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

Can Dogs Eat Raw Hot Dogs?

No, dogs should not eat raw hot dogs. Raw hot dogs can harbor harmful bacteria such as salmonella or listeria, posing significant health risks to your canine friend. These bacteria can lead to severe gastrointestinal issues and other health complications.

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

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

Updated on Jun 24, 2024

Did You Know?

Raw hot dogs can contain harmful bacteria like Salmonella or E. coli, which can make your dog sick.

Raw Hot Dogs



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Allergic Risk


Why Are Raw Hot Dogs Bad for Dogs?

Raw hot dogs are often made from processed meats that are not intended to be consumed raw. They can contain harmful bacteria that cause food poisoning in dogs, leading to symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, fever, and lethargy. Moreover, the high fat and sodium content in hot dogs can contribute to pancreatitis and dehydration.

How Many Raw Hot Dogs Can Dogs Eat?

Ideally, dogs should not eat any raw hot dogs at all. If your dog happens to snag one, contact your vet for advice. It's generally safer to avoid giving raw hot dogs altogether due to the potential health hazards.

Common Misconceptions

There's a common belief that since dogs are resilient and can eat almost anything, a raw hot dog won't harm them. However, this is misleading. Although dogs have a robust digestive system, they're still vulnerable to bacteria and harmful substances found in raw processed meats.

Similar Harmful Products

Certain foods and products are just as dangerous for your dog as raw hot dogs:

  • Raw sausage links: Similar to hot dogs, these are processed and can contain harmful bacteria.
  • Bacon bits: High in fat and sodium, which can be harmful.
  • Baloney slices: Processed and high in unhealthy additives.

What to Do If Your Dog Eats Raw Hot Dogs?

If your dog eats a raw hot dog, monitor for signs of illness such as vomiting, diarrhea, or lethargy. Contact your vet immediately for guidance. Do not attempt to induce vomiting unless specifically instructed to do so by a professional.

In the long term, ingestion of harmful foods like raw hot dogs can lead to severe health issues and costly veterinary treatments. Having pet insurance can help mitigate these costs, ensuring your furry friend's health is not compromised by financial constraints.

What are Healthy Alternatives?

If you're looking to treat your dog, consider these healthy alternatives:

  • Cooked chicken breast: It's lean and safe when fully cooked.
  • Baby carrots: Crunchy and nutritious.
  • Apple slices: A sweet treat that's high in fiber, just remember to remove the seeds.


In conclusion, raw hot dogs are a no-go for dogs due to the risk of bacterial contamination and other health concerns. Always opt for safer, healthier treats, and consult your vet if you have any doubts about your dog's diet. Remember, when it comes to your furry friend's health, it's always better to be safe than sorry!