You’ve seen them, of course, do so in the movies, such as when Bob & Doug McKenzie’s dog Hosehead in Strange Brew ate hot dogs like they were going out of style, yet people wonder, Can Dogs Eat Hot Dogs?
The answer is yes, they can, according to the American Kennel Club, but generally, they are not good for dogs.
Why No Hot Dogs?
The Kennel Club states the general reasoning for the no hot dog rule for dogs is that hot dogs are not healthy for humans, let alone dogs.
They are made out of leftover parts of meat, may contribute to colorectal cancer, can contribute to Type 2 diabetes, are often subject to recall due to health reasons, are full of chemicals, and more, according to Food Revoloution.org.
Worse, according to an expose by Time Magazine, people have found all kinds of unsavory items in their hot dogs from metal parts such as hex nuts, pills, insect larvae, parts of razor blades, rubber bands, and more.
While it might be possible to serve your dog hot dogs made by a butcher before 1930 or so, in moderation, mass-produced hot dogs are the lowest of the low as far as beef products go.
The Real Problem is Fat!
Although a hot dog here and there will likely not affect your dog. According to Daily Paws, a pet-oriented website, the real problem is excess fat.
In an article about feeding hot dogs to canines, Daily Paws quotes a number of veterinarians that hot dogs contain up to 30 percent fat in addition to a lot of preservatives.
Leaner cuts of meat such as chicken, fish, and beef contain a significantly lower amount of fat than feeding your dog hot dogs.
The Real Problem with Hot Dogs is the Preservatives
While some vets are concerned that hot dogs have too much fat in them to be healthy for dogs, most are more concerned about the preservatives found in those little meat treats.
Salt, monosodium glutamate, artificial sweeteners, celery powder, garlic puree, phosphates, nitrates, and more are found in hot dogs.
Essentially everything is mixed into a giant batter and then extruded to produce the individual dogs.
This is not the healthiest mix imaginable, and many of the preservatives such as salt and nitrates and monosodium glutamate serve to dehydrate your dog.
How About Leftover Hot Dogs
It’s generally okay to let your dog have a leftover hot dog as a treat, but by all means, make sure the dog is separated from any toppings.
Most leftover toppings, particularly onions, will tend to give your dog fits. Onions are extremely toxic to dogs, and your dog may be so busy relishing the hot dog that he may not notice the bad things he is eating with it.
The Bottom Line
It’s okay to feed your dog a hot dog occasionally, but there are much better treats to feed your dog.