Can Dogs Eat Hot Dogs as a Special Treat?

Are hot dogs ok for dogs to eat? And what happens to dogs if they do eat one? We’ll answer your questions about hot dogs, plus which other human foods are safe or not safe for dogs.

By Hungry Bark | November 9, 2021

Hot dogs are such a common American cookout food… especially during the summer, and at Fourth of July parties, or Memorial Day parties. They are cheap, delicious, easy to grill up, and easy to cook for a large group of people. But what about for the pups?

Is it ok to slip your dog a bite of your hot dog? Or maybe you’d even like to give them a whole hot dog for being such a sweet pup. But is that really the best thing for them?

Which human foods are ok to give your dog, and which aren’t? Some choices are definitely healthier than others. And some can actually be toxic. So it’s always best to do a little research ahead of time before sharing your plate with your furry best friend. You never know what the side effects might be of sharing your food with your favorite dog.

Will Hot Dogs Hurt My Dog?

You probably know deep down that hot dogs aren’t exactly the healthiest food. Even though they are delicious, most hot dogs tend to be made from a mixture of “mystery meats” and other random ingredients that could be toxic to dogs.

Some of these ingredients are “sodium nitrate, which has been linked to cancer; monosodium glutamate (MSG); and sugars or artificial sweeteners.” On top of that, hot dogs typically contain seasonings like garlic and onion powder. Both of which are toxic to dogs. And don’t forget about the salt! Hot dogs are notorious for their high sodium content. And too much sodium can lead to dehydration, high blood pressure, and obesity. And no one wants that for their furry little companion.

In the same way that hot dogs can be a choking hazard for small children, they can also be a choking hazard for dogs. Especially if your pup is given an entire hot dog. Sometimes when dogs get excited about food, they will try to swallow the whole thing without chewing it up first. And this could cause serious problems.

What Happens If a Dog Eats a Hot Dog?

If your dog does snatch up a hot dog… don’t worry, and try to stay calm. Typically, as long as your dog doesn’t have any choking issues from the hot dog, it’s not going to do too much harm. They will probably have some digestive issues like diarrhea. And that will usually go away after a day or so.

But if it continues longer, or your dog has both vomiting and diarrhea, it’s time to contact your veterinarian. It’s always best to be safe, rather than sorry. Just in case there are some serious issues going on. Plus, that much vomiting and diarrhea combined can lead to serious dehydration problems.

What Human Foods Can Dogs Eat?

If you’re looking for other options of at-home treats to feed your precious pooch, you could try small amounts of beef, pork, or chicken that is completely plain. No salt or other seasonings added.

And with any dog treats, remember… everything in moderation! Treats should only make up 10% of a dog’s daily intake, even if they are healthy treats. And your dog’s well-balanced dog food diet should make up 90%.

To find safe “human foods” that you can feed your crazy canine at home, and to know which ones you shouldn’t feed them, check out our lists below. But remember, no added sugar, salt, butter, seasonings, or anything else. Just plain, natural foods. And don’t let your pup have anything with xylitol in it because it’s poisonous for dogs.

When it comes to any food you’d like to feed your dog at home, make sure to check out the best ways to safely serve them. Cut all food into small, edible pieces. With fruit and veggies, remove all stems, cores, seeds, peels, and rinds. And some fruits, like pineapple, require you to remove the skin.

Also, remove any bones from the meat or fish. And make sure to cut away the really fatty pieces of meat before giving them to your dog.

Healthy Proteins for Dogs to Eat:

  • Beef
  • Chicken
  • Fish
  • Ham
  • Lamb
  • Pork
  • Salmon
  • Shrimp
  • Tuna
  • Turkey


Fruits Dogs Can Eat:

  • Apples
  • Bananas
  • Blueberries
  • Cantaloupe
  • Cranberries
  • Cucumbers
  • Mangos
  • Oranges
  • Peaches
  • Pears
  • Pineapple
  • Raspberries
  • Strawberries
  • Watermelon


Fruits Dogs Can’t Eat:

  • Avocados
  • Cherries
  • Grapes & Raisins
  • Lemons
  • Limes


Vegetables Dogs Can Eat:

  • Broccoli
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Corn
  • Green Beans
  • Peas
  • Spinach


Vegetables Dogs Can’t Eat:

  • Asparagus
  • Mushrooms
  • Onions, Leeks, and Chives


Other Human Foods Dogs Can Eat:

  • Bread 
  • Cheese
  • Coconut
  • Eggs
  • Honey
  • Milk
  • Peanut Butter
  • Popcorn
  • Quinoa
  • Wheat & Grains
  • Yogurt


Other Human Foods Dogs Can’t Eat:

  • Almonds 
  • Chocolate
  • Cinnamon
  • Garlic
  • Ice Cream
  • Macadamia Nuts
  • Xylitol

What is the Healthiest Food to Feed Your Dog?

If you’re looking for a new dog food that you can feed your pup, so they’ll receive the best nutrition possible, try Hungry Bark! Our dog food recipes are made with real food. We use only high quality, natural ingredients to create well-balanced meals for your pup.

Our nutrition exceeds the industry standards for dogs because all of our recipes are made with human-grade, vet-approved ingredients. We have unprecedented safety and quality control. And our dog food is slow-cooked in a kitchen to preserve the nutrients of every recipe.

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Hungry Bark meals are meat-based with only lean proteins like lamb, salmon, duck, chicken, and turkey. They all contain well-balanced nutrition with ingredients like blueberries, beets, carrots, cranberries, pumpkin, spinach, and more! Plus all of the 16 essential nutrients and vitamins that every dog needs to have a long and healthy life.  

We choose only the best for each recipe because we care about every dog living their best life, and receiving the best nutrition possible. Isn’t that what you want for your furry pup?

For more articles with helpful pet parenting advice and dog nutrition, check out The Daily Bark blog on

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