A dog with a wary expression looking at burgers, showing they are harmful to dogs.

Can Dogs Eat Burgers?

No, dogs should not eat burgers. Burgers often contain harmful ingredients like onions, garlic, and excessive fats that can be detrimental to a dog's health. Even plain burger patties can lead to upset stomachs and more severe issues like pancreatitis.

A photo of Stefan Stumpfl, the co-author of this article.

By Stefan Stumpfl, in collaboration with Dr. Ali Raza.

Updated on Jun 20, 2024

Did You Know?

The high fat content in burgers can lead to pancreatitis, a potentially severe condition in dogs.




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Feeding Frequency


Allergic Risk


Why Are Burgers Bad for Dogs?

Burgers are often seasoned with ingredients that are toxic to dogs, such as onions and garlic. These can cause gastric irritation and even damage red blood cells, leading to anemia. The high fat content in burgers can also trigger pancreatitis, a painful and potentially life-threatening condition.

How Much Burger Can Dogs Eat?

While it's generally best to avoid giving your dog a burger, if they accidentally nab a small piece, there's no need to panic. A tiny, unseasoned portion is less likely to cause harm. However, try to avoid this becoming a habit and watch for any signs of digestive distress.

Common Misconceptions

Some people think it's okay to give dogs bits of burger as a special treat. While one bite might not be catastrophic, repeated indulgence can lead to serious health issues. Dogs don't metabolize fats and seasonings like we do, so what seems harmless to us can be dangerous for them.

Similar Harmful Products

  • Fast Food Items: Hot dogs, chicken nuggets, and other fast food items can be just as harmful due to high fat content and toxic ingredients.
  • Processed Meats: Sausages, deli meats, and bacon often contain high levels of salt and preservatives.
  • Cooked Foods Containing Onions or Garlic: Many home-cooked dishes and store-bought meals include these harmful ingredients.

What to Do If Your Dog Eats a Burger?

If your dog eats a burger, first check the ingredients. If it contains onions or garlic, contact your vet immediately. Do not induce vomiting unless specifically directed by a professional. Monitor your pet for signs like vomiting, diarrhea, or lethargy.

Long-term consumption of harmful foods can lead to expensive vet bills for treating conditions like pancreatitis or anemia. Pet insurance can mitigate these costs, making it easier to provide the best care for your furry friend.

What Are Healthy Alternatives?

Instead of feeding your dog a burger, consider these healthier snacks:

  • Cooked Lean Meat: Chicken or turkey without any seasoning.
  • Vegetables: Carrots, green beans, or cucumber slices.
  • Fruits: Apples (without seeds), blueberries, or bananas.


Burgers are not a good choice for dogs due to harmful ingredients and high fat content. For your pet's health, stick to vet-approved treats and consult your veterinarian for any specific dietary needs. Remember, your dog's long-term health is worth more than a momentary indulgence!