Can Dogs Eat Weenies?


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A barbeque night is always incomplete without weenies. It’s highly possible that your pup comes wagging his tail and begins to beg for a sausage or a hot dog.

The smell of a weenie being grilled is just AHHAA, and this is probably the reason which has attracted your dog to you. Some dog owners use this treat as a training food for their dogs.

But, have they ever wondered, “are hot dogs safe for my dog or not?”

Well! You can feed weenies to your dog as a rare treat. But serving it regularly on your dog’s dinner plate is not a good idea. Why is it so? Keep reading to know.

Are Raw Hot Dogs Safe for Dogs?

Raw hotdogs or raw weenies are a big NO for dogs. It can put your pet’s health at risk. It is because of the presence of a bacterium, Clostridium botulinum, in raw meat.

This bacterium produces extremely hazardous toxins and directly affect the nervous system. It results in a condition called botulism. Its symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, excessive drooling, difficulty breathing, weakness, and paralysis that usually starts in the hind legs and spread to the front legs.

The symptoms appear within 12 hours after ingestion of the meat. Reach a veterinarian as soon as possible. If not treated timely, it can be fatal enough to cause death. So, don’t let your dog eat hot dogs raw.

Can Dogs Have Cooked Hot Dogs?

Hot dogs are mostly made up of whole meats, such as chicken, turkey, beef, or pork. All of these are perfectly fine for your pooch if served in cooked form.

Therefore, dog owners need not be worried over a dog chewing some hot dog pieces. They need to confirm that the hot dog is plain, with no seasonings and no condiments.

Can Dogs Have Store-bought Hot Dogs?

It’s better to avoid feeding dogs store-bought items that are made as human foods. They are highly processed. A highly processed food especially processed meats, poses many health problems.

They are high in fats and preservatives (sodium nitrate in the case of hot dogs). Because of it, they need to be kept away from the dog’s diet.

Moreover, there’s mystery meat inside most hot dogs. Even when written on the package, one can’t be sure of it. Manufacturers add garlic powder, onions, salt, and spices to make them delicious treats.

All these ingredients are exactly what makes hot dogs unsafe for dogs. Garlic and onions are toxic for dogs. Giving them a treat with too much salt can cause salt poisoning in them. Other ingredients can trigger food allergies in them.

So, the best solution is to buy some chicken or other meat from a local butcher and prepare hot dogs for the furry friend.

To make it a high-value treat, avoid the ingredients toxic for the dog. Similarly, don’t let a dog eat a whole hot dog. Instead, for safe ingestion, cut it down into small pieces.

Can Dogs Have Hot Dog Buns?

Hot dog buns are safe for your dog unless he does not have any food allergy to the ingredients. The most probable allergy, in this case, can be the gluten allergy which is quite famous in dogs.

If your dog is allergic to gluten, the wheat flour used in the bread can act as a severe irritant for the dog’s body and will result in anaphylaxis.

The symptoms of this allergy are much like those of Celiac disease; he may experience stomach aches, diarrhea, bloating, and vomiting.

The second major reason to avoid feeding these buns to your dog is the large calorie content of these due to high carbohydrates levels. If your dog is already obese, don’t feed him such types of foods.

Can You Feed Pooch Hot Dogs With Toppings?

Hot dog treats with toppings are not healthy for dogs. Let’s talk about a few famous hot dog toppings. The most famous topping is mustard. It is not safe for dogs.

It results in gastrointestinal upset accompanied by inflammation. So, don’t let them taste it at all. The second most famous topping for hot dogs is ketchup.

Dogs like ketchup taste, but just like mustard, it’s not healthy either. It has extra flavors, salt, and sugar. People also love to eat hot dogs with coleslaw, but a dog is not allowed to eat it, as it can make him sick.

Similarly, chilies and jalapenos are not safe either. They are not toxic but can irritate the stomach such as bloating, gas, pain, and dehydration.

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Concerns Regarding Hot Dogs

Besides the toxic ingredients such as salt and spices, hot dog treats can cause the following health issues:

High-fat Content

A hot dog offers 26 to 30% of fats, while a dog food can have no more than a 5.5% of lubricants for the sake of a balanced diet. Therefore, pet owners need to be aware of the health hazards caused by high-fat food.

If dogs eat hot dogs in large amounts, they can have too many fat molecules in their blood, causing hyperlipidemia. It has similar symptoms as diabetes. Some other signs include inflammation, hair loss, skin problems, seizures, and lipid accumulation in eyes and blood vessels.

Fatty food can even make a healthy pup obese. Obesity is the mother of many diseases in the pet. It can put your dog at the peril of heart disease and hypertension.

The dog might be more susceptible to diabetes as well as cancer. It would be no wonder if an obese dog has developed arthritis, i.e., the inflammation at joints due to the degeneration of cartilage.

Too much fat in food can also result in stones in the urinary system and disturbed hormonal activity, such as an inactive or hypoactive thyroid gland or overactive adrenal gland.

Another harmful effect a pet faces after eating fatty foods is pancreatitis. Yes, the name explains it all -- inflammation in the pancreas.

It can be acute or chronic. Common symptoms include abdominal pain, fever, vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, weakness, and a loss of appetite.

In case a dog eats hot dogs and shows any of the symptoms mentioned above, you need to visit a vet immediately. But dogs experience these ill-health symptoms if you feed fatty foods such as hot dogs in large amounts or regularly in small amounts.

Too Many Calories

Hot dogs have 290 calories per 100 grams of it. Eating such a high-caloric diet is not safe for your pup. It can make your dog obese, posing the same hazards mentioned above.

If you love dogs and want to protect them from becoming obese, choose less calorie-dense treats for them.

Choking Hazard

Many dogs love to eat hot dogs and might try to swallow a whole hot dog. It can result in a choking hazard as the hot dog has the perfect shape to get obstructed in the throat.

Besides the throat, it can also obstruct the airway partially. It might stimulate excessive coughing. You might see your dog facing difficulty while breathing.

He might be struggling for oxygen. If he did not receive oxygen a bit longer, he might faint. All this struggling can result in an inflamed and damaged throat.

So, don’t give your pup whole hot dogs. Instead, try cutting them into bite-sized pieces. Moreover, you should know how to handle a choking dog if you are unable to contact a vet at the spot.

How Many Hot Dogs Can Dogs Eat?

A single hot dog is more than enough for your dog. For a small pup, don’t treat more than a few pieces. Eating too many hot dogs can disturb your dog’s stomach. Too much meat can cause bloating.

In this condition, the stomach expands and exerts pressure on the surrounding organs too. It is often followed by other complications such as rupturing of the stomach wall and hindrance in the blood flow.

How Often Can Dogs Eat Hot Dogs?

Don’t add hot dogs to dog food regularly. They are safe as an occasional treat only. However, if you are trying to train your dog, these can best serve as the training treats.

In this way, they can utilize the extra fats during the training, and the addition of hot dogs won’t affect their balanced diet.


One can let dogs eat hot dogs as long as they are plain. Seasonings, condiments, or toppings make them unsafe for dogs. They make a great training treat but also pose many health hazards at the same time.

They are high in fats and calories, putting your dog at risk of obesity, pancreatitis, and many other diseases. Don’t forget to serve a properly cooked one to your companion, as the raw one poses potential health risks.

Ready-made hot dogs are safe for human consumption but not for dogs as many ingredients are not healthy for them.

Serve the hot dog in small pieces so that they won’t choke. So, the best practice is to serve it now and then by supplementing the diet with healthy foods.