Can Dogs Eat Hot Dogs?

Can Dogs Eat Hot Dogs?

Author WDF Staff


Hot dogs are one of the most popular fast foods in the US, and if you ask your dog if they’d like a hot dog, the answer would most likely be - Yes. However, sharing a hot dog with your dog might not be the best idea. If you ever ate a hot dog in front of your dog, you probably noticed the envious looks you get. Keep in mind that you have to resist those puppy eyes and only give your dog foods that are good for them. The main question is, “Can dogs eat hot dogs?” Here is what you should know about giving your dog hot dogs.

Can dogs have hot dogs?

The main problem with hot dogs is that they use highly processed meat full of sodium and additives. Giving your dog a hot dog is risky. You can’t be entirely sure what goes in it, and that’s why you can’t be sure how your dog will react to it. Hot dogs taste good; that is why they are so popular. However, just because something smells and tastes good to your dog doesn’t mean you should give it to them. Dogs might not have any bad reactions to hot dogs, but it would be best not to give your dog hot dogs.

hot dog

Is hot dog bad for dogs?

Hot dogs might not necessarily be bad for dogs, but it is impossible to know. There are a few main problems when it comes to hot dogs. These problems are salt, sodium nitrate, and monosodium glutamate (MSA).

Sodium nitrate

Sodium nitrate is generally considered not safe. That means you and your dog should avoid eating it. The biggest issue with sodium nitrate is that it is cancerous. Some studies linked sodium nitrate to some forms of cancer, so you should be careful about the amount of sodium nitrate you consume.

Monosodium glutamate

Monosodium glutamate is considered harmful since 1969 when a study looked for its effect on mice. Scientists found out that it causes harmful neurological effects, and it has been labeled as an excitotoxin.


The biggest issue with giving dogs hot dogs is salt. According to the National Academy of Sciences, a 33-pound dog needs 200 milligrams of salt a day. An average hot dog contains about 500 milligrams of sodium, which means only half of a hot dog would be more than the average salt needs of a 33-pounds dog. Feeding your dog so much salt can lead to dehydration, and a long-term high sodium diet will lead to elevated blood pressure, which can cause heart attacks.

hot dog closeup

What to give dogs instead of hot dogs?

If you want to make your dog’s life a bit tastier and add to their diet something they don’t eat normally, you can choose a lot safer and better options for your dog. One of the best things you can add to your dog’s diet is plain, unseasoned chicken. You can cook the white meat and mix it with your dog’s kibble. Make sure you don’t use seasoning like garlic or onions because they are toxic to dogs.

Other options can include plain beef or pork. Make sure the meat is thoroughly cooked, and never give any bones to your dog. Cooked bones become soft and can splinter easily. You can barbecue the meat, but again, make sure you don’t include any seasoning that can be dangerous for your dog. If you give meat to your dog, make sure you cut it into small pieces, so it doesn’t present a choking hazard.

What to do if my dog eats a hot dog?

If your dog eats a hot dog, you shouldn’t panic. They will most likely be OK and might experience some gastrointestinal upset. Your dog might get diarrhea, stomach ache, or vomit. Most cases of dogs snatching hot dogs are harmless, and they will be alright. However, you should keep an eye on them and make sure you look for signs of dehydration or any other problems your dog might experience. If you notice anything weird going on with your dog, call your vet and ask for advice.

In conclusion

It would be best to avoid giving hot dogs to your dog. Hot dogs have unidentified ingredients and contain highly processed meats and additives that are simply not safe for your dog. There are far safer alternatives you can safely feed to your dog.

World Dog Finder team

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