Can Dogs Eat Hot Dogs?

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Hot dogs are an all-American delicious treat. If you're a carnivore, you simply can't have a complete cookout without throwing some hot dogs on the grill. Pair them with toasted buns, ketchup, relish, and mustard, and you'll be good to go.

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While you love hot dogs, you don't know if they're good for your pup. Is it healthy for him to eat a hot dog, too? Before you give him one at your next BBQ, learn the facts about dogs and hot dogs to avoid any medical problems.


Where do hot dogs come from?

While people have been eating sausages for centuries—sausages were mentioned in _The Odyssey_—the modern-day frankfurter was invented in Germany sometime in the 1400s or 1600s. In the 1800s, when Germans began making their way to New York City, they brought along their fantastic food and sold it out of street carts. Sometime around 1870, one German immigrant opened up the first hot dog stand, located on Coney Island.


From there, hot dogs became popular throughout the United States, appearing at ballparks, theme parks, festivals and cookouts nationwide, especially on Memorial Day, Fourth of July, and Labor Day.

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Can dogs eat hot dogs?

While you're enjoying your hot dog, you may think about breaking off a piece for your pooch. Your dog may love it, but you won't be doing him any favors, because dogs should not eat hot dogs.


Hot dogs are not healthy for dogs and could end up giving your pooch a stomachache at the very least. You don't want to have to rush him to the emergency vet right in the middle of a cookout, so it's best to avoid giving him a hot dog and instead feed him some plain grilled chicken or plain hamburger meat instead.


What are the concerns with feeding hot dogs to dogs?

There are many concerns with feeding hot dogs to dogs. The typical hot dog contains more than 500 milligrams of salt. A dog that weighs just over 30 pounds needs only 200 mg of salt in their daily diet.


Hot dogs are also made with artificial sweeteners and sugar, which are not good for your dog. They may also contain monosodium glutamate, also known as MSG, and sodium nitrate, two other ingredients that are known to be harmful to dogs. If a hot dog has garlic and onion, it could hurt your dog, since these foods are toxic to dogs. Additionally, if your dog tries to eat the hot dog whole, he may choke on it.


If someone drops a hot dog and your dog eats it, monitor him for the next day. He may have some diarrhea or act like he has an upset stomach, but it hopefully won't be a big deal. You should ensure he has access to lots of water since he may be dehydrated from eating so much sodium.


Additionally, you should avoid giving your dog hot dog buns, at least in large quantities. Buns contain carbs and sugar, which in large amounts are not good for your pup. Also, keep in mind that ketchup and relish contain a lot of sugar and salt and mustard seeds, which are used to make mustard, are not safe for dogs.


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While your pup can certainly have other BBQ staples like cooked, plain chicken and beef, he should not have a hot dog. It's going to be high in sodium, contain unhealthy ingredients and could be a choking hazard for him. If your pup does eat a hot dog— especially one with a bun, ketchup, mustard, and relish—you should watch him over the next 24 hours to make sure he's not exhibiting signs of physical distress. If he is, call your veterinarian immediately just in case.

Always check with your veterinarian before changing your pet’s diet, medication, or physical activity routines. This information is not a substitute for a vet’s opinion.


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