Can Dogs Eat Raw Hot Dogs?

The various condiments that top a hot dog may seem irresistible for your canine companion.

Dogs are carnivores, and anything meat-based is usually on the table.

However, not all types of meat are healthy for dogs.

It’s your responsibility to determine which type of meat is safe for your canine friend and which ones are not.

So can dogs eat raw hot dogs?


Never feed raw hot dogs to your pup because they come from different processed meat with various bacteria.

These bacteria may be safe for humans, but they can harm your dog’s health.

Hot dogs are also high in sodium and fat, which is unhealthy for dogs.

It’s best to stick to feeding your dog lean protein like chicken or fish.

If you want to give your dog a hot dog as a treat, make sure it’s thoroughly cooked.

Two questions arise; what will happen to your puppy if you feed him raw hot dogs?

What are the best hot dogs to cook for your dog?

This article answers these questions so you can make the right decision for your canine friend.

Risks Associated With Feeding Your Dog Raw Hot Dogs

Dogs have a short digestive tract that’s not meant to eat raw meat.

The food you give your pup takes a short time to go through his system and thus passes out as waste.

This is why it’s essential only to give your dog cooked meat that can be digested quickly.

Feeding your canine raw hot dogs exposes him to the following risks:

Digestion Difficulties

Hot dogs are made from who knows what.

These ingredients are combined with preservatives and chemicals that help to keep the hot dogs looking “fresh.”

The problem is that these chemicals can cause indigestion in your pup.

Indigestion in dogs is manifested through:

  • Gastrointestinal distress
  • Abdominal pain
  • Lethargy
  • Constipation
  • General body weakness

Intestinal Blockage

Hot dogs are made from processed meat that’s been ground up.

This ground meat can form into a mass that gets stuck in your pup’s intestines.

This type of blockage is excruciating and life-threatening.

Your dog may start to vomit, have diarrhea, show signs of abdominal pain, and become lethargic if he has an intestinal blockage.


A dog’s diet should not contain a lot of sodium.

Excessive sodium leads to sodium ion poisoning, which can be deadly for dogs.

An average hot dog contains 500 milligrams (mg) of sodium which is way more than the recommended amount for dogs.

A 33-pound dog needs 200 mg of sodium daily.

Therefore, feeding your pup either raw or cooked hot dogs can lead to sodium ion poisoning.

The symptoms of sodium ion poisoning include vomiting, diarrhea, excessive thirst, muscle weakness, seizures, and coma.

Choking Hazard

Giving your canine a whole raw hot dog is disastrous.

The hot could get stuck in his throat, and he may choke on it.

A raw hot dog is in the perfect size and shape to get stuck in your pup’s throat.

If this happens, it’ll be hard for him to breathe, and he may start gagging or, worse, choking.

If you notice your dog choking, give him the Heimlich maneuver immediately before taking him to the vet.

Weight Gain

This applies to both cooked and raw hot dogs. Processed meats like hot dogs are high in fat.

This is why you should only give them to your dog as an occasional treat.

If you feed your pup too many hot dogs, he’ll start gaining weight.

An overweight dog is at risk of developing obesity, leading to other health problems like diabetes and heart disease.

The Best Hot Dogs to Cook for Your Dog

Treating your canine friend to the occasional hot dog is perfectly fine.

Just make sure you’re giving him the right type of hot dog that is well cooked and left to cool.

Most hot dogs are made from turkey, beef, pork, and chicken which are okay for dogs to eat.

An exception is dogs with underlying food allergies or intolerances.

Such dogs have a digestive system that cannot handle these ingredients.

If your dog is allergic to some foods, hot dogs may not be the best treat for him because they contain multiple ingredients.

It’s difficult to judge if they will harm him.

The best hot dogs to cook for your dog are those that are:

  • Made from lean meat like chicken or turkey
  • Have no fillers or artificial ingredients
  • Hot dogs made from grass-fed beef
  • Are free of onions and garlic
  • Well-cooked and left to cool before serving

When feeding your pup hot dogs, remove the casing as it’s a choking hazard.

It’s also safer to cut them into smaller pieces as whole hot dogs can lead to gagging and choking.

Serve them to your dog as is or with some cooked veggies on the side.

Can Dogs Eat Raw Hot Dogs

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you need to cook hot dogs for dogs?

Yes. You need to cook hot dogs for dogs as raw hot dogs may contain bacteria like Salmonella and E. coli that will make your pup sick. These bacteria lead to food poisoning characterized by vomiting, diarrhea, and weakness in dogs.

Will hot dogs hurt a dog?

Although hot dogs are safe for dogs, they shouldn’t be fed to them regularly. Hot dogs are full of fat, salt and are highly processed. If dogs consume them regularly, they may become overweight and develop health problems like obesity, heart disease, and diabetes.

What kind of hot dogs can dogs eat?

Dogs can eat hot dogs made of chicken, turkey, pork, and beef. Moreover, they can eat vegetarian hot dogs made from cellulose or other plant-based ingredients like grains and soy. However, dogs with food allergies or intolerances should not eat hot dogs as they contain multiple ingredients that may harm them.

Final Thoughts

Most dog parents believe that because hot dogs are pre-cooked, they’re safe to feed their pups raw.

However, this is not the case, as raw hot dogs may contain bacteria like Salmonella that will make your pup sick.

Cooking your dog’s hot dog kills off these harmful bacteria and makes the hot dog easier to digest.

When feeding your pup hot dogs, cut them into smaller pieces and serve them with cooked veggies on the side.

Do not feed your pup hot dogs regularly.

Hot dogs are high in fat and salt, and feeding them to your pup frequently may cause him to become overweight and develop health problems like diabetes.

Megan Turner
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