A dog is holding a hot dog in one paw.

Can I Feed My Dog with Hot Dog?

4 min read

Do you like hotdogs? We can bet your pup does too. Whenever you take out your grill and start warming it up, there is a fluffy tail wiggling around and asking for a treat. And it’s so hard to say no… But is it safe for a dog to eat buns and sausages? Can ketchup and mayo do any harm? The fact is, a little piece of hotdog doesn’t hurt, especially if it’s the one you’ve prepared yourself. Keep reading to learn more and make sure your treats don’t interfere with your dog’s healthy diet.

What’s in your Hot Dog?

Hot dogs with different ingredients are laying next to each other.
It's good to know the ingredients of a meal before giving it to your dog.

To better understand whether it’s safe to feed your pet with a hot dog, we need to divide it into the components. So what’s in your hot dog? 


While there is nothing bad in bread for humans (especially if it’s a hot fresh croissant on Sunday morning), things are not the same for our four-legged friends. The thing is, the less bread your dog gets — the better, especially if it’s prone to obesity. Hot dog buns are super-processed and contain a lot of sugar which is totally not healthy for dogs. Any other kinds of buns are not so good too, unfortunately. Dough, seeds, nuts, raisins — whatever you can find in good bread is harmful to dogs’ gentle stomachs. 


A dog is holding a fork with a sausage in its mouth.
It's good to cook sausages by yourself to make sure that it's totally safe for health.

Sausage is the best part of a hot dog and the only one that’s safe for dogs, but only up to a point. We don’t recommend giving your dog those ready-to-eat sausages sold in grocery shops in bulk as you have no idea what they are made from and what kind of meat was used to produce them. They might be delicious for your taste but it’s most likely thanks to artificial flavorings, seasoning, and salt (guess what: nothing of this list is safe for dogs). But it’s ok to treat your pet with a nice whole meat sausage bought from your local butcher once in a while — just make sure there is not too much fat in there.

Something Else

Tastes differ but we believe there is something else in your hot dog beside a bun and a grilled sausage. Whatever makes your hot dog more flavorful, at the same time makes it more dangerous for your dog. Garlic and onion are toxic for dogs and cats and can even lead to death if consumed in a large amount. Ketchup, mayo, and mustard are full of salt, sugar, and artificial flavorings. Cheese is ok but only if it’s low-fat cheese like mozzarella or soft goat cheese (which is not something you usually use for your home grilling session) and your dog is not lactose-intolerant.

A Dog and a Hot Dog — What Can Go Wrong? 

A dog is holding a cup of coffee and a hot dog.
You can treat your dog with some pieces of a hot dog.

Well, we’ve cleared things out and you are ready to give your pet a high-quality whole meat sausage with no sauces, low-fat cheese and only a small piece of bun enough to make it look like a decent hot dog and not enough to harm your animal’s stomach. Is there anything else you need to think about? In fact, there is. Even with a thing such simple as a hot dog, there are some more things that can go wrong: 

  • Make sure your dog doesn’t choke. A hot dog sausage looks exactly like something that can potentially get stuck in the dog’s throat, especially where your pet is very enthusiastic about the meal and forgets that food should be chewed before it gets swallowed. So it’s better to cut a hot dog in small pieces before you let your pet eat it.

  • Control the fat. Hot dogs are usually rather fatty as fat is what makes them so delicious. A little piece of fatty meat won’t do any harm from time to time but only if your dog is not overweight or diabetic and if it doesn’t have a super-sensible stomach. Otherwise, even the smallest piece can lead to unwanted complications.

  • Hide the leftovers. When the grill party is over, you might just throw all the hot dog leftovers in trash and forget about them — but your dog won’t. If an uncontrolled raid on a trash can is made by a greedy pup, be sure to expect diarrhea, vomiting, and even more serious problems like pancreas inflammation. So be secretive like a spy and throw the leftovers somewhere your dog won’t find it.

All in all, occasional treating your pet with a piece of hot dog is not a crime and in most cases will bring nothing but happiness on your pup’s face. But make sure you follow the rules and don’t turn it into an uncontrolled feast.

by GetESA

Rating: 5/5 2 votes cast

Pet Care