Can Dogs Eat Hot Dogs: Vet Guide + Dog Safe Recipe

Hot dogs are easy and quick to make, and we often reach out for a quick bite,  but things get a bit more complicated when it comes to dogs. 

So, can dogs eat hot dogs?

The quick answer is no. Hot dogs aren’t a healthy food for us or our four-legged friends. 

If you have a few minutes, I’ll explain their nutritional value and the risks of feeding your pup hot dogs and show you some healthy alternatives.

Why Dogs Shouldn’t Eat Hot Dogs?

Hot dogs contain sodium nitrate, monosodium glutamate (MSG), and sugars or artificial sweeteners. Most hot dogs also contain garlic and onion powder, seasonings toxic to dogs.

In addition, high salt content can lead to dehydration and high blood pressure.

Considering their content and the health problems they might cause, dogs shouldn’t eat hot dogs.

What Are Hot Dogs Made Of?

Hot dogs are made from a mixture of meat and various seasonings. Typically, they contain beef, pork, chicken, or a blend of these meats. To make them, people grind and mix these meats with spices and then stuff them into a casing, usually made from cellulose or natural materials.

Yeah, I know – it doesn’t sound that tasty.

Considering their components, hot dogs can be hard to process for our dogs and could cause problems for our furry friends, especially for small puppies.

The Risks of Feeding Hot Dogs to Your Dog

  • High sodium/salt content: Hot dogs are notorious for their high sodium (salt) content. Excess salt can lead to sodium ion poisoning in dogs, causing symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, increased thirst, and even seizures in severe cases.

Sometimes, consumption of sodium (salt) can lead to pancreatitis in dogs. Most of the time, pancreatitis can lead to constant dehydration, soft stool, loss of appetite, and other health issues. This condition can be life-threatening.

  • Additives: Many commercial hot dogs contain additives like preservatives, flavor enhancers, and artificial colors, which can be hard on your dog’s digestive system and may trigger allergies or sensitivities.
  • Seasonings: Seasonings can be hard to process for some of us, but they’re even heavier for your dog’s digestive system. Also, seasonings barely provide any healthy nutrients for their diet, so it’s best to avoid them. 
  • Fats and Fillers: Some hot dogs contain excessive amounts of unhealthy fats and fillers, leading to weight gain and other health issues for your dog.
  • Choking: Hot dogs are often served in a cylindrical shape, causing most dogs to choke, especially if they try to gulp them down without chewing.

Alternatives to Hot Dogs

If you want to give your dog a healthy treat instead of hot dogs, giving them some plain pork or chicken without salt or other seasoning is best. And to make it safe, don’t forget to cut the meat up into bite-sized pieces.

Homemade Hot Dog Recipe: Safe For Dogs

I understand – you’re grilling some hot dogs, and your pup is looking at you, expecting you to share that sizzling, tasty hot dog.

Instead of sharing a hot dog with your doggo, here’s a quick and straightforward recipe for homemade hot dog recipe that’s safe for your dogs:


  • 1/2 pound ground chicken or turkey (you can also use beef or pork if your dog prefers)
  • 1/4 cup rolled oats (plain, uncooked)
  • 1/4 cup grated carrot
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped spinach
  • 1/4 cup unsalted chicken broth (low sodium)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried parsley (optional, for added flavor)


  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).
  1. Combine the ground meat (chicken, turkey, beef, or pork) in a mixing bowl with the rolled oats, grated carrot, and chopped spinach. Mix these ingredients together until they are well combined.
  1. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg and chicken broth together. If you’re using dried parsley for added flavor, mix it into the egg and broth mixture.
  1. Pour the egg and broth mixture over the meat and vegetable mixture. Stir everything together until you have a uniform mixture.
  1. Divide the mixture into small portions and shape them into hot dog-like shapes. You can use your hands to mold them or use a hot dog mold if you have one.
  1. Place the shaped hot dogs on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone mat.
  1. Bake in the preheated oven for about 20-25 minutes or until the hot dogs are cooked through and have a golden brown color on the outside.
  1. Let the homemade hot dogs cool completely before serving them to your dog. This will help prevent them from being too hot and burning your dog’s mouth.
  1. Cut the hot dogs into smaller pieces appropriate for your dog’s size and serve as an occasional treat.

Always feed treats like these in moderation and adjust the ingredients to accommodate any dietary restrictions or allergies your dog may have. Always consult your veterinarian if you have any concerns about your dog’s diet.

Vet Q&A

How Many Hot Dogs Can a Dog Eat?

Although dogs shouldn’t consume hot dogs at all, products with lower salt and additive content shouldn’t be a problem. They can be hard for your doggo to process, can cause choking, and are unhealthy food overall.

So keep an eye on your furry friend, because sometimes there can also be vomiting or diarrhea.

What to Do If Your Dog Ate Too Many Hot Dogs?

If you notice that your dog ate too many hot dogs and vomiting or diarrhea isn’t stopping, you should take your dog to a vet.

On the other hand, if it’s only a small amount, there’s no need to panic or take any drastic measures. Your dog will likely have a stomach ache that will stop throughout the next 24 hours.

Can Dogs Eat Sausages?

The answer is no. Although sausages aren’t toxic to dogs (just like hot dogs) dogs shouldn’t eat sausages because they’re made with extra additives, salt (and pepper), seasoning, and other spices.

Due to their content, sausages are unhealthy and hard to process for your doggo.

Can Puppies Eat Hot Dogs?

The answer is a simple no. Hot dogs are already difficult for a grown-up dog to process, so they can be dangerous for a small puppy.

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