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Can Dogs Eat Hot Dogs: Raw or Cooked?

can dogs eat hot dogs

Today’s question: can dogs eat hot dogs? Scroll down for detailed answers.

Humans love their hot dogs.  Whether from the oven, or from the grill, hot dogs are American apple pie.  Hot dogs are especially equated with baseball games, summer time, and childhood.  Hot dogs are a bit of a childhood diet staple, and the smell and taste may revert adults to the simpler times of childhood.  This comfort food may not be a healthy part of anyone’s diet, but there are variations of the hot dog that may make up for the lack of nutritional value the regular hot dogs offer.

We may love our hot dogs, but can dogs eat hot dogs? Even though the fact that the word ‘dog’ is in hot dog, you may want to offer your pet a bite or a full dog once in a while.  You might wonder about this question when your furry pet patiently waits each time he spots the smell of hot dogs in the kitchen. Dogs may even have a preference to eat a hot dog straight from the grill.  Yes, dogs can eat hot dogs but only occasionally and in small quantities. However, there are a couple of important aspects to consider before feeding a hot dog to your prized pooch.

Can Dogs Eat Hot Dogs?

can dogs eat hot dogs

 

The short answer is yes but only occasionally and in moderation.

Hot dogs contain mostly pork, beef, chicken, or turkey meat. As dogs love eating meat, it’s most likely that your furry pal will be utterly happy over a hot dog treat. Dogs have a natural carnivorous diet choice, and those who offer meat to their dogs rather than fruits and vegetables, seem to be catering more to their dog’s evolutionary food choices than their own human-like diet tendencies.  Some may argue that a hot dog is not a ‘meat’ per se, since the hot dog is often a bunch of leftover meat put together, then put into a casing and served.  What type of meat, how the meat was put in the casing, and the overall nutritional offerings of the hot dog are of no concern to the dog.  The food is a meat substance that looks, smells, and tastes like the meat dogs need.

You should not only feed food to your dog that s/he shows enthusiasm for and may beg for.  Your dog’s enthusiasm should never be the main criteria when deciding what to feed him. Dogs will get excited over most food since they are notorious eaters.  While dogs may prefer meat and be genetically driven to hunt, kill, and eat meat, a dog will truly eat most anything.  If your dog begs for a hot dog, chances are, the dog would beg for anything you had cooking.  You must not feel guilty if choosing to without the hot dog.  Your dog truly does not know the difference and does not ‘need’ the hot dog as his/her little eyes are telling you.

If you decide to offer a hot dog to your dog, please be sure to offer a plain hot dog, and preferably cut into small bits to avoid choking or an intestinal blockage.  Feeding your dog hot dogs with mustard, ketchup or any other sauce that may contain garlic or onion is a definite no. Feeding a ‘coney’ dog style hot dog with chili and onions is definitely a you’re your dog runs a very high risk of stomach upset from the chili and the seasoning, but also extreme adverse effects from the onion.  If you cannot withstand the look in your pup’s eyes when eating a coney dog, do not eat a coney if front of him/her.

While we are on the topic of types of hot dogs NOT to serve, do not offer your pet a hot dog with a bun. Bread is not beneficial for your pooch either.  Bread breaks down into sugar, which breaks down into fat.  If your dog is already overweight, the bun will only cause more weight gain as well as the risk for diabetes.  Your dog may also develop a liking for bread and refuse to eat his/her natural kibble food.  Feeding your dog a food that may cause harm, without any nutritional benefit, is not a smart move for any responsible dog owner.  Avoid the bun!

The main rule when it comes to offering of hot dogs is keeping these treats moderate, making sure you do not make it a habit. Also avoiding choking by cutting into small bits, and avoid potential poisoning and stomach issues by not including toppings or bread.  Hot dogs can imply a myriad of health risks for your furry pet, so be sure to take precautions where needed to avoid making a bad situation worse.

The Side Effects of Hot Dogs

100 grams of hot dogs contain 330 calories and 30 grams of fat. This is why feeding your dog hot dogs on a regular basis may lead to obesity. Hot dogs are not a nutritionally good food for humans, let alone for a dog.  Moreover, obesity might lead to other additional health issues, including bone problems. Thus, you should avoid turning the feeding of hot dogs to you actual dog into a habit if you do not want your favorite pet to deal with excess weight. Excessive fat is also the main factor that contributes to pancreatitis.  Obesity can also lead to diabetes, heart problems, poor circulation, and a sad disposition in your pet.  These factors are usually only linked to humans, but their pets may have these symptoms and diseases as well.

Another disadvantage of feeding your canine friend hot dogs is their high content of salt. As a general rule, foods rich in salt should not be a regular addition to your pet’s diet. A high salt diet can lead to a range of health problems including excessive thirst, kidney problems and sodium ion poisoning. In case your dog has had too many salty foods, symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, tremors, and disturbing seizures might occur.  The digestive system of your dog will go into over drive attempting to purge the excess food containing salt.  This is upsetting to your dog, as well as to you.  Avoid the issue all together and do not offer high sodium foods to your dog.

Too Much Salt is Utterly Harmful

Dogs need only a little amount of sodium and your dog’s commercial food already contains the necessary sodium intake, which is 0.3 percent as recommended by the Association of American Feed Control. Dog kibble is specially formulated to meet all of the dietary needs of your dog-so you should not feel pressure to add to the dog’s diet by supplementing with human food.  However, if your dog is dealing with kidney, liver or heart problems, he should be offered a diet lower in sodium. If you pet has any of these conditions, you should not allow your canine buddy to have any salty snacks for a change.  Dogs do not need salt, they do not crave pretzels, and they do not need bites from your hot dog no matter how much they tell you differently.  Take the advice of your vet, rather than the advice of your dog in regards to food.

It is best to keep salty snacks away from your dog to prevent the harmful effects of these particular foods. Prevention is the best way to maintain your dog’s health and well being.  Another important aspect of not feeding your dog salty snacks is not to leave any salty snacks within reach of your pet.  If you leave a bag of pretzels, a pack of hot dogs, or a loaf of bread on the counter, chances are that your dog will have the food on the counter devoured in a matter of minutes.  Put the food away and help your dog not become poisoned by salt!

Nitrates are Genuinely Detrimental to Your Dog

Processed hot dogs have low nutritional value and are high in preservatives. Such preservatives (a sodium nitrate) have been linked to an increase risk of cancer. Sodium nitrate is a certain chemical that is found in hot dogs and other processed deli meats. It is mainly used to process meat products. Nitrates grant a distinct flavor to the meat and offer the food a particular pink color while at the same time preventing certain bacteria named botulism from presenting harmful effects. While it has been established that this compound is detrimental to humans, think of the serious impact it has on your furry pet’s health. As your dog’s digestion is carried out increasingly quicker, this may affect the way your dog absorbs and releases certain ingested compounds. The bottom line is that if these nitrites are especially harmful to us, they are doubly detrimental for your furry pal.

Can Dogs Eat Both Uncooked and Cooked Hot Dogs?

Yes, dogs can eat both uncooked and cooked hot dogs. However, uncooked hot dogs contain pretty much raw meat, which may contain bacteria and that’s why it is recommended to cook the hot dogs before giving them to your dog.

Positive Alternatives to Hot Dogs

If you want to spoil your favorite pet with a tasty treat, you could never go wrong with treats you buy from the pet store. However, you should opt for quality food if you want to preserve your canine buddy’s health and well being. You can find a great variety of treats at the pet stores or online that are prepared with healthy and natural ingredients. You may also treat you furry friend with little pieces of fruits and vegetables such as apples, pears, watermelon, pineapple, raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, broccoli florets, carrots, green beans, asparagus, sweet potatoes and Brussels sprouts. These are healthy snacks you can give to your dog as occasional treats.

If you want to offer your dog something to chew on to keep his teeth clean, you should consider a bone. It is best to offer it before cooking it. Cooked turkey or chicken bones tend to splinter and are dangerous for dogs.

 

References:

http://www.dogquestions.org/dog-treats/can-dogs-eat-hot-dogs

http://blog.fooducate.com/2014/10/01/5-things-to-know-about-the-nitrites-nitrates-in-your-hot-dog/

http://www.candogseat-this.com/can-dogs-eat-hotdogs/

http://pets.webmd.com/dogs/ss/slideshow-foods-your-dog-should-never-eat

http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/sausages-and-luncheon-meats/1338/2

https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/animal-poison-control/people-foods-avoid-feeding-your-pets

 

About the author

David Strickland

I love pets and I love animals. I have 2 dogs and 3 cats and it's not enough for me.

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