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

Can Dogs Eat Hot Dogs?

No, hot dogs are not safe for dogs to eat. Although the name might fool you, feeding your dog a hot dog can lead to several health problems. These closely linked issues make hot dogs a poor choice for your furry friend.

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

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

Updated on Jul 10, 2024

Did You Know?

Hot dogs often contain preservatives and artificial flavors that are unhealthy for dogs.

Hot Dogs



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Feeding Frequency


Allergic Risk


Why Are Hot Dogs Bad for Dogs?

Hot dogs are packed with sodium, preservatives, and seasonings that are harmful to dogs. Specifically, ingredients like garlic and onion powder can be toxic, leading to serious health issues. The high fat content can also upset your dogโ€™s stomach and even cause pancreatitis.

How Many Hot Dogs Can Dogs Eat?

Ideally, your dog should avoid hot dogs entirely. If your dog happened to snag a piece, one small bite likely won't cause harm but stick to that one bite. Future indulgences can add up, leading to potential health complications.

Similar Harmful Products

Hot dogs are not the only processed meats to avoid. Other risky options include:

  • Sausages: Like hot dogs, they're high in sodium and fat.
  • Bacon: Excessive grease and salt make it a poor choice.
  • Deli meats: Often loaded with preservatives and seasonings harmful to dogs.

What to Do If Your Dog Eats a Hot Dog?

If your dog eats a hot dog, monitor them for any signs of distress like vomiting, diarrhea, or lethargy. Contact your vet immediately if you notice severe symptoms. Do not try to induce vomiting unless directed by a professional.

The long-term effects of consuming hot dogs can be dire. Repeated ingestion can lead to chronic health issues that are costly to treat. Pet insurance can help mitigate these costs, providing financial relief in emergencies.

What Are Healthy Alternatives?

Instead of hot dogs, consider these safer options:

  • Carrot sticks: Crunchy and nutritious without the added fat.
  • Apple slices: Sweet and provide necessary vitamins.
  • Plain, cooked chicken: High in protein and easy on the stomach.


In summary, hot dogs are a no-go for dogs. The high sodium and harmful ingredients make them a dangerous choice. Always consult your vet for personalized advice, especially if your pup has specific dietary needs. Keep your best friend healthy and happy by opting for safer treats!