Staci is a writer living in Atlanta, Georgia. When not writing, she spends most of her time trying to keep up with her four rescue cats and Australian shepherd puppy.
Food Meat And Seafood

Can Dogs Eat Hotdogs?

Jul 9 ·

Can dogs eat hotdogs? Dogs love meat, so you might be wondering if you can grill them up a hotdog during your cookout, or if it’s safe to break off a piece of yours to give them.

However, hotdogs are intended for humans, not dogs — so it’s always better to check if they’re safe. Some human food is very bad for dogs, and some foods are downright toxic.

So, can dogs eat hotdogs, or are they one of the foods better avoided?

Can Dogs Eat Hotdogs?


The short answer is that yes, dogs can possibly eat plain hotdogs on occasion with no immediate consequences. However, that doesn’t mean that they should.

Are They Safe?

In moderation, and without any extra ingredients, hotdogs are likely safe for your dog.

Are They Healthy?

No, hotdogs are not healthy, and there are much better alternative snacks for your dog.

The Benefits

The only nutritional benefit of hotdogs is that they’re a source of protein. Dogs need protein, but can usually get most of this from their food, so it’s not really necessary to give them add-ons — however, hotdogs are definitely a source of some extra.

The only other benefit is that they’re tasty. This means if you have a fussy dog who’s proving difficult to motivate when it comes to training, you might be able to use a plain hotdog as a high-value treat. High-value treats go above and beyond their usual treats and make them really want to get the treat, so they’re motivated to learn.

This is particularly useful for situations in which it’s vital they grasp the concept, such as learning recall or “leave it” for their own safety.

Can Dogs Eat Hotdogs? The Risks

can dogs eat hotdogs

Hotdogs tend to be extremely processed, so they can upset a dog’s stomach — particularly if they have a sensitive one. You might find that feeding them hotdogs gives them diarrhea or makes them sick, because not all dogs can eat everything that’s technically safe for them and be fine.

Another risk is obesity, from feeding your dog too much. If you frequently give your dog snacks that are high in fat and calories like hotdogs, the weight will pile up quickly — especially if they’re a small breed of dog that needs a lot fewer calories in the day than we do. Obesity can cause a number of problems for dogs, including making them vulnerable to various illnesses, and will put a lot of strain on their joints and bones as they grow.

The last risk is that if you break off a piece of your own hotdog to give them, there might be other ingredients in there. Hotdogs might contain onions and garlic, which are toxic to dogs. Even salt and pepper aren’t great for them.

How Much Can They Eat?

When feeding your dog any treats, you should follow the 10% rule. That means treats should only make up 10% of their daily diet.

Hotdogs, however, should not be an everyday treat.

If you’re feeding your dog hotdogs for the first time, remember to take it slow. Feed them a little bit at first to make sure their stomach won’t be upset.

What To Do If Your Dog Ate One

can dogs eat hotdogs

If your dog got ahold of a whole hotdog by accident and you’re not sure what to do, don’t worry. If the hotdog was plain, they’ll probably be fine. Monitor them and if they have an upset stomach, try feeding them some pumpkin or boiled chicken and white rice which should help them, as these things are very bland.

If your dog ate a hotdog that had onions or garlic on it, contact your vet. They might tell you how to induce vomiting or ask you to bring the dog in, depending on the size and weight of the dog and how much they ate. Remember, the larger the dog, the more they can handle when it comes to things that aren’t good for them.

Alternative Snacks

Since hotdogs aren’t the most healthy snack to feed your dog, you might be wondering about the alternatives. All of these fruits and vegetables are great examples of snacks that are not only tasty, but healthy:

Even when feeding dogs fruit and vegetables, however, make sure you do your research. It might seem like a safe assumption that they’re all good for dogs because they’re healthy for humans, but this isn’t the case.

So, can dogs eat hotdogs? If it’s a plain hotdog with no added ingredients, the short answer might be yes. They can probably eat one with no immediate consequences. However, because they’re so processed, there are far better treats you can feed your pet. Unless used as a high-value treat in the short-term, you might want to skip giving your dog one of these.

Staci is a writer living in Atlanta, Georgia. When not writing, she spends most of her time trying to keep up with her four rescue cats and Australian shepherd puppy.
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