Are Hot Dogs Safe To Eat For... Hot Dogs?

Can dogs eat hot dogs at your summer cookout?

Can dogs eat hot dogs? While many dog owners may assume that hot dogs could be an excellent human food to give your pooch during a bbq or using small pieces as treats for dog training, this is not the case! Not only are hot dogs a potential choking hazard, but they also contain a significant amount of ingredients that are bad for dogs. Therefore, even if pet owners are cutting hot dogs into small pieces to avoid choking, there are still many health issues from even the most high-quality hot dogs.

Ingredients That Are Bad For Dogs

Monosodium glutamate (MSG) and other additives. These additives trick your brain into thinking the food tastes better than it does...while also damaging your brain so that it cannot recognize when it is complete. It has been linked to obesity and diabetes.

Sugar and artificial sweeteners, which can lead to obesity. These are common in both the hot dogs themselves and the condiments used on hot dogs (such as ketchup, mustard, and relish) or hot dog buns. Besides, artificial sweeteners will aid in the growth of harmful bacteria and yeast in your dog's stomach. This can cause intestinal trouble, such as vomiting or diarrhea.

Nitrates and nitrites, such as sodium nitrate and sodium nitrite. These are preservatives that are used in most processed cured meats. Too much sodium nitrite can harm your dog's red blood cells by causing methemoglobin, where the iron in your dog's blood oxidizes, and oxygen can no longer be carried from their lungs to the rest of their body.

Sodium (the salt content) can lead to dehydration and high blood pressure. A 30-35lb dog should not consume more than 200mg of sodium per day. However, the average hot dog has nearly 500mg of sodium in it. Even feeding your dog 1/2 a hot dog will already push them over their daily sodium limit.

Flavorings and seasons, which can be toxic to your dog. Many hot dogs include seasonings like garlic powder or onion powder. Both garlic and onions are toxic to dogs and can cause anemia and upset to their digestive system.

My Dog Ate a Hot Dog: Will They Be Okay?

So... can dogs eat hot dogs on accident? If your pup snatches the accidental hot dog off of the grill or off your plate, don't worry. Watch them for choking or upset stomach signs, but they should not suffer any permanent damage. You can give your dog a small piece of chicken or beef off the grill instead, but remember that 90% of their diet should be their dog food, with only 10% coming from dog treats to maintain a balanced diet.

Tell us what kinds of human foods your pups like on the Wide Open Pets Facebook page!

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