Would your heart melt if you were to confront the intense puppy eyes, accompanied by adorable whines, with which your sweet pooch uses to beg for a hot dog?
It is understandable if you are about to give in. But you must resist the temptation for a second to ask yourself “Can dogs eat hot dogs?” and find the answers accordingly if you don’t want to regret your decision later.
What’re in Hot Dogs?
You might be surprised to know that this universal, aromatic food has no end of variations to list because every nation has its own dozen versions of hot dog recipes?
But whatever the type, the main ingredient is still one of the usual kinds of meat: pork, beef, or poultry. So, basically, hot dogs are made mainly of meat.
That’s probably all your goofy darling cares about, simply because he is carnivorous species.
Some Health Benefits of Hot Dogs
Aside from the traditional meat types - beef and pork, poultries like turkey and chicken are quite favored for their economical and nutritious essences.
Aside from the low cost, chicken is also a rich source of protein, whereas its fats and calories are significantly lower than other types of meat (like beef and pork).
As for turkey, in addition to protein, this kind of meat contains Vitamins (B12, B6), niacin, zinc, and choline.
Hot dogs are rather popular as a perfect treat. They are a mixture of meat and savory flavors. They are also cheap (less than $1 a pack) and convenient (you can carry the bag with you everywhere).
That’s why with hot dogs as rewarding treats, your delightful four-legged friend will be overwhelmed with bliss.
This hot dog recipe can be applied when your pooch is sick and won’t take medications. By slipping the little pill inside a bite-sized piece of hot dog and place it under your picky buddy’s nose.
With such approach, you’ll most likely succeed coaxing him to take his medicine without a fuss (of course, on condition that one small slice of treat at a time and he doesn’t have an allergy to any of the food ingredients).
So, Can Dogs Eat Hot Dogs?
Despite mentioned-above benefits, in the end, hot dogs are still considered fast foods (besides pizzas, hamburgers, fries, etc.), which are an unhealthy foodstuff. Therefore, the big question is, if they are unhealthy diet to humans, are hot dogs bad for dogs as well?
Here is the truth …
Hot dogs are actually not as good for the health as they taste in the mouth. Let’s have a look at some reasons below to understand why the answer to “Are hot dogs bad for dogs?” is YES.
Hot dogs’ ingredients contain onion powder and garlic which will be lethal to dogs if they have too much. Also, there may be cheese, chili, and mustard in hot dogs.
Because canines’ stomach cannot tolerate these seasonings very well, your innocent pooch will be at high risk of an upset stomach if he ingests them.
Hot dogs, like other kinds of junk foods, are salty food. As such, there is 330mg of salt per hot dog, besides sodium nitrate, Mono Sodium Glutamate (MSG), pure sugars or artificial sweeteners. In which the first ingredient (sodium nitrate) is known to be linked to cancer in dogs.
Meanwhile, too-salty diet can devastate the dog’s body and cause severe health issues, such as kidney problems, excessive thirst, and sodium ion poisoning.
Risks of Being Choked
Another problem with hot dogs is that they pose a choking hazard to every pooch. That’s because big doggies might try to hastily gulp them down without chewing them first, while the small ones who are so overjoyed and may gobble the food up in one go.
What humans can eat without immediate, detrimental consequences to the body doesn’t mean dogs can, too. If you ingest too much greasy food, you’ll have indigestion. And so will your furry companion.
Only it would be direr for him because his tolerance of the fats and oil in hot dogs isn’t as high as yours. That’s because dogs’ digestive system is inherently different from that of humans’. Not to mention the sizes of their bodies are distinctly smaller than us, as well.
The researched statistics reveal that there are 30 gram of fat and 330 calories contained in 100 gram of hot dogs. These are by no means healthy figures for humans’ diet, let alone for dogs.
As an obvious result, feeding your darling puppy hot dogs too frequently will lead to obesity, which will speedily eat away his longevity once the bones, heart, and kidneys are involved.
And if that isn’t enough of a problem, your benign puppy may even develop an addiction to hot dogs and could refuse to eat anything except this particular food.
What If My Dog Gets Hot Dogs Intoxicated?
Symptoms like stomachache, diarrhea, seizures, vomiting, and tremors might occur if your canine companion ingests too many salty hot dogs. But it’s not overly worrisome, because the syndromes will normally be over within one day.
However, if his conditions persist or become worse (e.g., he has not only diarrhea but also vomiting), you must take him to the clinic ASAP. Otherwise, this severe combination will lead to extreme dehydration.
What Is the Right Way to Feed Pooches Hot Dogs?
Say No to Raw Hot Dogs
Canines are carnivorous. So yes, it is well in dogs’ capabilities to eat both cooked and raw hot dogs. However, hot dogs are made of raw meat, which may contain harmful bacteria. Even a lot more if the meat is of unknown origins.
That’s why processing hot dogs thoroughly before serving them to your sweet pooch is highly recommended.
Whether your dog can eat hot dogs also depends on his medical history. You must recheck if he has any food allergy or health problem. In case you can’t recall his conditions exactly, ask your vet before making the decision.
If he actually has one, you must neither go soft under his puppy gaze nor should you keep these snacks in the reach of your mischievous fella.
Also, never forget to check the nutrition facts when you purchase this popular food for your wagging pal, either by reading the info printed on the packet or asking the seller.
Moderation is the Key
Using hot dogs as rewarding treats for training purposes is a traditional idea. However, the ration gifted to your doggy should not be more than 10% of his diet.
And while you’re at it, might as well avoid choking hazard or intestinal blockage by chopping the hot dogs into small, bitable pieces before giving the slices to him one by one (but only after they’re thoroughly cooked). Or you can store them in the fridge for future use.
Theoretically speaking, “Can dogs eat hot dogs?” The answer is “Yes”. But “Are hot dogs bad for dogs” YES, again!
So, keep in mind that hot dogs may be tasty but not overly healthy foodstuff. For that reason, as long as you offer him plain hot dogs and don’t make this food part of his daily meals, some slices for him as special treats from time to time are perfectly fine.