Dog Tips

Can Dogs Eat Hotdogs?

October 25, 2022

Can Dogs Eat Hotdogs

Given that they share a part of their name, you may wonder if your dog can eat a hotdog. Hotdogs are well-loved American handheld sandwiches, popular at sporting events or backyard barbecues. So, if your pup is giving you puppy-dog eyes when you are taking a hotdog off the grill, you may wonder if it’s OK to treat them with a piece.

It’s always important to research which human foods are safe to share with your dog. Although we want to share our yummy food with our four-legged family members, it’s important to remember that what is safe for us to eat is not always safe for them. Dogs’ bodies and digestive systems are much different from ours, and they have much different nutritional needs overall.

If you’re considering sharing a hotdog with your furry pal at your next outdoor grill session, keep reading!

Are Hotdogs Safe for Dogs to Eat?

The answer is yes – but in moderation. Although human food should always be fed to dogs in moderation, this is particularly true with processed foods such as hot dogs.

At face value, there are no ingredients in hotdogs that are inherently dangerous for dogs to consume. There are differences in how hot dogs are made from brand to brand, so it’s always important to look at the ingredient list of your hot dogs before feeding them to your pup.

Given that your dog is generally healthy, treating them with a small slice of a hotdog will not cause any harm. Hotdogs are human food that should only be given in very small portions and never fed regularly to a canine companion.

Risks of Feeding a Dog Hotdogs

Hotdogs are highly processed foods. This makes them extremely high in salt and fat, two ingredients that should be avoided when picking what foods to share with fido. Feeding your healthy dog a small sliver of hotdog should cause no adverse effects, but it also offers basically no nutritional value for them.

If your dog has an underlying or ongoing health condition, it’s best to think twice before offering them a piece of a hotdog. Dogs with kidney or liver issues need to adhere to a low salt diet. The high sodium content in hotdogs can make their condition worse.

If your dog suffers from pancreatitis or obesity, you should adhere to a low-fat diet and only feed them treats and kibble that are low in fat. Hotdogs are pretty high in fat and can make conditions like pancreatitis or weight gain worse. Hot dogs should be avoided for any dog who needs a low-far or low-sodium diet. They are simply too high in these components to be a good choice for dogs with these conditions.

Even if your dog is perfectly healthy, a hotdog will provide them with no nutritional value. The only “value” in feeding your dog a slice of a hotdog is that they will likely love the taste and smell, just as humans do. However, that doesn’t mean it’s good for them long-term. This snack should be fed very sparingly and should never be fed to dogs with ongoing health issues.

What Types of Hotdogs Are Okay to Feed Dogs?

As a general rule, the lower quality of the hotdog, the less suitable it is to feed your dog. Low-quality hotdogs are generally cheap to buy in bulk, making them a popular choice for cookouts or parties. However, low-quality hot dogs can pose more risks for your dog than normal.

Low priced, and therefore low quality, hotdogs are generally pumped with artificial flavorings and preservatives. These ingredients not only provide no nutritional value, but they also may be disruptive to a canine’s sensitive digestion system.

Honestly, low-quality hot dogs aren’t good for humans, so they’re especially not good for a dog’s health. In addition to steering clear of feeding your dog low-quality hotdogs, you should steer clear of any hotdogs that have added spices.

Some hotdogs may have ingredients like red pepper or garlic to them to make them yummier. Though humans can enjoy an artisan hotdog of this type, they should never be fed to a dog. Spices and seasonings can seriously disrupt your dog’s digestive system and lead to adverse effects like nausea, vomiting, a painful abdomen, or diarrhea.

Some hotdogs are made with meat other than pork. Some popular alternative hotdogs might be made with chicken, turkey, or plant-based meat. These are generally safe to feed a dog, as long as the meat used is not a meat type that your dog is sensitive or allergic to.

However, be aware that many of these hotdogs add spices or seasonings. Chicken hot dogs can be pretty bland, so it’s not uncommon to see hotdogs made with white meat featuring added spices, seasonings, or cheeses. You should steer clear of any hotdogs which add additional flavorings.

What Portion of Hotdog Should You Feed a Dog?

Ideally, you will feed the smallest portion possible. Given there are virtually zero benefits to feeding your dog hotdogs, this special treat should be given with much caution. Portion sizes should be small, and this should never be regularly fed to a dog.

If you want to give your dog a special treat, slice a very thin round of a hotdog off. Make sure it has not been prepared with added spices, sauces, or flavorings. A very small slice of hotdog should cause no adverse health effects for your dog.

Never feed your dog an entire hotdog. Not only does this present a choking hazard, but it’s also just far too large a portion to be healthy. While we are on the topic, also never feed your dog the hot dog bun alongside the hotdog itself. Buns are full of carbs, sugar, and empty calories that your dog doesn’t need.

What Other Human Snacks Can a Dog Have?

Among the list of great, non-toxic human treats to give a dog, hotdogs rank poorly. Many fruits, vegetables, and beans are non-toxic and nutritious for fido to snack on.

If you are looking for ideas on what types of human snacks are safe and healthy for your pet, a few options include broccoli, bananas, cauliflower, apples, blueberries, carrots, celery, asparagus, black beans, oranges, pinto beans, almonds, cantaloupe, and about which fruits can dogs eat.


Though your dog may beg for your hotdog when it’s fresh off the grill and smelling oh-so-delicious, you should resist the urge to feed your dog hotdogs. In small quantities, feeding a healthy dog a piece of hotdog is unlikely to cause any adverse health effects, However, hotdogs offer no nutritional benefits for our dogs, either.

In dogs with preexisting conditions like pancreatitis, liver issues, or obesity – hotdogs should be avoided at all costs. Hotdogs are high in fat and salt, making them an undesirable treat for dogs who need to be on a super clean diet for their health.

Feeding your dog a small slice of a hotdog, which has no additional seasonings or flavorings, should be okay. Your dog will likely love the taste. However, don’t let this treat become a regular occurrence. There are plenty of other delicious and healthy human snacks to share with fido!


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