Can Dogs Eat Hot Dogs?
Dogs eating hot dogs…? Has the world gone mad?
This might sound like a cruel form of forced cannibalism, but when you consider that a hot dog is just beef or pork, then there is no real reason that your dog shouldn’t be able to enjoy a little right along with you!
And chances are that you’ve thought about giving your dog a share of your hot dogs. When you’ve been sitting at the table enjoying some delicious fast food and your dog has sat on the floor eating their kibble out of a bowl, you’ve probably found your heart going out to them as you wonder whether they couldn’t be sharing in something a lot tastier with you!
But while hot dogs are fine in theory for dogs, there are also some caveats and warnings, so read on and let’s assess in more detail whether it is safe for dogs to eat hot dogs!
HOT DOGS – THE GOOD AND THE BAD
Hot dogs are good for your dogs in some senses. For starters, sausages are nothing but a form of processed meat. And meat is good for dogs. It’s good for humans too!
When we eat protein from meat, our bodies break that protein down into constituent amino acids. These are the carbon building blocks of meat and when we get them in our diet, our bodies recycle them in order to build muscle tissue, ligaments and tendons, and even things like digestive enzymes and neurotransmitters! In short, we recycle the meat we eat and use it to build ourselves. And the same is true for dogs!
And while it is possible to survive on a vegetarian diet, that protein is not as bio-available as protein from meat and it has to go through more steps to be made suitable for use. This isn’t a huge problem for humans as we are omnivorous and can therefore perform the necessary steps, as long as we fortify our diets with other healthy nutrients.
For dogs though, this is a problem. Dogs are carnivorous and their natural diet is far more based on meat than the human diet. Therefore, they need any form of meat and this means sausages are better for them in one sense than they are for humans!
There are, of course, some caveats to this. The problem with hot dogs for dogs is that they are a very processed form of meat. Processed meat is simply meat that has been through more steps in its preparation. Something like steak or a lamb chop is just a slice of meat that has been taken off the carcass and then oven baked or fried. A sausage on the other hand is made up from ground bits of meat, often combined with breadcrumbs (carbs), lots of fat, and other ingredients such as salt and sugar for flavor. In short, this is a few steps removed from fresh meat, and we know that our dogs need very few grains and additional additives.
This is more of a serious issue for a dog than for a human, seeing as the amount of sugar and salt in a single hot dog is proportionately much greater for a dog’s smaller system. This can lead to more serious issues like inflammation.
This means that if you are going to give your dog a hot dog, you should probably cut it a little smaller so that it is a more equivalent size for them as it would be for you. Hot dogs should also definitely be an occasional treat and not a staple of their diet.
ADVICE FOR FEEDING DOGS HOT DOGS
There are a few other considerations when feeding your dog hot dogs or any type of sausage. The first is that you shouldn’t slather it in sauce. While sausages contain a little more sugar than would be ideal, sauces like ketchup contain a lot more sugar and should be avoided at all costs.
Likewise, you should avoid excessive dairy (get them a specific dog cheese instead), and you should leave out the bun if possible. It won’t kill your dog if it eats a single sausage roll, but this being a sugary simple carb, it is still possible that it can harm your pup. Better avoided—and dogs aren’t generally crazy on plain bread anyway!