your canine companion’s health if you don’t limit the number of hot dog treats you provide.
  • Pork Hot Dogs

    • Pork is also a classic hot dog filling. Wieners, for example, are a variety of hot dogs that are mostly made of pork. The meat is taken off the animal’s bones using meat recovery machinery. This advanced equipment separates the edible parts from the inedible ones without crushing the bones. Despite this explanation of the process, nobody really knows what parts of the pork landed in their hot dogs.
  • Chicken Hot Dogs

    • Chicken is a cheaper hot dog filling, and it also has fewer calories, lower fat contents, and more protein than beef and pork hot dogs. That makes chicken hot dogs a great alternative. Although manufacturers say they use chicken breast and thigh meat, the mechanical removal of edible bits is also used for chicken. You would never know whether your chicken hot dogs contain more than just thighs and breasts.
  • Turkey Hot Dogs

    • Turkey hot dogs are also made with mechanically removed meat from carcasses. Turkey hot dogs are packed with protein, Vitamins B6 and B12, zinc, choline, and niacin. However, it contains more fat and calories than chicken hot dogs.
  • Vegetarian Hot Dogs

    • A vegetarian hot dog is a hot dog entirely produced from non-meat products. Unlike traditional meat hot dogs, the casing is not made of the animal intestine but cellulose or other plant-based ingredients. The filling is usually based on soy protein, wheat gluten, or pea protein. One positive is that it contains no nitrates because there is no meat.

What Can Your Dog Eat Together with a Hot Dog?

Maybe with hot dogs, this question should be, “What can’t your dog eat with a hot dog?”

Since you’re not likely to give your canine companion hot dogs as part of its diet, but as shared treats instead, let’s discuss the safety of also sharing the typical things that go with hot dogs.

  • Can Dogs Eat Ketchup with Hot dogs?

    • Dogs should not eat ketchup; large amounts of ketchup are harmful to your dog’s health because ketchup has added ingredients like onion powder, garlic, salt, and sweeteners, all potentially harmful to your furry friend’s health. As with the hot dog, a smear of ketchup on the piece of hot dog you share will not have severe consequences.
  • Can Dogs Eat Mustard with Hot dogs?

    • No, dogs should not eat mustard. The seeds of the mustard plant used to make the condiment are toxic to dogs and can cause issues for your canine companions’ digestive system and intestinal tract. Even a small quantity of mustard could cause vomiting, while a large amount can result in long-term health problems and issues like gastroenteritis. You should avoid feeding your dog all types of mustard, including Dijon mustard, honey mustard, yellow mustard, or mustard sauces made with mustard powder.
  • Can Dogs Eat Fried Onions with Hot dogs?

    • What would a hot dog be without a covering of fried onions? The problem is that your canine companion should never eat onions because they are toxic to dogs. Eating a lot at once, or eating them regularly over time, can lead to your dog becoming sick and anemic.
  • Can Dogs Eat the Hot Dog Buns?

    • Although you would not think twice about packing a fresh bun with a hot dog, loads of sauce, and fried onions, your precious pet might be sensitive to gluten or wheat, and if not, bread provides no nutritional value to dogs other than carbs and empty calories that cause weight gain.

Bottom Line

We are discussing the safety of giving your canine child 

  • the occasional bite of your hot dog with
  • all kinds of additives like garlic, onions, salt 
  • and things you don’t even know about 
  • in a bun that could cause weight gain, 
  • covered with toxic toppings.

You’ll be happy to know that one occasional bite of this life-threatening treat is okay.

What are the health advantages of feeding Hot Dogs to your dog?

According to the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council, humans can safely eat hot dogs of all kinds. Still, the best options for limited health damage are the chicken, turkey, vegetarian, and vegan varieties. Although the same may apply to dogs, it is clear that hot dogs do not offer any health advantages to canines.

What are the disadvantages of feeding Hot Dogs to your dog?

There are several reasons why more than just the occasional bite of a hot dog is bad for your dogs, including those listed below.

  • Additives: Hot dogs are typically full of ingredients known to pose health risks to dogs, some of which are listed below.
    • Artificial flavors like the flavor enhancer monosodium glutamate (MSG), which causes seizures in dogs
    • Nitrates and nitrites (including sodium nitrate) are preservatives linked to cancer in dogs. Nitrate is not present in vegetarian hot dogs.
    • Seasonings like garlic powder and onion powder are both toxic for dogs.
  • Calorie-dense: Treats should never exceed 10% of your dog’s daily caloric intake. That is not difficult with healthy dog treats, but even low-fat hot dogs contain too many calories, and excessive daily calorie intake leads to weight gain.
  • Excessive sodium: On average, hot dogs contain more than double the daily recommended sodium for dogs. Excessive salt contributes to high blood pressure, dehydration, cardiovascular disease, and the risk of stroke.
  • Excessive fat: The average hot dog is high in fat, contributing to its appealing taste to humans. However, a high-fat food item like a hot dog harms your dog’s digestive system by causing stomach upset, diarrhea, and vomiting. Excessive fat also taxes your dog’s pancreas and leads to pancreatitis, which presents itself through bloody stool, weakness, and increased thirst.
  • Too much sugar: Hot dogs, hot dog buns, and condiments like ketchup contain too much sugar or harmful artificial sweeteners. Xylitol is an artificial sweetener found in many human foods, leading to hypoglycemia and liver failure in your furry friends.
  • Mustard: All mustard types are risky because the seeds from which the condiment is made are toxic for dogs.
  • Buns: They upset your dog’s stomach: Buns do not provide nutritional value to your pet, and eating them can lead to painful bloating and gas.

What are the best dog foods with Hot Dogs?

This is where Dog Food Care usually tells you about the different dog food brands containing the human food item under discussion. Well, this time, as expected, we could not find a single manufacturer of dog food with hot dogs included in their recipes.

Should Hot Dogs Be Used as Treats for your Dogs?

Although dog owners are advised not to allow their dogs to eat hot dogs, they are one of the most popular training treats among dog trainers. They are inexpensive, easy to prepare, and enjoyed by most dogs. Hot dogs are also one of the easiest ways to hide a tablet for dogs on medication. It appears those who use hot dogs for these purposes are satisfied that the tiny pieces of hot dogs they use are not enough to cause harm.

It is important to note that dogs of different-sized breeds like Yorkies, Beagles, Doberman Pinschers, and Great Danes have different tolerances for the additives in hot dogs. Consider the dog’s size when giving them training treats. 

Even dog trainers share how they prepare hot dogs for use as training treats. Below are some of those ideas.

  • Boiled: Although boiling removes a lot of the hot dog’s flavor, dogs love medallions of boiled hot dog treats. Some trainers suggest cutting the hot dog lengthwise in four and then slicing the strips into pie-shaped pieces. 
  • Dehydrated: A food-dehydrator is the ultimate hot dog preparation since dehydrated treats last a long time and seem tasty for canine partners. Cut them into “coins” before dehydrating.
  • Frozen: Cut your hot dogs up into small treats, put in a freezer bag, and store them in the freezer. Take them out and use them as needed. Many dogs don’t seem to mind the cold treats, and in many cases, they will defrost on your way to class or practice anyway.
  • Oven: If you have many hot dogs to prepare, this might be a suitable method. Slice them in fourths long ways, then into pie-shaped pieces about as thick as a nickel. Spread them out on an ungreased cookie sheet or a wire rack over the cookie sheet and bake them for 30-45 minutes at 250 degrees. Watch them for signs of burning. When done, they should be light and dry and will last a long time.
  • Microwave: This is the quickest way to prepare hot dog treats, and it leaves you with jerky-like treats your dog will love. It is as easy as cutting the hot dog into ¼ inch pieces. Arrange them on several paper towels in the microwave and nuke them on 100% for 5 minutes. 

Take them out and pat them down with paper towels to remove excessive fat. Replace the paper towels and repeat the process. After the second five minutes, you would be rid of almost all the fat and oil. 

Discard the oily paper towels and leave the hot dog medallions to cool, by which time they will shrink and be the texture of jerky, guaranteed to inspire any dog to be the best performer in training.

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Michael Brady

Michael is an animal-lover who specializes in marketing. He started running Dog Food Care with his mother, Sarah, after leaving his office job. Michael gained enough flexibility in his schedule to be able to adopt a dog of his own and welcomed Emmie the dachshund into his home in 2020.