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Can Dogs Eat Hot Dogs?

By Colleen Williams
published: July 3, 2017 - updated: May 26, 2022 • 2 min. read
hot dogs

From Memorial Day to Labor Day, the popular hot dog can be found on most BBQs across the country. While you wouldn’t want to regularly feed your pooch hot dogs, one might magically disappear off the plate (blaming that cat isn’t gonna work this time!) and you’re left wondering, is it toxic?

Just as hot dogs are not the healthiest choice for humans, they aren’t so great for dogs either. They’re usually processed with salt, preservatives and seasonings that can be problematic. While most processed hot dogs may be delicious, they often come with onion and garlic flavoring which can be toxic for dogs, and grill favorites like Italian sausage have spicy seasonings that are a quick way to dog diarrhea. Maintain health insurance for your dog, so you’ll be able to get treatment for any kind of stomach upset.

Avoid the filler- and preservative-full sausages. If your hot dog choice is high quality, all-meat, low sodium, no seasoning, no toppings, well – no problem. Read the package ingredients for whole meats such as all beef, pork, chicken and turkey, and if purchased from a butcher, all the better.

In addition, hot dog buns are empty calories for dogs and should be avoided.


  • Hot dogs can be a potential choking hazard, so if you’re feeding your pup bits of hot dog as a treat, cut them up into bite-friendly pieces.
  • Dogs should be fed hot dogs very sparingly, if at all.
  • If your pup has an allergy or a medical condition, forego any hot dog sharing. Hot dogs can be high in fat and are certainly not a healthy alternative to any regular dog-friendly diet.

If you’re not sure what to share, Healthy Paws has a great list of foods that are safe and not safe for dogs.

colleen williams
By Colleen Williams

Over the past decade, Colleen has written about health, wellness, beauty, and even pets for The New York Times, The Cut, Refinery29, xoVain, Healthy Paws Pet Insurance, and Seattle Met Magazine, as well as many beauty brands. She has a BFA in Art History from the University of New Mexico and an AAS in Fashion Design from Parsons School of Design in New York.

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